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October 23, 2007 // 12:09 pm - Konami Corp. last week debuted the English build of Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots for Sony Corp.'s Playstation 3 at the E for All Expo in Los Angeles. The latest sequel in the premier franchise stuns players in the most lifelike espionage tactical gameplay in the series to date.

In the E for All demo, Snake, referred to as Old Snake in the game, is briefed by Otacon to reach a rendezvous point. The level takes place in the Middle East, similar to the setting previewed in early trailers.

Old Snake yields a new range of combat action, including a dynamic auto camouflage that will allow him to blend in to an environmental texture. Either flat on the ground or against a wall, the advanced suit will blend and increase a camouflage percentage in the right corner of the screen.

In one sequence, Snake can choose to camouflage as a statue. When perched on the statue, the context button automatically grabs the crotch of the side statue to complete the illusion.

Instead of a radar, MGS4 introduces the threat ring, a semi-transparent ring that will appear in crouch or flat mode. The ring will resonate in high waves in a direction with enemy activity. The new system adds more uncertainty to the environment and a definite increased difficulty for fans.

Weapon deployment has been changed in the latest version to L1 for a weapon ready action and R1 to fire. The title includes a new over-the-shoulder camera for intuitive, crosshair-based fire. The X button still allows Snake to crouch and a hold down converts to a flat position.

A new close range weapon is the stun knife, which will bolt enemies to the ground instantly. Additional weapons include an assault rifle and grenade launcher.

The triangle button is now a context sensitive button that will allow for various actions, including a quick step to an elevated platform or a choke hold for grabbed enemies.

Enemy AI is still astute to odd behavior, including loud steps and a camouflage attempt on nearby ground. Fortunately, Snakes new tools help to eliminate enemy threat quickly. Also a quick hide in a locker still works.

The graphics engine was locked at 30 frames per second. The sandy Middle East area was textured to the nth degree, from brick-based buildings to tanks to soldiers. Character models are larger, more detailed and employ a high degree of animation. In addition, the Codec is now features a fuller view of the character. Players can still pan around the box to nab an extended view in cutscenes.

Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots is training to be a system seller for the PS3. Snake is old, but he has more than enough new tricks planned for an early 2008 assualt.

E for All: Metal Gear Solid 4 stuns on the PS3

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