It’s a relief, then that even during the sections you scream at the screen in frustration, it’s nothing short of a technical marvel. Easily the prettiest game on PSP, Peace Walker’s world is sharp, detailed and vibrant. The variety of locations also never fails to impress. OK, so some of the Costa Rican jungles are similar to those seen in Snake Eater, but there are also barren shanty towns, eerie swamps and fog-filled valleys filled with Aztec architecture.
Above: Shanty towns are so back in season
Hideo Kojima’s latest title is arguably his most ambitious and technically accomplished yet. Throw together all the side missions outside of the main story (which includes a not so secret Monster Hunter mode) and Peace Walker could last you upwards of 30 hours.
Above: Not exactly Monster Hunter Tri, but it's a decent substitute
Even though it falls short of the invention, epic set-pieces and brilliant boss battles seen in Snake’s console titles, this is still comfortably the best handheld Metal Gear out there. And for what it manages to squeeze out of Sony’s ageing PSP, it deserves your attention. Just don’t expect Metal Gear 5.
Metal Gear Sold: Portable Ops? Yes. Peace Walker's controls are far better suited for PSP. The concept of recruiting soldiers has also been greatly expanded and refined from Portable Ops, where you previously had to drag guards half way across levels just to evacuate them at predetermined points. That said, Portable Ops bosses are less frustrating and the story's arguably more interesting.
Syphon Filter: Logan's Shadow? Yup. Gabe Logan's mega generic story isn't a patch on Big Boss' mad Costa Rican adventure. Peace Walker is also a far prettier, more vibrant game. If you put us under Jack Bauer-style interrogation, though, we'd have to say we prefer Filter's aiming system.
Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots? Hell no. Don't listen to anyone who says otherwise. MGS4 is still the daddy of the genre. Beautiful, wonderfully inventive and with incredible set-pieces, it remains one of our favourite games of the generation. While Peace Walker is a fine achievement for PSP, its stripped down stealth can't hope to match Solid Snake's PS3 swansong.
Metal gear Solid: Peace Walker is huge, diverse and beautiful. Sadly, some awful boss fights and simplified stealth means it’s not quite essential.
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