Ok, so the game isn’t all that old in the grand scheme of things and has had a lot of people gush over it but I still find Metal Gear Solid 4 to be a fantastic game – or should I say movie? A large majority thought the best way to classify MGS4 was to call it an interactive movie. Since the reveal of Heavy Rain however, it’s clear that Konami’s rapidly aging sneaky chap was far from being in an interactive movie. For me, the game has many highlights from the strangely enduring wit of Kojima (why exactly was there a monkey in a diaper? Who cares! It’s a monkey in a diaper!) to the almost pretentious view of the american military. I say almost as although the whole Private Military Soldiers were a big part of the game, it still felt like a game rather than a Michael Moore documentary. I had no issue with the length of the cut scenes since they were so well crafted and expected from a Kojima production that it puzzled me when they were criticised. True, some were very a tad longer than they maybe could have been but Kojima cleverly hid easter eggs within and gave us control as to how we viewed them. Scurrying around as the Metal Gear Mk. II while the story unfolded was a great way to add a bit of interactivity.
Metal Gear Solid 4 is full of brilliant moments but the first two things that come to mind when asked about MGS4 are – and I’ll try not to spoil it for those who haven’t played it – both towards the end of the game. Snake has been battered and bruised making his way towards a certain point of Liquid Ocelot’s ship. It all becomes too much for him and the result is a tired but determined Snake, crawling through an incredibly dangerous hallway (the walls are covered in an unpleasant deterrent). To control him, I had to mash on the Triangle button as fast as I could. It was quite a stressful moment but the beauty of it was how Kojima was able to convey Snake’s struggle by making me, the gamer, struggle to control him.
Next comes the inevitable show down between Snake and Liquid. At this point in the game, both are quite weak and unstable in one way or another but still feel the need to beat the crap out of each other! Again, the handling is what shone for me because it was filled with QTE’s and slightly button mashery gameplay. But the way the characters moved really gave the impression that these two old enemies were finding every last bit of strength inside them to win. It didn’t matter that Snake didn’t punch as soon as I pressed the button because again, Kojima made the whole thing feel all the more believable.
There are so many other times in that game that were truly great – like Raiden’s introduction and then his battle with Vamp as Snake fended off some angry Geckos – that I could be here all day writing about it. If you haven’t played the game then please do as it’s so much fun and if you have played it, I hope you share my jubilation for it.