Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots


Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots
Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots
Mgs4us cover small.jpg
North American box art
Developer(s) Kojima Productions
Publisher(s) Konami
Director(s) Hideo Kojima
Shuyo Murata
Producer(s) Hideo Kojima
Kenichiro Imaizumi
Artist(s) Yoji Shinkawa (character designer)
Writer(s) Hideo Kojima
Shuyo Murata
Composer(s) Harry Gregson-Williams
Nobuko Toda
Series Metal Gear
Engine In-house engine
Platform(s) PlayStation 3[1]
Release date(s) June 12, 2008[2]
Genre(s) Stealth action,
Third-person shooter
Mode(s) Single-player, multiplayer online (Metal Gear Online only, downloadable content)
Rating(s)
Media/distribution Dual-layer Blu-ray Disc
System requirements

4.6 GB HDD space

Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots (メタルギア・ソリッド4・ガンズ・オブ・ザ・パトリオッツ Metaru Gia Soriddo Fō Ganzu Obu Za Patoriottsu?) is a video game developed by Kojima Productions for the PlayStation 3 console. The game was directed by Hideo Kojima and made its worldwide release on June 12, 2008, ten years after the release of Metal Gear Solid and twenty years after the North American release of Metal Gear.[8][9]

Guns of the Patriots received widespread critical acclaim, garnering perfect reviews and Game of the Year awards from several major gaming publications, including GameSpot, which claimed that the game is "technically flawless".[10] The game has been a financial driving force for Konami, helping the Metal Gear franchise reach 5 million units in the financial year of 2009.[11]

Contents

Gameplay

Old Snake has shot a militiaman.

In MGS4, players assume the role of Old Snake, utilizing stealth, CQC, and traditional combat techniques.[12] The overhead camera of earlier Metal Gear games has been replaced by a third-person and over the shoulder camera for aiming a weapon, with an optional first-person view.

A further addition to gameplay mechanics is the Psyche Meter. Psyche is decreased by non-lethal attacks, and is influenced by battlefield psychology. Stressors (including temperature extremes, foul smells, and being hunted by the enemy) increase Snake's stress gauge, eventually depleting his Psyche. Adverse effects include difficulty in aiming, more frequent back pain and the possibility of Snake passing out upon receiving damage. Among the available methods of restoring Psyche are eating, drinking, smoking, and reading an adult magazine.[13]

Snake has a few gadgets to aid him in battle. The OctoCamo suit mimics the appearance and texture of any surface in a similar fashion to an octopus, or a chameleon, decreasing the probability of Snake being noticed. The Solid Eye device highlights items and enemies, and can operate in a night vision and a binocular mode. It also offers a baseline map, which indicates the location of nearby units.[14] The latter function is also performed by the Threat Ring, a visualization of Snake's senses that deforms based on nearby unit proximity and relays them to the player.

Metal Gear Mk.II, later substituted by Mk.III, offers codec functionality and a means to the in-game menu for a large part of Snake's mission. It can be remote controlled to stun enemies, provide reconnaissance and interact with the environment.[15] Its design is based on the namesake robot from Snatcher, a game designed by Hideo Kojima. It is also controlled during the beginning of each separate "Act", although the player is not able to utilize its capabilities during this time.

Whenever the Drebin menu is available, weapons, attachments and ammunition can be purchased via Drebin Points (DPs), awarded for on-site procurement of weapons already in the inventory and by initiating specific scripted events or destroying Unmanned Vehicles. The conversion rate between weapons and DPs depends on current battlefield conditions, with more-intense fighting yielding higher prices. Also, Drebin would purchase items from the player at a discounted price, especially at certain points in the story and certain days in real life.

