Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots

OOOK then, so its now the day after my long day that ended in a short and probably very muddled and confused and otherwise worthless post about something or another that happened yesterday. The existence of such posts makes me think about what I will do in the future when this happens. Additional thoughts about how specific to get with these posts have also come to the forefront of my mind but I believe that will sort itself out if I can keep this going. Lastly, it also has me thinking about returning to posts for what is likely much needed editing and also post deletion all together.

I have been wanting to discuss my thoughts on Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots after having finished it a few weekends ago. First and foremost: AWESOME! The number one concern I had going into this game was that people were right and that it was way too much movie and just not enough game. When people say that about an MGS title, it makes me chuckle because I have read interviews with Kojima and I know that he wants to make “interactive movies” and not just games. Not having played the game and seeing it get so much attention and more importantly critical acclaim as well as criticism from players I knew, I couldn’t shake the feeling that Kojima had gone too far.  It turned out not to be the case, in fact it was more a case of the mainstream getting into the middle of an established series without previous knowledge of the game or its storytelling mechanics. I will say this however, MGS4 moves much faster than previous titles in the series, but I believe that might also spawn out of the tweaks to the gameplay that make everything much more fluid, especially gunplay.

If asked to recommend this game to anyone I would begin by asking if they had played any of the previous games. Based on the single playthrough I have completed so far, I would say that with so many returning characters, themes and plot points from previous games, you really cannot even begin to understand what this game means or really any of the character interaction without having played some of the previous games. The whole game is swelling with references or throwbacks to the other games. These references vary between simple nods to previous events to flat out flashbacks. Most of all, MGS4 was made for fans of the series, I honestly have no idea why it got so much mainstream attention, its amazing yes, but this game is the conclusion to a four part series. You could even debate that it ends a 6 part series if you include all the stuff that happened in the Metal Gear games on the NES. Crazy plot points and conclusion all the same, people loved this game for just how great it plays and presents itself.

Lastly, this really does end the series. Well, ended as far as western culture is concerned. The game (and series) has reached a logical conclusion that satisfies. That doesn’t mean that Kojima won’t find a way to keep it going, but I respect him too much to lump him in with American filmmakers who will put a cliffhanger at the end of every movie just in case there is money for a sequel.  There are a few strange character arc endings, most of which were just hard to see coming because the majority of certain character’s growth came in this game. Also, I am not sure what Kojima has against Otacon, but quite frankly his life just sucks.

Overall, I was very pleased with the game. It was all the right amounts of epic, sorrowful and powerful. If anything I would have to complain that it was a little bit too shooty but not quite so much that I was fed up. It was just on the verge once or twice, but those moments past quickly, particularly if it could be resolved in a brutal gun fight. The most frustrating element to deal with during my first more stealthy play through was actually all the temptation to just mow people over with the biggest gun I had. The gave constantly gives you more and more guns that it obviously wants you to play with, but few of them are nonlethal which means the tranquiler gun is still your best friend. The tranq rifle was a great touch and lots of fun during some of the rebels vs PMC sections. I am looking forward to going back through the game and being much more direct with a focus on fun weapons.

I think that pretty much sums it up, I’m sure the post needs editing and I believe I will come back to these first few and touch them up later on. Possibly if I find a more specific goal for this blog.

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