Review: Metal Gear Solid 4

tooktook

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Feb 13, 2008
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Gigantor said:
On a serious aside, that was a good read. However, I'm going to stop reading these reviews of MGS4 altogether pretty soon, simply because there's so little prospect of my playing it in the near future.
Sadly I feel the same way. :-(
 

Cousin_IT

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Feb 6, 2008
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Good read; though not having (& never intending to since im sick of next gen consoles in general after my latest overpriced 360 broke) its ultimately irrelavent to me how good this game is.
 

Earnest Cavalli

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Jun 19, 2008
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Game looks good, seems to be the only good game out for the PS3 so far. Not enough to warrant a purchase of the console though.
 

tedderz123

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Jun 18, 2008
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Very good review, though I did prefer PedroSteckecilo's review in the forum. I think it explored the gameplay further and other things that only someone who has played MGS4 can relate to properly but for those who are still looking forward to this game, this one may be more to your likeing. Very good summary, "steal it" lol and for last time the loading times mark the end of an act and longer more spread out loading times would break momentum too much!!! It isn't fair to mark down MGS4 on system issues!

But well done, I couldn't have put it better myself regardless of my critism.
 

jaxxduece

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May 9, 2008
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Definitely looking forward to getting this game, as this review will be the final straw into doing so. Never really played the series, so was a bit hesitant in getting it. But I never played any of the GTA's either just because they weren't my type of game, but love GTAIV, so figure MGS4 can't hurt.
 

Gildedtongue

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Nov 9, 2007
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Speaking as one of those crazy people that did take notes in the previous games, write casual essays on the game's themes and plot devices, I'll admit that I really enjoyed Metal Gear Solid 4.

That being said... yes, the game does seem to be tailored to the fans, or at least those that have played the previous 6 (plus expansion packs [Metal Gear, Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake, Metal Gear Solid: Tactical Espionage Action, Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops, Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops Plus), and one semi-AU GBC title (Metal Gear Solid: Ghost Babel)) Metal Gears, this game does go over people's heads.

Arguably, the comment could be made that it would be like reading the final chapter of The Return of the King before starting The Lord of the Rings, as the game is designed to finish the story of Solid Snake. Aside from a couple cop-outs at the end of the story, it does so very well.

Yes, the movies are rather long, and take up more than 50% of the time spent... operating the game (the word "playing" is hard to use in this context), and the "Quick time events" in the game at least won't kill you if you miss them (Dear God, imagine having a QTE at the end of a 45 minute cut scene kill you...). On the other hand, it is what we've come to expect from this brainchild of Kojima, and at Mr. Croshaw has pointed out, it's nice for people to deviate from their norms, but at the same time, don't break something that's working. If you sat through all of Metal Gear Solid and enjoyed the over the top dialogue and cutscenes, and went on to play the others, then absolutely, drop the $60 American on the title. If you didn't... I'd say either rent "Metal Gear Solid: The Essentials" to see what you're missing (or if you like it), or just put that money in a tin for Forced Unleashed to come out in September.
 

ElArabDeMagnifico

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Dec 20, 2007
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Xwii360 said:
Game looks good, seems to be the only good game out for the PS3 so far. Not enough to warrant a purchase of the console though.
You can't buy anything else anyway, otherwise you'd have to create a new account to change your name.
 

Alex_P

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Mar 27, 2008
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The problem with comparing Metal Gear Solid 4 with other games is that it completely obliterates any other digitized attempts at storytelling. It's almost an unfair comparison. Contrasting the hyper-nuanced, politically and spiritually weighted, continually surprising plot of this latest edition of the franchise to even the finest games in recent memory (say, Grand Theft Auto 4) is tantamount to comparisons between Uwe Boll's Postal and the works of Stanley Kubrick.
I'm afraid I'm going to have to post my usual rejoinder:

Torment.
Deus Ex.

-- Alex
 

Jumplion

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Mar 10, 2008
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SHHHHH, if you complain about Yahtzee not reviewing MGS4 yet then it will feel more like business to him!

I think one major flaw in MGS4 is that it's short. After your first play through, you skip most of the cutscenes and you find out that it's incredibly short. I'm almost finished on my 2nd play through in the 3rd place and i'm only at 3 hours. Plus it can be very easy at times, but i still love the game anyway.
 

John Funk

U.N. Owen Was Him?
Dec 20, 2005
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The plot in MGS4 is pretentious, convoluted, and contrived.

But *damn* if it ain't presented amazingly.
 

Earnest Cavalli

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Jun 19, 2008
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this is my review...

IT'S AWESOME!!!

This game far surpassed my hopes for how good it would be, in every aspect.
Graphically, it's stunning,
gameplay wise, brilliant. but better than almost any other area of the game is the story.
I mean they managed to redeem raidan, it's that good.
 

