Gamers have known Solid Snake and the Metal Gear (Solid) series for two decades now and the critically acclaimed series will continue with Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots for the PlayStation 3. While the PlayStation 3 has lost several exclusives from publishers such as Koei and Capcom, Metal Gear Solid 4 is at this point, still exclusive. Over the past decade, Metal Gear Solid has taken over as Konami’s flagship franchise, pushing classics such as Castlevania and Contra aside for the time being.
Slated for a 2007 release amongst other popular titles to be released, Metal Gear Solid 4 may prove to be one of the saving graces for the PlayStation 3, which at the moment is threatening to dawdle off into obscurity on account of a hefty price and lackluster launch inventory. However unlikely it would be that a single game would save a console is, Metal Gear Solid 4 is shaping up to be a gaming classic-if you’re willing to buy into the massive hype surrounding the title.
The jump from Metal Gear Solid 2 to 3 was astounding in terms of game play. Camouflage was added for the first time and the radar was completely done away with, forcing gamers to use their eyes and the game’s environment to sneak past or up on enemy sentries. The transition was seamless and veterans of previous Metal Gear games had no problem adjusting to the new elements and players new to the series were rewarded with a one of a kind experience.
A similar jump will be made from Metal Gear Solid 3 to 4 with the concept of “No Place to Hide” playing a major role. Buildings crumbling from nearby explosions and things of that nature will comprise the ‘sense’ aspect of the game, which will also play a vital role in how the player traverses the battlefield. The camouflage element of the game has not been abandoned, but rather revamped. Rather than having to collect different sets of camouflage the Octocamo suit will act like octopus, changing skin of the suit in order to blend in with different backgrounds.
The game allows Solid Snake to be more self-contained than other games, where the player would have to find particular equipment in order to make things easier or take on a particular enemy. The need to find night vision goggles and thermal goggles has been eliminated by the Solid Eye System. The Solid Eye System, which appeared as an eye patch and led to a litany of speculation amongst fans, will also provide information about the surrounding area and enemies within your vision.
Another addition is the remote controlled (by Hal Emmerich better known as Otacon) Metal Gear Mk II. Communication between Snake and Otacon will take place through the Mk II and other features have been hinted at, such as taking control in order to perform recon. The Mk II also has the ability to electrocute guards, giving it some offensive capability.
All things considered, with all of the flagship titles to be released in 2007, it would appear that Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots would have the best chance to live up to its monumental hype, critically, financially and in terms of originality.