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Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker

Certainly the cutscenes have come a long way since Portable Ops. From the pen of long-time series illustrator Ashley Wood, these semi-animated cutscenes are Metal Gear by way of Sin City. The editing, use of colour and Wood’s penmanship are miles better than they were in Portable Ops. They’re laden with Easter eggs too. In our demo, a cutscene featuring 16-year-old girl and former detainee Paz saw us able to zoom in underneath her clothes to see the scars of her time spent in the torture room. And in a trademark spot of Kojima deviance, we were even able to zoom in for a glimpse of her undergarments.

Even with our limited time with the demo, Peace Walker feels far superior to its PSP predecessor Portable Ops. Crucially, this is down to the control scheme. Drawing inspiration from Metal Gear Solid 4, Peace Walker maps aiming and firing to the L and R buttons respectively. Movement is controlled by the analog stick, while the camera is rotated via the face buttons. The latter feels slightly counterintuitive at first, particularly the camera’s variable sensitivity when aiming, but this is hopefully something that will be ironed out before release.

That said, punching Select opts you into the game’s Auto-Aim, though if you’re looking for those tasty headshots, you’re going to need to do the work yourself. One decision that has been drawing early criticism is the inability to pause the game outside of putting your PSP to sleep. Yup, there are no breaks for Snake in Peace Walker – even his Codec conversations are now in real time, leaving him open to attack should he fail to observe his surroundings. The reasoning behind this goes back to co-op – the fact that you’ll have nobody watching your back as you cycle through your inventory is one of the many small ways Kojima wants to encourage you to team up with a friend.

But despite the wealth of information drawn from the demo, many important questions remain about the game. Can it be played over infrastructure mode, as opposed to ad hoc mode as featured in the demo? Will there be gameshare or competitive multiplayer? Will the co-op structure see Kojima move away from the series’ infamously long cutscenes? We’ll have to wait for answers to these.

There’s a hell of a lot riding on Peace Walker, as far as the PSP is concerned. Particularly after Metal Gear Solid: Rising was announced for both the PS3 and Xbox 360, we could be looking at the last Sony-exclusive Metal Gear title for some time. But from what we’ve seen of Peace Walker, Kojima’s sunset march might herald a new dawn for PSP gaming.

Oct 22, 2009

8 comments

  • Ram3000 - October 27, 2009 2:44 a.m.

    AHH! this is goin to be a sick game!
  • ClusterShart - October 23, 2009 5:26 p.m.

    I can't wait to play this, but I am the only person I know who plays the metal gear games.
  • linkganon - October 23, 2009 4:59 p.m.

    i heard that they may make a few changes to the controls, and hopefully there's a sensitivity option on peace walker for the aiming, like harder to do sharper movements and softer to make more precise aiming. by the way, i beat the tank level alone, it is really hard to beat it alone. dang tank and guys who wear the same gear as those guys on sons of liberty at the end, they kept killing me, only beat it once. awl well, at least have a new 4gb memory stick for more games. remember, with mgs2 he said nothing about raiden as the main character, so he may end up adding something that we will not expect in the final game (hopefully more weapons or more varied weapons)
  • CAPST3R - October 23, 2009 11:56 a.m.

    psp-3000 for christmas. this is the main reason i'm getting it, so it had better be good!
  • WaffleLeech - October 23, 2009 4:43 a.m.

    Played the demo, absoultely brilliant.
  • EchoBlade - October 23, 2009 1:47 a.m.

    Wow. I REALLY NEED a PSP!
  • Cyberninja - October 22, 2009 11:29 p.m.

    i am getting this game as soon as it comes out
  • Cyberninja - October 22, 2009 11:28 p.m.

    i am getting this game as soon as it comes out

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