On numerous occasions, Hideo Kojima has been quoted saying that Peace Walker should be considered Metal Gear Solid 5, and he could not be more correct. For those who have been under a rock for the past year and a half, Peace Walker takes place after the events of Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater (wiki link for those who need it: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metal_Gear_Solid_3:_Snake_Eater) and Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops (wiki link for those who need it: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metal_Gear_Solid:_Portable_Ops). Snake is now Big Boss (though he himself won't accept the title) and is working on creating his Soldiers Without Borders (or MFS), the beginnings of Outer Haven.He and his partner Miller are approached by an old man known as the Professor and his student Paz and asked to figure out why a military force of an unknown source is making it's way through Costa Rica. For the price of one old oil rig in the Caribbean Sea, they agree and Snake is set on his mission.The story is told with a mix of CG cuts scenes and the hand drawn cut scenes made famous by the motion comics and Portable Ops. I was skeptical of this style when I first played through the demo, but having completed the game the mix of the two styles flow very well together without feeling as if a scene should be in one or the other style. Any storyline not told within these cut scenes is told in Metal Gear fashion using the codec. The voice acting is right on par, with every character having the correct emotions and timber in their respective voices without being annoying. The story is broken into four separate chapters with a fifth 'hidden' chapter for those who are willing to seek it.
|Non-lethal takedowns are important to building Mother Base.|
Then of course there are the boss battles, and Peace Walker is full of them. Bosses are broken down into manned and unmanned vehicle battles. Any manned battle is fought against a vehicle such as a tank or a helicopter and a small brigade of heavily armed and armored soldiers. The ground manned vehicles have gas tanks on the back of them that are easy weak points and any soldiers can be knocked out with non-lethal force and recruited (more on that in a second). The helicopters may not have obvious weak points, but are less armored and easier to take down. After sustaining so much damage, the captain of the vehicle will show his head. Taking out the captain is the easiest way to take out these manned vehicle bosses because once he falls the vehicles is yours to use in Outer Ops. Though fairly straight forward, these battles are fun and will keep you on your toes. The unmanned battles are far more challenging, but far more rewarding. With a total of four unmanned battles, each one is it's own experience that is memorable (especially that creepy song they sing). The A.I. controlled vehicles are of different varieties, but each have the same defining characteristic: the A.I. pod. This pod is the 'head' of the vehicle and is important for building your own Metal Gear Zeke (yes, I said building your own Metal Gear. Thank you Kojima!). After depleting the health bar of each A.I. the vehicle falls and Snake must bust open the A.I. pod itself, climb inside and pull as many A.I. boards out of the slots as possible in the time given. These boards can be used to create the A.I. pod for Zeke. Each A.I. also has salvageable parts that can be picked up after battle if the right parts of the body are not damaged in battle (and with a little bit of luck). These parts can also be used to customize Zeke and add some more powerful abilities to it.
|Destroy the whole convoy or take out the Driver. Decisions, Decisions.|
There are also Outer Ops. Outer Ops are side missions that recruited soldiers are send on while Snake is out on his own missions which is picked while managing Mother Base. Each mission is ranked by difficulty ( D being the lowest and S+ being the highest) and a total of eight soldiers or vehicles that Snake has captured on missions may be sent out per mission. The number of Outer Ops send out is limited to twelve, but I personally found myself only sending out two or three teams at a time. After each mission when the player returns to Mother Base a report tells you how the Outer Ops went, with the option to even see a play by play of the battle. Besides gaining experience for the MFS soldiers, Outer Ops may also yield items and weapons and on rare occasions volunteer soldiers to join the cause.
Then there is customizing Zeke. There are four types of A.I. boards that can be picked up from battles with the unmanned vehicle boss battles: Sense, Movement, Attack and C. As you gather more of these boards, Zeke becomes more powerful and stronger in Outer Ops (among other things...... Sorry, not going to spoil it). You may also customize Zeke with parts salvaged from the A.I.'s, including a rail gun and even their heads (if you're lucky). Even the paint job and voice actions can be determined by the player. Zeke can be used in Outer Ops and can make most missions a breeze, but it is mortal and taking enough damage will result in parts of your Metal Gear being destroyed.
Peace Walker is following the recent trend of
Over all I believe the only real complaint I have against the game is that the final act, which is somewhat hidden, drags on longer than it is actually necessary. Other than that, the game is amazing. Hands down, I give it a 10/10. Not many games really get me so enveloped that my grades stagger tremendously, but this was certainly one of them. I can't wait to see what Kojima Productions has in store for us next.
10 out of 10
Here's a link to IGN.com, the best source for media anything, with pictures, videos and their own review: http://psp.ign.com/objects/965/965242.html
And here's a link to Metacric's review: