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MGS4 - Henning’s Impressions

I’m done Act 2 of Metal Gear Solid 4, and I thought I’d give some of my impressions of the game so far. Small warning – I give away lots of gameplay information, but no plot information.

But first, let me just say that this game is a watershed game for me. As many of you know, I like multiplayer – especially local multiplayer – games. As a general policy, I don’t play single player games or single player campaigns. I love CoD4 for example, but haven’t played the campaign. I tried the GRAW2 campaign, but got stuck. But because everyone was raving about what a great game MGS4 is, I decided to request a copy for Father’s Day, and I haven’t looked back since. This game is very addicting, and it’s a blast. It’s got me hooked on single player gameplay (at least for this game). So I’m gonna give CoD4 campaign mode a try after I’m done this one. I might even go back to GRAW2 with a walkthrough in hand. 🙂

I’m playing MGS4 on easy mode, because my only previous experience with the Metal Gear franchise was a small bout on MGS2 that didn’t go so well. I’m not generally a very skilled player, I just enjoy playing games. That said, I think I should have at least tried the next-to-easy difficulty. It’s ridiculous the amount of damage I can take on easy, and the baddies just stand around not shooting at you a lot. Though I have to say this superior health helped me during my first boss battle, which was really cool by the way.

One thing that’s just crazy about this game is the number of items and weapons. It’s overwhelming at first, and after a bit I decided to just ignore most of them and go about my business. I am starting to explore them a little now, but there’s lots to learn. Next time around, when I play at a harder difficulty, I’ll play around with the weapons even more. (Yes, I plan to play the game again. That’s how good it is.)

One small thing to note here (small spoiler, but you’ll probably appreciate it). You can pick up the camera and an extra battery using the little robot doohicky thing during briefing sessions. You might want to do that in your first briefing so that you have access to those objects throughout the rest of the game. The battery would have helped me out in several instances. I only got it at the end of act 2 and have yet to use it. (Thanks for the tip Tosh.)

I find the cutscenes a tad long sometimes. I’m sitting there waiting for action and am thinking okay, let’s get on with it already. Second time around, I’ll definitely be skipping the cutscenes.

You’re well rewarded by doing a lot of exploring. You can pick up items all over the place. Tosh tells me that if you pick up and drop a killed or knocked out soldier, that he’ll typically drop more stuff. Even if you do it a second time. I have to try that out now, because I don’t have many Drebin points for spending on weapons and such.

Speaking of weapons, they’re customizable, which is cool. I have a shotgun attachment on my M4. Sweet. I’ll be doing more playing around with weapons as the game progresses. I’m finally getting comfortable with that stuff.

The camo suit is cool. I like to make my camo look like all sorts of funky things I find in the levels. At one point, I had hand prints all over, which was funny. Second time around, I plan to take a bunch of pics of my camos.

There are just so many things you can do in this game, it’s crazy. Tosh has told me about knocking a guy out, placing down the magazine, then waking the guy up and watching the reaction. Good stuff. This game is a universe to itself, and zipping through it just to get to the end is not the way to play.

I’ve heard it said that you don’t have to kill a single person in the MGS games if you don’t want to. But that’s no fun. I try not to kill any rebels, but I do kill PMC types. Adds more variety to the game and makes it more fun. Sometimes I just knock them out instead. Because I can!

Great game.

Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots