What other games should learn from Metal Gear's boss battles

Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots bosses (PS3, 2008)

Metal Gear Rex vs. Metal Gear Ray

Why it's a brilliant boss battle: It’s two 100-foot robots kicking the shit out of each other. You do the math.

Oh hells yes! After fighting them for the best part of 20 years, Snake finally gets to jump in the cockpit of one of the nuclear dastards that have made him and his mullet famous. And screw us sideways, if it wasn't worth the wait.

Amazingly, even though the game pits two massive robots against each other in a pretty tight space, the fight rarely becomes a clusterf*ck. Admittedly, its not quite a night at the ballet. But it's still smoother and more graceful than you'd expect from two objects that weigh more than Texas.

Even though the awesome moves and scale of the fight are pretty much unrivalled, the impact is as much about pacing as it is payoff. Coming after an hour of quiet self-reflection, as you wander through a desolate Shadow Moses ten years after visiting the island in MGS, having a massive fight between killer robots is a revelation. And a friggin' amazing one at that. We've rarely seen any game touch this sort of spectacle outside God of War, and it's something any game would benefit from.

Liquid Ocelot

Why it's a brilliant boss battle: It's the ultimate piece of fan service

Kojima might have made us sit through precisely 134 hours of really talky cutscenes, but he doesn't half know how to finish a game. Paying tribute to every Metal Gear Solid that came before it, Patriot's final battle takes in the music from each, as Snake fights a schizophrenic Liquid.

Taking the player back to some of the series most memorbale moments with just a few simple music cues is cap-doffing genius of the highest order. If more game series showed as much respect and reference to their past titles as MGS4, we might actually start to care when Generic Hard Man Action Game 6 refers to something that happened in Generic Hard Man Action Game 4. We can but hope.

Read more opinions about boss battles in this feature that asks why most of them are a bit shit. You can also hear us rambling about them in this week's Talkradar UK. And feel free to share your fave Metal Gear moments in the comments below.

Apr 29, 2010


  • Ganonpork - June 7, 2010 9:44 p.m.

    The loved boss of GOTP was interesting. also in gotp vamp was annoying but very unique and cool.
  • JackSkellingtonsSkin - May 3, 2010 3:35 p.m.

    @Satu She says that about 200 hundred times in the game, I'm actually really glad I forgot. Stupid bitch.
  • darkdispatch523 - May 1, 2010 11:08 a.m.

    For the TRUTH go to::
  • Metroidhunter32 - May 1, 2010 12:55 a.m.

    After the fight with the Boss a lesser dev would have done a cinimatic camera spin and do a close up on snakes face as he pulls the trigger. Hideo gives you the controler. There is only one option, but it makes the fight memorable.
  • bioboy725 - April 30, 2010 11:48 p.m.

    In the end boss battle i got kind of annoyed because i had no clue how to find his sniper spots. i just stayed down hiding or running like a lunatic until i saw him or he saw me and gave himself away.
  • AbigCAT - April 30, 2010 8:42 p.m.

    Yes, MGS is awesome, butGR, have you heard any news about the new raiden based game. i think its subtitled lightning bolt action?
  • BlueCroup - April 30, 2010 5:36 p.m.

    Great article Meiks I always remember the section with SniperWolf in MGS, but the series had some truly epic encounters, mad eup for all the bullshit
  • philipshaw - April 30, 2010 1:30 p.m.

    Great article and I just beat MGS3 last night for the 3rd time. MGS3 has the best run of boss battles in the series
  • AgentHonor - April 30, 2010 7:11 a.m.

    Dont forget the battle with the Hind D in MGS. that was a "Oh Crap" moment for me. I also liked the Young Ocelot battle. Although not really a boss battle, the Raiden vs Vamp while you shoot at Gekkos is really cool.
  • shinigamiDude - April 30, 2010 6:34 a.m.

    How about the crocodiles from MGS 3?
  • TheWebSwinger - April 30, 2010 4:36 a.m.

    god I f*ckin love this series, and this article by association. Seriously, I friggin bleed Metal Gear.
  • BlackElement17 - April 30, 2010 2:21 a.m.

    Loved all of those battles, if they just refined the mechanics for the final Guns of the patriots battle it would have been a perfect end to the series.
  • masterj2k11 - April 30, 2010 1:09 a.m.

    I love the mgs series. It stands out cause for the first two years it was out I didn't get it. I could never even get to the elevator in the begining. But I kept coming back and my dad finally showed me its a sneaking game and when I got to that elevator I was hooked. This is one of the best crafted video game series of all time. The story is a little far fetched. Some cutscenes are long. But every ounce of gameplay is perfection. The boss battles are epic, though a little too repeticious in mgs4 (except for rex vs. Ray). This is how all games series should be done. It is like a tarintino movie. For fans only and dosent take itself too seriously. Well I guess that is enough kojima ego stroking and mgs fanboyism for now. Ill go back to whacking it to peace walker screens.
  • iJizzLots - April 30, 2010 1:08 a.m.

    Rex vs Ray was one of the most sluggish, broken and down right boring boss battles I've ever played. Sure the experience was cool, but the gameplay didnt hold up. You want robot vs robot? Buy Armored Core, if you can get over the mediocre reviews from people who bitch about "too much customization," you'll find yourself in one of the best mech games this gen
  • Cyberninja - April 30, 2010 12:09 a.m.

    i think you just sold another copy of mgs colletion
  • Satu - April 30, 2010 12:09 a.m.

    @sithlord4 It's the anniversary of the day Raiden and Rose met and the day George Washington was inaugurated as the first president of the U.S. in 1789 at Federal Hall.
  • 510BrotherPanda - April 30, 2010 12:05 a.m.

    I'm glad Meiks got to put his "Dream QoTW" in writing. It was great! I haven't beaten even the first MGS yet, though.
  • Sithlord4 - April 29, 2010 11:39 p.m.

    @Satu April 30th, is there something important about it?
  • CH3BURASHKA - April 29, 2010 11:05 p.m.

    Although the MGS2 katana battle was a cool new mechanic that kind of put everything on its head, I didn't enjoy it as a final battle. It was worth the final cutscene, though. I love that jazz song...
  • Satu - April 29, 2010 10:52 p.m.

    @JackSkellingtonsSkin Today is April 29th, the day the Big Shell portion of MGS2 takes place. And we all remember Rose and her incessant question. Not that I remember this and make a point of asking everyone "do you know what tomorrow is?" repeatedly every year or anything.

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