Metal Gear Solid 4 "E For All" Impressions

Opening Cinematic

It looks like it was taken from a section at the beginning of the game set in the Middle East locale we’ve seen the early trailers. A militiaman is shows dead near Snake as he goes answer his codec. Here, we are introduced to the new codec screen. It’s slightly opaque and can actually see the in game graphic. Otacon’s video feed is represented by a full 3D model with backgrounds. You can fast forward the codec convo with triangle, stop with X, and press start to skip it. The only information were given was there was a lot of military activity which is a lot over budget for the conflict. Giving hints Liquid Ocelot’s presence.

Intro

You start the demo out with an MP5SD, a GSR (A bit like the M1911 from MGS3) stun knife, and Mozin Nagant. I preferred using the MP5 and the stun knife myself. The items you have are 4 rations, the new barrel, and the old fashioned cardboard box. The alley is pretty much disserted. Round the corner is the Stryker an APC equipped with a surveillance camera. Here’s were the controls factor in, unlike MGS3, were had to fumble through menus to change camos. It changes on the fly when you either go prone on flatten against a wall. I crawled my way pass the APC while the chaos begins. PMC soldiers start firing and hunting the rebels.

Infiltration

Not noticing me I used the roadie run which can be done by simply tilting the left analog stick. It’s a nice balance between stealth and speed. I go prone and crawled into a crevice were a scouted sequence of a rebel soldier pleading for his life and getting plastered with bullets. Praying Manti’s announcement of control give us a taste of the cynical atmosphere of the game making it feels as if this was like a mall for war profiteers and with a British accent I might add. With his back turn I grabbed him with R1 were Snake uses CQC, and much like MGS3/MPO you can use them as a human shield with R1, and triangle now slashes their throat in a much less over the top manner. Were Snake pings the guard and gives a nice clean cut. If you press X Snake will attempt to pin the guard the down and with wiggling the left analog stick you can Knock out the guard if you grab him for 4 seconds or snap his neck in 10.

There now three more guards to go as well as the statue of David were you can fool them by touching his well, private parts, you know. I play dead by pressing the triangle button while prone. He simply goes about his business, and goes patrolling much of the laughter of the people waiting line I equipped the barrel. You go put the barrel down by pressing X and tilting the barrel with the left analog stick and steer it like you would Snake. This is an instant KO.

The last guy saw me and this is the MGS feels like it’s going back to its routes. You can’t really take much damage and people who feared a regenerating health system. The blood on screen only appears when you’re nearly dead, and you can only take 4 shots from gunfire and two mortar hits from the APC. When Snake gets hits by it sent him crashing to a wall due to ragdoll physics rather than flipping him over like previous installments. You can’t really hide and wait for the countdown once the alerts goes on you’re pretty much on your own and your rations disappear pretty quickly. You can’t tactical reload anymore and must reload with circle.

After seeing the nifty mission failed screen which has shows flash stills from the older MGS4 trailers I continued on. This time I took my time playing dead most of the time and crawling towards the rendezvous point with Metal Gear Mark 2. After brief scene, Otacon supplies with a silencer for your GSR, a Lugar (much like the M9 from MGS2), an RPG, a Grenade launcher for your AK-105 if you picked it off a dead militiamen in crevice I mentioned, and the fly by wire Javelin missile launcher.

The Battle

All hell breaks loose as the battle becomes more heating. Dive bombers come in blowing up the building in the background and killing support troops. I gave the Mark II a spin. The triangle button activates the tentacle which shocks enemies hitting one from the behind, but spotted I immediately unequipped running away from the bombing from above. One militant gets shredded down by a stryker’s incoming gunfire. I played dead in front of him. I equipped the AK-105 and pressed square to go into the over the shoulder view. Much like GRAW or Gears of War it makes fighting more intuitive. Ducking behind cover I killed 5 PMC troops. The militiamen start questioning if I am helping them or not. I then go prone tilt left stick and triangle to go on my back and throw a Fire Grenade and kill the last guard. They realize that I am giving the hand and giving me a thumbs up.

Like the 20th anniversary demonstration the militia man reward me with grenade and some ammo. You can also trade rations for items with them with the triangle button and swap for goods now to the end.

Akiba?

The ending cut scene shows Snake searing a dilapidated room. In a simlar scene to MGS1, Johnny Sasaski AKA Akiba hold Snake off. Reciting the “You haven’t taken the safety off rookie” and then Snake does a CQC takedown on him and points his XM8 at his face. A familiar voice comes from behind and it’s Meryl. Snake notices the FOX-HOUND logo and the female soldier unmasks herself. The X Button flashes on the screen and reveals a quick snapshot of flashbacks of the original game on screen.

Meryl is surprised to how Snake has aged so horribly. He then replies with it being caused accelerated aging. Meryl replies mordibly while Snake knees Johnny in the face. He then lets go of him and tosses Johnny’s rifle back at him commenting him on how he can’t use it because the ID system put on the weapon’s system. Meryl the explains there with the CID investigating PMC activity. Johnny’s trademark farting growl and him squatting the floor signaled the end of the demo.

Overall Impression

I was mostly impressed by it. The graphics were well done and the texture aren’t as blurry in person as they’re on screenshots. The controls area lot more streamlined and easier to get into for more casual players. This made strafing a lot natural then holding the L1 button to do it. I preferred the over the shoulder view which were I could place shots but still be aware of my surroundings at the same time. The sound effects and design were well done. The guns really a real booming sound to them, and the surround sound design makes feel like your in a way. From screams to hearing bombings in the in the town they really made the game feel tense. There is one major gripe though is that the frame rate dips from the fixed from time to time especially when things get combat heavy. I hope this will be fixed with the final build.

-- Article by Frederick Guese

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