Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots is finally upon us. The game that launched a million PlayStation 3 consoles has reached the eager hands of gamers and reviewers all over the worlds. Solid Snake's swan song, Kojima's masterpiece...call it what you will, there's no doubt that MGS 4 is one of the most important titles in the PS3's short history, and will set the bar for action adventure games on the console for years to come.
Now, as millions of gamers all over the world immerse themselves in Snake's final adventures, we take a look at how the game fared in the hands of the reviewing public.
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. Regardless of whether you've seen every trailer and screenshot, read every preview and heard every interview, you won't get a full sense of how phenomenal this title is unless you sit down and experience it for yourself.
On the more exciting end of the spectrum are tense standoffs, gloriously insane fight scenes, genuine emotional moments, and some comic relief. These moments and the overall cinematic direction that frequently provides beautiful transitions in and out of gameplay are worthy consolations for players who unlike devoted fans won't watch every scene gripping their controller and waiting for a button prompt to trigger a still image flashback or briefly switch a camera angle.
You're sorry to see Snake go. But should you be? Guns of the Patriots is a frustrating, fractured game that turns Metal Gear Solid's world upside down several times over, but never changes it. It just burrows deeper into what fans love and detractors hate than ever before, and it will make few converts. It's a crying shame, given how many genuinely classic gaming moments there are here, given the countless exquisite creative touches, but Metal Gear Solid 4 is its own worst enemy. You could not ask for a funnier, cleverer, more ambitious or inspired or over-the-top conclusion to the Metal Gear Solid series, but it's definitely time to move on.
With four difficulty levels, enjoyable stealth based play and plenty of over the top action, Metal Gear Solid 4 is one of the best PlayStation 3 games. That said, its features, acceptable 10 years ago, seem foolish given the better playing games on the market. Snake's epic, final act just isn't the triple A extravaganza we expected, and it's clear that if Konami intends to continue this franchise or spin off into something new, it needs to study its competition and evolve, delivering shorter cut scenes and superior shooting. But for now, this is one of the most important games in history and you'll dig its cool boss battles, at times witty dialogue and unrivaled sneaking mechanics. Just be sure to keep a magazine handy when those cut scenes get ridiculous.
When it comes right down to it, none of these reviews will effect game sales whatsoever.