A battlefield you can find anywhere, anytime / No place to hide – this is how Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots (MGS4) is described. Hideo Kojima, Shujo Murata and Yoji Shinkawa are the producers, directors and writers of the game. If you have read mecha mangas or seen futuristic anime series such as: Ghost in the Shell, GANTZ, Saikano, Gundam Seed, Evangelion or Code Geass you will definitively be able to correlate those series to this game. MGS4 fuses several elements in this futuristic war game, artificial intelligence, self-aware combat units much like the Tachikomas of GITS and machines which combined look a lot like the final form of Chise in Saikano (The beauty and the beast unit)
Metal Gear Solid 4 is unlike any other war game you have played until now, it stands alone because the concept has only been seen in Japanese animations and not in video games. Half-Life 2 is the only game which has some similitudes to this game because it is also pretty futuristic, but in MGS4 the player must face several commandos with the aid of other AI combat units.
The main character of the game “Old Snake” a genetically engineered soldier is sent to the Middle East by Roy Campbell in order to terminate Liquid Ocelot, a man who operates Outer Heaven which at the same time controls the five largest private military companies (PCMs) that fight wars for business purposes. As you see the plot is quite complex as there are several proxies which control organizations and combat units, so it may be natural to feel a bit disoriented as far as knowing what’s going on in the game. Some gamers argue that there might be some plot holes as far as knowing who has stronger dominant genes, Ocelot, Solidus or Snake.
The technology used by Old Snake has been improved from previous versions and incorporates elements seen in Ghost in the Shell such as optical camouflage called “octocamo” which allows the player to blend with any surface, a new “solid eye” replaces the binoculars which were used in previous versions and provide greater details of the terrain and enemy. High-tech devices and war is what this game is all about so you will see a lot of items which may look familiar if you are a manga/anime fan.
Those players who are new to this game will not be lost since MGS4 provides a recap of the events that happened in previous versions of the game which hold crucial information in order to understand what’s going on, the recap includes scenes from Metal Gear Solid 1, 2 and 3. MGS4 is a game which has carved a niche of its own when it comes to futuristic wars.