Date: 06-20-2010 04:41
Reviewer: ?

Type: PSP
Genre: Stealth Action
Developer: Kojima Productions

The new installment of the iconic Metal Gear series is here, and portable. I am of course speaking of the game that all PSP owners know about (unless you live under a rock), Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker. Does it stand up to the big, bad titles of the PSP? Find out in my review.

The Story


Peace Walker takes place after the events of Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater and Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops (although they only ever reference it once). So even if you missed out on Portable Ops you won't miss any of the story at all. Anyway the game begins off with a somewhat, dismantled Naked Snake (or Big Boss if you prefer). He killed his mentor and best friend, he got sent to prison, and betrayed his own country. What's a guy to do? Why build an army of course! But Snake takes it much further be builds a nation, the Militaires Sans Frontieres (Soldiers Without Borders). And so our story begins where will Snake go from here, you'll have to play the game to find out.

Controls

Granny always said, "if you don't play a game for the story, you play it for the gameplay." Fortunately that is where this game shines and aside from the few, minor, camera issues i had, I give the controls two thumbs up. Now, if you remember Portable Ops you will remember the innovative control scheme that was implemented to take "full control" of the PSP system. Unfortunately the camera angle took a few hours to get used to and maybe a new PSP. Peace Walker looks to change that with it's new "shooter style" control scheme. Mocking that of MGS4 (at least that's what they say, it is more along the lines of the Syphon Filter or Resistance PSP games). However the Portable Ops control scheme is there for those who wish it, there is even a control scheme that mocks the Monster Hunter series for fans of that. You'll have to play around with each one to find the one that fits you, I, personally, prefer the "shooter type".

Graphics and Sound

If you played Snake Eater, than Peace Walker will be all too familiar in terms of graphics. The lush green jungles, the cold hard concrete floors. Even the characters look and move great. It's something you have to experience rather than be told about.

The sound is, well its actually pretty good. The exclamation sound, the familiar "Huh?" coming from enemies. The classic noises and sounds are still there and still awesome. Moving on the best part of the Metal Gear sound, is the music. The music in this game is phenominal. Snake even has a brand new revolution in portable music playing that you can carry around with you (and listen to) on mission. The walkman, filled with many a song, and casn be upgraded to hold more songs, it's a great little device when you feel the need for a more epic boss fight.

Gameplay

Remember back in the day when Snake would sneak up behind a guy and snap his neck, or cut his throat... those were the days. Unfortunately Peace Walker had to go all "politically correct" and in return received a T rating. Meaning no blood, not snapping of necks, and no slitting throats... but you can still shoot them in the face :). Anyway the core gameplay of Peace Walker is fun. Nothing really new (aside from the CO-OPS actions but we'll get to that later), to be honest nothing really "wowed" me. Don't get me wrong it is still a blast to play but I've seen this all before. If you have played Guns of The Patriots or Portable Ops your not missing much. Sneak around... get to the exit... neutralize the guards neutralize the vehicle. It's all there in its stealthy goodness.

Now on to some of the new mechanics they have introduced. Remember back in Portable Ops, knock out a soldier then slowly and painfully drag him back to the truck to recruit him? We'll that feature is back. Only this time, recruiting a soldier takes about two seconds not two minutes. They have an amazing new thing called the Fulton recovery system, just hook it on to an enemy after knocking him/her out and whoozsh up they go into the air. This effectively recruits them to your team where you can place them into a number of teams. There is R&D, Combat, Mess Hall, Medical, Intel, etc. All these teams help Snake on his quest to take over the world (we all know he secretly wants to). Again seen it before. Sure it's tweaked up and polished a bit but the core mechanic is basically the same.

Peace Walker is based upon mission. Divided into Main-Ops and Extra-Ops. Main-Ops, obviously, pertaining to the story and Extra-Ops pertaining to fun. After each mission your performance is ranked into C, B, A, or S. Finishing certain missions with and S-ranking will effectively unlock other mission and equipment. Along with your ranking you will gain (or lose) Heroism. Enough Heroism will unlock soliders, equipment, and Battle Crys.

Along with all the Peace Walker introduces something brand new. Battle Crys. Along the course of the game you will unlock little sayings. These are known as "CO-OPS Comms" gain enough Heroism and they will have special effects, such as recovering life. Along with those there are plenty of costumes for you to unlock, many with special abbilities.

Lifespan


Peace Walker will keep you going thats for sure. The Main-Ops will take you an average amount of time to beat, with the option to keep going back for better ratings, and the Extra-Ops will keep you up all night. Currently I have over 100 hours plugged into that game and I still haven't beaten all the missions. Plus DLC has been annoucned for the game, opting for even more mission later on.

Multiplayer

Ah multiplayer basically the only reason for playing games nowadays. Peace Walker tries it really does. Don't get me wrong multiplayer is fun, but it's Ad-Hoc only. Honestly for a game that emphasizes multiplayer as much as Peace Walker, having only Ad-Hoc is an Epic Fail. Anyway, mulitplayer features include Versus Ops (pretty self-explanatory) and you also have the ability to play any mission from Main or Extra-Ops (excluding a few) with your friends. Playng with your friends levels up your Comraderie. The more Comraderie the better you will perform with that buddy. Trading soldiers is also available, but still Ad-Hoc only, and you can also send players items, again Ad-Hoc only. In the end Multiplayer makes a good attempt, but fails at the fact that it is Ad-Hoc only.

Final Thoughts

Overall Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker is a must own for any and all PSP owners. Set aside it's short-comings and you will find a phenomenal game. It is rewarding, has great production value, and (like I said) it tries, it really does. Regardless, Peace Walker is one of (if the the) best PSP games to date.

Story: 8
Control: 8
Graohics and Sound: 10
Gameplay: 9
Lifespan: 10
Multiplayer: 7
Overall: 8.7
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