Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops

The game differs from the PS2 versions that we’re used to slightly but it has its own unique character. This isn’t the story of Solid Snake, it’s the legacy of Big Boss. Since the game is on PSP instead of having cut scenes there are animated graphic designs scenes, kind of like a moving comic book, just like the Metal Gear Graphic Novel. Its sounds simplistic but the artwork is beautifully done and more effective then you’d think it would be.


 

 

So what’s the story like? Fantastic. You know what’s going to happen to Big Boss anyway since this is a prequel, but the story explains the start of Big Boss’ fall from grace brilliantly. It’s subtle yet powerful and is great for newcomers to the series and filled with new explanations and more mysteries for the die hard MGS fan. The game is set 7 years after the events of MGS3 and once again you take control of Big Boss, who’s still unable to completely grasp what happened to the Boss and still calls himself Snake. You wake up confused and naked in a cell and are promptly tortured by a man called Cunningham. After being confused even more you escape with help from a younger version of a Green Beret that you know very well. You contact Para-Medic and find out that you’ve been accused of starting a rebellion. Your mission is to clear your name. How? Find out who started this rebellion and take them out.

The gameplay is brilliant, with graphics on par with ps2. A new system for carrying items and weapons has been invented because of the lack of R2 and L2 buttons on the PSP. I found it a bit strange for the first 5 minutes but now it’s as natural as breathing. What makes the game truly brilliant is it knows what it is. It is a PSP game, a portable game; it’s not a PS2 game on a small screen. Instead of having a huge complex that you have 18 hours to infiltrate, you have lots of little levels scattered around an island that take about 5 to 15 minutes. You get to each level from a menu using a truck so there’s no wasted time wandering from place to place. The system doesn’t just make the game truly portable, but it lets you visit old places with ease. The ability to revisit places is used in the story to give the game more substance but it’s not overdone. The main story can be completed in just a couple of hours but you don’t want to do that. Take time to do all the side mission, let yourself get absorbed into the world of Big Boss. Don’t just go kill the bad guys, make the game a real field mission and build an army!

That’s right, you’re not on your own this time. You can recruit people into your squad and give everyone a different task. You get to take 4 people into a mission who are your squad, and you can have 4 squads. Then you can have spies who steal ammo for you and get reports that lead the story along or open up side missions. You get engineers who make weapons and medics who make life packs. Every character you get will have different ratings for different skills from how good they are with a shotgun to their engineering skill. It’s up to you to customise your little army and utilise everyone’s strengths.
There are various ways of recruiting people. You can knock an enemy out and drag them back to the truck. Or you can switch on the wifi and run around the streets, you will get a power bar and depending on how strong a signal you get the bar goes up and when it fills the screen hey presto new character. You can also win characters online. You have four teams of four but you only use one at a time so you can send the others online to battle or you can go on yourself with a squad and play against other people throughout the nation. Admittedly, it can be a bit laggy but I live in the countryside.

The story is beautifully delivered and the gameplay is incredible. MGSPO uses the features of the PSP so well and is a truly portable game. It’s a prefect PSP game and no review could ever do it justice. Pretty impressive for a game which started out life as being a small side project for Hideo that wasn’t supposed to be related to MGS. I can’t believe you’re still reading this, why haven’t you gone to the shop to get it yet?

 

By The Fat

First Impressions

9

Initially impressions were that the game was ok didnt really stand out.

Gameplay

10

Incredible!

Graphics

9

Detailed backgrounds, great characters and exceptionally unique cut scenes.

Sound

9

Original voice acting but you don’t get them in the radio conversation and all that reading can get tedious.

Story

9

Incredibly well delivered. Great directing.

RATING

9.2

SUPERIOR