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This is it. The conclusion to one of the most revered series of games in history. Enough hype for you? Well, Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots is nothing if not highly anticipated.
The game rounds out Hideo Kojima's epic story of Solid Snake, tying up all those niggling loose ends from previous games. The action takes place in a battle-scarred future in which huge multi national corporations battle for control using carefully chosen mercenaries (and big ol' robots) to do their bidding. Let's face it, we all know society's heading that way, so Kojima's already off to a good start. We see this world through the tired eyes of an aged Solid Snake, who must travel from the Middle East, to Europe and to South America to infiltrate key locations and, you know, win the day.
As ever, the emphasis is on stealth, with Snake creeping through his missions to complete tasks with the minimum possible violence. In fact, the greatest reward you can reap is for completing the game with zero kills. That's none. Who says games encourage violence?
The game is a deep, meaty and beautiful epic. In fact, the single player experience has so much to it that the multi player aspect has its own title - Metal Gear Online. The online component allows up to 16 players to compete in stealth combat, with teamwork heartily encouraged.
The game has many levels. On the one hand, it's a meditation on war, politics, society and what makes us tick. Don't forget, however, that it's also a rollicking shoot 'em up with painstakingly rendered graphics.