Metal Gear Solid 4 – One Year On


Friday February 29th 2008: I’m in an internet cafe, early that Friday morning. Konami were more then likely all set to announce the release date of Metal Gear Solid 4. When it was announced on a brand new Kojima Productions podcast (back when Ryan Payton was hosting), worldwide for June 12th, needless to say, I was quite happy as I knew that the first two weeks of June would be awesome. Plus, they avoided June 6th as a release date, which was great enough for me. Why? I didnt want the game to come out the weekend I went to see Radiohead the week before MGS4′s release.

But they did avoid it, Radiohead was awesome and now the waiting game was on for Metal Gear Solid 4: my most antcipated game not just of last year, but this gen. Needless to say, I wasnt dissapointed with the game at all, infact, I was more then happy with it, you can read my review for it here. But a year to the day since Metal Gear Solid 4 was released worldwide, does the game still hold up to be not just one of the finest games on the PS3 or this gen, but of all time?

My PLAYSTATION 3 is about to head off to SCE for repairs to the YLOD, and the ironic and sad part is that I have a game stuck in there: MGS4. Quite a bittersweet irony as I was about to play it this weekend, along with a return to Metal Gear Online and buy all the expansion packs. Needless to say, I can still say with confident ease that nothing since then this gen has beat it, not by a country mile. Only the two upcoming Final Fantasy games (XIII and Versus XIII) and possibilly The Last Guardian have a chance of beating it, and two of them aint due till next year.

There has been some great games since MGS4′s release of course, I can pinpoint to games that arent even the same as MGS4 like Fable II, FIFA 09, Killzone 2, Gears of War 2 and more, but they just cant touch MGS4. And now, Kojima is set to work on what many argue to be Metal Gear Solid 5, Peace Walker for the PSSP and of course, the game he is only a producer on, and the next big Metal Gear Solid to be released on consoles, Rising on PS3 and Xbox 360.

Not alot of games grab my attention like Metal Gear Solid 4 does, it’s story is second to none. Granted, people will probably say it’s too fucking long on the story, and to an extent I agree, but it’s the story that grabs the attention of any MGS fans and MGS4 was certainly the best in the series as far as I’m concerned. Old Snake’s rapid aging, how Liquid somehow managed to take over the body of Ocelot, cyborg Raiden (which still hasnt mostly been explained yet, maybe in Rising?), the true motive behind The Patriots, would Snake stop Ocelot’s plan and more. But with all due respect to Kojima, 3 other people desevre alot of credit for the game as well: Yoji Shinkawa, Harry Gregson Williams and Shuyo Murata.

Shinkawa for giving the game’s art design something to behold, it’s his artwork that gives the game that sparkle of personalty. Gregson Williams (alongside Nobuko Toda) for giving the game that Hollywood feel to it, stuff like Old Snake and Mobs Alive showed that Metal Gear games has the Hollywood treatment 365/247. And Murata for helping make the game what it is alongside Kojima (plus, I guess I still owe a thanks for directing ZOE2).

The game’s cast is also sensational, you have to add. Headed by David Hayter, and a brillant cast by Christopher Randolph (Otacon), Quinton Flynn (Raiden), Jennifer Hale (Naomi), Debi Mae West (Meryl), Khari Payton (Drebin), Paul Editing (Campbell) just to name a few. They may not be the most recognisable names in Hollywood, but they get the job done in getting the emotion, the drama, the comedy whenever it’s needed, the action showcases, everything that made this game what it was was down to these people.

MGS4 also had something new inplicated into the game: western gameplay. No more clunky controls from Japan, it felt fresh to play and it had no hastle to it. It now had a 3D 3rd person camera, brought in as a test for Metal Gear Solid 3: Subsistence. And then, there was also Drebin and his gun laundering, which did make the game a bit easier needless to say, but it was handy to get whatever we needed from his shop, be that new weapons or ammo.

And finally, we got Metal Gear Online. It’s not the strongest online game ever, not alot of people like the Konami ID idea. Plus, it’s not a game that would go lose easily to multiplayer beheimoths like Halo 3 and Gears of War, plus Killzone 2 and Resistance if you were gonna include PS3 games, plus lag problems persist to this very day. But for what it is, it does deliver a good Metal Gear experience. New maps delivered thanks to the Meme, Gene and Scene expansion packs as well as new gameplay modes and thensome, all for about £7 a pop each expansion.