The Virtual Range, similar to the Virtual Reality training of previous titles, functions as a test facility for weapon performance and gameplay controls.[13]

Plot

Metal Gear series fictional chronology

Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater
Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops
Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker
Metal Gear
Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake
Metal Gear Solid (The Twin Snakes)
Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty
Metal Gear Solid: Rising
Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots

Metal Gear Solid 4 is set in 2014, nine years after the plot of Metal Gear Solid and five years after Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty.[16] The world economy relies on continuous war, fought by PMCs, which outnumber government military forces. PMC soldiers are outfitted with nanomachines that enhance their abilities on the battlefield. The control network created through these nanomachines is called Sons of the Patriots (SOP), and Liquid Ocelot is preparing to hijack the system. Snake, meanwhile, is experiencing accelerated aging due to his status as a clone, and has less than a year to live. When his former commanding officer Roy Campbell approaches him with one last mission - to terminate Liquid - Snake accepts and is dropped into the Middle Eastern war zone where Liquid is believed to be hiding.

Synopsis

Act 1 – Liquid Sun

Seeking information on Liquid's whereabouts, Snake (with remote support from Otacon and Sunny) infiltrates the area where Liquid's army is camped and is told to rendezvous with a group of U.S. Army informants posted nearby. On his way to the meeting, he encounters Drebin 893, a black market arms dealer who injects Snake with nanomachines that enable him to use the latest generation of weaponry. At the rendezvous point, Snake encounters the Rat Patrol 01 unit, led by his old comrade Meryl Silverburgh. They exchange intelligence and prepare to move on to Liquid's camp, but are suddenly ambushed by Liquid's personal troops, the FROGs. Snake continues on alone to the camp, and on the way witnesses four cyborgs wreaking havoc on a group of armed militia men. Liquid unleashes a signal that incapacitates Snake, the Rat Patrol, and all other soldiers in the area equipped with nanomachines. As he collapses, Snake catches a glimpse of Dr. Naomi Hunter, who had injected him with the virus FOXDIE in Metal Gear Solid before fleeing Shadow Moses with Liquid. The only person unaffected by the nanomachine destabilizer is Rat Patrolman Johnny Sasaki, who helps Snake up and transports him to safety.

Act 2 – Solid Sun

Via an encoded message, Naomi explains she is being forced to do research for Liquid in South America and asks for Snake's help. Snake enters the South American locale, and witnesses one of the cyborgs and Vamp turning the local rebels against him. He is then debriefed by Drebin regarding the true identity of the cyborgs: the Beauty and the Beast Corps, four female soldiers suffering from Posttraumatic stress disorder with orders to kill Snake. He also explains that the Patriots, a network of AI cores control the nanomachine-laden PMCs.

Snake reaches Naomi who explains that Liquid plans to use Big Boss' biometric data to access the Patriot's core AI and take control of SOP. Her tests indicate Snake's rapid aging is genetic, and that the FOXDIE virus will cost him his life within six months. Before that, however, Snake will start spreading a deadly mutated version of FOXDIE, effectively becoming a biological weapon. Naomi is kidnapped by FROGs, leaving Snake to battle Laughing Octopus. Snake later rescues Naomi and they make their escape out of the country with the help of Drebin and Raiden, now a cyborg ninja. However, during extraction, Raiden is wounded by Vamp during a prolonged fight.

Safely aboard the Nomad, the team decides to get medical treatment for Raiden in Eastern Europe.

Act 3 – Third Sun

Naomi builds a friendship with Sunny and shares intimate moments with Otacon. She explains that an Eastern European resistance group possess the remains of Big Boss. Snake trails a resistance member to their leader, EVA, now under the alias Big Mama, and revealed to be the surrogate mother to Snake, and his nemesis Liquid Snake, through the Les Enfants Terribles project. True to Big Mama's prediction, the Raven Sword PMC attacks the vehicles transporting Big Boss' remains. Snake and Big Mama's motorcycle escort ends in a crash, forcing Snake to battle Raging Raven, a bird-like cyborg that fires guns and missiles. He subsequently helps Big Mama escape to the riverside, where Big Boss's remains were really kept, and is confronted by Liquid. Unfazed by the U.S. military forces ordering him to surrender, Liquid destabilizes the SOP system again, and easily claims victory in the ensuing firefight. He throws Big Boss's body to the flames, where Big Mama follows to save it. Snake's fruitless attempts to save Big Mama leave him with a burn scar. Liquid escapes with Naomi, but the Mk. II makes it onto their gunboat.

