Archive for July, 2013

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The Metal Gear franchise has survived 25 years in the video game industry, from it’s days on the MSX to the next generation, the series has always been great. I still remember the first day I played Metal Gear Solid, my father and I went to the Game Store by our house to rent a game, we picked up Metal Gear Solid on the PS1, little did we know that after we beat the game we’d would buy it, and eventually beat the game around 100 more times. Metal Gear Solid is a game that defined the stealth espionage genre, stealth games today still have a Metal Gear feel, even if they don’t come close to how great of a series it is, and MGS4 made the Metal Gear Universe larger, fixed control and camera issues, and made it much better looking. This review/comparison will do a run through of characters and locations that are in both games, and then reviews for both, among a bit of extra content, the Metal Gear Solid Universe is so large I will not touch on everything. The games I will be reviewing are Metal Gear Solid which was released in 1998 and Metal Gear Solid 4 in 2008. Even from 1998 until now gaming has taken a major step forward, and these reviews/comparisons will take a look at how far the Metal Gear Solid series has come. This contains a lot of spoilers.(The review/comparison idea is a combination of ideas from myself and the incredible Amanda Hudson(@Seaturtlequeen on twitter).

Shadow Moses
Metal Gear Solid takes place on Shadow Moses Island, Shadow Moses is a military base near Alaska, and the housing of a the Walking Nuclear Battle Tank called Metal Gear. Snake must investigate the facility while surviving harsh, cold environments, good thing for him, his sneaking suit prevents hypothermia. Little is really known about Shadow Moses until Snake investigates, and what he finds is beyond anything he could imagine, the threat of Metal Gear is real, but it won’t be the first time he fought Metal Gear as he has already in the MSX versions of Metal Gear. Though MGS4 will take Snake to many places, Snake will return to Shadow Moses and there are many flashbacks and memories for anyone who has played through the MGS series.
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Solid Snake
Solid Snake is the main protagonist in both Metal Gear Solid and MGS4, he is one of the biggest bad-asses in video games, he saves the world single handedly, takes down a harrier jet and Metal Gear itself with just a Stinger Missile Launcher, and to top it all off, he is witty and smooth with words, most of the time. Snake is forced out of retirement by Colonel Campbell, Campbell knows Snake is the only one that save the World, his men attack and capture Snake, but not before he knocks a few of them out for their efforts. Voiced by David Hayter, Snake has one of the coolest voices in video game history, he has a gruff, deep voice and you can tell he is a War Veteran. Solid Snake has not been the main protagonist in all of the Metal Gear games, in MGS2 you use him for a small bit but then you use Raiden for the rest, it didn’t seem as good as it could have been for that reason, and in MGS3 it was Naked Snake, who then became Big Boss by the end of the game, though Big Boss is just as bad-ass and still voiced by David Hayter. Solid Snake started out as a pixelated face and body with just a few lines, it looked like he was permanently squinting, to actually looking like a human in MGS4. In Metal Gear Solid, on his way to fighting Metal Gear he fights many bosses and meets many of the characters that return in MGS4 and characters that made MGS great, he is deceived all along the way, mostly by the people who control his missions.
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In Metal Gear Solid we find out that Snake was injected with the FoxDie virus which rapidly accelerated his aging and has taken over the cells in his body, in Metal Gear Solid 4 we see the results of FoxDie in Solid Snake, now named Old Snake. His body is deteriorating and he is slowly dying, Snake finds out after saving the world he could be what destroys the population as he could spread a deadly version of FoxDie to the World. But as usual he puts his personal problems aside to hunt down Liquid Ocelot, Ocelot hypnotized himself to think he is being controlled by Liquid Snake through his now attached arm, these characters I will get to later. Ocelot plans on launching Outer Haven, which would make Ocelot basically untouchable and free to launch a nuke at any time. Snake travels to different locations including back to Shadow Moses Island to try to stop this from happening, and quickly finds out that Ocelot is controlling the nanomachines that he and the rest of the soldiers were injected with, which causes them to foam and the mouth, collapse to the ground and basically throw up everywhere or try to fight each other. In MGS your missions are controlled by Colonel Campbell who works for FoxHound, in MGS4 you have a bit more freedom as you are working with Otacon, a scientist Snake meets part way through MGS. MGS4 has a face camouflage of the way Snake looked like back in MGS and what he would have looked like had they created MGS in 2008.
