Metal Gear Solid 4 Retrospective

“War has changed. It’s no longer about nations, ideologies or ethnicity.” – Old [Solid] Snake

Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of Patriot is the fourth main game in the MGS franchise and the 6th in the mainline Metal Gear series. Players assume the role of Solid Snake aka Old Snake again, instead of Naked Snake. The game was released on the PS3 in June of 2008, almost a decade ago. The game was once again made by Hideo Kojima, and was published by …. sigh … Konami.

Here are previous Metal Gear Retrospectives:

Metal Gear Solid

Metal Gear Solid 2

Metal Gear Solid 3

 

-Characters-

Solid Snake is the protagonist, but he is now referred to as “Old Snake” because…. just look at him. Snake is on his final mission to save the world from both the Patriots and Liquid Ocelot. He is dying in more ways than one, but is more determined than ever before to finish his mission.

 

Liquid Ocelot is combination of 2 of the series greatest villains, Liquid Snake and Revolver Ocelot. When Ocelot attached Liquid’s arm to his body during MGS2, Liquid’s mind took Ocelot over. There are couple of explanations behind this, but I like to believe that is actually Liquid in his head. I DON”T CARE ABOUT NANOMACHINES!

 

-Story-

This is the final chapter in the Metal Gear Solid chronology. It was suppose to be the final game, but you know, corporate greed. At the time, this was the endgame, Snake’s final mission. Metal Gear game to end all Metal Gear games.

 

The story takes place couple of years after MGS2 and the power of the mysterious Patriots is more evident than ever before. Now, all weapons and soldiers are enhanced with nano-machines, everything is better and controlled. Snake is ultimately a weapon, and weapons have expiration dates, that is why Snake has accelerated aging to limit his life.

 

As always, there is another group of weirdos to fight, although they are far more boring than the previous ones, they are the Beauty and the Beast Unit. They are 4 women who are really messed up due to their history, and are I guess inspired by MGS1′s Foxhound Unit. There is Laughing Octopus, Raging Raven, Crying Wolf, and Screaming Mantis. They work for Liquid Ocelot and are here to hinder Snake.

 

Liquid Ocelot wants to take over the Patriots and bring the world into never ending war times where soldiers will always have a place. He plans on doing this with a weapon/protocol called the Guns of the Patriots. This allows Liquid Ocelot to tap into the Patriots’ system and control every soldier that ever existed, making him essentially god of war. With this power, he will end the era of Patriots’ control and start era of eternal war.

 

-Gameplay-

This is another big change from MGS2 and MGS3. The game feels a lot like a third person shooter rather than top down sneaking game. To boot, the weapon selection in this game is a lot larger, by that I mean there are more weapons in this game than the sum of all other Metal Gear games added together.

Unfortunately, there are less mind fucks in this game… There is nothing that was out of the box like switching controller ports, waiting until someone dies of age, or weird crazy talks by the Colonel. Probably the only moment something like that was done was regarding this one scene in Shadow Moses, I won;t say what part though.

The graphics in this game were insane. I think it is still one of the prettiest games I have ever played. Snakes suit’s camouflage is amazing and people have been doing crazy and funny stuff with it. And it changes texture too, so if looks fantastic.

 

Image result for mgs4 shadow moses

Unlike the previous games where Snake (either one) was stuck in a single location, be it a tanker, a boat, a jungle, a military base, this one moves around a lot. There is a mission in various settings: Mideastern village, a jungle, military base, a boat…. huh. Point is, there were a lot of variations with in a single game.

 

Image result for mgs4 exclamation

One thing I noticed and was sad is the difficulty. Compared to MGS1 or even 3, this one is far easier. In the previous games, if Snake was caught, he is most likely screwed. This really made MGS a stealth series, going in gun blazing usually leads to death. This was really apparent in MGS1. Many times in the game, I had a crap load of guns and ammos, and I could survive the game as if I were playing Halo.

 

-How does it hold up?-

It is clear that this game exists to end the series. It is here to tie up loose ends, give conclusions to many characters’ stories, and ultimately kill the franchise. This game was more of a fan service and the last chapter than a full story.

 

This game borrows heavily from all of the previous games, all of the bosses are callback to previous ones. MGS2 did this for plot purposes and general mind-fuckery, and MGS3 did not have that make callbacks, making this one very hard to play and understand by itself. Ironically, this was the first Metal Gear game I ever played and I was lost the whole time, I had no idea who the characters were nor what they were trying to accomplish. But when I returned to it after playing MGS1, 2, and 3, it all made sense. This is a fan for fans, and if you are not a fan, you will have a hard time.

 

Despite that, I had one hell of a time, no, I played through the whole game many times. It is still one of my favorites, ad I’m sure I will play it again many more times. Visually it pushed the PS3 to the limit, story wise, it was a satisfying ending ti a long series, mechanically it was fantastic. Best in the series, no. But hell, it was good.

What did you think of suppose-to-be-end-of-a-franchise game?

Gihoon

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