What Were They Thinking?: Metal Gear Solid 4

Video games are a medium filled with lousy stories, absurd scenarios and otherwise ridiculous plot points. That said, there are also some real gems out there. The sort that rise above the stupidity of their brethren and prove that yes, gaming can be a real, honest-to-goodness medium for storytelling. Sadly, few can do this perfectly. Even in the best games there are those moments where you just have to sit back and wonder what they were thinking.

This week: Metal Gear Solid 4


Honestly, if we wanted to we could probably do a piece on every single one of the Metal Gear Solid games. Be it the original’s “love on a battlefield” conversation. The nauseating discussions between Rose and Raiden in MGS2, or… well… no Metal Gear Solid 3 was pretty good in these regards.

Anywho, out of all the bizarre things that the Metal Gear Solid games hoist upon gamers, the worst I think is Raiden’s transformation in MGS4.

Now granted, Raiden wasn’t exactly a prize before MGS4. When we meet him in Metal Gear Solid 2, he is the pansy foil to Solid Snake’s monstrous coolness. We traded in a grizzled, mullet-wearing, stubble-bearing super soldier for a clean shaven, long haired blonde that looked like he’d feel comfortable in a schoolgirl uniform. Wear Snake took his trials with a tough skinned grunt, Raiden talked about his emotions at nearly every opportunity.

Fans hated him almost unequivocally.

Then Metal Gear Solid 4 comes around and Raiden returned with vengeance, ditching his boy band persona and replacing it with a sullen loner attitude and set of cybernetically enhanced swords skills that had him leaping, slashing and hacking with the best of them.

And then they went overboard.

When we first meet Raiden in MGS4, he’s whipping around knocking the tar out of some Metal Gear wannabes. MGS2 baddie Vamp shows up, and after one spectacular duel Raiden is fighting for his life. We have established that there are limits to his abilities yes?

It would seem not.

Later on in the game, Snake it seems is finished. His wounds, coupled with the effects of his premature aging have left him at the mercy of Liquid Ocelet who is now charging him down with Arsenal Gear. Arsenal Gear, in case you aren’t versed in this, is a massive warship. It should go without saying that a single human being, no matter what enhancements are running under the hood, should be helpless against a boat dwarfing the Titanic.

But no, in comes Raiden fresh from cutting off his own arm, and he is able to single handedly (no pun intended) stop the ship. He literally positions himself between the giant freaking warship and Solid Snake and through sheer force of will it would seem, is able to stop its charge long enough for Snake to escape.

The boat eventually does crush Raiden, but even that’s not the end of him! No, rather he just loses his other arm and actually returns to help Snake again fighting with a sword in his teeth. IN HIS TEETH.

If you thought this was cool when you saw this then I can only deduce that you are either a 10-year old boy, or a moron. Granted, Metal Gear Solid is a franchise that routinely bends the accepted laws of reality, but this is just too much. Were Kojima and company really sodesperate to make him cool that they had to resort to such antics? This kind of stuff wouldn’t pass in an Uwe Boll film, not to mention one of the most revered video game franchises ever made.

Maybe they should have just taken a note from Solid Snake himself. You know what make’s Snake cool? His resolve. Even as his body is literally falling apart he presses on. He’s the sort of person we all wish we could be, trucking on against the impossible. All the stunts they tried with Raiden, they all pale when compared to Snake’s romp through the microwave hall at the end of the game. Snake is cooler walking a straight line then Raiden is fighting off legions of soldiers with a sword in his teeth.

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11 Responses to What Were They Thinking?: Metal Gear Solid 4

  1. squiggy says:

    lol @ trying too hard to bash a game nobody even plays anymore. MGS has always been full of shit like that. This game was no different than the others before it, just bigger. Just because you don’t like it, doesn’t mean something’s wrong with it. Maybe 3 sequels were enough for you. No, no, it must be the game.

  2. matt says:

    you may bad mouth for radian surviring all of that stuff but you have to remember it nanobot technology and on top of that he stops the war ship by the help of his katnia which he stabs though his foot and into the ground. So if your going to write somting make sure you do all your reaseach first.

  3. Aaron says:

    I loved raiden in MGS4. Solid Snake will always be cooler though. Oh, and *matt*, you sound stupid and can’t spell.

  4. stewie32887 says:

    So it’s the nanotechnology, huh? That’s what you want to go with? Really? Question. If nanotechnology is the magic, can do anything stuff, why didn’t Snake use it more. Sure we see him use it keep his degrading body going a bit longer, but why wouldn’t he just set himself up with the same voodoo juice Raiden is hopped up and smash Liquid Ocelet to bits? Heck, why didn’t he just use it to turn himself into Godzilla? Wouldn’t that have been cool?

    Actually, I love the Metal Gear Solid games and thought MGS4 was a piece of brilliance. A near perfect close to the Solid Snake saga. That’s the wonderful thing about viewing the world with the mentality of an adult. You can dislike certain details of something but still enjoy it as a whole.

  5. MGS Fan says:

    Ok, while I understand what you’re getting at Stewie, I think you failed to see the Connection. In MGS1, Grey Fox saves Snake by stopping a Metal Gear. In MGS4, Raiden, the “replacement” for Grey Fox, does the same. It’s a throwback.

    Plus, if you’re going to pick on anything in MGS4 for jumping the shark, it’s got to be the “living” Big Boss. Not the end, the body that was supposedly still alive…

  6. koloco9 says:

    The phrase “Jumping the shark” doesn’t fit your argument. You title should have been, I Don’t Like Raiden, He Thinks He’s Cooler Than Me.

  7. stewie32887 says:

    Well, let it never be said that I don’t listen to feedback. After reading several comments and looking up “jumping the shark” a bit further, I have decided to change the name of this bit to “What Were They Thinking?”

    It’s not quite as catchy, but I think it gets the point across just as well and isn’t quite as specific as “jump the shark.”

    Essentially, what I’m going for are just moments of utter stupidity in otherwise great games.

    Thanks for all you who gave real feedback!

  8. koloco9 says:

    By the way I didn’t dislike Raiden in MGS2 except for the drawn out soap opera w/ Rose. You could chalk that up to Japanese storytelling .

  9. matt says:

    @stewie32887 even though they both use nanotechnology one is still a old human while the other has transformed himself into a robotic ninja enabling him to survive more then what most people could possibley do.

    • stewie32887 says:

      So we’re supposed to believe that earlier in the game a fight with Vamp nearly kills him, but being crushed by a gigantic warship is something he can survive? Granted, Vamp hurt him good, but I’m relatively sure having your body smushed by an object rougly a hundred thousand times your size would rank a bit higher.

      It was a sloppy moment injected for the sake of making Raiden look “cool.” Honestly, I think koloco9 had it right, had they just dropped the soap opera stuff from MGS2, Raiden probably would have been fine.

  10. SilentWolf-XIII says:

    In regards to the “Raiden is still fail” theory going on here. No, I felt he had something like this coming since MGS2, granted, some of the theatrics could be less law breaking, but remember, the year is 2014 in the game. With time and the new age coming along, whose to say that alot of people couldn’t be doing the same thing, especially with the government working on the “Super Soldier” genes, and Japan working on their technology at an alarming rate. BTW everyone, I’ve got word on a surprise from the Japanese in 2022, keep an ear open and your eyes shut.
    Continuing, my first time playing MGS2, I thought they were just trying to make a spinoff of Solid Snake, I was already worried so when they had introduced Liquid in MGS1. But, I digress, things did turnout for the better with the release of MGS4, I felt it was more informative than the other games EVER have been. Aside from MGS3 and Snake’s Revenge, they had no point to this plot really.

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