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Colonel Campbell
Colonel Campbell is introduced right at the beginning of MGS, as mentioned he gets some of his men to capture Snake, Campbell manages to convince Snake that he is needed and sends Snake off on a solo mission to Shadow Moses Island. Campbell communicates with Snake through a headset called Codec, only Snake can hear it, even when Snake is talking he does not seem to get noticed by anyone around. It’s not long before Campbell’s authority is in question, Campbell lies to Snake about what he knows regarding the mission, FoxDie, and basically everything else he does not want to tell Snake. He keeps everyone at a need to know basis which does not sit well with Snake, so he decides to find the answers for himself. Regardless of this, Snake decides to follow his orders as he is still in control of the mission, and you’ll meet his niece Meryl, who has a large part in both games. Later in the game Campbell admits he lied even about Meryl, who is really his daughter, and at the end Campbell explains he did everything he felt necessary for the mission and safety of those involved, but Snake is done taking orders from Campbell, and plans on retiring again, but that does not last for too long as Otacon convinces Snake he is needed once again.
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As Snake makes his way on to Otacon’s helicopter in MGS4 he is greeted by Campbell who is in person rather than just a picture on Codec. He will have a big part in MGS4 as well, he does not give orders this time as he is no longer a Colonel, but he will do anything to assist in Snake’s mission to stop Ocelot. Even this time around he is deceptive, his actions seem terrible at first, but in the end once again he explains himself, and this time he did it for a very good reason. It seems that Campbell stole Raiden’s girlfriend Rose despite that fact that she is much younger than him, everyone is disgusted, but he did it to protect her, and to protect Rose and Raiden’s kid, he was not dating her but letting her stay safe at his place. Meryl thinks Campbell is a womanizer and feels betrayed that he lied to her about her being his daughter, but at the end Campbell convinces her he will be there for her.
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Meryl Silverburgh
While Snake is crawling through the vents looking for the Darpa Chief he over hears an enemy soldier mention a women in a cell, eventually Snake makes his way to the next opening, he looks down and sees Meryl doing sit-ups in her cell, at the time Snake has no idea who she is, but it’s not long before she makes her mark. Snake meets the Darpa Chief in the cell beside her, he has a heart attack which then Meryl breaks out of her cell by knocking out a guard, takes his clothes then opens up the cell Snake is in to see what happened, as Snake emerges she holds him up at gun point, she blames him for the Darpa Chief dying, eventually Snake turns around and says one of his famous lines “You haven’t even taken the safety off, rookie” a line he uses once again in MGS4. After Meryl runs off and you progress through the game, you find out to contact her you have to find her number on the back of the CD case, for the people who didn’t have the game’s CD case they had to progress further in the game to find it. The first time you talk to Meryl on Codec she is wearing a balaclava, something that is mirrored in MGS4. Meryl helps Snake progress, later in MGS she is shot by Sniper Wolf and it’s up to Snake to save her. She also falls in love with Snake, but it does not last long as Snake barely shows any interest aside from comments about her butt and eyes.
