The Metal Gear Solid series has been with me for many years . As a child, I had the opportunity to get acquainted with Metal Gear Solid . The first moments with the game were not very fruitful, because for some time I was walking around the initial location not knowing that there is an elevator in its northern part that will take me further. So I focused on playing with the mechanics, trying to sneak between the opponents unnoticed, and another time deliberately sound the alarm and admire the animation of the jump into the water.
Sounds like a recipe for madness, but I was then a kid who came across a game that seemed to be better than anything before . Later, when I discovered the existence of the elevator and the rest of the game was open to me, I got the final confirmation that I was communing with a masterpiece that I would remember for the rest of my life. Moreover, the subsequent games that I learned over the years seemed to confirm this.
I’m a bit of a drift away, but that’s how the game works. There is no lie here. Because in what game can we cheat the boss by plugging the controller to the second slot? In what game will we hear from one of the characters that we shouldn’t play for too long – and more importantly – take care of the presence of drink and food during longer sessions? This is one of those games where curiosity pays off, because the more we investigate, the more details will surprise us . The gaming example above is taken from one of the additional phrasebooks, the number of which seems to be unlimited.
I’m talking about flavors, references and all the details that make this game stand out from the crowd, but we still have great gameplay that allows for many possibilities. In addition, there is a captivating and well-written story that showed what movie games can look like. Sin also to mention the phenomenal soundtrack and graphics at the highest level . However, I will not write unnecessarily (I have already done it). I would also like to add that my love for this title means that I don’t really want a remake . A remaster for PlayStation 4/5 with trophies would suffice – like Final Fantasy IX, for example .
Snake, can you hear me?
No wonder that for the rest of my life I was looking forward to the next releases. I still remember if it was yesterday, that before the premiere of the “two”, I was delighted to watch the screenshots presenting Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty . The very fact that Snake could shoot lying down, using FPP view, hide corpses in a closet, or use steam from shot pipes to burn incoming soldiers was delightful. Something beautiful. When I played for the first time I didn’t know what to do. There were so many options to play that … well, there are so many of them that even after many years I sometimes discover something new.
It is enough to mention that we have the possibility of damaging the walkie-talkie after he sees us – and thus prevent him from raising the alarm. However, only partially, because in such a situation the enemy soldier wanted to run to his closest companion to let him know about our presence. If we want, we can kill our opponents – if not, we can knock them out. Interestingly, this also applies to bosses. We can shoot the camera, but it will not go unnoticed – in a few moments a group of soldiers will appear, willing to determine what caused the damage. These are details that are often in vain to find in today’s productions .
However, I will not hide that the appearance of Raiden disappointed me. Several years had to pass for me to appreciate this procedure. Since then, Jack has become one of my favorite characters. Anyway, the second part of this series was a dream come true. The situation was a bit repeated with the arrival of Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater , which again introduced a lot of new mechanics and gave even more possibilities. There is not enough space for me to write about it all. Therefore, I will stop there.
“I have never been and never will be a hero”
The following years passed, and finally Metal Gear Solid 4 appeared . A game that amazed me in many ways . Today I look at it with a cooler eye, but mainly about the plot. Not all of the threads I used came to me then, but today I receive slightly less of them. Kojima and the rest of the team tried too hard to close those started in the previous editions. Most of all I was offended by the theme of Vamp, a bit also of Naomi, or the embarrassing scenes with Johny or the monkey Drebin.
However, this does not change the fact that the events presented in the fourth installment are followed with bated breath . In terms of directing, it is still top shelf. This is basically the last installment in which so much emphasis was placed on long cutscenes and I regret it a lot. There is also a lot of recycling of themes in the series here, but it never offended me too much – it’s a great fanservice. Whatever the case, the plot is rather the weakest element of the “four”. Very good, but the weakest.
Nevertheless, this story will always remain in my memory. When I was refreshing myself now, before writing this text, I became convinced that many years later I still remember everything well. However, what is surprising – the story of an elderly soldier is full of memorable scenes. Like Raiden’s fight with Gekko and one of the antagonists. What is happening there is pure poetry (thus it is not surprising that Metal Gear Rising will be created, which reflects the nature of this clash well). I have already written about the return to the cult place in another text, as well as about the microwave stage. There is something to mention!