Act 4 – Twin Suns

Before it's destroyed, Mk. II sends a transmission revealing Liquid's plan. He intends to destroy the Patriots' core AI with a nuclear strike using Metal Gear REX's railgun, then substitute it with his own core, and gain control. To this end, he needs a non ID-tagged warhead from the cache left in the Shadow Moses facility.

Snake returns to Shadow Moses Island and defeats Crying Wolf. When Snake reaches REX's hangar, he finds the railgun has been removed and Vamp waiting for him, with Naomi at his side. Snake fights Vamp one on one, and then suppresses Vamp's nanomachines and holds off suicide Gekko while Raiden fights and kills Vamp. Naomi, revealing she's riddled with cancer and tormented by her mistakes, disables the nanomachines that kept her alive. Snake and Raiden use REX to head out of the collapsing hangar, but Raiden ends up pinned under its rubble. Snake, now operating his previous nemesis, REX, is left to duel with Metal Gear RAY, piloted by Liquid. After both Metal Gears are destroyed, Liquid reveals Outer Haven, a submersible warship ready to fulfill his launch plan. Liquid uses this weapon as a ram to kill Snake, but Raiden, who cut off his arm to free himself, stalls him. Eventually, cannon fire from the USS Missouri (BB-63) forces Outer Haven to retreat.

Act 5 – Old Sun

Aboard the Missouri, Mei Ling, now a U.S. Navy Captain, orders the battleship to intercept Outer Haven. Using Outer Haven's requirement to surface before launching a nuke, Snake, Meryl, and Johnny board the ship via catapult. Snake confronts and defeats Screaming Mantis. After Snake finds Meryl, FROGs storm in, and Meryl decides to hold them back while Snake proceeds. Johnny arrives to assist Meryl, and confides he isn't influenced by SOP due to him lacking nanomachines. Meryl and Johnny's romance heats up in sync with the battle, culminating in the two exchanging marriage proposals. On his way to the core, Snake is aided by Raiden. The last part of the way, filled with lethal microwave emitters, Snake traverses on his own, getting weaker as he moves along. Half dead, he finally arrives at the core, where the Mk. III uploads a computer virus programmed by Naomi and Sunny called FOXALIVE. FOXALIVE destroys all the AI cores, disables the SOP system and brings the war economy to a grinding halt. It effectively counteracts the Patriots' upcoming civilian control scheme while preserving the energy and resource networks essential to modern society, while causing a mental breakdown for the attacking FROGS.

Snake, having passed out in the core, awakes atop Outer Haven's sail where Liquid Ocelot asserts he is ready to gain control. From there, Snake and Liquid have their final showdown, a hand-to-hand combat, from which Snake emerges triumphant.

Epilogue – Naked Sin

Meryl and Johnny's wedding is underway, after Meryl accepts Roy Campbell as her father, forgiving him for their past. Meanwhile Drebin reveals his origin as a child soldier, as well as his role and Rat Patrol being pawns of the Patriots' schemes, but are now free. Raiden, hospitalized after restorative surgery, reconciles with Rose after learning that her relationship with Campbell was only a smokescreen to protect Raiden's family from the Patriots. Raiden, Rose, and their son John embrace as a family, coming to terms with starting a normal life. Snake stands before the grave of Big Boss, ready to take his own life to avert becoming a biological weapon. Snake sticks his pistol in his mouth and attempts to fire it.

