Monday, August 17, 2015

Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots - MGS Month

I've started off every one of these pre-play reviews by exclaiming about how excited I was for that particular game. This won't be any different. So, how excited was I for Metal Gear Solid 4? Excited enough to buy a Playstation 3 for the sole purpose of playing it. No, that's not an exaggeration. After Sony announced the ludicrous price point for the PS3, I had it in my mind that that's what I needed to save so I could play MGS4. Luckily for me, however, the game wasn't released until almost two years after the launch of the system, and at that point it had received new models and price cuts. I opted for the $400, 40gb system, which I was able to pay for with my income tax that year.

I bought the system a few months prior to the release of the game, so after blazing through the original Uncharted in one day, the system itself collected a lot of dust. To this day, I still don't love the PS3, but I don't regret my purchase at all, because Metal Gear Solid 4 was worth both the money and the wait.

The longplay should be pretty interesting, as Guns of the Patriots is the only MGS game that I've only played all the way through once. It's not because I didn't love the game, I just got caught up with other things every time I tried revisiting it. But that's not what this blog is for. This blog is to give you my recollections about the game prior to playing it.

Honestly, because it's been so long, I don't remember a whole lot about the gameplay. I remember the Octocamo system, I remember Snake having some new options as far as traversing the world, I remember having an iPod for some reason, and so on. But the thing that this game has over every other game in the series are the moments. No game pulls off the incredible moments, epic encounters, and memorable sequences better than Metal Gear Solid 4.

The return to Shadow Moses, the Rex versus Ray Metal Gear battle, the revelations about Big Boss, the microwave room, and who can forget the final battle? They're all crafted so perfectly.

What little I do remember about the gameplay is that they overhauled the shooting, making it play like more of a, well, shooter. It was a welcome change. The previous three games were all products of their times and consoles, but MGS4 definitely needed to be updated in order to coexist with the ever-expanding shooter landscape that included games like Gears of War and Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare. Out with the old and in with the new, as the old saying goes.

One aspect that was welcome even more than the updated mechanics was the ability to use certain weapons at any point in the game. Typically, in a Metal Gear game, you don't acquire any sort of rocket launcher until late in the game, as it's usually locked behind a door with a higher number than the key card you're holding. But not anymore, baby! Now, you can find or buy a plethora of weapons from the get-go. And the amount of weapons in the game is just mind-blowing. No longer are you relegated to a tranquilizer gun, a pistol, a machine gun or two, a sniper rifle or two, and a rocket launcher. In MGS4, you have dozens of weapons at your disposal, including multiple guns of each type and a bunch that had never appeared in the series up to that point. I don't know why there are 8 different rocket launchers in the game, but I know I need all of them.

The Beauty and the Beast Corps (or BB Corps) are this game's mandatory collection of crazy people. Their names all share a common animal with the members of Foxhound from the original.

There's Laughing Octopus (Decoy Octopus from MGS1), the stealth expert. Next is Raging Raven (Vulcan Raven), who soars above you with her robotic wings. Then we have Crying Wolf (Sniper Wolf) who offers up this games sniper battle. It's not as good as the battle with The End from MGS3, but still a very cool battle and my favorite one in this game. And rounding out the BB Corps is Screaming Mantis (Psycho Mantis), who is able to control both the living and the dead by controlling the nanomachine in their bodies. All in all, the BB Corps is a solid group of bad guys--er, gals.

The last 20 minutes of gameplay and the ending cinematic are so good that I don't even want to go into details. There aren't any words that can properly describe these moments to you, they demand to be experienced.

Unless Konami decides to revive the series after The Phantom Pain, or Solid Snake makes an appearance, this is the last time we get to play as one of gaming's most iconic heroes. If this is the final trip around the block, then it was a heck of a note to go out on. It's a very fitting end for the old man.

Up next is the longplay on the Error Machine YouTube channel. Don't forget to subscribe to it so you don't miss out on any more MGS Month content, as well as any future videos. I'll be back with the final blog of the month in a few day when I cover Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes.

Thanks for reading,

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