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November 5, 2007
Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots - Preview
Release Date Distributer Publisher Developer
12/6/2008AtariKonamiKojima Productions
Offline Players Online players Price Anticipation
1TBA$109.95
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Taking the battle indoors.
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Otacon's facial detail is impressive.

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It looks like Raiden is back.
When it comes to Sony's consoles one franchise that has always been a showcase is Konami's Metal Gear Solid. With the Playstation 3 launch now well and truly past Sony are looking to some big name titles to help the system start selling in large numbers - something which it really has failed to do. In what will be a major relief Hideo Kojima is preparing a new Metal Gear Solid title for the system - and by god does it look awesome!

Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots was announced in November 2004, and officially unveiled at E3 2005 (in May of that year). In May 2006 Kojima unveiled an all new 15-minute trailer which had jaws dropping. Not only were the visuals astounding but the ending left us with a cliffhanger; Snake puts a gun to his mouth - apparently prepared to end his life! At E3 2007 a new trailer was shown and, more importantly, Konami re-confirmed that the title would only be hitting the PS3 putting to rest growing rumours that the game would be released on multiple platforms.

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Characters look quite spectacular.
In a world overrun by private military companies (PMC's) wars are no longer fought over nations of ideologies. Rather, they are micro-managed by overarching PMC's right down to the bullet. The five largest PMC's are actually controlled by one mother company called Outer Heaven. These companies have enough firepower to rival the American military and Liquid has returned with a massive army ready to start an armed insurrection to create the perfect world once envisioned by Big Boss. Joined by a familiar cast of characters, Snake must once again return to the battlefield to confront a life-long rival who is manipulating the worlds wars from the one world in which soliders will always have a place...

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Check out the truck destruction.
Hideo Kojima has confirmed that almost all the main characters from the Metal Gear Solid universe will make an appearance in this game. We can also expect plenty of cut-scenes to flesh out the detailed storyline. Yet again Hideo has hired military adviser Mori Motosada to work with him on the game, including a greater emphasis on realism in the game - including enemy soldiers becoming apprehensive when you do things, such as make noise, which they aren't expecting. The game actually takes place in various locations around the world - each of which will have its own unique look as one would expect. These locations include the Middle East, South America and Eastern Europe.

One of the interesting changes to this game is the way in which the alert status of you enemies changes. This system has been totally revised so there now only a "Normal" or "Alert" status. If the enemies are in "Normal" mode they will go about their normal patrols with only basic awareness of their surroundings. When in "Alert" mode is activated the soldiers will investigate anything suspicious and often call in reinforcements.

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Try to spot Solid Snake with camo active.
No doubt the varied locations around the globe will give you plenty of opportunity to use camoflauge in the game. Hideo has mentioned this as an "active camouflage system" or "Octo-cam" - a blend between Octopus and Camouflage. What this essentially means is that Snake can lean against an object and then blend in perfectly with his surroundings (check out the picture next to this paragraph to see exactly what I mean!). Not only will this allow Snake to blend into walls and floors but we have even see him stand next to marble statues before changing to the same colour and blending in with enemies walking right on by. According to the developers only the Playstation 3 has the power to allow these effects.

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Yes, this is in-game.
One of the unique features of the Playstation 3 is the controller. Hideo Kojima has already confirmed that they are looking at incorporating the tilt sensing abilities of the Sixaxis controller into the game. One such use is to shake down guards, or look around while in a first person mode. This is still being worked on however the developers are promising some unique situations for the tilt abilities. Even more exciting is that with the announcement of the Dual Shock 3 (to be released in Japan on November 11, and in Europe in Q'2 2008) will incorporate vibration technology and we expect this will be put to full use in Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots.

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Looking down onto the soldiers.
Interestingly Assistant Producer Ryan Payton has confirmed that the English version of Metal Gear Solid 4 will be harder then the Japanese version. Apparently the Japanese aren't used to controlling the camera using the right analogue stick and will have auto-aim turned on as a result - this will be off by default in the English version. Also confirmed is the fact that a seperate online version of the game called Metal Gear Solid Online will be released which will support up to 16-players. This will almost certainly be after the main game, and as yet we can't confirm how much it will cost, if it will also include or tie into the main storyline or indeed if Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots will include any online gameplay at all. We do believe that there will be some connectivity possibly through online rankings, or downloadable content.

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These mechs are damn cool - and deadly!
Graphically Metal Gear Solid 4 look sensational. One of the most important things about the trailers shown at the various shows (E3, Tokyo Game Show and Leipzig) is that all the footage is generated on a PS3 with not a frame of pre-rendered imagery. While some of these screens are from the trailers, some are from actual gameplay moments - I'll let you try to spot the differences! Much of the game world is not destructable - not everything mind you - but certainly enough that what you will often presume is cover, may not be after the enemy sends some bullets your way. The amount of detail on the characters is equal to that seen in most CG movies.

In terms of audio the big news is that David Hayter will be returning to voice Solid Snake - as he has done since the first Metal Gear Solid. Christopher Randolph will return as Otacon

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The locations are battle-scarred.
While the release of this game slowly approaches - and it can't come soon enough for Sony - the details are still being released at a fairly rapid pace. Even with all the details announced to date there is so much we won't know about this game until it is released. While the game was due for release in late 2007, and then around March 2008 it has now been confirmed that there will be a simultaneous worldwide release on June 12th 2008 (although some retailers are listing Australia as June 15th!). I won't complain though as the lengthy wait will be worth it and Q'1 2008 is already being stacked with plenty of other pretty big titles. Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots looks to be the perfect finale to what is one of the greatest series of all time.