11. The Art of Stealth
It can’t be emphasized enough; stealth is the key to success in MGS4, just as it was in all previous installments. Certainly there will be times when direct aggression is best or unavoidable – especially in your first playthrough – but for the most part it’s vital that you learn the art of sneaking. How you move and the stance you adopt is of paramount importance. Though there will be occasions when it’s safe for you to run upright without a care in the world, you’ll usually find that it’s best to adopt either the crouch-walk or crawl stance. Bear in mind, though, that you’re far from immune to detection when crouch-walking – it can still be rather noisy, with the reduced Camo rating reflecting Snake’s increased visibility.
Trust your senses and let your ears be your guide. If you can hear Snake pattering across a wooden floor, then so can the enemy. Slow it down, and above all be patient. Crawling is always more effective than crouching in stealth situations. With your body flattened to the floor, making regular pauses to enable the OctoCamo to adapt to new surfaces, you can easily maintain a Camo rating in excess of 65%, even while moving. On the downside, you’re slower to react when crawling on your belly, especially if you’re attacked from close range.
Observation of the enemy is another key aspect of effective sneaking. It won’t matter in the slightest how quiet you are if you inadvertently stumble directly into the path of a patrolling soldier. Take time to observe the enemy’s patterns of movement from behind cover. Careful observation should enable you to figure out when to move and when to stay put. Whether you wish to use this information to bring targets down silently, or merely sneak past when their back is turned, is entirely up to you. It’s also prudent to make use of the gadgets and objects at your disposal. For example, Metal Gear Mk. II is a vital tool for scouting an area without attracting unnecessary attention.
As far as weapons are concerned, nothing arouses the attention and ire of surrounding troops like a deafening hail of machine gun fire. It’s no good diligently crawling with care in full camouflage gear, only to bring the enemy swarming to your position with an ill-judged salvo of bullets. Use of silenced weapons or CQC is absolutely essential. One well-aimed headshot or smoothly-executed CQC attack will fell your quarry instantly and silently, but botched attacks or poor marksmanship can give your target the chance to call for help. A headshot is also more potent with anesthetic weapons – it generally results in a swift takedown, with enemies losing consciousness instantly.
Your Solid Eye’s Night Vision function can be extremely effective when it comes to tracking enemy movements, as it reveals the footprints left by patrolling guards. Don’t overuse NV, though, as it actually emits a low noise while active, and may alert a sharp-eared soldier.
Article by: Piggyback Interactive Limited