“The War Has Changed”
Like the previous versions, Metal Gear Solid 4 has many elements . I said a bit about the plot, so it’s time to play. This is the element that has always been the most important to me, because it allowed me to find many ways to have fun. Guns of the Patriots keeps pace by changing the formula a bit and, as always, adding a lot of news . Officially, this is the first installment in which we can freely use the camera – this one revolves around the protagonist. However, if I’m to be exact – this option has already appeared in Metal Gear Solid 3: Subsistence . There, however, was not adapted to this shooting.
Already in the “three”, the possibility of choosing a camouflage was introduced . It was set in the 1960s, so we had to choose from among the available patterns. We were able to choose the right outfit and paint the face to blend in with the surroundings as much as possible. The action of the fourth installment takes place many years later, so the technology is more advanced. We are dealing here with the so-called OctoCamo . A technology that allows Snake’s garment to take on a color, or even pattern, of the surface on which it is located . In combination with the mechanics of pretending to be a corpse, it is a very useful tool, thanks to which we can remain unnoticed even under the noses of enemies looking for us. It does not always work, but it may prove to be a rescue in many hopeless situations.
An interesting novelty is also Metal Gear Mk. II – a small robot that can be used to investigate what is around the corner, or even to stun the enemy . Apart from that, there were of course the mechanics introduced in the predecessors. We can still use cardboard boxes (here, additionally, barrels) to hide, hide in wardrobes, or ask a surprised opponent to throw a weapon. There are a lot of options.
In Snake Eater, we had to ensure that Snake was full – deficiencies in this aspect affected the efficiency in using weapons (aiming was difficult), or made it difficult to move quietly. Guns of the Patriots has introduced a stress bar . An elderly soldier is no longer in the condition he used to be in, his cross hurts, and events on the battlefield are stressful – especially if he is wanted. The effects are similar to the predecessor, but the ways of dealing with it are slightly different. We can use a wrap, drink a suitable drink, or listen to music while hiding in a hideout. An interesting solution that takes on colors at higher difficulty levels.
Metal Gear Solid 4 boasts a great shooting model, one of the best of its time . Weapons are also very diverse, and each weapon behaves differently. As I mentioned before – the new perspective allows you to aim with the camera above the shoulder, but it is also possible to use the FPP view, even in motion. It diversifies the clashes and discovers new tactics. There is also the option of shooting from behind cover, but unfortunately not like in other games from this period . However, this is only one drawback, which does not have a very strong impact on the whole.
Give it up, rest
Of course, Metal Gear Solid 4 does not disappoint when it comes to the audiovisual setting, but it is a standard that has been maintained by the series for years . “Broń Patriotów” pleases the eye also today. Kojima wanted no loading screens between each section, but I was unable to implement it. However, they are short and not very frequent, because the locations are quite extensive (although how quickly we get through them is another matter). There are some dips in animation here and there, but rather during the most intense moments.
The soundtrack is once again in a class of its own . The pieces were prepared by several composers. Among them is Harry Gregson-Williams , Nobuko Toda , Shuichi Kobori , and Yoshitaka Suzuki . The game opens with Love Theme by Jackie Presti . A beautiful, melancholy piece that blended in perfectly with Old Snake’s opening monologue. A lot of great songs here – such as Next-Gen Control , Endless Pain , White Blood or Vista Mansion . Scenes with Drebin would not be so good if it were not for its leitmotif.
I understand that the series is not for everyone . Not everyone likes the gameplay or the “Japanese quirks” in the story. Not to mention several minutes long cutscenes, during which there is nothing else to do but drink tea or eat dinner. I like this. Metal Gear Solid 4 has aged classy and still tastes good today, though of course a few things could be improved . This is actually the last such good version of this series. Therefore, I regret that there is no remaster of “Four” yet. And how good it is that Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain has never been created! You need to know when to leave the stage.