Review by William_Roebuck
"Metal Gear makes a return, this time on the PSP."
To start things out, lets get some history down first. Metal Gear began as a MSX game in 1987 as the first Tactical Stealth Action game of it's time. The game had you play as a rookie soldier Solid Snake as he infiltrates a base in South Africa named "Outer Heaven." The game introduced many factors such as sneaking past the enemy and low survival chances if seen. The game sold well in it's original form on the MSX in Europe and Japan. An NES version came out in North America, but it heavily differed from it's original version. After 3 years, Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake came out for the MSX again, but this time, it was only released in Japan. It had you play as Solid Snake again to infiltrate Zanzibar Land, the terrorist base. It added many factors to the game like crawling and many levels of alert. Metal Gear then would have a hiatus, for 8 years almost. Then, in 1998, Metal Gear Solid was released for the Playstation and was an instant hit. Again, you played as Solid Snake to infiltrate a nuclear disposal site to prevent a nuclear attack on the United States. This was the first game in 3-D format. 3 years later, Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty came out for the Playstation 2. This continued the serie's story. Then in 2004, Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, the prequel to the series came out. This game, Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops, is the sequel to the prequel.
Well, that was lengthy... Anyhow, here is the review.
The Story of Portable Ops takes place 6 years after MGS3, the beginning shows Big Boss locked up and captured, who has to escape from the prison and find out what is going on. The story was put together pretty well for a PSP game as the game has some lengthy cutscenes. As the series has been excellently known for, I highly thumbs up the story.
The controls in Portable Ops are very different from it's console counterparts. The analog "stick" controls your character and the rest of the buttons are all messed around. It would take some time to get used to, but once you do, you will love it right away.
The gameplay is a big point in this game, as it is very different from the main games. You could go through the entire game as Big Boss and have a very difficult game ahead of you, or you could "recruit" some enemy soldiers to help you on your missions, a new feature to the series. The stealth factor is a good thing too, it still has you sneak to get the job done. What also differs this game from the others is that it isn't open-ended like the previous games. This game takes on a Mission Type gameplay where you play one area to get a job done, then you abort the area and pick another area to play in. The game also features an online mode, but we will get to that later.
The graphics in this game are on par with MGS2 graphics surprisingly. The actual play area is 3-D and real time. The cutscenes take a whole new twist however. The game is presented like a comic book, it is all artwork with voice-overs. However, it was done very well.
The sounds in the game are astounding for being on a handheld system! There are 3 hours of voice acting as well as unique music for each area. However, it lacks voice-acting during codec sequences and in-game areas which are replaced with text boxes. However it won't hurt too bad.
This game features an online mode similar to MGS3's online mode with some extras. You take your squad from single player and fight other squads online for superiority. One of the biggest additions is the Fulton Recovery System. If you are put in the situation where you killed other players alot, but you have a very low health bar, you can call in the recovery system and get a pick-up and LIVE! I give the under-rated online mode a thumbs up.
Overall, the game is great addition to the superior MGS series and you should get it.
Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 05/21/07
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