“War has changed” is the opening line of an aged Solid Snake. Aged and altered. Once a selfish and badass wannabe-hero he’s now a man doing what a man’s gotta do. Far from being a hero. A man who saw too much and still needs to fight for the freedom he wants to leave behind. And maybe this – at last – is his final mission. The whole world seems to be a battlefield, just for the sake of war and for the money. Everything is monitored, nothing is done without the Patriots’ order. The legacy of Big Boss lives and two men want to get to them. Liquid Ocelot and Solid Snake, one the leader of the deadliest PMC (Private Military Corp), the other a one-man-army. One trying to control the system, the other to destroy it. But of course it isn’t that simple. Kojima is known for unexpected twists and turns and MGS4 is rather the prime example than the one exception of the rule.
Completing(?) the arc of his predecessors it’s the story not only of Snake and Otacon (aka Hal Emmerich) against Ocelot and the Patriots but also of Raiden, Big Boss and other known and loved characters. But it’s not just the story itself which blew me away or all the characters (including those long forgotten). It’s the narrative. The tone of the story, the score and the synchronisation. Hearing David Hayter as Snake is fabulous, even more so if you ever heard his real voice. The score is even without the original MGS theme breathtaking and sometimes so intense and beautiful that you have to stop and just listen to it. Especially to the end of the game. Another thing is the locations where the story take place. The variety, the design and the mere beauty of them. And of course the surprises. But I don’t want to say too much about them here 😉
As a friend of mine put it when he had finally beaten the game (he has an Xbox and no PS3):
“It’s one of the best games I’ve played for a very long time.” I couldn’t agree more.