Debriefing – Naked Sun

Snake's attempt to shoot himself does not succeed, and he is surprised to see a living Big Boss. Big Boss explains that the body burned in Eastern Europe was actually that of Solidus Snake and reveals that the Patriots were originally an interpretation of The Boss' will, founded by Major Zero, EVA, Ocelot, Sigint, Para-Medic, and Big Boss himself. With increasing power, two rival factions arose within the Patriots' ranks, Zero's who stood for complete control, and Big Boss', who dreamed of a soldier's world. Eva and Ocelot joined Big Boss in his cause. He also explains that Ocelot purposefully used nanomachines and hypnotherapy to implant the persona of Liquid Snake as his own. Over the years, Zero let the newly established AI network assume more control, eventually leading to dependence on the war economy, a vision far from The Boss' original will. Big Boss puts an end to the last remnant of this false vision by shutting down Zero's life support unit.

Big Boss informs Snake that the nanomachines Drebin injected into him included a new strain of FOXDIE, programmed by the Patriot AIs to kill the rival Patriot faction and eradicate the old versions of FOXDIE. Thus, Snake has no risk of becoming a biological weapon, at least before his own death. Big Boss succumbs to FOXDIE, but not before he makes amends with Snake.

When all is settled, Snake decides to live out his life peacefully, in the company of Otacon and Sunny, and vows to see this new age off.

Versions and releases

Limited Edition

A Limited Edition was released simultaneously with the game's standard edition, as an enhanced counterpart. The limited edition contains Guns of the Patriots, a box with artwork by Yoji Shinkawa, a Blu-ray containing two "making of" documentaries, and partial game soundtrack containing only songs written by Harry Gregson-Williams. The Limited Edition was available exclusively at GameStop in the United States and EB Games in Canada,[17] while a similar bundle with an additional 6-inch 'Olive Drab' Old Snake Figurine was made available at Play.com in the United Kingdom.[18] It is also included in the 40GB Limited Edition PlayStation 3 Metal Gear Solid 4 bundle.

Console bundles

In North America, a bundle containing an 80GB PlayStation 3, a DualShock 3 wireless controller, a downloadable game coupon for Pain, and a copy of Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots was released for US$499 on June 12, 2008 to coincide with the release of the standalone edition.[19] Japan saw the release of the Guns of the Patriots Welcome Box that contains the game itself, a DualShock 3 controller, a Sixaxis controller, and a 40GB PlayStation 3 in either black, white or silver.[20]

Sony also announced a limited edition pre-order bundle containing Guns of the Patriots Limited Edition and a matte grey (officially titled Gunmetal Grey) 40GB PlayStation 3. First announced in Japan on March 18, 2008 at a cost of ¥51,800,[21] the bundle sold out by March 25, 2008.[22] An identical bundle was available in North America for pre-order on May 19, 2008 in "very limited" supply for US$600 at Konami's official website.[23] David Reeves has announced a similar bundle for Europe which includes a 40GB PlayStation 3, the game itself and a DualShock 3 controller.

Development

The game was publicly announced first at Tokyo Game Show 2005, by means of a humorous and slightly abstract gag machinima using characters from Metal Gear Solid 3, under the slogan of "No Place to Hide".

Hideo Kojima wished to implement a new style of gameplay which was set in a full scale war zone. Kojima wanted to also keep the stealth elements in the game, which made the team abandon the "No Place to Hide" concept. The only announced war zone before release was the Middle East. Using several locations emphasized Kojima's original intention to portray the world in full scale conflict.

During development, the game's exclusivity was continuously questioned, even after Kojima officially confirmed the exclusivity several times. The exclusivity of the game was still in doubt from non-PlayStation 3 owners for a long period after the initial release.[24][25]

Hideo Kojima announced that he would be retiring as director of the Metal Gear series after Snake Eater, and would leave his position open to another person for Metal Gear Solid 4. As a joke, the new director was announced as "Alan Smithee", but in R, a 400-page book bundled with Metal Gear Solid 3's Japanese "Premium Package", the director was revealed to be Shuyo Murata, co-writer of MGS3 and director of Zone of the Enders: The 2nd Runner. He also contributed Easter eggs to Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty and Metal Gear: Ghost Babel. However, it was announced that Kojima would be co-directing the game with Murata after substantial negative fan reaction, including death threats.[26]

The title was described as "essentially finished" by January 2008, and went through extensive beta testing.[27] At Destination PlayStation on February 26, 2008, Sony announced that MGS4 would be released worldwide on June 12, 2008, along with the special MGS4 PlayStation 3 bundle.[28]

It was announced that Guns of the Patriots is the first PlayStation 3 game that uses a full 50GB dual layer Blu-ray Disc[29] even with the use of file compression, however, when users check the disc via PlayStation Jailbreak or a Blu-Ray disc reader inside their PC, the size is actually 30.1 GB.