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Meryl’s role in MGS4 is much more dominant as she is the leader of a group called Rat Patrol 01, a group within FoxHound, her crew is injected with Nanomachines that allow them to spread pain throughout the group to divide it up, see what each other sees, and act accordingly in every situation, well all except for Johnny who decided not to get the nanomachine injection, he is a familiar character as he is the guy Meryl knocked out back in Shadow Moses. As Snake emerges into the room he is held up at gun point by Johnny, Snake turns around and says the same line he said to Meryl, before ultimately taking Johnny down. Meryl keeps Snake informed of the situation around him, but won’t help him take down Ocelot, that is until the situation worsens and Ocelot plans on launching Outer Haven, by that time though he has control of their weapons and nearly kills Meryl and her crew. After surviving and regrouping, Meryl and crew help Snake take down Outer Haven from the inside, her and Johnny give Snake cover as he makes his way through the microwave corridor, while this is happening Johnny explains that he fell in love with her back at Shadow Moses, even after she kicked his butt, and they have a long speech, in the end Meryl and Johnny get married, even though Snake saved the World, again. Meryl’s role is similarly large to Otacon, you meet Otacon a bit later, but Otacon becomes Snake’s go to guy from the end of MGS on.
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Otacon: Hal Emmerich
Otacon, just like his father, created a weapon of mass destruction, Snake must find Otacon and figure out how to stop Metal Gear. As Snake makes his way to Otacon’s office you can see the destruction created by a cyborg ninja, when he gets there Otacon is hiding in a corner and pee’s himself at the sight of both Snake and the ninja. After Snake fights off the ninja, Otacon emerges from the locker he hid himself in before the fight, and from then on has a major role in the series. Oblivious to the real use behind Metal Gear, he becomes appalled and sad that he could create such a weapon he vows to help Snake in any way he can to help destroy it. He twists his ankle during the encounter with the cyborg and is too slow to keep up with Snake, so instead he uses one of his stealth camouflage suits making him invisible, so he can move around the base freely while helping Snake. He guides Snake through Shadow Moses and aids Snake with advice while fighting Metal Gear, Snake starts trusting him and they create a partnership after the Shadow Moses incident.
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In Metal Gear Solid 4, Otacon controls everything behind the scenes, he controls all the information on the mission and sends to Snake, he helps in anyway he can from the Nomad they fly around in. Otacon finds out that Ocelot is in the Middle East and he devises a plan of action to take him down, he also carefully plans Snake’s path to destroying Outer Haven. Not only is Otacon intelligent, he is quite funny, and conversations with Snake have some really hilarious moments. Though the series is mainly serious, there are many cases where they make light of the situation, when you get back to Otacon’s office in Shadow Moses, Snake remembers the moment they met, and how Otacon peed himself. Otacon is also involved in many darker moments in the series, he tends to fall in love with women that either want Snake dead, or betraying them behind their backs, and in the end they always end up dying. His sister Emma is killed in MGS2 by a guy named Vamp, and Otacon vows to do everything in her memory. Before she died she created the virus that now is going to be used to take down Liquid Ocelot and his Outer Haven.
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Revolver Ocelot
In Metal Gear Solid, Liquid Ocelot goes by the name Revolver Ocelot, he fights all of his battles with a .45 calibre Revolver, he is deadly accurate and can bounce bullets off walls. Snake is forced to fight Ocelot in MGS, after Snake wins the gun battle, Ocelot lines up a head-shot on Snake, but the cyborg ninja chops off Ocelot’s arm. Ocelot’s role after that in MGS dwindles down to basically becoming Liquid Snake’s advisor and helps Liquid almost the same way as Otacon does for Solid Snake, he also tortures Solid Snake with electricity, but it’s not until MGS4 that his role really expands, though he makes a few more appearances and he reveals that he knew Big Boss.
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Liquid Snake
The first visuals of Liquid Snake are near the very beginning of MGS as Solid Snake makes his way to the elevator that will take him to the main building in Shadow Moses, at the time it does not tell you who he is, after Solid Snake makes his way up the elevator, you see him again standing by a Hind D helicopter, which has it’s own part in the game. There is a lot of mention of Liquid Snake throughout the game, but it’s not until Solid makes his way to activate a satellite that Liquid makes another appearance, Liquid in the Hind D destroys the satellite, Solid evades by rappelling down the side of a building where he grabs a Stinger Missile Launcher, and makes his way to the top of the next building to fight him. Once Snake gets to the top, he finds out that Liquid Snake is actually Solid’s brother and it’s not a coincidence that they share the same code name, Solid then shoots down Liquid’s Hind single handedly.
