With the imminent launch of the PlayStation 3 in China, we have obtained a review copy of the Chinese version of Metal Gear Solid 4 that has been renamed to Metal Gear Solid: The Patriots.
Spoilers for Metal Gear Solid 4 lie ahead. You have been warned.
This version of MGS4 has many things altered so gamers will not need to understand the plots of the previous Metal Gear Solids that were never released in China. In order to pass Chinese government standards, the plot has also been drastically rewritten in order not to offend the Chinese public.
One of the most major changes to the plot is that Solid Snake now works for the government instead of fighting against them. Amazingly, this change makes more sense to players as Ocelot, the main antagonist, was also working to destroy the government in the original version. This change causes the ending to make more sense as the end of the original MGS4 gives zero reason for Snake to kill Ocelot. Other plot lines that have been removed include the Patriots, FOXDIE, the Shadow Moses incident, and nanomachines.
Many characters have been changed or removed out right. Here is a run-down of the major changes made:
- Campbell: Now an old Chinese man who gives advice to Snake through the Codec.
- Otacon: Removed completely due to claims that raising a child with Snake appeared to promote the homosexual agenda.
- Sunny: Removed completely as Chinese players did not enjoy raising a small, female child.
- Mei Ling: Now Snake’s new partner due to Otacon’s removal.
- EVA: Removed completely as she gives a bad name to actual Chinese spies.
- Vamp: Removed completely due to promoting homosexuality.
- Big Boss: Removed completely to make the plot simpler.
- Naomi: Removed completely to make the plot simpler.
- Meryl: Unchanged
- Raiden: Unchanged
- Rosemary: Unchanged
- Johnny: Unchanged
Here is also a quick run-down of each of the chapters of the game; most of the plot has remain untouched with only a few changes added for plot reasons:
- Liquid Sun: Snake is dying from a mysterious old-age illness. He is called upon by Campbell one last time to stop Ocelot from taking over the world. Ocelot is spotted in the Middle East and Snake goes there to assassinate him. He fails as Ocelot releases a biochemical in the air that causes all the soldiers to go insane.
- Solid Sun: Ocelot is spotted in South America and Snake meets with the legendary mechanical soldier Raiden to help track him down. Ocelot sends out many Metal Gear Gekko as he escapes. Raiden is severely injured in the fight and he tells Snake to go to Europe to find a doctor to cure him.
- Third Sun: Snake heads to Europe to find the doctor. Ocelot has political control over Europe so Snake must sneak around to find him. He finds Meryl in Europe and helps Snake take down Ocelot after finding the doctor. Ocelot uses the biochemical again and also uses an electromagnetic pulse to disrupt all communications between soldiers. He escapes again.
- Twin Suns: This chapter has been removed altogether.
- Old Sun: Mei Ling spots Ocelot’s warship, Outer Haven, where he has been terrorizing people. Snake, Meryl and Raiden all infiltrate the warship and attempt to locate Ocelot on the boat. Mei Ling commands the navy to fight Ocelot’s fleet to distract him. Snake goes through a microwave corridor and finds an elevator. Ocelot was waiting for him at the top and the final battle takes place.
- Naked Sin: Meryl marries Johnny and Mei Ling explains to everyone that Snake went to find a doctor to help him get better. In reality, Snake goes to a graveyard and commits suicide as his body has deteriorated to the point where he can not keep living.
- Naked Son: This chapter does not exist anymore either.
We reached out to Hideo Kojima about talk about the changes. Kojima says that he “oversaw every change and approved every modification they made”. He also claims that the new version “makes more sense than the original Metal Gear Solid 4″ and that he is “pleased with what they came up with”. He hopes Chinese players will appreciate the game more than Japanese or American players.
“I might just make this the definitive version of MGS4; it’s just that much better,” says Kojima.