Originally, one of Kojima's endings for the game would have had Snake and Otacon turn themselves in for breaking the law, and subsequently they would be convicted and executed,[30] but this idea was vetoed by his team.

In August 2009, Kojima Productions' Sean Eyestone, when asked about a Trophy patch, asked people to "stay patient". This has led to speculation that an updated version of the game, a tradition which dates back to the original Metal Gear Solid, will be released alongside a Trophy patch.[31] On November 3, 2010 an updated Greatest Hits box art of MGS4 was released, which in the top right hand corner advised one of the additions to the game was "Trophies". There has since been no further updates or new release dates for this or a patch, one website reported it was a "typo".[32]

Marketing

At a press conference on May 13, 2008, Hideo Kojima announced a marketing campaign and agreements with several companies to promote the game. Apple computers and monitors feature in the game and an Apple iPod is an in-game item that Snake can use to change the background music, listen to in-game podcasts and collect hidden songs scattered throughout the game. ReGain Energy Drinks are used in the game as a Psyche gauge booster, and Sony Ericsson mobile phones are used, specifically by Naomi and Vamp.[33] In addition, the motorcycles featured in the game are a Triumph Bonneville and Speed Triple.

Konami and Ubisoft put an unlockable costume in the game for Snake, Altaïr from the Ubisoft stealth game Assassin's Creed. Initially revealed on April Fool's Day 2008, Kojima later announced that it would actually be in the game, unlockable by doing "something special". To obtain the attire, the player must acquire the "Assassin Emblem", a nod to the game's title (or input a password in the Extras section).[34]

Konami had originally planned to organize grand launch events in Tokyo, but some of them were canceled with the "safety of participants in mind" in light of the Akihabara massacre on June 8, 2008.[35][36]

On June 15, 2009, a year after its release, Konami re-released MGS4 as a part of Sony's Greatest Hits collection.[37]

Reception

Commercial

According to Enterbrain, Guns of the Patriots sold 476,334 copies in its first four days on sale in Japan, which includes copies bundled with the PlayStation 3, and caused a boost in PlayStation 3 sales.[38] The PS3, which at the time sold about 10,000 units in a given week, went on to sell 77,208 units in the game's debut week.[38] As of July 9, 2008, the game has sold 576,437 copies in Japan.[39] It is the 11th best-selling game of Japan in 2008, selling 686,254 copies.[40] According to Chart-Track, the game is the second fastest-selling PlayStation 3 title in the United Kingdom after Grand Theft Auto IV and was below Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty's opening weekend figure by 14,000 copies recorded in 2002; the sales of the PlayStation 3 increased by a "minimal" seven percent over the opening weekend.[41] Konami has reported that MGS4 sold over one million copies across Europe in its first week, with 25,000 limited-edition copies "snapped up almost immediately".[42] In the United States, MGS4 was the best-selling game in June 2008 selling 774,600 copies (nearly one million if the number of copies bundled with the PlayStation 3 console were included), causing PS3 sales to double over the previous month, according to the NPD Group.[43] As of December 2009, the game had sold over 5 million copies worldwide, as stated on page 5 of Konami's 3rd Quarter Financial Results. This milestone labeled it as the best-selling PlayStation 3 exclusive until the release of Gran Turismo 5.[44]