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In MGS4 when you are back at Shadow Moses you can see the destroyed Hind next to the mountain. The next time you see Liquid is in the Metal Gear storage building, Ocelot makes Snake drop the PAL key you need to stop Metal Gear, eventually Solid finds out that the PAL acts as three keys, when he activates the third key he thinks he stopped Metal Gear, just to get a call of Liquid who is pretending to be McDonell Miller a man Solid trusts. Liquid tells Solid that he has actually activated Metal Gear and then controls Metal Gear to try to kill Solid. After failing, Liquid makes Solid fight him on top of Metal Gear, there is a 2 and a half minute time limit, it’s either kill Liquid in that time, or Snake and Meryl get bombed by the military airstrike called in to destroy Metal Gear, Solid wins the fight and escapes. Even after falling off Metal Gear, Liquid is still alive and it isn’t until the very end that Liquid dies due to FoxDie.
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Liquid Ocelot
Ocelot’s role takes on a whole new level, he is Snake’s main target and Snake will do everything it takes to take him down. With Ocelot’s arm chopped off and Liquid Snake dead, Ocelot wanted to continue what Liquid had started, so Ocelot creates an arm implant and hypnotizes himself to believe he is Liquid Snake, so he can carry through the plan perfectly. Liquid Ocelot has control of the Patriot’s system which controls all battlefield functions in soldiers and their weapons, the nanomachines also suppress the soldiers memories so when they are turned off all of their killing and memories take over their minds. Naomi Hunter is working for Liquid Ocelot, with her help Liquid Ocelot eventually launches Outer Haven which was a dream project of Solid and Liquid’s dad Big Boss, Outer Haven ends up being a nearly indestructible submarine/war boat combination. After Snake stops his plans they have an epic battle on top of Outer Haven just like Liquid and Solid did on top of Metal Gear, it features music, fighting styles and life meters featured throughout the Metal Gear Solid series, and is a great way to end all of the action in Metal Gear Solid 4.
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Naomi Hunter
Little is known about Naomi Hunter during the Shadow Moses incident, she is the FoxHound Unit’s doctor and handled all of Snakes injections, nanomachines, and sneaking suit. It’s later revealed that Naomi is not who everyone thought she was, the real Naomi Hunter disappeared years back, and her story does not check out. Naomi is the one who injected Solid Snake with FoxDie, she does it to avenge her brother Frank Jaeger who Solid Snake saved, then killed by accident in an explosion years back, she vowed revenge and tried to kill Snake. In MGS4 she is working for Liquid Ocelot, but leaves with Snake, when she disappears and Snake finds out she went back to Ocelot it creates confusion, but it’s revealed that the whole time she was helping Snake and Otacon and decide not to go through with her plans because of Sunny, a little girl Otacon and Snake saved in MGS2. Naomi dies due to the cancer that she suppressed with nanomachines for so long. In the end after Snake shuts down Outer Haven a video Naomi created explains her whole story and how the whole time she knew Snake would save the day.
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Frank Jaeger/Grey Fox/Cyborg Ninja
Frank Jaeger/Grey Fox was a friend of Solid Snake’s, even though they were on opposite sides of the war they remained friends. Snake ends up saving Frank from captivity, but he accidentally kills Frank in an explosion, or so they thought. After doing battle with the Cyborg Ninja inside Otacon’s office, Snake figures out that the ninja is Grey Fox, Fox wants a final battle with Snake so he can die in peace knowing a real soldier killed him, Snake however does not kill him and Fox vanishes into Shadow Moses. During Snake’s battle with Metal Gear, Metal Gear almost crushes him but Snake is saved by Grey Fox, he holds the leg up until Snake gets away, Fox has his arm chopped off by Metal Gear as he tries to destroy it, and then gets crushed up against the wall, Fox manages to destroy the radome which controls the radar before Metal Gear crushes him to death. There are many flashbacks and memories of Grey Fox in MGS4, not only does he save Snake from Ocelot, but he also warns him of a tank up ahead about to ambush him back in Shadow Moses, and his memory lives on in MGS4.
