Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots

It's Kojima's last MGS (then so was MGS2 and MGS3), but is it a masterpiece or a convoluted mess?




Version
PlayStation 3
Developer
Konami
Publisher
Konami
Genre
Action



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By Ian Dransfield

Sorry I'm late - blame Konami or Doree. But at least I've played through Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots to completion without developers sniffing over my shoulder, and I'm not snagged by any non-disclosure agreements or the like.

Telling you all about the despicable and abhorrent install times and sizes is sure to make your blood run cold. Except... it isn't really, so Konami probably shouldn't have really bothered to gag people about that. Basically, it's a 10 minute install of about 4GB, then shorter installs for each following Act in the game - five in total, with the data overwriting itself each time, so it's never bigger than around the four gig mark. Well isn't that just earth shattering?

But away from gag orders and rampant censorship there is an actual game in here - one of the most incredibly-crafted, finest-looking, satisfying, over the top, utterly insane, nonsensical and downright weird games you are ever going to play. It's a masterpiece, there's no doubt about that, but there's so much more to it than that. Both positive and negative.

You're left in no doubt as to the quality - and insanity - of what you are taking part in ('playing' is a hard word to use when talking about any Metal Gear Solid title) when the intro sequence kicks in, showing snippets of this and that, covering some back story and setting you off right in the thick of things, being shot at by a million-billion anonymous bad guys in THE MIDDLE EAST (the same place that COD4 is set, no less). The tutorial-cum-cinematic is well handled and keeps a nice flow to the usual 'go here press this button' crap that usually walks hand in hand with any other bog standard opening to a game - it is still that kind of crap, easing those unfamiliar - or just rusty - into the action. But it does it with a shedload of prettiness, so everyone's happy.

Then comes the game proper and all the much-vaunted newness that was covered in all those press hype events over the last few years - you can get in an oil drum, roll around and throw up. You can hide in a bin and stink of shit. You can help the rebels in their fight against the generic baddies, thus opening up holes in their defence for you to sneak through. You can probably do some other things too, but they all sit on the periphery and feel somewhat superfluous to the main meat of the game. When the core mechanics are as finely-honed as they already are, it's a sure thing that additional elements like these come across as unnecessary, if not welcome.

That is, except for the Octocamo. Now this is an addition to the game that ticks a few sexy little boxes. Firstly, it's new. Second, it's clever. Third, it's damn pretty. And fourth, and most importantly, it's actually useful throughout the game. Now MGS3 may have introduced us to the idea of changing outfits and putting on masks to camouflage Snake and, well, this is pretty much the same thing again. Only in amaze-o-future vision, where you don't have to access a menu to manually change an outfit to one that only looks a little like the background you are currently inhabiting (you can if you want, mind) - no, this is a world where you simply lay on the floor or press up to a wall and watch in astonishment as your body (and later face) mould to match the surroundings. It's both clever enough to impress and realistic enough to not stray too far into the realms of disbelief. And once again, just for effect - it's actually useful. Lovely.

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Video Coverage
(See Latest Videos & Video FAQ Here)
PLEASE DO NOT DIRECT LINK TO ANY MEDIA FILE ON KIKIZO
DescriptionDur.SizeDetails
Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots
Full trailer in direct feed HD (June 2006)
14:55 390MB DF, HD, 16:9
1280x720p30
4Mbps
Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots
Extended E3 2006 trailer, 480p60 with Direct Feed Audio
3.19m 60MB ED, DF, 60
852x480
2.5Mbps
Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots
Short E3 2006 trailer, 480p60 100% Direct Feed  
3.19m 60MB ED, DF, 60
852x480
2.5Mbps
Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots
Extended E3 2006 trailer, direct feed, lower quality  
14.34m 151MB ED, DF, 30
640x360
1.5Mbps
Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots
Complete TGS 2006 trailer 480p60 (hi quality)  
8.41m 259MB ED, DF, 60
852x480
4Mbps
Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots
Hi-res 60fps footage (Sept 2006)  
2.28m 66MB ED, 60
800x448
4Mbps
Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots
Full trailer direct feed (Sept 2005)
8.56m 69MB SD, 30
640x360
1Mbps
Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots
Realtime demo by Hideo Kojima at TGS 2005 with English subtitles
3.15m 42MB SD, 30, CAM
640x360
1.3Mbps
Metal Gear Solid 4
Teaser trailer produced on MGS3 engine (May 2005)
4.59m 45MB DF, SD, 30
640x480
1.5Mbps

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