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Metal Gear Solid Peace Walker PSP Review - Australia

Gameplay 9.5
Graphics 9.5
Sound 9.0
Value 9.4
Distributor: Mindscape
Review Date:
June 2010
James Wright


Metal Gear Solid Peace Walker

If youíre not a fan of the Metal Gear Solid series than thereís the door padre... oh, don't let the snake bite you on the ass on the way out. Many of us at Impulse Gamer are a huge fan of this series and weíve been following it since the original PlayStation game of the previous decade. Needless to say we were thrilled to bits about this latest title because it was a return to simpler times and best of all, exclusively designed for the PSP architecture.

Youíre probably thinking, well there goes any credibility of an honest review but thatís where you wrong because many of the previous PSP instalments were pretty damn horrible. But after successfully finishing this title and in the grand scheme of things, Metal Gear Solid Peace Walker almost sits on par with Metal Gear Solid 2 and to some extent, the last PS3 game.

From the stunning music to the visually impressive graphics, Metal Gear Solid Peace Walker works on just about all levels, especially with its connectivity to this intricate mythology. The story of Peace Walker is set during 1974 and follows from Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater and to an extent, Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops.

Snake has left his black ops agency and created his own A-Team like military outfit called the Militaires Sans FrontiŤres. Together with his elite soldiers, they service the entire world, looking for the big bads and now itís time for Snake to gear up once again when he shockingly discovers that Big Boss (Naked Snake) is still alive. Itís ass kicking time! With cutscenes and dialogue boxes, the story of Snake is beautifully told and this game really gets inside the head of one of the worldís most absorbing video game characters, Snake which is as much a journey for Snake as it is for the gamer.

In terms of controlling Snake and interacting with the environment, Peace Walker uses a third-person view as you use a variety of military techniques and gadgets to evade and kill your enemies. Like previous games, you have the option of either friendly takedowns or not so friendly takedowns like bullets and both these methods influence the gameplay.

Of course, if you alert too many guards to your whereabouts, completing the mission becomes a very difficult option. My preferred option is to sneak up behind someone and then take them down. Of course, a healthy amount of fighting is also sometimes needed.

Even though I wasnít a huge fan of Metal Gear Solid Portable Ops, some elements of this game have transferred to this title which includes base building and ironically it works with the main tenure of gameplay. For the purists, itís ironic that Snake is building the MSF that he will ultimately destroy in the coming years but it's a nice nod of the hat to old time fans.

In terms of missions, the entire game is broken up into portable console friendly missions and for those fans who love multiplayer, you can even complete the missions with three other friends.

Another interesting feature in the game is increasing the number of soldiers you have access to which is usually done by subduing a person, e.g. knocking them out. Once you have them powerless, you basically send them off to your base for some good old fashioned brainwashing. They are then ready to join one of your many divisions such as a research or combat.

Itís also cool that you can research new weapons and equipment for your soldiers that gives the game a unique twist, especially with the upgrades available to Snake and his crew. Snake also has access to these weapons and equipment and you need to make sure he has the correct gear for certain missions such as camouflage for the jungles which donít work too well in cities. A nice little balance.

One issue I had with the game were the controls on the PSP and although itís not as intuitive as the PS3 version, the developers have streamlined what your character can and canít do. I mean, what kind of MGS game doesnít allow the player to crawl? Even though I questioned this ability, somehow it all came together and 15 hours later of pure MGS glee, I finished the title without even questioning this ever again.

This is probably due to the fact that this game was exclusively made for the PSP and is not just another poor PSP port but rather Konami have designed it for the world of portable gaming and dare I say... have made it perfect. Once you have finished the storyline, you can then engage in another 100 or so Extra Ops to get your Snake fix. One issue for new comers may be the long winded conversations and cutscenes which sometimes go on forever but it's all part of this franchise and the stylised cutscenes are pretty damn sweet to watch.

In regards to multiplayer, the game is a little easy when you are playing with three other people in co-op because unfortunately the AI doesnít really increase in difficulty and if one character can be a tank or distraction for the fight, the other players can then gang up on your opponent. This is a little frustrating because on single-player, you do get your butt handed to you on a silver platter on more than one occasion, more so from incorrect choices. But in multiplayer, itís quite the opposite. Frustrating but still fun! Want more multiplayer? Why not try capture, base defence, Deathmatch and team Deathmatch that are just as entertaining to play as the single-player missions but when you play against other players, the ante gets upped with humans. A very enjoyable experience!

Graphically, Konami have made the perfect looking game on the PSP that mimics this universe well from the characters to the giant mechs which roam the world. Snake has never looked better on this console and it's about damn time. The sound effects are just as good as the graphics as it soundtrack that did send a shiver up my scene on more than one occasion.

Final Thoughts?

Thankyou for saving my PSP from the dust monsters and finally a developer has created another addictively cool title for this console. But more so, I desperately needed by Snake fix after the PS3 game and Konami have delivered well. With great graphics, a sturdy gameplay engine and some of the best music ever to grace this console, Metal Gear Solid Peace Walker is truly the next chapter in the MGS series and dare I say it, one of the best releases for this console in quite some time. Consider this Metal Gear Solid 5!

Highly Recommended!


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