Metal Gear Solid 4 vs. Metal Gear Solid V

Metal Gear Solid 4 vs. Metal Gear Solid V

Guns of the Patriots or Phantom Pain?

A.J. Maciejewski

Written by for Versus on

Before Hideo Kojima and Konami parted ways, the Metal Gear Solid series had a couple of mind-blowing final chapters so let's explore the gameplay and stories of each and see which snake comes out on top.

Photo of Metal Gear Solid 4 and Metal Gear Solid V
Who knew 2 games could contain so much epicness?

Gameplay

When I think of Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots' gameplay, the first word that comes to mind is variety. The first chapter (Liquid Sun) is set in the Middle East and introduces the player to the core gameplay which is very similar to Metal Gear Solid 3's although it's streamlined by making camouflage automated and adding the Solid Eye which displays useful information onscreen and allows you to see via night vision, etc. Third Sun has Snake sneak around a European city while tailing a target and Twin Suns takes place in Shadow Moses (Metal Gear Solid's setting) yet it's now out of commission with robotic killing machines scattered around. Plus, you get to control Metal Gear REX which is just awesome. Finally, Old Sun has you battle Liquid Ocelot in a grueling fist fight. Meanwhile, you'll encounter the different members of the Beauty and the Beast Unit in extremely tense and memorable boss fights throughout the campaign.

Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain is definitely less structured and allows for much more freedom. You basically traverse vast open areas in both Afghanistan and the Angola-Zaire border while taking on various missions. However, the most amount of fun you can have is by simply exploring and experimenting with what you can do. For example, you may see an enemy compound in the distance and think, "What would happen if I systematically killed every single person in there?" So, you hop on your horse, travel there, start sneaking in at a safe distance then plant a few explosives, slit some throats, and pick off the rest of the soldiers with a sniper rifle. What's that? A military vehicle is arriving? Good thing you put some C4 on the road so you can blow it up as soon as it drives over it. Man, it's so much fun. On top of all this, there's a Mother Base base-building component that has the potential to add dozens of hours of gameplay.

Although I absolutely love the variety of settings and gameplay in Metal Gear Solid 4, the amount of freedom and possibilities in Metal Gear Solid V makes me want to jump in whenever I think about playing it and see what sort of havoc I can create. As a result, it's safe to say that Metal Gear Solid V has the superior gameplay but Metal Gear Solid 4 is definitely great fun, especially with its amazing bosses.

Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots screenshot
Snake, infiltrate the enemy compound and take out Metal Gear Chicken once and for all!

Story

Many fans assumed that Metal Gear Solid 4 would be the final game in the series due to the fact that it wraps up the previous 3 games in a masterful way. As it does, it keeps throwing twists and turns throughout that will make your jaw drop. Anyway, Solid Snake (now referred to as Old Snake) goes on a globetrotting journey in order to assassinate Liquid Ocelot and stop his military operations company known as Outer Heaven. Along the way, you'll meet many characters from the past 3 games and it's simply incredible to see everyone again, be they friend or foe. I don't think any game has ever tied a series together as well as Metal Gear Solid 4 does.

All of that being said, Metal Gear Solid V released so 4 wasn't actually the final game. How does that work? Well, its story actually ties into the original Metal Gear game that released for MSX2 back in 1987. I guess that's one way to do it! Actually, it does so in an impressive way in that (spoilers!) Venom Snake is revealed to be the final boss of the original Metal Gear thus explaining how Big Boss survived for the events in Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake. Aside from this ingenious way to tie the whole franchise full-circle, Metal Gear Solid V's plot is interesting with plenty of stand-out moments but it doesn't even come close to the epicness of Metal Gear Solid 4's story.

Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain screenshot
Is this really the end? Time to play every Metal Gear game all over again!

After all is said and done, which left more of an impact: gameplay or story? Well, it's a tough one but the winner is...

Winner Metal Gear Solid 4

Even though I absolutely love Metal Gear Solid V and will play it whenever I want to cause some free-roaming chaos on the battlefield, Metal Gear Solid 4's campaign contains one of the most mind-blowing stories in video game history. When you factor in the huge cast of characters, the amount of variety in locations as well as gameplay, and the intense and unique boss fights, you're left with one unforgettable experience that'll stay with you for decades after you watch the end credits roll.

That's just my opinion. Agree? Disagree? Vote now!

Gameplay video playlist for Metal Gear Solid 4 vs. Metal Gear Solid V 19:10
Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty Trivia

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