Review by super69studios
"Despite a few hiccups Metal Gear Solid is one of the PSPís best to offer so far"
The Metal Gear Solid series has always been about that perfect stealth encounter. Hiding behind objects and luring enemies to your advantage while they have a question mark on them. Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker is the fourth game on the PSP but the second of the main story. Set between Portable Ops and the first Metal Gear we play as Big Boss again, this time in Costa Rica. You will be facing against tough machines called Peace walkers, taking down tanks, helicopters and APCs and learning how to use x-ray vision on a chick.
The year is 1974; an unknown army of well-equipped soldiers has taken over the defenseless country. The soldiers have also brought along a nuclear warhead labeled "Peace Walker", to set off their last nuclear warhead for deterrence, and demonstrate their power with the perfect deterrence. Along the way you will meet Kazuhira Miller- the child of an American officer and a Japanese woman, he served in the Japan Self-Defense Force but is eventually discharged and works as a mercenary and Paz Ortega Andrade a sixteen year old Costa Rican girl who is an advocate of peace. She is studying her country's Peace Constitution under Gálvez at the University for Peace. They both ask the "Soldiers without Borders" aka Big Boss and his troops to help eliminate the Peace walkers and restore peace to Costa Rica.
While I hadn't played many games of the Metal Gear Solid series, the combat system has changed for the better. If you had played the demo pressing start even on single player does not pause the game, but the full game on single player pauses. The combat is quite similar to Portable Ops, switching weapons in between combat is still quite annoying, because when selecting weapons of items time still flows. There are heaps of weapons and items in Peace Walker which can all be upgraded and leveled up. In order to do that you require recruiting team members and categorize them into different sections. There are; the weapons section which increases the amount of upgrading available, engineer section which brings you the latest upgrades on both weapons and items, food which needs to feed all the people in the sections, medical team is used to heal wounded members which is used in the sick bay and an intel team for all the latest information on upcoming missions.
The weapons in Peace Walker are categorized from handguns, shotguns, rocket launchers etc. All weapons can be upgraded into 5 stars, but can be upgraded more by using that weapon regularly in battle. It is the same for items, most of the time the item's upgrade will just increase the amount carried but some items like the sound indicator which when leveled up, will plot enemy locations on the indicator map. The almighty cardboard box which has been a stale in the Metal Gear Solid also gets an upgrade. In Peace Walker there are multiple boxes each with different purposes and abilities. The ambulance box heals when you are under it, the tank box is nothing unless it is upgraded to stun or explosive, and the love box is for...ahem social reasons.
There is something called Outer Ops which lets you dispatch a group of soldiers from the weapons section to go and fight other soldiers and vehicles in a turn based combat. You too can have vehicles but you must first damage the vehicle enough or take out all the soldiers guarding it, then take out the commander in the story mode. If it gets damaged it will get repaired after each mission. There are many costumes in Peace Walker from the Jungle Fatigues to the traditional naked snake. Before a mission you can customize yourself, choosing what weapons and items you equip as well as your costume. Costumes have different capacity, the battle suit will have more weapons while the sneaking has limited. If you complete the mission, you can try again as another character you recruited to increase his abilities. There are heaps of missions to do, which are also called ops. There are the main ops which are essentially the main story, extra ops which are extra missions, demo ops which lets you watch the cut scenes and co-op which of course is the online mission mode. On extra ops the missions have a large variety ranging from protecting a prisoner, blowing a crate up to defeating bosses and having a date with a sexy lady.
In the main missions the bosses at first are quite simple, versing a Tank and an APC, but then ramps it up when you have to face some giant robot thing with more than enough health and weapons to kill you. You will run out of ammo continually, giving you option to defeat it. It will take a long time alone which then leaves you to think how hard the later bosses are; of course they're ten times harder. So having a friend is not a want, but a need. Contradicting that is that I found the game quite easy, the only time I died is when versing the bosses or suicide, the soldier's AI isn't too smart, they will try to find what they thought they saw but when they do, they stand there stunned why you are naked. The single player has a lot to offer, with many side missions and mini games, but the rest of the game is easy compared bosses are just too overwhelming for one man.
Single player score- 9/10
Just about every Ops in the single player can be played in co-op. Letting up to four players take down a boss, or two to sneak past some noob soldiers and flank them. Returning from MGS 4 and Portable Ops, there is an online versus mode which lets you verse you friends in a numerous amount of modes. From the usual Team Death Match and Free For All to the defensive box and entry point. For me the Co-op was the main player, because people helping you with bosses is just fun, and if your friend isn't up to that part yet he can still help you out. Four player co-op is a great option taking on tougher bosses but on normal missions they are even easier. You can change what costume you are wearing online but the options are quite limited like the single player options. For me the Versus Ops weren't much appealing because of many of the slow weapon and item selecting. On Versus Ops up to six players, it's a shame that only Ad Hoc is available for Peace Walker. The Co-op was the star for the multi-player for Peace Walker on the other hand Versus Ops is a not as much appealing to the co-op.
Multi player score- 9/10
Overall Metal Gear Solid Peace Walker is something not taken lightly. The team behind this is also the team behind Metal Gear Solid 4, so the quality is matched perfectly. The music is quite annoying during boss fights but other than that it is beautiful and enjoyable. Despite a few difficulty hiccups Metal Gear Solid is one of the PSP's best to offer so far.
Overall Score- 9/10
Reviewer's Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Originally Posted: 06/07/10
Game Release: Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker (JP, 04/29/10)
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