Metal Gear Solid 4 is my second choice of video game from this generation to induct into my elite collection because it’s another one of those games that grab you. The Metal Gear Solid franchise as a whole is my favorite one of all due to Hideo Kojima’s ability to put the gamer through one hell of a thrilling ride in each game. He sure knows how to make a player feel a bunch of different things throughout the game play experience.
For those of you not aware I did a whole three part editorial on “Why Metal Gear Solid is the greatest video game story ever told“. So if you really want to know why I hold this story in such high regard definitely check that out a little bit. For now let me talk about Metal Gear Solid 4 specifically.
Beware of SPOILERS!
Konami and Kojima had me hooked on this franchise from the day I completed Metal Gear Solid 2. I hadn’t beaten the first game yet since I never owned a Playstation 1 due to being too young at the time they were around. After beating Metal Gear Solid 2 multiple times though, I quickly purchased a copy on ebay because I had to know what happened before. Then Metal Gear Solid 3 arrived in 2005 (European release) and despite it being longer and harder, I was just as gripped and knew I had to make it to the end no matter what.
Playing these previous games had me craving Metal Gear Solid 4 long before it came out, and it was the reason I even purchased a Playstation 3 before buying an Xbox 360. Now before I get into everything positive about Metal Gear Solid 4, let me start off with some negatives.
The first thing I am going to say is that I highly recommend that people do not play this game unless they have some understanding of the events in MGS2 and MGS3. If you go into this game as a first timer, it’s highly likely that you will not understand it. Metal Gear Solid 4 includes a whole lot of fan service to those who have been loyal to the franchise from the very start. I am pretty sure that those who jump into Metal Gear Solid 4 with no knowledge of the games before it will find the game boring and impossible to understand. Secondly, I highly despise the Metal Gear Solid: Online portion of the game and opt to forget that it even exists. Not to diss Kojima’s work; but online just isn’t needed in a title like Metal Gear Solid, but hey maybe it was the publisher putting pressure on him.
With the negativities out the way, let me start of by saying that this game is “F***ing Amazing”. Not only does the game boast the best graphics for its time (and they still look solid even now), but the gameplay has been refined and modernized. The aiming system is ten times better than the aiming in the previous games, and theres a huge amount of guns, gadgets and toys (and dolls?) to collect this time.
Of course it wouldn’t be Metal Gear Solid if it didn’t have that consistent intensity as you navigate your way through the levels. From battlefields, to small towns, to a surprise return to shadow moses; you never know what awaits you around the next corner. The only way to play this game is by keeping alert because the world of Metal Gear Solid is full of surprises and secrets, and Kojima doesn’t deprive us of those “Holy Shit” moments.
Metal Gear Solid 4 also features some of the best action sequences I have played in a video game, and long time fans were probably shitting their pants in joy when they got to finally fight with a Metal Gear (Rex), against another Metal Gear (Ray). Speaking of action sequences, the fight between Raiden and Vamp (both times) may be one of the best cut scenes I have ever seen in a video game period. That’s a cut scene I will never forget because it was on some high budget Hollywood shit.
The final fight in Metal Gear Solid 4 was pretty revolutionary, as we saw the whole gameplay dynamics switch up to almost a different engine as you take on Liquid Ocelot hand to hand in a deadly fight. It was the perfect way to end the conflict between the two sworn enemies, and as your hand began to ache you was presented with what you thought was a typical happy ending.
That was until the biggest twist ever hit the screen after only a minute of credits rolled by. Those who followed the credits and then saw as Big Bosses voice actor was cast must have been like “Wtf when was he ever speaking in the game”, and when the credits stopped dead at his name and the screen cut off to a new scene you had to have then followed up with “Holy F***ing Shit!!”. It’s the best done twist ever in a video game period.
All of this proves why The Epics Collection wouldn’t be complete without this game. Look out for next week’s edition of The Epics Collection to find out which game I will induct next.