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

Type: PSP
Genre: Stealth Action
Developer: Kojima Productions

Metal Gear. The name has gone long ways since the game's first release in 1987. The most recent release, Metal Gear Solid 4 for the Playstation 3 was a masterpiece, period. But can Peace Walker follow up to MGS4? It does, and brings more to the table.

Plot

Set in after the events of Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater and Portable Ops in 1974, Naked Snake (Big Boss) is confused. After the killing of The Boss, his mentor who betrayed the U.S, he left America and established the Militaires Sans Frontieres, or Soldiers without Borders. Basically mercenaries, they help the people who needs missions done for them. But time, it's a big one for Snake. The CIA, of the U.S has invaded Costa Rica. And since Costa Rica's constitution states that they cannot maintain an army, they need Snake's M.S.F unit to solve the problem for them.

Gameplay

The last Metal Gear Solid game was great. It brought unique feature to the PSP, and to the Metal Gear Solid series. But the problem, were the controls. However, Peace Walker fixes most of those problems. They have introduced a new control configuration, more along the lines of MGS4. It's beautiful, the controls are just perfect for the PSP, even though there are lots of functions to know. But if you like the Portable Ops' controls more or the controls from the Monster Hunter series, you'll be able to change it anytime. Isn't that just great? I was probably jumping for joy when I saw those 3 controls.

Peace Walker is your normal MGS game, in terms of gameplay. You sneak around, shooting soldiers up with your tranquilizer gun, and sneak around in cardboard boxes, or even with a "tank' box. You can crouch to make yourself quieter, or even lie flat down on the ground to blend in with the environment. The goal is to be quiet, but you can go loud if you want to, though I really don't recommend it, because the guards are a bit on the smart side this time around, compared to Portable Ops. Snake's new CQC (Closer Quarters Combat) moves are incredibly awesome. Just sneak up on someone, press the right shoulder button, and you'll have him in a chokehold. But then you can do a brutal throw move, to knock him out. This game just promotes hand-to-hand combat. Not saying there aren't guns though. There are plenty, maybe too many for a PSP game. I don't know how Hideo Kojima squeezed in all this content of items, weapons and the other essential stuff into one small UMD.

Overall, the game looks and sounds fantastic. The lush, green jungles are alive with the nice textures, and wonderful sounds of birds chirping, water running, and the atmosphere of a jungle. There are far more environments than a jungle, and all are fantastically sexy.

Remember the unit that I told you about, the M.S.F? Not only are they essential to the story, but they're also essential to Snake and his team. You're constantly improving the M.S.F by capturing soldiers and persuading them to join your fight. We all did it in Portable Ops, but it's way more convenient this time around. Knock out a guy, attach a Fulton (balloon/parachute thing) and away he goes up to the sky to your helicopter. I'm addicted to it. Constantly I would push away the main plot to go on the extra operations, to just recruit soldiers/prisoners and pray that they're good as God. You can even scan for soldiers hiding in hidden access points around the world, you don't need Wi-Fi for this, all you need is your WLAN switch to be turned on, and the game will automatically scan for soldiers. All these soldiers go into divisions of the M.S.F such as development, intel, medical team, etc. Do this for 24 hours straight, you'll have a team that can overrun the army of Russia and the USA combined. It's just such a deep system, for a PSP game.

Missions are divided up by 2 categories, "Main-Ops" and "Extra-Ops". Main Ops are the missions for the plot of the game. Extra Ops are the extra missions not connected to the plot, in the way of "Special Ops" in Modern Warfare 2 on consoles. But it's better than that. There are over 100s of extra ops missions you can push yourself through, and you can find ammo, recruit soldiers, or even fight monsters from Monster Hunter (Hint, hint). You also get graded after every mission, based on how sneaky you were, and how much you took to finish the mission. I have plenty of times where I would get a C rating, and just curse at the game how hard it was to stay hidden. It's an encouraging system for you to do better in missions.

This game is just so incredibly deep. You find suits for Snake or your other operatives to wear, and each suit has ups and downs for a specific environment. A jungle suit would be green, and you would be camouflaged well in the environments of jungles. A battle suit would increase your defense, but not give you much of camouflage. The game focuses that much on these little things.


Multiplayer

There's nothing more fun than sneaking around in a cardboard box with 2 people. Because that's what you do in Peace Walker's multiplayer. The game only supports 4-player ad-hoc, both competitive modes as well as cooperative. Almost every mission, including the Main Ops or the Extra Ops can be played cooperatively. The game's already phenomenal plot gets even better with a friend helping you out. It's a blast. Don't be surprised if you have a friend over, but the only thing you'll be doing the whole night is playing Peace Walker cooperatively, and NOT letting the world into nuclear war.

Versus mode. Also too much fun. In the spirit of Metal Gear Online for the PS3, you and 5 of your friends can battle it up on the 10+ maps provided for you in the game. It's great, but not as great as co-op.

Last Few Words

You're probably drooling yourself to sleep right now, with this huge review. But I could go on forever about this game, without shortage of words. Peace Walker is the best PSP game, I played so far, and like I said, it's so deep. The experience rewards you when you do better, and the plot is so fantastic. It's another masterpiece crafted by the hands of Hideo Kojima, and me and him both, are on our knees, begging you to play this game, now.


Presentation: 10
Graphics: 10
Sound: 10
Gameplay: 10
Lifespan: 10
Overall: 10
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