The official Metal Gear Solid 4 guide was released in two versions: a regular paperback release and a hardcover collector’s edition version. This is the second one. The collector’s edition has some additional content as well, to be specific: a numbered lithograph by Yoji Shinkawa and a 16 page ‘Solid Snake Art’ chapter at the end, featuring a selection of the best art from the series. It was co-published in North-America in 2008 by Piggyback Interactive and Prima Games.
The over 225-page guide is divided into 6 parts, not counting the foreword by Hideo Kojima or the index at the end:
1. How to Play
4. Metal Gear Online
6. Art Works
The contents are as follows:
Foreword: Written by Hideo Kojima himself. It also features a black and white photo on the opposite page.
How to Play: An in-depth look at the basics of the game, such as the controls, HUD and gameplay fundamentals.
Walkthrough: This is the main part of the guide. An extensive walkthrough of the entire game, area by area, featured color images, detailed maps, character profiles, alternative strategies and more.
Inventory: Detailed information on every weapon, camouflage and other item in the game.
Metal Gear Online: A section dedicated to the online component of the game, featuring basic explanations, tips, maps and other info.
Extras: Information on all optional aspects of the game, such as flashbacks, emblems, secret items and easter eggs. Especially interesting are the pages at the end, containing info on the whole story arch of the series, as well as an extensive interpretation.
Art Works: several pages of art work by Yoji Shinkawa that show Snake’s evolution from the original Metal Gear Solid up until MGS4.
The collector’s edition guide comes with a numbered lithograph by Yoji Shinkawa. It features a beautiful print of Old Snake, and on the back of the paper is the number (this specific one is 33.709 of the 43.ooo).
What really makes this guide stand out are the extras at the end. Artworks, a recap of the whole story over several pages, and an interesting interpretation of the game’s story help this book become more than a simple guide for when you’re stuck. It really is a complete documentation. Of course, the nice presentation also helps to enjoy this book. A stylish hard cover with shiny lettering, big, colorful pages filled with information and illustrations, and last but not least an impressive looking artwork by Yoji Shinkawa of a limited print. It’s the perfect guide for a fan to have in his collection and leaf through. A must have for every Metal Gear fan.
The Complete Official Guide to Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots
Published in North America, by Piggyback Interactive Limited & Prima Games