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Metal Gear
It is obvious that Metal Gear is one of the larger parts of the game, not only is it in the title, but it’s usually Snake’s biggest concern. Throughout the series Metal Gear has taken on many forms, Metal Gear Rex in MGS, Ray in MGS2, and in MGS4 they are a mass produced decently agile group of machines called Gecko’s that take out nearly everything in sight, they have lizard type legs and a Metal Gear looking head. Later in MGS4 you’ll make your way back to Metal Gear Rex which is still in rough shape after the fight with Snake, his missions is to find the rail gun before Ocelot can use it, Snake gets there too late though, and Ocelot already has control of the rail gun. After fighting Vamp, Snake will have to fight off many suicide Gecko as a battle ensues on top of Rex before eventually getting inside and controlling Rex rather than fighting it. As Snake exits the base he greeted by Liquid Ocelot in Metal Gear Ray, Snake destroys Ray and Ocelot leaves and boards Outer Haven. Though Metal Gear is not Snake’s biggest concern, it was really cool being able to use a Metal Gear rather than fighting it again. The little robot that Otacon gives Snake to scout the area is a miniature Metal Gear.
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FoxDie
FoxDie killed off many people throughout the MGS series, it’s wearing away at Snake and it basically killed everyone he comes in contact with, even Liquid Snake dies from it. FoxDie overwhelms the cells and causes rapid aging and causes the body to degrade. FoxDie is a large topic through Metal Gear and Snake does anything he can to find a cure before it takes over the population, Naomi offers a bit of help, and eventually Snake learns that it may not kill him after all.
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Bosses
There are other boss battles aside from Liquid, Ocelot and Metal Gear, and they are very memorable in Metal Gear Solid, as they have been in the whole series, the bosses in MGS4 are very similar and share names with most of MGS’s bosses. Laughing Octopus In MGS Raven tells Snake that the Darpa Chief was actually a man named Decoy Octopus who can imitate anyone down to their blood lines, he died from FoxDie in front of Snake, his MGS4 counterpart has tentacles, sprays ink and can imitate anyone she comes across. Raging Raven Snake fights Raven in a tank in MGS then fights him in a giant freezer, the second time around he has a gatling gun, though the fights with Raven were done on the ground, his counterpart Raging Raven flies, has other easy to kill Ravens and uses a grenade launcher as a primary weapon.
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Crying Wolf Snake fights Sniper Wolf back in Shadow Moses, Otacon falls in love with her and pleads that Snake not kill her, the problem is Wolf shot Meryl and makes it a point to kill Snake, so Snake ignores Otacon’s request and fights her to the death. Snake ends of up killing Wolf leading to one of the most memorable cutscenes in any video game in my opinion, she tells Snake and Otacon her life story, her Wolves circle and Snake shoots her, the wolves howl and Otacon breaks down crying. The fight with Crying Wolf in MGS4 is not as memorable but still a good battle, she walks around in a robotic wolf and shoots at Snake with a Rail Gun, her soldiers hunt for Snake as well, after Snake kills Crying Wolf, Sniper Wolf’s wolves come out of the mist and you can see the wolf puppy from MGS all grown up. Screaming Mantis One of the most talked about boss battles in MGS is the battle with Psycho Mantis, he had the ability to read not only your memory card, but all of your actions, the game made it so you had to switch controller ports in order to beat him, in MGS4 it is a similar type battle. Screaming Mantis can read all of Snake’s actions, so using the nanomachine injection on Snake made it so Mantis can’t read his wave length, she uses a Sorrow Doll to control emotion, and a Psycho Mantis Doll to control movement. After defeating Screaming Mantis her parts go flying and all reattach due to the powers of Psycho Mantis, he will make your controller vibrate like in MGS and try to read your memory, but realizes the PS3 doesn’t use memory cards, before disappearing in an explosion of armour.
