Review: Metal Gear Solid Peace Walker

It’s been a long time coming and yes this review is a little late to the party, but after just clocking up 100 hours playtime, I feel I’m ready to do a mini review on this awesome game. Originally on PSP, Peace Walker brings us a more approachable outing. Gone are the tight corridors and sneaking through buildings. What we get here now is the jungle! Stealth is still very much the key but in a new environment. The combat is the same as it always has been, weapons, man weapons, there’s loads of them to collect develop and use. The more you use a weapon the better it becomes.

This time round you have a mother base which is your hub. Here you will recruit soldiers and put them to work. By this I mean you will have teams such as an R&D team for developing new weapons, medical bay to treat the injured and food hall to feed the troops. Recruiting soldiers is done one of two ways. You can either search for them in the recruitment tab and give them an initiation test, passing then entitles them to join, failing results in another go until they are accepted.  The initiation test is basically you as Snake knocking them out by using only CQC moves on them. The other way, and this has a huge Pokemon feel to it, is to fulton them out of a level. Yep, that’s right, after putting an enemy to sleep or putting them on death’s door you can elect to attach a fulton to them and airlift them back to mother base. Different troops have different skills based on a S to E rating obviously S being the best. The Pokemon feel is very much the feeling of having to “collect them all”, you’re always on the look out for better troops, hiring and firing them to get the right ones.

New equipment can be unlocked to make life easier such as more fultons, a fulton gun/mines, or even an analyzer which will tell you the soldiers best stat before you fulton them. It’s the mother base that takes up time as you move people around to reach the criteria needed for the next unlock. Mess hall soldiers are used for outer ops fighting. You send them out on missions to try uncover new items or maybe just new supplies.

The campaign again is a first for the series allowing you to apart from the first level, co-op the whole game online. This makes it even more attractive as you will now never get stuck in game or will you? Co-op also allows co op moves such as sharing one health bar, lending guns to your mate, reaching hard to get to ledges, the list goes on. Co-op is definitely not a tacked-on experience instead adding to an already well executed game.

Co-op in campaign is limited to just 2 but for boss battles you can have as many as 4 people in the fight. Again sharing ammo etc is available.

Campaign is split into many many little parts which is a great idea for the casual gamer or a gamer with not much time.  It’s this bite size gaming that helps keep you hooked. The campaign overall is a huge affair with a solo playthrough coming in at around 8-10 hours depending on how you look after mother base. Co-op could be shorter but as with all co-op games, initializing it means tougher enemies.

If you feel that the campaign just isn’t long enough for you or it sounds like it may get a bit repetitive, then fear not as you also have Combat Ops which is again more bite size gaming. Here you unlock new missions by aceing the previous levels. Here is where you get variety, from a simple POW rescue to a shooting gallery to a ghost hunting expedition, it is really well done and again co-op is available. Doing these missions also unlocks new weapon blueprints if you can find them.

The game is wonderful and so big and with that comes a really deep deep experience. Hunting down weapons, finding blueprints, collecting new soldiers and all in the jungle. Peace Walker will rate highly in your list of best Metal Gear games. The camera is quick and smooth. Stealth is easier for the more novice player. I cannot tell you how much is going on behind the scenes in this game.  100 hours played and I still haven’t done everything. Granted I get caught up playing co-op and having a laugh but on the flip side I want everything in game!

Available on PS3 and 360 in HD form, every next gen player can take part. PSP & Vita still have the PSP original to enjoy which is still just as good. The PS3 has the option allowing players to “Transfar”  your save onto a PSP and carry on your game. Once done Transfar it back again. Seriously, the game is really good and will scratch the stealth itch but also the 3rd person shooter itch as the boss battles will attest too.

I must stop writing as this isn’t much of a quick review and looking more like a love letter to Metal Gear. Oops, oh well, please enjoy reading and hopefully it makes you want to check the game out.

Jim Smale

Gaming since the Atari 2600, I enjoy the weirdness in games counting Densha De Go and RC De Go as my favourite titles of all time. I prefer gaming of old where buying games from a shop was a thing, Being social in person was a thing. Join me as I attempt to adapt to this new digital age!

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