Critical reception

 Reviews
Aggregate scores
Aggregator Score
GameRankings 93.56%[45]
Metacritic 94%[46]
Review scores
Publication Score
Computer and Video Games 9.5/10[47]
Edge 8/10[48]
Electronic Gaming Monthly 94%[46]
Eurogamer 8/10[49]
Famitsu 40/40[50]
Game Informer 10/10[51]
GamePro 5/5[52]
GamesMaster 97%[53]
GameSpot 10/10[54]
GameTrailers 9.3/10[55]
IGN 10/10[56]
Official PlayStation Magazine (UK) 10/10
PSM3 9.5/10[57]
X-Play 5/5[58]

Metal Gear Solid 4 has received universal critical acclaim, with a 94% aggregate rating at Metacritic[46] and 93.56% at Game Rankings.[45] The first review was a 10/10 from PlayStation Official Magazine (UK), commenting "MGS4 shifts gears constantly, innovating again and again".[59] The game has been awarded 10/10 from Game Informer[60] and a 5/5 in all categories (graphics, control, sound, and fun factor) from GamePro.[61] The game also received perfect scores from PlayStation: The Official Magazine (5/5),[62] Japanese magazine Famitsu (40/40)[63] and Empire.[64] The game received a 9.9/10 from IGN UK,[65] a 9.5/10 from IGN Australia,[66] and a 10/10 from IGN. IGN was quoted in a video review, saying MGS4 is "one of the best games ever made".[67] Edge[48] and Eurogamer[49] both gave the game 8/10. GameSpot gave it a 10/10 saying "Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots is the most technically stunning video game ever made,"[68] making MGS4 one of only five games ever to receive a perfect "10" from both IGN and GameSpot, and one of only seven games to receive a perfect ten from GameSpot overall.

Reviewers were unanimous in approval of the way the title continues and concludes the series. Eurogamer stated that "You could not ask for a funnier, cleverer, more ambitious or inspired or over-the-top conclusion",[49] and IGN Australia found that the result "refines the MGS formula and introduces just enough new (or respectfully influenced) ideas to ensure that it stands on its own as a game".[66] Edge concluded that "it is faithful to its fans, its premise and its heart, delivering an experience that is, in so many ways, without equal",[48] while IGN UK describe it simply as "the ultimate Metal Gear game" and "a dazzling, heart-lifting, voyage of discovery".[65]

The game was also described as being unusually sad and depressing for a video game. Kotaku said, "Metal Gear Solid 4 is so unusual in that it's the rare game that asks them to be interested in something else: a march toward defeat, an interactive tragedy."[69]

The new control scheme ("the ideal balance of intuitiveness and range"),[48] camouflage system[48][65] and shift to more free-form, "replayable" gameplay (in particular the Drebin Points system and alternatives to "stealthy" play)[48][65] were particularly highly praised with a few minor annoyances.[66] The variety of set-piece events, details such as the "psyche" meter, and healthy provision of secrets were also remarked upon.[48][65] Eurogamer tempered their overall praise with concern that one of the chapters may induce "ennui", but noted that the game quickly recovered,[49] while Edge expressed mild disappointment that the "Beauty and the Beast" unit compare poorly to the previous title's main foes, the "Cobra Unit".[48]

The game was also lauded for its technological and artistic achievements, with Edge describing the "Otacon" character as "the real star", and "a gaming revolution" while they found the game's score to be superior to that of many Hollywood offerings. The magazine felt that the few visual shortfalls (such as texture detail) did nothing to detract from the game's overall quality.[48] IGN UK comment that the attention to detail in both visuals and audio represent "sublime brilliance", and remark upon innovations such as the use of split-screen.[65]

Criticism of the game was largely leveled at the storyline, which reviewers found at times to be confusing[49][66] or poorly executed[65] and with IGN UK advising players to revisit the earlier titles for clarity.[65] However, the overall result was praised as emotionally engaging and topical, and characters such as Liquid Ocelot were singled out for the quality of their depiction.[48][49][65] It was generally conceded that although the use of cut scenes is more intrusive than it needs to be (comprising "about half of the content of the game" by one estimate, and which "might make you crave action, or wonder why they couldn't have been turned into interactive sequences"),[65] the style is somewhat appropriate given the rest of the series[66] ("in many ways it's a vindication of Kojima's unique interpretation of the videogame medium"[65]) and unlikely to trouble fans.[48] The addition of a pause function for these story sequences was universally welcomed.[49][65][66]