SaintWaldo

Interzone Vagabond
Jun 10, 2008
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Hey Earnest, I liked your review, but I think you may have ignored your audience. ;)

In jest, of course. Excellent to see you here.
 

sharp_as_a_cork

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Oct 12, 2006
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Well, as someone who's never played an MGS game before, I did not become much wiser after reading this review. Telling me it ties together all of the plots and that there's fan service is a "don't care" for me and what I get is not far from Edderz1989's "IT'S AWESOME".

So either the revewer assumes everybody's already played a MGS incarnation, or they've read more in-depth reviews on other sites. Which is it?

Thanks about the installation warning, in any case.
 

haruvister

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Jun 4, 2008
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"Metal Gear Solid, like Kubrick's films, has always been defined by its circuitously branching plot details that almost always border on incomprehensible to those not taking detailed notes and consulting Wikipedia every 20 minutes."

I can't speak for MGS having never played any of the games, but I wrote a dissertation on Stanley Kubrick and I'm not sure where the writer got the above idea. If anything, Kubrick's films have been defined by the simplicity of their narratives, which typically belie complex themes. This is the nature of allegory, and it cannot be appreciated simply by having Wikipedia ready on Alt-Tab.
 

stevesan

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Oct 31, 2006
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sharp_as_a_cork said:
Well, as someone who's never played an MGS game before, I did not become much wiser after reading this review. Telling me it ties together all of the plots and that there's fan service is a "don't care" for me and what I get is not far from Edderz1989's "IT'S AWESOME".

So either the revewer assumes everybody's already played a MGS incarnation, or they've read more in-depth reviews on other sites. Which is it?

Thanks about the installation warning, in any case.
Unless you're an MGS fan already, I can't guarantee that you'll love it as much as I do. Definitely rent it first and see.

On the other hand, if you did like previous MGS's, I can honestly say this is a must-have.
 

Earnest Cavalli

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Jun 19, 2008
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I enjoyed the review, pretty well balanced and I smiled at the praise awarded. :D

Oddly enough I haden't posted in this section with great haste. I think I usually would considering MG and MGS have been my faviorate game series so far. But I'm just too involved with it's Online and Story. I mean, I may have completed it the night I got it, but there was an aweful lot I had missed the first time round. If you are a Metal Gear fan you would probably share my difficulties in absorbing the story sometimes. Thanks Hideo, who managed to put a tight cap on all stray ends. That was one hell of an experiance, even as far to say a bench-mark in my life.

Elis
-1998- Introduced to the Metal Gear Solid series; Struck with awe

-Middly bit-

-2008- Metal Gear saga ends; After these 10 wonderous years, still, he is struck with awe
 

rayman 101

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Jun 7, 2008
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I really want to play MGS 4, but I don't have a ps3. But this christmas I might get one. Can't wait :)
 

GregorV

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Aug 22, 2006
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That was not a review, that was gushing fan praise. Such things do have their own place of course, but I expect more from an official review for a generally quality site such as Escapist.

The review is simply trying to hard to excuse the many flaws by either saying they're not distracting, honest, or that they are features that speak to the initiated, and not flaws. One of the important points that the author is hung upon is the storytelling aspect, which is claimed to not have been done as good in any game so far. One reason for this is that the games are not really the medium for the MGS sort of storytelling, that's the domain of film. Not having played MGS4, only MGS 2, but if the kind of storytelling is anything close to the one in the second part then I'm afraid it's a failure on many levels. Sorytelling in games works when it's intricately vowen into the game structure (see Portal or Half Life 2), not when it's an overly long cut scene. Plus, unless Kojima seriously raised his storytelling skills, I doubt even if accepting the scripted style of storytelling it could ever surpass gems such as Grim Fandango. MGS 2 certainly never came close.

MGS4 is one of the definitive games of the year no doubt, but reviews like this don't really show why that should be the case.
 

Earnest Cavalli

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Jun 19, 2008
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"Not having played MGS4"
Couldn't you have just begun your response with this phrase so we didn't have to read all that text to realize your argument is purely based on a desire to fill the "pedantic, contrarian bastard" role that every corner of the internet needs?

Oh, and thanks Waldo. I'm pleased to be here. Mostly because unlike at that other place I can call people "pedantic, contrarian bastards."
 

GregorV

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Aug 22, 2006
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A fair point of course, my criticism of the actual game by extrapolating on the MGS2 experience is indeed unfounded. It was merely a reply to the over the top hyperbole used in the review, however, which was just as unfounded if not more.

Then again, if I had already bought MGS4 I wouldn't need to read the review, would I? By hanging onto this very part of my post you only confirm that this is indeed a pat-on-the-back review for those who "get it", not a review that would really help anyone decide whether to buy the game or not.

Please don't take this as a mere contrarian post, though. I used to write reviews for a now defunct (along with the genre) flight simulator website in the 90s and I could at times be accused of just the same sort of un-criticism as I am pointing to above, that's why I am probably more sensitive to it these days. While I probably didn't start it off the right way, I do hope you can still take all of this on as positive criticism.

P.S.: love the phrase "pedantic, contrarian bastard"!