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Funny Moments and Additional Characters
There are a lot of moments in the Metal Gear series that can play with all of the emotions, one thing that makes great is it doesn’t hold back when it comes to making fun of itself, Codec calls feature funny or entertaining one-liners, and Snake shuts up a lot of enemies with his quick wit. There are also characters that returned in MGS4 with smaller roles, notably Mai Ling who Snake had to call to save the game in MGS. She always told Snake an ancient proverb when he called her, she now runs the gun ship that Snake and company use to launch themselves onto Outer Haven, though it’s an important role, she is not seen much throughout the game. Johnny is a character that has been in every Metal Gear Solid, all of the men in his family are named Johnny and his father and grandfather are usually the ones guarding Snake, they always end up having stomach problems, Johnny in MGS4 is no different, he is first seen going to the bathroom in a barrel, then later in his pants. The Metal Gear series is filled with a lot of foreshadowing and breaking the fourth wall and humor, many times a small comment will lead to a huge moment in the game, and many times they’ll talk about either the video game console you are playing on, or talking about the CD case like in MGS, when Snake and Otacon talk about how Vamp came back to life, Snake makes a comment about how it’s not a fantasy video game. The Metal Gear Solid series has withstood the test of time, and will be releasing at least two more games on the next-gen consoles.
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Metal Gear Solid Review
I wrote a Metal Gear Solid review a long time ago, it was the first review I ever wrote, and while it did not have as much content as this whole article does, I still am going to give it the same score. MGS is a game I will always go back to, it’s a game that does so much right, even though there is only two camera views that can’t be changed and no first person view, the game still is amazing. The characters are so well done and memorable, the story is one of the best and everything meshes so well together, even if the story is a bit hard to understand at first. There are two endings that can be achieved by either saving Meryl by resisting, or letting Meryl die by giving in to Ocelot’s torture, if she dies you get the Otacon’s ending with Stealth Camouflage, and if you save her you’ll get the Meryl ending with the unlimited ammo bandana, but there are far more reasons to keep playing, it’s a game that never seems to get old.
Overall Score: 10/10
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Metal Gear Solid 4 Review
Metal Gear Solid 4 does a great job explaining a lot of the whole story, fills in a lot of gaps and brings back a lot of good memories. The graphics are great, the controls are much better than MGS, but that is expected. It’s amazing to see all the old characters again, and it’s really nice to see how much better the character models are. Each returning character is very useful and their role matches the type of character they are. Having an option to buy and sell weapons in MGS4 is nice too, picking up weapons that Snake doesn’t need will automatically sell them to a guy named Drebin, and you can buy ammo and weapons as long as you have the Drebin Points for it. MGS4 improves on many issues found through the series, but one thing that held it back was the amount of cutscenes, around half the game is in cutscenes, but it’s understandable with the amount they had to explain. Metal Gear Solid 4 is a game I still go back to as well, and I am excited to see what they do with the origin stories in Metal Gear Solid 5: Ground Zeroes, and Phantom Pain.
Overall Score: 9.7/10
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Additional Pictures
Metal Gear has a lot of extra content, finding Snake’s favourite gun in MGS, crawling through vents happens in Metal Gear quite a bit, and even the vents look better, in MGS there is a section of building that Snake is forbidden to use guns in, in MGS4 Snake is free to use whatever he wants. There is a laser system in MGS that used to fill the room with gas if triggered, they are replaced by a different kind of laser system. The Codec has change dramatically, the menus look similar but improved in MGS4. Going back to Shadow Moses and using overhead view on the helipad triggers a memory,and other things that stood out.
