8 things you need to know about MGS: Peace Walker

Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker is going to be big. And by that, we don't mean "successful," even thought it seems to be the only PSP game anyone's interested in anymore (or was, until God of War: Ghost of Sparta was announced). No, we mean that the game itself is huge. To wit, we recently spent a whopping 16 hours playing through its story, both by ourselves and in co-op mode with other journos, and it barely feels like we scratched the surface. There's tons of stuff to do and collect, and the game kept unlocking new modes and options after we thought we'd played long enough to open up everything.

We also liked what we played - a lot. In fact, the only things we really disliked about the game were the hand cramps that developed after playing a PSP for 16 goddamn hours. To give you an idea of what sorts of things you can look forward to when the game ships on June 8, we've scraped together a list of eight vital facts we came away with from our extensive hands-on:

1. It’s basically Monster Hunter

If you were surprised to find out last month that Peace Walker is going to feature guest stars from, of all things, Monster Hunter, you might be even more surprised to learn the real reason why. As much as it’s a legitimate sequel to both Metal Gear Solid 3 and Portable Ops, as much as it oozes Cold War paranoia from every pore, Peace Walker is essentially a Metal Gear-themed Monster Hunter game.


That probably sounds weird, but it makes sense if you think about it for more than five seconds: Monster Hunter is tremendously successful and the most popular thing on PSP (in Japan, anyway), so it’s not that surprising that a new PSP Metal Gear would try to emulate it. (It is kind of surprising that Peace Walker is wearing that emulation on its sleeve, though.) After the time we’ve spent playing Peace Walker, though, we can say that the change in format works surprisingly well (even thought we didn't play long enough to make it to the game's Monster Hunter-themed island).

Peace Walker takes the best elements of Monster Hunter – the long missions made up of networks of small environments, the massive boss fights, the thrill of harvesting random crap from fallen enemies (including the “enemies” themselves, if you manage to knock them out instead of kill them) and the fun of hunting alongside one to three buddies – and ditches the pain-in-the-ass backtracking, load times and clunky combat.

It then pairs up what’s left with MGS’ traditional stealth-shooter action, replaces the monsters with soldiers and war machines, adds a fairly deep personnel-management angle and wraps it all in a story that, so far, has been a lot more interesting and involving than the one that drove Portable Ops. Oh, and it’s got boss fights against giant robotic death-platforms that sing in women’s voices. That’s pretty weird.

2. The story is catnip for Metal Gear fans

Long, incredibly chatty cutscenes have been a staple of Metal Gear Solid for years, and Peace Walker is no different. Want long conversations about Cold War politics and nuclear deterrence? You’ll get a lot of them here. However, you’ll also get a lot of appearances by familiar (or at least familiar-looking) characters, and a lot of answers about the history of some of the series’ most enduring figures.

Above: Kazuhira Miller, center, fills in for Roy Campbell as Snake's second-in-command

Beginning in Colombia about four years after the events of Portable Ops (and 10 after MGS3: Snake Eater), Peace Walker opens to find Naked Snake/Big Boss in command of his own ragtag mercenary unit, Militaires sans Frontiers (Soldiers Without Borders). Things start to get more interesting when Snake is visited by Galvez, a man claiming to be a Costa Rican official, who brings along his teenage “pupil,” Paz Ortega Andrade.


  • NiallB3 - May 20, 2010 10:07 p.m.

    You had me at Box Tank :D Also, is this for the original psp or the psp-go? ReCaptcha: one wrath
  • LGGHero - May 10, 2010 3:52 a.m.

    ive played the jap version, and it is freakin awesome. im still playing. and im not going to spoil the story too much, but Boss isnt alive, so dont worry. that would be stupid if she really was. and there really is a crap load of stuff in it. once u beat it, u still have a lot of stuff u have to do to get everything, so the replay value is good. and if u want the game, just hack your psp, and download the game.
  • Metroidhunter32 - May 9, 2010 9:14 p.m.

    Did anyone else notice that the base looks almost exactly like Big Shell from MGS2?
  • thephntm - May 9, 2010 4:40 p.m.

    I've never played a Metal Gear game before. Is this a good game to jump in with, and should I also buy a PSP just so I could play it?
  • HumanMeatPuppet - May 9, 2010 4:35 p.m.

    The game looks great it makes me want a psp a couple times in the article you used thought instead of though
  • Triscuitable - May 8, 2010 10:10 p.m.

    @Tenfey Do you have a mouth? BOX TANK! It's so epic.
  • scrimbleshanks - May 7, 2010 4:30 a.m.

    Not a bad preview except for one thing: Monster Hunters controls are NOT clunky. You just have to get used to them. Oh, and not suck at Monster Hunter.
  • Cyberninja - May 7, 2010 12:37 a.m.

    why do so many good psp games have to come out in the summer disgaea, hexzy force, p3p kh:bbs naruto:heros 3 i dont have enough money for them all =(
  • skynetiscoming - May 6, 2010 8:03 p.m.

    @masterj2k11 I would say the end justifies the means.
  • masterj2k11 - May 6, 2010 7:01 p.m.

    This preview just gave me a solid snake (LoL that never gets old). This is a must buy and good reason to steal my sisters psp. I was gunna anyway but now I can place the blame on games radar. Muah.
  • R_U_Guys_From_British - May 6, 2010 5:11 p.m.

    Please port over to PS3!!! Recaptcha: and sorrowing. I am!
  • yetanotherCid304 - May 6, 2010 3:52 p.m.

    @spulungkin: That sounds like it would make for a good Michel Scott moment. "Your really good with the bannana gun" "THATS WHAT SHE SAID!!!"
  • yetanotherCid304 - May 6, 2010 3:46 p.m.

    Imagine how much easier the last half of MGS4 would have been if you killed Crying Wolf in act 4 and then hijacked her wolf suit. Not even an army of gekkos would have killed me! Oh and i'll definately buy this when it comes out!( monster hunter + MPO = best game ever!)
  • erreip199 - May 6, 2010 12:31 p.m.

    i can allways get a cheap Phat PSP that can be hacked to emulate games =D then get "piss" walker
  • spulungkin - May 6, 2010 7:21 a.m.

    TheWebSwinger, Samuel, It's not stupid if The Boss is Alive... What's stupid is...If she was turned into a Metal Gear...Right Mikel Reparez...Muhahahaha
  • Tommykrem - May 6, 2010 6:42 a.m.

    Wow, I need this. Along with God of War: Ghost of Sparta, Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep and Ace Combat: Joint Assault.
  • spulungkin - May 6, 2010 6:30 a.m.

    I'm from the Philippines, and I've been playing the japanese version... There's a gun shaped like a banana, but that's not the wierd part... The wierd part is... Its actually a real banana!!!
  • The_Tingler - May 6, 2010 6:09 a.m.

    Monster Hunter and Metal Gear Solid combined? Wow, that would be like my ultimate nightmare! Two games I really hate badly and forcefully combined into one!
  • Setre - May 6, 2010 5:33 a.m.

    I am excite! Can't wait for this, Valkyria Chronicles 2, and Persona 3 PSP.
  • allthegoodnameswheretaken - May 6, 2010 4:45 a.m.

    This is more like 8 thins you don't need to know about Peace Walker because if you have a PSP this is literally the only game you can be excited about

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