E For All: MGS4 Hands-On
Expo report on the final chapter of MGS.
Article by Edward Boyke (Email)
November 7th 2007, 07:32PM
E for All Expo, L.A. Convention Center -- The Metal Gear Solid 4 compound in Konami's booth might have been fortified enough to keep out ol' Solid Snake himself. A faux barbed wire fence with a prominent "NO PHOTOS NO VIDEOS" sign ringed the demo area, and even during the media-only portion of the day, the wait in line ranged from one to two hours. But once you had paid the price to infiltrate outer heaven, you were well rewarded with a 30 minute experience. First up was a fifteen minute presentation by Fernando Bustamante, MGS4's U.S. product manager, and then the good stuff: a fifteen minute hands-on session with the game.
Inside the presentation bunker (themed out with camouflage netting and sandbag chairs), Bustamante explained that the version of the demo on display was debuting for the first time at E4, and featured all-new improvements to the camera, as well as refinements in gameplay and visuals. He quickly ran down the game's controls, handing each attendee a pre-retail Dual Shock 3 controller. In a nutshell:
Snake moves with the left analog stick, and there was a fully 3D camera assigned to the right analog stick. The X button crouches Snake if you tap it once and sends him into a cover crawl when held. The triangle is a context-sensitive button that allows Snake to lean against walls, hide in boxes/dumpsters/barrels, drag bodies, and pick up items, among other functions. Square toggles manual aim or auto-aim mode. Circle is used to crawl underneath obstacles. The L1 button aims a weapon while R1 fires it. If Snake was unarmed, R1 could be held near an enemy to activate "CQC," Close Quater Combat. That means stabbing, choking, pickpocketing or knocking out a foe. L2 and R2 are used for scrolling through items and weapons, respectively. Hitting start brings up the overhead map, which now features three dimensional "block buildings."