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Metal Gear 25th Anniversary
Metal Gear 25th Anniversary has these two games and six more, this is the official trailer. Note: The MGS in the package is the GameCube remake Twin Snakes.

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Rage takes place after an astroid strikes Earth causing catastrophic damage, it is up to the survivors to rebuild humanity, but they come across a lot of problems in the process, bandit clans cause terror, and mutants roam the dead cities. The main protagonist is Nicholas Raine, a former Marine who survived in an Ark facility where he was cryogenically frozen, awakens to all of the destruction and does whatever he can to help the other survivors. After completing a few errands it becomes apparent that matters will be complicated further as you have a mysterious government trying to take you down in the process.

As Nicholas, known to many as Stranger, emerges from his Ark facility you’ll notice a lot of detail in the environments and scenery, the clouds look great and so do the destroyed buildings, the destruction becomes apparent rather quickly as you’ll have to walk around and through toppled over buildings. As you emerge into the wasteland you’ll be saved and brought to a safe area by a man named Dan Hagar, and he will set you off on your first set of errand type missions. In each of the safe areas there are also shops where you can buy ammo, ingredients, recipes for items, other weapons and armor, upgrades for the guns, bandages, and other goods, as well as selling useless items you no longer need, the menu will tell you if the items are sellable or something you should keep. Ingredients and recipes become available once the engineering option becomes available, you’ll need recipes to create items and you’ll also need the ingredients, to find them both you’ll need to explore the environments, complete missions, and loot bodies, creating items like bandages and ammo are crucial to staying alive.

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The missions are generally straight forward and will have you retrieving items, killing enemies, or destroying equipment, and then making your way to the exit, a lot of missions will have you going back to the safe zone where you got the mission and turn it in, and some will just complete automatically. There are generally a lot of enemies between you and the objectives, nearly every room you enter there will be action, there are a lot of fast moving, accurate enemies on normal difficulty or higher, enemies do a lot of damage so hiding behind cover and using bandages is a must. The action is decent, the enemies are generally pretty intelligent and will put up quite a fight, some enemies will hide behind cover and takes shots at you, the larger enemies will try to overpower you with large weapons, and a lot of enemies will run right at you, dodging bullets as they come at you, these enemies do a lot of damage, and they also seeming come out of nowhere surrounding you in an instant. As you take damage the screen fills up red around the edges until he dies or you get a chance to use the defibrillator which requires moving the sticks to the correct positions and pressing the triggers in time, you’ll heal a certain amount depending on your accuracy during this mode, using bandages instantly heals you, bandages only take two ingredients to make and the ingredients can be found in a lot of locations. 

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But you can also create many other items like explosive RC cars and sentry turrets, some missions require you to have these gadgets handy, and will help clear out groups of enemies, plus the RC cars are fun to drive and they make a huge explosion. Other handy items you’ll be able to create or buy are the Wingsticks and Lock Grinders, Wingsticks are thrown at the enemy and will require you to follow the enemy with your crosshairs until it makes contact, hitting the head will generally cause an automatic kill and they come in handy while swarmed, and the Lock Grinders open doors that require them, these rooms usually have a lot of useful items. You’ll basically have unlimited inventory and you’ll be able to carry a lot of ammo for every gun, so collecting everything in sight will not cause problems.

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After you complete the first few missions for Dan, you’ll make your way through the barren wastelands via a dune buggy, until you reach your next safe area named Wellspring, where you’ll spend a lot of the game doing errands for mostly the Mayor and Sheriff. But you’ll also be able to compete in races, these can be entertaining, and winning races will at times will win you vehicles, and will always win you race certificates which can be spent at the local mechanic, these upgrade a vehicles performance, vehicle weapons and armor, most of the races have the use of weapons and you’ll need also to buy all of the ammo and other gadgets for your vehicle. Buying ammo is crucial for more than just the races, you’ll also need vehicle ammo and gadgets for when you’re in the Wastelands, enemy vehicles will shoot at you, along with automatic gun turrets. Blowing up enemy vehicles will earn you race certificates once you have activated the proper mission, and as you progress the enemies take and deal more damage, and they’ll use shields and other gadgets, so upping your arsenal will be required. 

