Metal Gear Solid Tactical Espionage Action 4: Guns of the Patriots (2008, Game, PS3) – 8/10

Game Designer: Hideo Kojima
Writer: Hideo Kojima
Writer: Shuyo Murata
Lead Programmer: Yuji Korekado
Producer: Kenichiro Imaizumi
Producer: Hideo Kojima
Director: Hideo Kojima
David Hayter: Old Snake

Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots (2008)

The world’s balance of power teeters precariously after giving Private Military Corporations (PMC) UN-sanctioned power to be employed by war-mongering countries. When he is asked to assassinate Liquid Snake who is attempting to use his position as secret head of the world’s five largest PMCs to rise up against the US, a prematurely aging Solid Snake sees an opportunity to finally rid the world of the last remnant of Big Boss and his ideals.

8/10

Snake’s situation is now so dire that even his bandana is frowning. Hideo Kojima’s brilliantly produced must-play series offers great gameplay, great boss battles (four Beauties, one Wolf and a Liquid Snake in Metal Gear Ray) and a lot of great cut scenes and, thankfully, no control or camera issues. I’ve saved the world in games before but MGS4, at it’s best, makes you feel like you’re saving the world. This is despite a story which I found difficult to fathom, especially given the events of previous Metal Gear Solids (which are liberally referenced). Maybe it all makes sense. Just not to me. Nevertheless, Metal Gear Solid 4 remains undimmed in its brilliance and adds to the legend of creator Hideo Kojima.

This game contains a sexual swear word, mild swear words and extended gun, blade and melee violence, some extreme melee violence, gory and unpleasant scenes, some very unpleasant scenes and sensuality, ‘fan service’.

Classified 15 by BBFC. Suitable only for persons of 15 years and over.

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Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater (2004, Game, PS2 on PS3) – 7/10

Director: Hideo Kojima
David Hayter: Jack “Naked Snake”

Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater (2004)

Back during the Cold War, FOX operative, codenamed Naked Snake, to rescue a weapons designer but the experimental weapon he is responsible for, a mobile nuclear launch tank, is too valuable for the opposition to lose him without a fight. Or several fights.

7/10

There’s great gaming in here and wonderful cut-scenes (though the interrogation is overly violent) and brilliantly bonkers characters. There are superlative animation and graphics and superb sound and voice work. But it’s nearly all for nothing: the game is broken due to the combination of the controls and camera. While everything appears to be the same as Metal Gear Solid 2, without the spatial awareness supplied by the radar, the camera feels too close and the enemies too prescient. Therefore, you’re always getting shot at by enemies off-screen you had no way of knowing were there. This creates marvelous tension but in boss battles, especially, the game is rendered near-impossible. After struggling through the first two, I got stuck at The Fear whose pièce de résistance is shooting through trees when the game feels like it. It doesn’t help that he’s invisible and is always moving faster than you can aim. I restarted on the easiest difficulty level and replayed to completion (a very good sign), but the crushing disappointment of the first attempt and the camera and control issues remain.

This game contains mild bad language and graphic knife violence, graphic gun violence, extreme melee violence, gory and unpleasant scenes, inferred extreme melee violence and ‘fan service,’ sensuality.

Classified 15 by BBFC. Suitable only for persons of 15 years and over.