Edge and Eurogamer alike concluded that although the game represents an apotheosis of the series style, it ultimately fails to revitalise it, and will not win over new fans.[48][49] IGN UK were concerned that the game's hype and widespread praise may lead to disappointment, but feel that, objectively, the game is a "masterpiece".[65]

Awards

Following the critical acclaim it received upon its release, Metal Gear Solid 4 won many Game of the Year awards from many international outlets, these including GameSpot, Gamezine,[70] and PALGN, along with a significant amount of Readers' Choice awards, and awards directed towards its story-telling, graphical, and voice-acting aspects.[71] GameSpot praised the game significantly, and awarded it "Game of the Year", "Best PS3 Game", "Best Graphics (Technical)", "Best Boss Battles", "Best Story", "Best Voice Acting", "Most Memorable Moment", and "Best Action/Adventure Game". IGN awarded the game "Best PS3 Game of 2008", "Best Graphics Technology", "Best Original Score", and "Best Action Game". PALGN awarded it "Game of the Year", "PS3 Game of the Year", and "Best Visuals". PC World also heralded MGS4 with "Game of the Year". Playfire awarded the game "Game of the Year", "Best Action/Adventure Game", and "Best Graphics". MGS4 also won "Game of the Year" from the Portuguese Eurogamer.[72] On NeoGAF, MGS4 was also awarded "Game of the Year". The German site 4PLAYER.de gave MGS4 "Game of the Year" also. GamePro awarded the game "Best PS3 Game of 2008" and "Best Action/Adventure Game". 1UP.com gave MGS4 "Game of the Year", "Best PS3 Game", "Best Action Game", and "Best Audiovisual Experience". Fox News Channel awarded the game "Best PS3 Game of 2008" and "Best Game of 2008". GameSpy awarded it "Best PS3 Action Game". From Gamezine, MGS4 won "Game of the Year", and "Best PS3 Game". Giant Bomb gave it "Best PS3-Only Game", "Best Graphics", and "Most Satisfying Sequel". In the Golden Joystick 2008 awards, MGS4 was awarded "Best PS3 Game". At Tokyo Game Show 2009, Metal Gear Solid 4 received the Grand Award (alongside Mario Kart Wii) and the Award of Excellence. The readers of PlayStation Official Magazine voted it the 5th best PlayStation title released.[73].[74]

Konami review limitations

Several publications have commented[75][76][77] on limitations given to pre-release reviewers by Konami, including discussion on the length of cutscenes and size of the PS3 installation. These limitations resulted in Electronic Gaming Monthly delaying its review.[75] In lieu of a review, the magazine printed a roundtable discussion about the game,[78] with a proper review expected to print in the magazine and post on 1UP.com after Konami's restrictions have been lifted. Kojima Productions spokesperson Ryan Payton has since explained more specifically what the NDA restricts, and has amended "some items [that] are outdated and require more explanation." He also listed the length of install times, noting that the restrictions were intended to prevent spoilers regarding what occurs during the installations.[79]

Following this statement, gaming site GameSpot published a blog entry in which it claims it will be unable to review the game either, claiming Konami have withheld review code because of non-compliance with the limitations. The article originally implied that the absence of a review was due to GameSpot's refusal to attend the "Boot Camp" event at Kojima Productions' offices. However, it has revised it to state that the Boot Camp was a mid-development feedback and PR exercise, and would not have led to a review in any case.[80]

The day before Konami's restrictions were to be lifted, Electronic Gaming Monthly (EGM) reviewer Jeremy Parish clarified the reasons for the self-imposed review embargo, dispelling rumors of a disagreement between Konami and EGM on the review conditions in a lengthy blog commentary.[81] His review of the game appeared on the website shortly after.[82]

