E3 2006: Metal Gear Solid 4 trailer impressions
Our impressions of the amazing new trailer of Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns Of The Patriots.

- Today, after a brief trailer shown during the PlayStation 3 showcase conference, Konami graced fans of the series with the full trailer of the new Metal Gear Solid game for PlayStation 3, Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns Of The Patriots, to be released for PlayStation 3 in 2007. Expectations for Metal Gear Solid 4 at the E3 2006 were big, and the new trailers confirmed the unique talent of Hideo Kojima and the outstanding values behind the whole series.

Each trailer is a spectacle to be witnessed, for many reasons, including the superb direction. Kojima Productions has the full length trailer available for streaming from its official website; the shorter version of the trailer, not to be missed, can be found at the E3 official website, e3insider.com. Both trailers contain spoilers about the new installment of the series, but they reveal just the essential details about the new storyline, information that, sooner or later, you will probably have to read in the many previews and editorials about the game coming in the next months.

While few critics took the time to comment on this, the preceding installments of the series narrated a story about war and its meaning, and criticized the U.S. and richest countries' way of using war for political and economical reasons. In Metal Gear Solid 3, but also in Metal Gear Solid 2, it was shown how enemies can be turned into heroes - and vice versa - in the public opinion for reasons that have nothing to do with their real actions or morality. Heroes and enemies are made by the times, and they are often fed to the public through well-controlled media to create ignorance and generate fear. War is fought for reasons that are extraneous to the individual and his morality, reasons that can be comprehended only when war is seen as a business, when casualties become just statistics. Kojima talked about this, and arrived to the point of making very clear references to the war in Iraq in MGS3 (for example, in the shocking torture sequence, which echoed, even visually, facts and images from the Iraq war) - yet, unsurprisingly, few noticed or cared. Are gamers, reviewers, and critics deaf or blind to political messages in videogames? It's a fact that with his MGS series, Kojima is doing more than creating some of the best games we will ever play in our lives - he is criticizing the contemporary world, he is showing us a vision of what is really happening or could happen soon. The impression we got by watching the trailers of the new game was that Kojima is becoming more and more militant, more and more strong in the way he conveys his messages, and the artworks in the new E3 2006 official website of the Metal Gear Solid series confirm this.

A sense of finality runs through the two new trailers of Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns Of The Patriots. The game will take place in the Middle East. Solid Snake, apparently, will have to fight against his "long-time enemy"; the trailers suggest quite clearly that this enemy is none other than Liquid Ocelot (Revolver Ocelot with Liquid Snakes personality), but there are little doubts that the line separating enemies and heroes, good and evil, will be thinner than ever in Guns Of The Patriots. The Patriots, a sort of hidden power controlling the World Order, seemed like the true evil at the end of Metal Gear Solid 2, the game immediately preceding Metal Gear Solid 4 in the storyline of the series. Is it possible that Liquid and Solid, even if enemies, will have to join their last forces against the "Guns Of The Patriots", somewhere during the game?

Snake is once again the hero of Metal Gear Solid, but because of limits in the technology used to generate him from the DNA of Big Boss, his body is decaying at an alarming rate. Naomi Hunter, the medic that entered the series in Metal Gear Solid as part of Snake's support crew, tells Snake that he has no more than six months to live in one of the trailers. Snake looks old, but during the trailer he seems to get older and older; his death seems unavoidable, and the whole trailer suggests many times that this will really be old Snake's last mission. In the action sequences, Snake's body seems still vigorous, but that's probably thanks to the exoskeleton he wears in this new mission. The exoskeleton has many features that will obviously influence the gameplay, including prodigious mimetic functionality you can see in action in the second trailer, during a fight between Snake and two dreadful bipedal robots. Thanks to the exoskeleton, Snake is able to blend with the environment like a chameleon, and in some way, the exoskeleton seems also to lower his body temperature, as both robots are unable to find him using their thermal scanners.

Many of the most loved characters of the series will be back in Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns Of The Patriots. Otacon, Snake's inseparable ally and friend in the Metal Gear Solid saga, will play a primary role in the game, as one of the most touching scenes in the trailer suggests. Meryl Silverburgh, the heroine of Metal Gear Solid, will be back in this game. Apparently, the alternate ending of the Metal Gear Solid game in which Meryl died must be considered completely out of the MGS canon. In the trailer, Meryl wears a vest with the FOXHOUND mark, and she says, "We are the new FOXHOUND." Does this mean the FOXHOUND unit has been reinstated in Metal Gear Solid 4? Roy Campbell and Naomi Hunter will support Snake once again in his last mission. Revolver Ocelot, called Liquid Ocelot in the trailer, will be also back; he seems to be now completely possessed by Liquid Snake's personality because of the arm that was transplanted from Liquid Snake's corpse in Metal Gear Solid. Yet, Revolver Ocelot is probably the only true "bad guy" of the series, because of his loyalty to the Patriots which of the two Ocelots will prevail could be just another important storyline element of the new game, even though Ocelot's possession trough Liquid's arm is often considered one of the weakest storyline elements of the whole series. After Metal Gear Solid 3, Ocelot's possession was justified by many fans as a result of the psychic skills Ocelot inherited from his father, The Sorrow. Raiden also plays an important role in the second trailer, as he seems to have taken the role of the Ninja in previous games of the series; a complex exoskeleton now powers his body, and the katana has become his main weapon. At one point in the trailer, Raiden says, "My turn to protect you, Snake". During the conference, Kojima also stated that fans of the series will love Raiden in Metal Gear Solid 4.

Now, download the trailers and enjoy this first true glimpse of Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns Of The Patriots. Stay tuned for more information and images, and join the exciting discussion in our Metal Gear Solid forums.

:: Metal Gear Solid 3: Guns Of The Patriots Screenshots
:: Kojima Productions E3 2006 Website
:: E3 Insider: Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns Of The Patriots
:: SDP Multimedia, a freeware and spyware-free tool to help you fully download a streaming movie before watching it

(Posted: Tuesday, May 9, 2006, 8:25PM GMT)

- Harry

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