Parents' Guide to

Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots

By Chad Sapieha, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 18+

Philosophical action game definitely for adults.

Game PlayStation 3 2008
Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this game.

Community Reviews

age 12+

Based on 19 parent reviews

age 12+

Its ok, no one under 14 or 12 so should play it.

Its a good game, better than Halo. You play as a old soldier who is seeking to destroy Nuclear Weapons of Mass Destruction, and make the world safe. Its a hard game to follow if you want to understand the whole storyline and what the goal is. the main character's name is Solid Snake, who is old in this game unlike the others that star him. He smokes, and subtly uses the word D**n. He uses a drug that is more of a medicine, and there is at least a few real world brands mentioned. It IS a war game, but the main goal is to sneak past the enemy as to not set off the alarm. You do kill people, and the bosses may seem scary to younger people, and possess supernatural powers caused by a old experiment to make a better preforming soldier. It says in loading screens things about not to smoke and not to play video games for more than an hour without a break. There is blood, as you expect from a war game, and you can find some semi-nude pictures of ladies. I say anyone under 10 who hasn't played Halo or Call of Duty can't play until they are at least 14.

This title has:

Great role models
Too much violence
Too much consumerism
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
age 12+

Adult themes that should be introduced to Youth.

With the Metal Gear Solid series, everything said must be taken in context. I believe that the messages portrayed in the game should be exposed to kids, how the main protagonist Snake is always in an internal battle, how he realizes that his life of fighting is something that he does not wish upon anyone else and how his actions will potentially change the world for the better. In theory, this is on the same level of the piece of literature "To Kill a Mockingbird" in which it uses harsh language but to convey a strong message. It may be a bit violent for some yet the blood and general killings are there to convey a message. The third entry in the series did a much better step and actually placed you among those whom you killed in a segment, therefore the less you killed within the game, the easier the segment was to complete. I believe the Metal Gear Solid franchise always a good buy and that you should first play the game and then talk over the messages as it can create a diverse conversation. All in all, Snake is simply following the agenda of a government. He is a soldier following orders of a group, it is not the character that is evil or has a bad attribute, it is the organization that has used him. Snake is a positive role-model in the sense that his new role in MGS4 is to disarm the PMCs causing havoc in parts of the world. He is a peace-keeper whom is haunted by his past.

This title has:

Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (19):
Kids say (33):

As for the actual game, it's one of the most polished action experiences available for any platform. From the tiny manufacturer's print legible on soldiers' weapons and uniforms to the video-realistic animations of the game's characters, it's a stunning visual achievement. Graphics aside, the play is refined and highly addictive. New gear includes Snake's Octocamo suit, which turns the same color and texture of any object he leans up against, the Metal Gear Mark.II (a little robot companion that Snake can take control of to scout new areas and interface with colleagues), and the Solid Eye, which covers Snake's left peeper and provides players with night vision, zooming capabilities, and a smart heads-up display that identifies enemies and objects. Getting a feel for the relatively complex controls can be tricky, but an innovative instruction manual that walks players through the game's first mission via instructive comic book panels helps ease players new to the series into game's idiosyncratic mechanics. The sophisticated 16-player squad-based online mode is just the icing on the cake. PlayStation 3 hasn't had much in the way of exclusive mega-games up until now, but Metal Gear Solid 4 fills that void nicely.

Game Details

  • Platform: PlayStation 3
  • Available online?: Available online
  • Publisher: Konami
  • Release date: June 12, 2008
  • Genre: Action/Adventure
  • ESRB rating: M for Blood, Crude Humor, Strong Language, Suggestive Themes, Violence
  • Last updated: November 4, 2015

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