Metal Gear Solid 4 - in-depth details

All-new controls and moves
CQC (Close Quarters Combat) is no longer on the Circle button like in MGS3, but on the main fire button (R1) - with a different technique for each CQC-enabled weapon. Truth told, it’s a bit clumsier, but supposedly more flexible. You can use the right stick to modify your attack, but this wasn’t that easy to perform in the demo. In fairness, CQC was way too powerful in MGS3, so maybe it’s for the best.

The dilemma: Slash, or choke?
Sneak up behind and clasp your foe with a choke hold and drag him along. You can then flip him around and threaten to slice his throat, or alternatively wrestle him to the floor and slowly choke him into submission. How humane.

Above: We swear, Snake is “choking” him

The grab n’ shove
Grab an enemy as usual, then use the right stick to prime a surprise shove attack, instantly knocking out your foe so you can hide him in a locker.

The hold up
When you’ve got a guard in a CQC choke hold, you can either use him as a human shield, slit his throat (as we kept doing despite our best efforts not to - honestly), or knock him to the floor and then perform a hold-up technique, like dangling your gun’s sight over his private parts until he gives up his items and weapons. Don’t worry sickos, you can still off him at any time when he’s paid up.

Aim free
When navigating the environment, you can flip between aiming over the left or right shoulder - useful depending on your cover.

Present danger
You can give rations to friendly militia, and they’ll reward you with weapons, like the Petrobomb. Gotta love the accompanying heart icon.

Metal Gear Online
For our final tidbit, a brief teaser of what multiplayer will offer: a 16-player virtual war - or, at least, a trial version of it, will be bundled free with MGS4. MGO’s teams use skills from MGS4 including CQC, the Mk II and even barrels to win battles. You’ll be able to ‘hack’ fallen soldier’s nanomachines to locate their buddies and signal the whereabouts of your stricken chums in need of help.

Be sure to check out yesterday’s hands-on preview if you haven’t already.