Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker super review

  • It's a proper, full-fat MGS squeezed onto your PSP
  • Stupidly sharp, gorgeous looks
  • More modes, bonus missions and Easter eggs than you could throw a nuke at
  • Boss fights are an exercise in pain played on your own
  • The story isn't as gripping or touching as MGS3
  • Aiming is as awkward as going on a blind date with your cousin

Hey, good lookin'

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.

Is it better than...

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.

Just for you, Metacritic

Metal gear Solid: Peace Walker is huge, diverse and beautiful. Sadly, some awful boss fights and simplified stealth means it’s not quite essential.

June10, 2010

More Info

Available Platforms: PSP, PS3, Xbox 360
Genre: Action
Published by: Konami
Developed by: Kojima Productions
ESRB Rating:
Rating Pending
PEGI Rating:
Rating Pending


  • ColonelKc - June 10, 2010 2:17 p.m.

    Lol at the last negative.
  • Metroidhunter32 - June 10, 2010 2:46 p.m.

    Bosses suck? The entire game becomes pointless then, having played the first 3 MGSs I know that the boss battles are where the series shines.
  • avantguardian - June 10, 2010 2:51 p.m.

    you guys really don't like acid? that surprises me...
  • breener96 - June 10, 2010 3:03 p.m.

    I'm glad that you're the person doing this review, Dave. I know how big of a Metal Gear fan you are and I'm the same. Maybe not to the same extent, but it's still my favourite game series. I just want to know one thing, though. You see, I have no friends that I'll be able to play co-op with (for a while anyway, I'm after getting one of my friends to play MGS 1 and he loved it) and anyway, I don't want to play co-op in an MGS game. It should only be (or maybe be mostly focused on) single-player, not co-op. So what I'm asking is, as an MGS fan, will I be disappointed playing this game on my own? Thanks.
  • Afgefy - June 10, 2010 3:27 p.m.

    @breener96 I don't have anyone to play Peace Walker with, either. Right now I'm at the Chrysalis battle (and yes it is a bitch to beat) but the game is still fun and it's still my favorite game on the PSP. Given, this IS my first MGS game (well I did play through half of Portable Ops and hated it) but I really think you won't be disappointed.
  • Games_Radar_DaveMeikleham - June 10, 2010 3:30 p.m.

    @breener96 It depends on your expectations. If you go in looking for it to match Snake Eater or Guns of the Patriots, you'll be disappointed. But if you just want a slightly simpler, though still thoroughly decent Metal Gear for your handheld, then you absolutely won't be. Just take a couple of rocket launchers with you when you fight the bosses. That and loads of long, deep breathes. You can't listen to TalkRadar UK if you go and have yourself an aneurysm.
  • breener96 - June 10, 2010 5:07 p.m.

    @Afgefy: Thanks, and you're so lucky! I have to wait until the 17th of June to play it :( @Dave: No, I wouldn't expect it to be as good as previous 3 and 4. I'm glad about that, then. I may ragequit a few times, but I'll make it through the bosses eventually. After blood, sweat, tears and ammo. Lots and lots of ammo :P
  • Conman93 - June 10, 2010 5:45 p.m.

    I getting a psp for my birthday (hopefully). Having not played the other mgs games (forgive me) would this be a good place to start??
  • allthegoodnameswheretaken - June 10, 2010 6:06 p.m.

    I thought there were two control schemes I've played the demo and you get used to the controls
  • Guardian88 - June 10, 2010 6:43 p.m. guys jus love looking for the shit beneath the oil huh?
  • slimjim441 - June 10, 2010 7:04 p.m.

    I almost forgot about this game. Good thing you guys did a super review, I was so close to selling my PSP. Now I can wait for a friend to buy this game, borrow it, enjoy its awesomeness, then sell my PSP. It does seem kind of disappointing that the boss fights aren't cool unless you do them in co-op, because with MGS, half of the fun was in the boss fights, especially in Snake Eater. The End is by far the best boss in that game.
  • metalgatesolid - June 10, 2010 7:54 p.m.

    Ummmmmmmmmmmmm...It has Metal Gear Solid in the title. Like anything with Metal and Solid in it isnt awesome. Wish i had a PSP to play this on though.
  • skynetiscoming - June 10, 2010 8:11 p.m.

    A very fair review, although I did think the story was a great way to transition from MGS3 to MG/MGS1. I also like how they cut down the codec calls and put them into the audio tapes that you can listen to at your leisure. I also think the boss battles are still better than most out there, even if they are a little shy of MGS standards.
  • TheWebSwinger - June 10, 2010 9:03 p.m.

    I was reading somewhere that, if you're going up against bosses solo, you can take out enemy soldiers surrounding the area, then lure out/kick the shit out of the vehicle/tank/mech's commander. Are they still nigh-impossible to beat when done this way?
  • flyingtissues12 - June 10, 2010 9:28 p.m.

    You are the messiah. Meiks and Mild! OHHHHH! Only said that for the frankly abismal pun. Good review though except.... some like it plot?
  • Cyberninja - June 10, 2010 10:24 p.m.

    yes webswinger i just beat a tank that way and it was hard as a rock. but this game is still realy fun most of my week has gone to it so far
  • Arucard04 - June 10, 2010 10:37 p.m.

    After playing it, I'd have to say it's the second best in the entire series for me, only bested by the brilliance of MGS3. I've seen more than one reviewer make similar claims. This game is amazing. Also: Ac!d 1 (but mostly 2) were amazing games.
  • BlackElement17 - June 10, 2010 11:10 p.m.

    To bad I'm PSPless
  • philipshaw - June 11, 2010 9:57 a.m.

    Good review and I get this game on the day I get a operation on my nose, the pain will be worth it to get a new MGS
  • lovinmyps3 - June 12, 2010 5:37 p.m.

    I will definitely have to dust off my PSP. Portable Ops is one of the only two PSP games I bought (other was Monster Hunter, ironically), and I just love Metal Gear!!

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