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Metal Gear Acid review

This card based strategy doesn't conform to expectations, but offers its own rewards

Each card has a cost, noted in the top right corner; Snake can only play so many cards per turn, and the cost of those cards determines how much time passes between turns. Moving costs almost nothing, but equipping a weapon and firing can eat up a lot. So the game becomes a balancing act between getting into position to evade or destroy a guard and calculating exactly what cards to play to do it all safely.

Though Snake doesn't move in real-time, most of the classic Metal Gear actions are still around as options. He can crouch and crawl, flatten against walls and make sounds to attract enemies. There's no neck-snapping, though. Violence has to be through ranged weapons or knocking a guard down, which is just a setup to use a ranged weapon. That's a disappointment; even in the strategy gameplay there should be room for Snake's most famous moves.

Some of the card system's complexity might be meant to conceal the fact that the computer's artificial intelligence isn't much to write home about. The series has featured better and better artificial smarts over the years, but here the genius is on break. Enemies are aggressive, but none too sharp, and there's little unit thinking in evidence. Guards behave like disconnected individuals. While the game does get difficult, the challenge lies more in learning to use cards than overcoming the AI.

More Info

GenreStrategy
DescriptionThe move to the PSP has also taken a toll on the series' vaunted graphics. Though Snake and Teliko look fine, no areas outside of your immediate surroundings will be rendered, and the camera frequently does more harm than good.
Franchise nameMetal Gear
UK franchise nameMetal Gear Solid
PlatformPSP
US censor ratingMature
Release date21 March 2005 (US), (UK)
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