Monday, June 16, 2008

Metal Gear Solid 4 Meets, Exceeds Critic Expectations

If you haven't heard of the game or series, Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots is the much anticipated title in the Metal Gear series. The original games had its start on the internationally popular MSX system, but was later ported and reworked on the NES. The Metal Gear Solid series is what most are familiar with, which started on the original PlayStation. Since then, the series has been known for its amazing stealth action gameplay, immersive storyline, and movie-like production quality. MGS4 has been touted as the definitive game in the series and the end of main character Solid Snake's story. With fantastic production values and movie-style trailers, the game is looking pretty good. It looks like series creator Hideo Kojima, Konami, and Sony delivered on their promises and presented one of the first true "killer apps" and must-have exclusive titles for the PS3.

With both standard and limited editions available as well as an 80GB MGS4 PS3 bundle, this may be the game to convince naysayers, doubters, and PS2 faithful to pick up the console. I haven't had a chance to go hands-on yet, but I'll give you a preview of some reactions from popular video game critics.

IGN: 10
Is it possible to give a game an 11? If so, this would be the game that would merit that score. Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots is a title that exceeds all of the hype that was attached to the title.

GamePro: 10
The Playstation 3 finally gets its "savior", Kojima gets his masterpiece, and gamers get one of the best games of all time. [July 2008, p.72]

Playstation - The Official Magazine (US): 10
If you come to the game with no prior MGS knowledge, you'll still uncover one of the most absorbing stories ever told. [July 2008, p.38]

1UP: 9.1
The MGS4 conundrum is this: The further you play into the game, the less you actually play. Surrendering so much control to make way for movie sequences is galling, especially when the dialogue makes such a big deal about freedom and free will...Despite this gradual decay, though, MGS4 is absolutely a great game. The second half may lack sorely in comparison to the innovative, immersive brilliance of the first, but only because those early portions reach such inspiring heights.

GameSpy: 9
What's perhaps most impressive is the way you'll feel about Snake by the end of the game (be sure to watch through the credits!). His character is fleshed out here more than any of the other games combined, and seeing him during his quiet moments with Otacon and Sunny gives him a lot more depth than we previously thought possible.

The infamous storyline vs. gameplay argument has been disputed here, but it looks like there's an overall satisfaction about the balance and quality. Once I get my hands on the game, I'll be sure to give my impressions.

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