Metal Gear Solid 4 - first look

20 minutes of gameplay demoed

Hideo Kojima said he would show Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots gameplay soon - and he was true to his word. At Sony Computer Entertainment's PlayStation Premiere press conference in Tokyo today, he gave a 20-minute gameplay demonstration of the title. And yes, as if you had to ask - it looks great.

First things first - it still looks like a Metal Gear Solid game. The weapon and item inventories are present on the sides of the screen as before, and the main view is a third-person, top-down perspective. Graphically, however, it's a big leap forward.

Kojima's demo was played in the same Middle-Eastern location we've seen in the trailers. The buildings are all uniquely damaged and so the environments look that much more believable. There was a conflict taking place between a military presence and civilian guerrillas and Snake is able to help either side - or neither if you prefer. We still don't know how this will affect the story - whether taking sides will produce entirely different plotlines - but it's an interesting inclusion.