Metal Gear Solid Peace Walker is a Monumental Handheld Adventure

Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker sets up Big Boss to becoming a great leader. Sneaking mixed with people management makes this an interesting game.

Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker sets up Big Boss to becoming a great leader. Sneaking mixed with people management makes this an interesting game.


Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker was released on the Sony PSP in 2010. It was largely ignored by fans of the series since it was on the handheld. But when I finally did get to play it…Well, I regret not picking it up sooner. The game made use of the PSP’s technology and ported a Metal Gear adventure to the handheld. Some of its features were later used on Metal Gear Solid V.

What is Peace Walker

MGS: Peace Walker is a tactical stealth shooter. You take control of Big Boss, 10 years after the events of Metal Gear Solid 3. Big Boss has abandoned America due to the way his former mentor was sentenced to death. And he was forced to execute her (Boss).

The game plays out just like any other entry in the series. You must sneak past the enemies trying not to set off any alarms to complete your mission. If you’re spotted then a firefight ensues.

Unlike the other instalments. MGS: Peace Walker is mission-centric. For each mission, you must complete a specific object to progress. This is especially suited to the pickup and play nature of a handheld. Though story-wise, sometimes this doesn’t make any sense.

Big boss backed up by his crew.
Snake isn’t alone.

A mission usually involves Big Boss going cross country to then confront a mech. The missions end before the confrontation. Gives the player a chance to change their gear before confronting the mech. This may break immersion, but in my opinion, it makes the game far more enjoyable to play.

The mechs can vary greatly. At the start of the adventure, you fight APCs, tanks and gunships. Towards the end, you fight more interesting AI machines that range from a Shagohod (MGS 3 Final boss) to Peace Walker. Peace Walker is the Metal Gear. A bi-pedal nuclear-armed robot. 

Build-a-Base

One of the best features of Peace Walker is the base management mechanic. Big Boss is given an ex-oil plant in the ocean to rebuild into Outer-Heaven. A paradise for mercenaries. 

Instead of having to micro-manage buildings etc, it only requires you to manage personnel and R&D.

You get more personnel by capturing soldiers out in the field. But there are other less violent ways of getting new members. Each soldier has their own strengths which can bolster one of five areas of your base.

Metal gear solid: peace walker big boss
The Big Boss himself.

Rather than being the time-sink that Settlements were in Fallout 4. Building up Outer-Heaven is a side effect of the main campaign. Allowing Big Boss to have access to increasingly more powerful gear.

Unfortunately unlike Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, you can’t explore the plant in person. You only have an overhead view of the plant. I don’t think the game would have gained much if you could. As there was very little to do in MGS V.

Presentation

Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker doesn’t look bad on PSP. It is very detailed for a handheld game. Though the lighting and the facial features fall flat. Which can be excused due to the limitations of the PSP.

The cutscenes are where the game truly excels. Instead of using the 3D models and environments present in the game. Konami has used stylised animation scenes. This allows the cutscenes to have more atmosphere and the characters themselves to have more personality.

Big boss accusing coleman of being involved
Such great animations.

The soundtrack to Peace Walker is nothing short of brilliant. It is exactly what you would expect from a full-fat version of a Metal Gear Solid game. But packed into a handheld. The orchestra is mind-blowing and there are some new songs for this title. 

The only downside is that due to the limitations of the game, voice acting has been reduced to only the main characters in the game. Prisoners and other soldiers do not have any voice acting. So when you hold them up and interrogate them they make a weird muffled sound. It’s a small misstep, but can be annoying.

Themes

Each instalment of Metal Gear Solid tackles a different theme. With the Metal Gear Solid 2 theme is that DNA can’t pass on everything so we have to teach our offspring other things for example. 

What could a MGS 6 feature, click here to find out.

One of Peace Walker’s themes is the power of AI. Could an AI, provided with enough information, become the person it is trying to replace? It is an interesting theme, which I’m sure will become a hot topic in the near future.

If you like your games to be more cerebral the Metal Gear Solid games are for you.

Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker the End

If you love Metal Gear Solid, then Metal Gear Solid Peace Walker is a must-play. It bridges the gap between Metal Gear Solid 3 and Metal Gear Solid V. The presentation and the theming are brilliant. The gameplay is so enjoyable, especially for a handheld title. This title gets a 4 out of 5. 

Metal Gear Solid Peace Walker is a Monumental Handheld Adventure – GAMESmix
Metal gear solid peace walker

Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker sets up Big Boss to becoming a great leader. Sneaking mixed with people management makes this an interesting game.

Operating System: Sony PSP, PlayStation 3

Application Category: Action Stealth

Editor's Rating:
4
Brendan Freeman
Brendan Freeman

A new dad, who loves his video games. he's been playing games since he was 2. He likes RPGs and racing games.

Articles: 115

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