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Metal Gear Solid 4 Preview for Playstation 3 (PS3)
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Metal Gear Solid 4 

Preview for Playstation 3

- Tim Mellish, " Cloud890 ", Senior Editor
Saturday, June 10, 2006 

Metal Gear Solid 4
Playstation 3
Kojima Productions
Rating Pending

Metal Gear Solid 4 Screenshot Gallery

Metal Gear Solid 4 Screenshot Gallery

Metal Gear Solid 4 Screenshot Gallery

Sony's true unveiling of the PS3 at this year's E3 received a lukewarm reception. While the games played competently and were graphically impressive, they did not meet the expectations gamers had placed on Sony's machine. But Sony's E3 was not a total loss. They did have one ace up their sleeve—Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots. The latest installment of the Metal Gear Solid franchise was only in trailer form, but it was undoubtedly the highlight of Sony's presence in LA. By giving away some interesting plot points as well as hints at gameplay, the trailer drew crowds from all the video game camps. Having watched the trailer numerous times I can safely say that MGS4 will be the game to own on the PS3. It might just be the system seller...too bad it isn't a launch title.

We all know MGS4 is going to be a great looking game, and the E3 trailer reaffirmed that belief. While MGS trailers are misleading in the fact that the character models are not moving as they will in the game and there is no AI reacting to the situations (or any actual gameplay, for that matter) they still give a glimpse in what to expect from the finished product. Basically, the trailer was gorgeous. The barren city environments of the Middle East, coupled with the terrifying new Metal Gears and realistic character movements, showed that Sony's system has some muscles. But again, being that this is a trailer everything is going to look amazing. There is no extra code being executed in the background, and extra effort can go into the cinematic elements of the trailer to make sure it is as perfect and jaw dropping as possible. It is a fine line between misleading and "this is exactly what the game will play like." The only savings grace Kojima and the team at Konami have is they have never misled the gaming community before. If we focus purely on this, then one word sums up MGS4's visuals: wow.

Beyond the graphics and gameplay, the most important component in any Metal Gear Solid game is the storyline. The MGS series has had its share of the crazy (MGS2) and magnificent (MGS, MGS3) when it comes to the narrative. Of all the aspects in the MGS4 trailer the storyline was the most prominent. Metal Gear Solid 4 seems to be taking place a few years after the events of Metal Gear Solid 2. The Patriots still exist, Ocelot is still on the loose, and the Metal Gears still plague the world powers. In the middle of this conflicting world is Solid Snake, who is aging fast thanks to the fact that he is a clone of Big Boss. Due to the genetic instability of being a clone, Snake has aged to the point where wrinkles and long white hair are his distinguishing features. At first it is jarring to see the hardened man who has saved the world twice begin to succumb to old age. Snake's age, though, has not taken him out of the fight. At least not yet. Ocelot—who is now being called Liquid Ocelot (Liquid Snake's arm is grafted to Ocelot's body)—has taken over a portion of the Middle East and is planning on recreating another Outer Heaven. With such power and weapons at the fingertips of Ocelot, Snake knows he must stop his old enemy once and for all. To leave Ocelot in such a position of power would spell devastation for the entire world. Snake must stop him. This is the basic premise of MGS4. But we all know how Kojima likes to twist things around, so expect a much more surprising and intriguing story once the game is released in 2007.

This doesn't mean though Kojima hasn't already tossed a wrench into the traditional MGS formula, though. While not expressed with actual gameplay footage, one message was very clear by the end of the trailer: Snake can no longer fight. This is due to the combination of old age, deteriorating genetic structure, and the high level of lethality the new Metal Gears bring to the table. During the trailer Snake ran into several of them. Where Snake's old tactics of run and hide have worked for him in the past, they did him no good against an enemy who savagely destroyed any cover Snake had. Being immune to traditional firearms as well as equipped with a high tech scanning ability, the Metal Gears were an enemy Snake couldn't compete with. Snake barely escaped because of his new camo suit. Think the camo system of MGS3, but now high tech. Snake is able to hide in a corner and his suit automatically blends into the environment. So long as Snake is touching the surface the camo remains active. It was very harsh to see Snake completely helpless against the Metal Gears. We've all grown up knowing that Snake is one of the few characters that bears the title "baddass" and who actually deserves it. To see him unable to defend himself and run for his life was a spectacle a lot of gamers are not going to be ready to see.

When one hero falls from grace, a new one must take his place. Such is the fate of one of the returning characters from MGS2, Raiden. Don't worry, this isn't the annoying, complaining, girl problems, blonde pretty boy we left at the end of MGS2. Raiden, in short, has been transformed into something no one would have guessed. Armed with a suit more powerful than the Cyber Ninja's and wielding a sword, Raiden has become a one man Metal Gear slaying machine. Surprisingly, Raiden's appearance was the highlight of the trailer. Who would have thought the hated character of MGS2 would become the poster boy for MGS4. Step aside, Snake. There's a new hero in town, and he has the skills to make even the Cyber Ninja envious. Joining Raiden in a list of returning characters is Roy Campbell, Naomi Hunter, Otacon, and surprisingly Meryl (who is now a member of the "new" Fox Hound).

Even though there was no actual in-game footage, one can speculate on what the gameplay of MGS4 will be like. It is obvious now that players will be taking the roles of both Snake and Raiden; the playing time each of them gets is still anyone's guess. One thing we do know is how playing Snake will be different from playing as Raiden. Snake will have to rely on stealth and keeping away from the enemy more than ever before. Armed with a new camo system and being unable to handle Metal Gears, Snake's life depends on being sneaky. Raiden, on the other hand, looks like he needs no such luxury. If half a dozen Metal Gears could be destroyed in mere minutes, think how easily soldiers would be handled. I'm betting Raiden will see a lot more combat than Snake. Realize, however, the above paragraph is just a theory. None of this has been confirmed or denied by Kojima or Konami.

So while Sony's E3 could have gone better, they did have at least one impressive game to show off. Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patroits is going to be the game Sony displays from now until the PS3 launches. It's the best example of the power the PS3 has. Hopefully, Sony will begin to show actual in-game footage rather than cinematic elements. We can only guess when that will start happening, though.

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