Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker – review

July 5, 2010 at 10:18 am 2 comments

“We will leave our motherlands and return to the earth… We have no  nation, no philosophy, no ideolgoy… We are soldiers without borders… This is Outer Heaven.”

The country you once fought before is now your enemy.

What a brilliant game. Peace Walker is no doubt one of the best, if not, the best PSP game out in the market today. There’s so much win in this bundle of joy, and bucketloads of fanservice to core gamers of the franchise. Peace Walker, a direct sequel to Portable Ops (and thus obviously Snake Eater), is just as much of a prequel to MGS1 as it is to MGS4: Guns of the Patriots. Hideo Kojima, you genius.

Our ever so stealthy Big Boss

If you really want a good gist of what’s happening in Peace Walker, you should really have played Portable Ops, Guns of the Patriots, and probably Snake Eater, as there’s tonnes of references that are definitely directed at fans. That being said, if you haven’t, you probably shouldn’t worry too much. Sure, you will bypass a few key events here and there, and you may be confused by the game’s end, but Peace Walker will still prove to be very enjoyable.

Boom. Headshot.

The controls have definitely been improved since Portable Ops. While it is still rather annoying manually aiming at moving targets (unless you go noob and auto-lock), you’ll end up controlling Snake relatively easily within half an hour or so. The camera is sometimes irritating to handle especially when wall-hugging in tight areas.

Not so stealthy now...

However core gameplay is very solid and fun. Customisable controls are a bonus. The addition of the Fulton recovery system, although pretty far-fetched, is DAMN welcome regarding those who played Portable Ops. Ahh, the days of DRAGGING downed enemies ALL THE WAY back to some truck at the beginning. Fulton as a result, removes that annoying chore which interrupted the stealth gameplay significantly.

Pupa

There’s no doubt that Kojima loves his cutscenes. I’m extremely glad they kept the comic-book art style from Portable Ops. Peace Walker is a beautful game considering it’s on a portable console. There’s no point comparing it to DS games, because it definitely makes them a little wet in the pants. Not only are some of these interactive, they’re all replayable, so you can enjoy your Peace Walker lore without replaying the whole game again.

Peace Walker

One lame flaw is the fact that there are only a set number of character models for enemies. The result is the fact that you’ll be tranquilising, killing and cqc-ing clones, which can make an otherwise great-looking game dull.

More Peace Walker

Sound is awesome. David Hayter reprises his role as Snake, and he does a good job of it, though I felt that the smokey lung voice he uses has always been a little excessive. Other than that, the English voice actors do a fantastic job. Peace Walker also has a brilliant soundtrack, arranged by Nobuka Toda, Kazuma Jinnouchi and other composers. There are many magic moments in the game where the soundtrack just blows your mind.

Fight alongside your comrades

However, the game is not without its faults. When players unlock Outer Ops, they’ll understand what I’m talking about. The inability to control your men’s actions is frustrating, and often you will lose men, and more importantly mechs (which take AGES to get solo) just because the AI is so f*cking stupid. I wonder why Kojima left out the option of control in this instance. Whether he thought that would make it too easy, or whether there were time constraints, I really don’t know.

Fight against choppers

The bosses, while challenging and very rewarding to challenge, often take YONKS, especially when you’re facing the 2nd and 3rd tier versions of the vehicles. They’re not impossible to do by yourself, but it can take an easy half an hour to down a chopper by yourself, and if you die in the process, you’ll have to start from square one. Who said a soldier’s life isn’t hard?

Snake - he smokes too much.

It all goes to show that Peace Walker is MEANT to be played with friends. Co-op almost always reduces the time it takes to take out bosses, and it’s pretty much necessary when dealing with the advanced bosses unlocked further in the game. You simply won’t be able to carry enough ammo on one person full stop. Co-op is also damn fun, and you’ll find yourself defeating bosses with your buddies for hours. There’s also a very solid online multiplayer component which many players forget about.

Troop carrier

Some say that the easter eggs in Peace Walker are a tacky addition in Kojima’s attempts to be funny. Indeed there are some pretty ridiculous things in the game, such as the Rescue Box, the banana, Monster Hunter missions and the tuxedo. However, I personally don’t think these hints of humour detriment the game at all. The Monster Hunter missions are HEAPS of fun with a buddy. Just take it as Hideo’s quirky sense of style and his constant urge to signature his work  (up to the point you UNLOCK him as a character).

Trenya - the talking cat from Monster Hunter

Peace Walker is a HUGE game, and I really don’t use that word lightly. Kojima and his staff have clearly put a sh!tload of effort into this game, whether it be in regards to the ability to view ALL of your weapons from every angle, the HOURS of intricate history and backstory embedded in the game via audiotapes, the story AFTER the main story, and the small character comments on EACH of your men (up to 350 can be stored!!!!!).

Well.... errrrr... it's all part of the mission XP

I can spend aaaaages describing every single detail Kojima has gone into, but I won’t because this game is better experienced that writing about. The thought that there will never be another new (storyline-wise) game involving the Snakes done by Kojima again truly saddens me, as this was as epic as games get.

Story/setting: 9.5/10

Graphics: 9.25/10

Sound: 10/10

Gameplay: 8.75/10

Lasting value: 9.25/10

Overall: 9.35/10

Tsk tsk! Getting caught sleeping on the job

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Entry filed under: Videogames.

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2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Reltair  |  July 7, 2010 at 7:01 am

    Glad to hear that it’s good. I’ll probably be playing it solo though. =/

    Reply
  • 2. Baka!  |  July 8, 2010 at 10:53 pm

    It’s good to hear that there’s finally a game which fills in the holes yet to be explained in the Metal Gear saga…

    Reply

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