Review by WanderingRex
"Awesome addition to the MGS series"
This is another installation in the MGS series. Unlike MGA1 and 2, this game is in the official timeline. There lots of difference between this game and the other MGS games, so read on to find out!
This game takes place after the events of MGS3 and after MGS PO. The game begins with Naked Snake starting his army without borders and taking on the mission of finding out what the CIA is up to in somewhere around central America. There is a huge story structure difference between this and the other MGS games. In the other MGS games, you take on a mission with Snake to complete one or two objectives. But in this game, the story is mainly about building up your mother base. To do so requires manpower and the development of weapons and ultimately a nuclear capable walking Metal Gear. Which would mean that you'll have to do a lot of recruiting to further expand Mother Base. (I will explain this in more details in the gameplay section) Eventually, Big Boss will move the base to South Africa where it shall be known as Outer Heaven. Which is the backbone of the first Metal Gear game.
So why a 7/10 for the story? Well, with other MGS games, you get to see Snake interact with the bosses and develop and sometimes you get to even see it from their side of the story. In this game however, everything seems so black and white. The enemy will be your enemy in the whole game and the good ones will mostly be good and you get to see 2 or 3 villains in the game without sights of returning members such as "Null" and "Johnny". Eventually though there will be some supposed back stabbing in near the end of Chapter 4, but then again anyone above 4th grade could have seen that one coming. There will be some twists and turns toward the end, but it's nothing compared to the other MGS games. There are some AI weapons that will serve as bosses every now and then. But there's not much story to them, they are just bosses. Where in the world are the one-on-one fights, the car fights, and the other badass movie-like stunts? Snake doesn't even smoke in this game, maybe he became a environmentalist. To top it all off, the cut-scenes in this game are not 3D, but a comic book style sort of thing in black and white. While the comics style is pretty cool. It doesn't fit an action filled game like MGS. They should have given the player the option of what graphics style they prefer.
Also, since this game takes place in central America, a lot of times, you will hear spanish, spanish locations, and names that you have no idea of. Good thing is that there is a movie player so that you can replay the cut scenes again and again to try to understand what the hell is going on.
There are 5 main chapters in this game. With plenty of extra ops to satisfy the player (over 100+). The extra missions you do are wide in variety. There are ones where you recruit soldiers, ones where you have to hunt down enemies, beat the tanks, the AI weapons, find the items, finding documents, hold up enemies, practice shooting, explode things and a lot more plus the more unique missions such as taking photos, ghost missions, date with paz, monster hunting missions and a lot other things. As said earlier, to expand Mother Base, there needs more members. So you'll have to go out in missions to recruit just like in Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops. Unlike MGS: PO where recruiting is needs lot of works of dragging the soldiers to your truck. In this game, all you have to do is attack a balloon to the solider that you have put sleep or knocked out to send them straight to mother base.
There are several different teams in your mother base that you can assign to your newly recruited soldiers. There's the combat team, soldiers in this team can take the place of Snake in extra ops missions and to fight in Outer Ops Missions. There's the R&D team which is responsible for making weapons and items. The Mess Hall team which is the team for cooking so your soldiers stay health and fit. There's also the medical team for treating wounded soldiers, and the Intel team for gathering informations. Sometimes, your newly recruited soldiers might end up in the cell if if they refuse to join you but will eventually join you anyways. These ones are the stronger soldiers. You can also recruit online as well as trading soldiers. You can also recruit Hideo from a truck from a certain mission.
There are a variety of environments. From the jungles, to the rain forests, to swamps, and to enemy bases. You'll have to wear different sets of camo to fit in. There are tons and tons of weapons and items in this game more than any other MGS games. There are weapons that you can only use when you co-op (more on that latter). There is a huge difference on how to obtain weapons and items in this game from the other MGS games. You don't actually find weapons and items lying around. Instead you find documents, which you can use to develop weapons and items in the R&D team in Mother Base. While this maybe less exciting, on the other hand, you get to choose what items and weapons you want to develop. CQC is in the game, but it's a lot more simplified, you can roll and hold up enemies for informations, and throw them in the ground but not much more other than that. Also, you can't move with crawl in this game, you couch instead.
As for the boss battle, in this game your bosses are mechs. They come in the form of armed vehicles, tanks, helicopter, and AI mechs. For the armed vehicles, tanks, helicopter, you actually start out unseen and in stealth mode. You have two ways of finishing the mission. 1: Destroy the vehicle. 2: You play hide and seek and take out the soldiers instead thus having the mech unharmed. You will then take the mech to your base where you can use it to fight in Outer Ops, a turn based battle. Fight battles in Outer Ops nets you weapons and items. There are tons of these ops in the game. Another type of mech that you face in the game is AI mechs, these ones you can't take them home, they are like real boss battles, you are not in stealth in these ones. After beat the AI mech, you get to take parts and AI parts from them that will allow you to build your own Metal Gear. The name is Zeke, you add these boards and parts to Metal Gear Zeke, and it will get stronger. You can use MGZ to fight in Outer Ops as well.
The Co-Ops in this game are fun. By being a team player, you can get to places you can't before with a lifting hands of the other team players. There are weapons that you can only use with more then one person. You can also form a formation in missions. You can also hide in a large cardboard box with another team mate and much more. You can communicate through the use of Co-Ops commands which are added as you beat the main and extra ops. You can use co-ops to beat your main and extra ops missions as well.
The graphics in this game are outstanding, they definitely are one of the best for the handheld. Everything looks realistic, and clear. The mechs, character models and weapons looks very detailed. All the different soldiers have different faces. The environments are top notch for a PSP game. The beach where you start the game almost looks like photo realistic. The rain forest is amazing too and you can almost feel the humidity in that area.
Sound and Music: 9/10
There's not much to say about the music, they are good and fit in the right places in the right time. But they are nothing that special or stand out from the rest. The game is lacking in music compared to the other MGS games. There is a Walkman item that you can obtain, with this item, you can hear different music from different games such as ZOE while doing the mission.
The sounds in this game is awesome, when you stand in the forest, you hear birds chipping, the sounds of leafs moving, and guards walking around. The Voice acting is great, Big Boss's voice is as epic as usual. You get to hear more of his voice in the data files. The data files are like the codec except that you can hear them over and over again. The real codec is the radio in-game which takes place real time.
Replay value: 10/10
This game is simply packed with tons of stuffs to do. There are over 100 something extra missions, tons of Outer ops. In addition, you can always try to replay all the missions to get a higher ranking. You can try to recruit better members to Mother Base or recruit an all female army.
Tons of gameplay
Tons of data files to read
Awesome graphics for a PSP game
The recruitment system
Comic style cut scenes
The lack of good villains
Lack of outstanding music
Lack of smoking and other manly stunts
The game is lacking in several areas, but in the end the amount of gameplay more than makes it up. If you are a fan, get this game and you'll have a blast. If not a fan, get this game and you just might become a MGS fan. If you are someone who likes tons of gameplay and sneaking actions, get this game.
Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 06/14/10
Game Release: Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker (JP, 04/29/10)
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