If most video games are the equivalent of comic books, with their Bang! Pow! action and bright, saturated colors, then Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots is more like "War and Peace." Giant, involved, plodding and, yes, at times even confusing, MGS4 will surely be loved by those familiar with the epic series. For anyone late to the train, don't even try to jump on now, you'll just end up confused and bored.
In MGS4, the final battle of the super soldier known as Solid Snake relies on too many slow-paced cut screens to move the story along. Every little scene is almost twice as long as it needs to be; for example, Snake finds a rusty oil drum and studies it for about 30 seconds, looking at it from all sides. Yeah, Snake, you can hide in it, just like inside the cardboard box from past MGS games. Just pick it up and move on already.
Plodding cut screens aside, the graphics are spectacular, even if controlling Snake isn't as easy as it once was. (We remember spending what seemed like days making our way through MGS2 without nearly as much frustration as this.) And the story has such a cinematic feel that there are even trailers that play at the game's start, just like at the multiplex.