An older, wiser and mustachioed Solid Snake has returned for his fond adieu to the popular franchise that launched the stealth-action genre and spawned a legion of competitors.
MGS4 is a long, and sometimes awkward, goodbye handshake with someone who can't stop talking.
And there is plenty of that. The never-ending voice acting and cut-scene opus that some games jokingly refer to as a plot is paramount in MGS4, with some conversations reaching 30 minutes.
In one self-aware moment, the caller actually tells you to put the controller down. That's the problem: If you try to follow the plot you will not only put the controller down, you will spike it into the floor like a football, leaving a smoking crater that matches your level of frustration. Trust me.
PROS: While developer Hideo Kojima makes a mess of the plot, he has refined combat, retaining the precision required to master his previous titles. Close-quarters combat received a much needed revamp, and "Octocamo" is now the camouflage de jour, as well as a monocular. Even the cardboard box gets an upgrade.
Perhaps the most interesting addition to the game is Solid Snake's drone, the Metal Gear Mk. II, which is used for reconissance but not much else. Even with all the new tech, guns and grenades, it's Solid Snake's ability to sneak that is his greatest weapon.
CONS: Perhaps the largest disadvantage facing MSG4 is its release on the Playstation 3, which has had mediocre sales since its release, dwarfed by Nintendo's Wii and Microsoft's workhorse, the Xbox 360. Sony tried to sweeten the deal, releasing a Metal Gear Solid Playstation 3 bundle for $600, which seems rather pricey for a gray paint job, considering how the PS 3 is already prohibitively expensive to most gamers -- not to mention the mediocre game library currently available.
However, if you are one of the faithful Playstation owners, then this is what you have been waiting for: vindication for buying the PS 3 in the first place.
RATED: M for Mature
COST: $59.99 for the Playstation 3
Justin Arnold, Big Game Hunter, email@example.com
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