Plus, there was the nostalga of it all, the main one that comes out out to me is Urban Ultimatium, which old Metal Gear Online players from Metal Gear Solid 3: Subsistence owners will recognise as City Under Siege (god, how the old days of MGO is missed), the most popular map on MGO and was, at launch, the most popular map for MGO2.

So, one year on, does Metal Gear Solid 4 still stand the test of time and is still one of the best games ever? A resounding yes. Games like these dont come around every day, infact I am stil to see one game that has the va-va voom that MGS4 has this year. All we can do now until next year is wait for Peace Walker for the PSP, and by the time the 2nd anniversary comes around for MGS4, we’ll be a week away from E3 2010 where the first big pieces of info for Rising will be coming out.

But either way, Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots is simply a umissable game, one year on. And for anybody still looking for trophies to buy the game, please: stop obsessing over it and get this game. I’m a trophy whore (and achievement whore to add) as much as anyone, but you honestly owe it to yourself to get this game if you dont already have it. The best part is the game is now in the Platnum (EU)/Greatest Hits (US) series (having sold over 4 – 5 milliion units), all for £15 – £20 in the UK.

Metal Gear Solid 4 is a truly special game: go get it if you havent already.

15 Responses to “Metal Gear Solid 4 – One Year On”

  1. I agree. This generation, MGS4 is a game without equal (up to this point at least).

    ps- this entry has way to many spelling mistakes.

    Seriously, use spell check……your blog will appear more professional without all the spelling mistakes.

  2. I admit as a 360 owner I am envious of MGS4 as I have played it on someone’s ps3 and it certainly is the best game on ps3.

    I’m just glad to play Metal Gear Rising and Splinter Cell finally. But few games have come out that touch Metal Gear Solid’s brilliance. Hard for me to admit but very true. The only game that touched it for me was Lost Odyssey, and I play Lost Odyssey religiously to the very day.

  3. I agree with all of that – no game since MGS4 has gotten to me the way that it did.

    Also, re: Xu’s comment – I find it interesting that a comment about the article having too many spelling mistakes does, itself, include a spelling mistake. Insert witty comment about what colour the pot called the kettle.

    • I agree that MGS4 was a great game, but I do think that it is also an overrated one. As a game, it doesn’t succeed all that well because you spend most of your time watching, not playing . . . Which is a trend that began with MGS and has continued up to the point where now we have a game that, as far as playing time goes, is 50% cut-scenes which can only be considered well-written if you add the disclaimer, ‘for a video-game’.

      MGS4 is an interesting experiment in ‘interactive entertainment,’ but personally, I’d rather just watch a movie, or play a game. Not both at the same time.

    • Well the commenting system on this site doesn’t have a spell check. If it did, I’d use it.

      So there….

  4. Great article.

    MGS4 is for me the best game i have ever played. With it’s unrelenting scope and scale, the experience is without equal even among the rest of the series.
    Today (even though i have TONS of work to do) i will celebrate by “at least” going through a boss battle (which one, which one..!?!) and maybe watch some Johny/Meryll goofyness, God i love that couple ! ^_^

    cheers !

  5. MGS4 is about the 5th best game ive played this gen, and doesnt even rank in my all-time list. Half of the game is cut scenes, the story was exceptionally boring, the writing elementary. Ill admit I beat the game 5 times, but its the worst in the MGS series and I was not impressed.

  6. Wot no trophies ?

  7. GabrielS Says:

    The best game, with a brilliant and emotional epilogue to a behemoth saga ! I will never forget the last moments when “you know who” speaks his dying words ! An epic masterpiece.

  8. bsheezy25 Says:

    Uncharted all they way baby, first game to take the next gen leap

  9. Stubacca Says:

    MGS4 is still the greatest game ever made. The story, weapons, gadgets, music and graphics are unmatched in any game since. I doubt any FF game will come close.

    I feel sad that so many people will never experience arguably the most important game of this generation. And MGSR will be utterly rubbish unless HK gets on board to direct.

    Long live Metal Gear Solid 4

  10. sleewok Says:

    Great article. I never played any of the previous MGS games and MGS4 blew me away. If you own a PS3 and don’t have this game there is something wrong with you…or you’re broke.

  11. cell989 Says:

    Metal Gear Solid 4 will always be one of the greatest games of all time, years from now, it will still be consider very high. An amazing experience from start to finish, no doubt. Any true gamer should have at least played this game once.

  12. Hey, I came across this post and I really liked it. I just wanted to thank the author.

Leave a Reply to CH