Upgrading your characters arsenal is also required, you’ll be able to buy armor upgrades, once you get to Wellspring you’ll get a choice of character types, some will help with engineering and some will have stronger armor, you’ll be able to upgrade your armor to light, medium and heavy, you can buy these at the stores but will require you to get to certain points in the game before they become available. Upgrading your weapons will also require you to buy the upgrade, each of the weapons have a few that will increase accuracy, damage and clip size, to upgrade the gadgets you’ll need to find the advanced recipes for each item. Creating advanced items will do more than just increase the damage they do, for gadgets like the RC Car it’ll add an EMP blast that will take out shields and security grids, and you’ll also be able to create EMP grenades as well.

While searching the environments you’ll also find the collectibles, found throughout are bobble-heads which can be sold for a lot of money, and cards which are used to play the Card Game back at each of the safe zones, the cards have their own powers and are cards are of items and people you’ll meet and fight throughout the game, the card game is fun and has different difficulty levels. There are also a few other mini-games found in the safe zones, another one is a dice game which you have four enemies coming at you with each roll, you’ll roll four dice at a time, rolling cross-hairs will get you kills and you’ll have four chances to kill each of the four enemies. Another game is 5 Finger Filet which you’ll have to guide a knife between his fingers, the knife will increase in speed as you play, and there is also Strum which you’ll have to match guitar strumming patterns. The mini-games are fun and quick, they are a nice change of pace and good if you want to take a break from the action.

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With all that Rage does great, there are also many flaws, some can take away from the overall product. While the environments look great from afar, up-close a lot of it looks really bad and unfinished, you can’t see through windows as they are just sun filled even when they are open, everything that doesn’t require interaction seems to be nailed down, if you hit or shoot items they’ll make a smashing noise, but are perfectly fine, and the detail is non-exsistant on unimportant items. Exploring the areas in a vehicle or on foot can be fun, but have a few problems as well, you can get stuck on nothing, with the amount of enemies this becomes a pain when your trying to get to cover, he can’t jump over waist high railings or rocks, and he can’t run for very long. Despite the fact that the vehicles are off-roaders, they seem to get stuck on the edges of turns, and on small rocks, these are especially frustrating in races, and if you crash the quad going fairly slow, your character will get thrown ridiculously far. 

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The enemies and action can also be glitchy, even unarmored enemies can take a lot of damage, some can take multiple close range shotgun blasts, and head-shots are not always guaranteed kills, regardless of the enemy. Most enemies can be looted, however, the extra large enemies seem to just disappear not allowing you to loot them, these enemies can take a while and quite a few bullets to kill, so to get nothing for them can be a bummer. Rage is very linear, nearly all the missions just require you to get from the start door to the exit door, grabbing mission items or killing a specific enemy or enemies along the way, though a lot of it is linear, some of the environments can be confusing as there is no map or mini-map inside missions or within the safe areas, you’ll be guided to the mission area, then you’re on your own. The game rarely autosaves, if you forget to manually save you could lose a lot of progress, even when it says it’s saving it does not always do it, and there are quite a few audio and graphical glitches as you progress.

Rage takes about 12-15 hours to complete and to find all the collectibles, so there is bound to be glitches, it’s a really good game that could have been even better. The game is challenging and entertaining, there is quite a bit to it, and a lot of it is well thought through, most missions and fire-fights require strategy and skill. The mini-games add entertainment and so do the vehicle races, upgrading your vehicles gear and being able to easily destroy enemies that would normally have been tough is nice as well. Rage is a very good game, it’s unfortunate you have to start everything from scratch in each play-through, but is still entertaining regardless.

Overall Score 7.8/10