July 24, 2007 - You're going to buy Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots. You might have passed up Metal Gear Solid on the PlayStation, poo-poo'd Metal Gear Solid 2's wonky storyline and cringed at eating serpents in Metal Gear Solid 3, but you're going to buy Metal Gear Solid 4. This game looks amazing.
Early this morning at Konami's Metal Gear 20th anniversary party, Hideo Kojima gave the world its first look at MGS4 gameplay, and the world is still stunned. In a 15-minute presentation, Kojima showed just a sampling of the gadgets and techniques Snake has at his disposal for his latest -- and supposedly final -- mission as earth's greatest soldier.
Set in a war torn section of the Middle East, Tuesday's demo found a white haired Snake caught in a bombed out village as two opposing forces -- the PMC and a local militia -- went at each other with machine guns drawn.
As PMC soldiers scoured the half buildings and crumbing structures for surviving enemies, Snake stealthily snuck about taking out the enemies at hand. Aside from eye-popping visuals -- at one point, a building in the distance collapses from an air strike and the dust cloud slowly engulfs the town and Snake -- the first thing this demo showcased was our hero's brand new sneaking suit. Although MGS4 is set far in the future from MGS3, the camouflage techniques honed in Snake's last console outing are alive and well albeit in a completely different form. Now, Snake's suit will do most of the work.
When Snake equips OctoCamo, the suit recognizes the visual properties around it and takes them as its own. So, when Snake ran across a PMC member patrolling a doorway, he simply rolled into position and let the OctoCamo take the design of the floor. The enemy turned to continue patrolling without ever seeing our lowly commando.
The OctoCamo doesn't take all the fun out of playing dress-up, however. When Snake caught wind of some bad guys coming his way through his Solid Eye Mode Scope -- that funky eye patch he wears serves as a built-in pair of binoculars and thermal goggles -- Snake put on his statue camo, jumped up next to a pair of sculpted dudes and remained perfectly still as the watchers passed by.
The son of Big Boss went on to show off a new choke hold, creep around in the shadows and demonstrate a new pat-down technique, but what took our breath away were the sections of intense action in Kojima's demo. As the fighting got more and more heated between the PMC troops and the militia, Snake decided to align himself with the locals and earned their trust with rocket launchers, machine guns and grenades.
Yup, it's as fun as it looks.
When an enemy started shooting from behind, Snake dropped to his belly, rolled onto his back and fired off a few rounds to take care of the annoyance. When he came up undetected behind a bad guy, Snake pulled out his knife and used its secondary feature to electrocute the villain. When two guards almost stumbled upon his location, Snake hid in a drum barrel and later rolled the barrel -- with him in it, mind you -- into the bad guys before vomiting from being too dizzy.
It's all new, but MGS4 retains the trademark sense of humor and thought-provoking gameplay that have been among this franchise's trademarks.
Detailed textures (the streets are broken from the fighting and Snake has never looked as detailed); a first-person, Sixaxis mode; exploding vans; and much more was packed into this demo, but all this did was scratch the surface of what Metal Gear Solid 4 has in store for its fans in 2008.
You might not believe us now, but mark our words -- you will buy Metal Gear Solid 4.