Related products

Metal Gear Online

Metal Gear Solid 4 includes the Starter Pack for Metal Gear Online (MGO). MGO features up to 16 player online tactical battles and incorporates several gameplay elements from Metal Gear Solid 4, including the SOP system that allows players to have a visual confirmation of their teammates' position and battle status.[83]

MGO also allows fully customizable characters. The Starter Pack allows players to engage in sneaking missions, where Old Snake and Metal Gear Mk.II acquire dogtags from other human contestants, along with standard Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch and several special modes.[84]

Expansions packs, offering more maps and playable special characters (Mei Ling, Meryl, Akiba, Liquid Ocelot, Raiden, and Vamp), can be purchased via the MGO menu item "MGO Shop (PlayStation Network)", or via MGO or Konami's shop. The PlayStation Wallet is used for the first option, and a credit card for the latter two.[85]

Metal Gear Solid Touch

Metal Gear Solid Touch for the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad is a "touch shooting" game that revisits MGS4's plot and action through the touch interface.[86]

Metal Gear Solid 4 Database

On June 19, 2008, Konami released the Metal Gear Solid 4 Database onto the PlayStation Store in North America and Japan,[87] and one week later on the European store. The Database is a downloadable application for PlayStation 3 that catalogues every piece of Metal Gear lore from all the canonical entries in the series released up to Metal Gear Solid 4 in the form of an encyclopedia (browsable by alphabet and category), a timeline, and character relationship diagrams. Highlighted words in each article link to related articles, and it keeps track of which ones the user has already read. The Database automatically locks any items related to MGS4, in order to prevent the leaking of spoilers to players who have not completed the game yet. In order to reveal these articles, the user must have a completed MGS4 game save that was created on the same console and with a version of the game from the same region as their account.

LittleBigPlanet

Developers of the game LittleBigPlanet, Media Molecule, released an expansion pack based on Metal Gear Solid 4 on December 23, 2008. It includes character skins for Old Snake, Raiden, Meryl, and Screaming Mantis, as well as a Metal Gear-themed set of levels.

Soundtrack

The score to Metal Gear Solid 4 was led by Harry Gregson-Williams, his third Metal Gear Solid soundtrack,[88] and Nobuko Toda, who provided music for Metal Gear Acid and Metal Gear Acid 2.[89] Other contributors are Konami employees Shuichi Kobori, Kazuma Jinnouchi, Akihiro Honda, and Sōta Fujimori.[90] Directed by Norihiko Hibino, GEM Impact employees Yoshitaka Suzuki and Takahiro Izutani also made compositions late in the game's production.[91] It was revealed in an interview with Norihiko Hibino that the team in fact wrote 90 minutes of music for the game's cutscenes, only 15 minutes of which made its way onto the official soundtrack.[92]

There are two vocal themes for the game. The opening theme, "Love Theme", is sung by Jackie Presti and composed by Nobuko Toda. The ending theme, "Here's to You", is sung by Lisbeth Scott. Before the release of the game, "MGS4 - Theme of Love - Smash Bros. Brawl Version" was provided for Super Smash Bros. Brawl in the Shadow Moses Island level.[93] The "Metal Gear Solid Main Theme", composed by Tappi "Tappy" Iwase, was notably omitted from the soundtrack, and the soundtrack of Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops. In an interview with Electronic Gaming Monthly, Norihiko Hibino stated that the company had difficulties with "Russian composers who said we stole their music", referring to an occasion when a group of Russian games journalists presented Hideo Kojima with a composition by Georgy Sviridov and claimed this had been plagiarised to create the theme. Hibino states that "they didn't actually", however the company was "too sensitive about the situation" and elected to drop the theme.[94]

The official soundtrack was released on May 28, 2008 by Konami Digital Entertainment under the catalog number GFCA-98/9.[95] It consists of two discs of music and 47 tracks. A soundtrack album was also packaged with Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots Limited Edition.[96]

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Bibliography

The Complete Official Guide to Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots. Piggyback Interactive and Kojima Productions, July 2008. ISBN 0-50694-27817-9.

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