Review by Bkstunt_31
"A portable metal gear story. How much more could you ask for?"
Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops brings classic, Playstation style espionage to your PSP. It is very different than the Psp's previous Metal Gear titles (Acid and Acid 2) and goes back to what first made Metal Gear popular: classic stealth action.
The story is outstanding! It follows in Metal Gear Solid 3's story line, as a direct sequel. You'll find yourself controlling Big Boss as he finds himself in a prison compound in South America. You will have to unravel why your there, and try to discover who the major players are in this game of espionage and double-crossing.
The story can be pretty hard to piece together in the beginning, but as you progress further into it, you will understand it more and more. It is presented in a rather unique fashion, very similar to the Metal Gear Solid digital novel that was released before the game, with many cutscenes spread throughout your mission.
The gameplay is very similar to the original Metal Gear Solid, with more of a "teamwork" aspect. First of all, you will be required to capture enemy soldiers throughout the game, and after awhile, you can convince them to join your team. Doing this will let you use them in the field, to do your sneaking missions for you. You can also use them as spies, medics, or tech units. You will need many recruits to fill our your ranks, in order to do everything there is in the game.
The gameplay is largely influenced by the story, as you will find yourself needing to interrogate a certain person, or sneak to a certain place to proceed in the game. How you accomplish these missions is entirely up to you. You can go in with guns blazing, or you can try to be as stealthy as possible. The number of things you can do while your out on a mission is very impressive. You really do need to read the manual to learn them all. Also, CQC (Close-Quarters Combat) returns from MGS3, which gives you alot of freedom with how you want to handle enemy soldiers.
The gameplay is very addictive, yet very forgiving. If you find yourself dead, or about to die, you can always pause and choose to restart or quit the mission.
The graphics are nothing less than amazing. Very well done, everything looks very sharp and crisp. Big boss looks great, as well as all of the other characters designs. All of the characters movements and motions are very well done and fluid. The environments in the game look very life-like (as they need to be so you can interact with them). I'm not sure what else to say here, I really can't find any flaws with the graphics. The only thing that was a little shaky was the camera controls in narrow corridors. They could make it hard to navigate, but it's not very hard to overcome that.
You can choose to do each mission in the day or at night, also. I think they did a great job on the lighting effects. I particularly enjoyed all of the story's cutscenes, they not only looked magnificent but really draw you into the plot.
Music & Sound effects: 8/10
Most of the time, there isn't going to be any music playing. This really isn't a bad thing, however, as your going to need the silence sometimes to sneak past an enemy. There are times, though, when you'll get to hear some nice music, especially near the end of the game (which has an outstanding orchestral piece). If your not very good at being stealthy, be prepared to hear the alert music quite a bit.
The sound effects play a big part in the gameplay itself. You have a radar in the upper right-hand corner which displays how loud your being, and enemies can detect you if your being too loud. You can use this to your advantage though, since you can knock on walls to attract the guards attention. I found all of the sound effects to be quite good.
The voice acting is also well done. David Hayter once again voices Snake. I'm sure you will enjoy all of the dialogue in the game.
Re-playability & Other features: 9/10
There's alot to love about this game, and all of the extra features just add to it. There are around two dozen extra "special" characters you can play as. You can access all of these characters by completing certain tasks in the game, or by entering in a password in the main menu. Some of them you won't be able to use unless you start a new game. You can access a number of optional side missions in the game by placing spies in certain locations, also.
You can also play wireless battles with a friend, as well as send out squads over the internet to "find and battle other squads". This is also another way to get new recruits for your ranks.
Of course the re-playability of the game is bound to be very high, due to the numerous ways you can get through any given mission.
Any fan of the Metal Gear series will want to pick this game up as soon as possible, especially those who enjoyed Metal Gear Solid 3. This game was an outstanding gaming experience, though many younger gamers won't appreciate the storyline as much, since it can be rather deep. I highly recommend it. Have fun & keep playing. Later...
Reviewer's Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Originally Posted: 04/18/07
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