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Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops Plus review

Big Boss is back to recruit a whole new army in this multiplayer-focused expansion

As for the new soldiers you'll be able to recruit, they run the gamut from slight variations on the first game's troops to masked stormtroopers who look suspiciously like the Genome Soldiers and Gurlukovich mercenaries from earlier Metal Gear Solids. They'll also have new talents for you to exploit; the Headhunter ability, for example, will enable you to see exactly what talents your prospective recruits have, just by looking at them in first-person mode. (Alternatively, you can just interrogate them at knifepoint and they'll sometimes give you cryptic hints as to what their abilities are, like "I got a rocket for an arm!" or "I can maintain your weapons!"

You'll also be able to recruit new faces by scanning WiFi hotspots, although it's a little more complicated now; you'll need to meet certain criteria before they'll come aboard, like putting a person with glasses into your Alpha sneaking team. Additionally, there are a few characters that can only be found by accomplishing certain goals - finishing Infinity Mission on normal difficulty, for example, will enable you to add Old Snake from MGS4 to your roster, while hard will net you Raiden. And, yes, you can put them on the same team as Naked Snake/Big Boss, although they'll never be onscreen at the same time - except in multiplayer, of course.

Aside from all the cool new stuff you can wade into battle with, the kickass, online-enabled multiplayer mode features a bunch of new additions, like seven full new stages (including a hangar containing the colossal Metal Gear Rex, which you're free to climb and fight on). There are also a couple of new modes added onto the existing deathmatch and capture-the-flag variations, including Shooting Range, which splits players into two teams and tasks them with shooting targets, and Chat Room, which is self-explanatory. If all the new modes and leveled-up characters leave you wanting something simpler, Portable Ops Plus will also let you connect with players of the original Portable Ops, although you can't take your new, Plus-exclusive characters or beefed-up abilities into battle. So much for impressing the noobs with Old Snake's mustache.

You'll also be able to recruit new faces by scanning WiFi hotspots, although it's a little more complicated now; you'll need to meet certain criteria before they'll come aboard, like putting a person with glasses into your Alpha sneaking team. Additionally, there are a few characters that can only be found by accomplishing certain goals - finishing Infinity Mission on normal difficulty, for example, will enable you to add Old Snake from MGS4 to your roster, while hard will net you Raiden. And, yes, you can put them on the same team as Naked Snake/Big Boss, although they'll never be onscreen at the same time - except in multiplayer, of course.

Aside from all the cool new stuff you can wade into battle with, the kickass, online-enabled multiplayer mode features a bunch of new additions, like seven full new stages (including a hangar containing the colossal Metal Gear Rex, which you're free to climb and fight on). There are also a couple of new modes added onto the existing deathmatch and capture-the-flag variations, including Shooting Range, which splits players into two teams and tasks them with shooting targets, and Chat Room, which is self-explanatory. If all the new modes and leveled-up characters leave you wanting something simpler, Portable Ops Plus will also let you connect with players of the original Portable Ops, although you can't take your new, Plus-exclusive characters or beefed-up abilities into battle. So much for impressing the noobs with Old Snake's mustache.

More Info

GenreAction
DescriptionA multiplayer-focused expansion of Portable Ops that delivers endless multiplayer possibilities and random stealth-challenges, but zero story.
Franchise nameMetal Gear
UK franchise nameMetal Gear Solid
PlatformPSP
US censor ratingTeen
Alternative namesMGS: Portable Ops Plus, Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops Plus, Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops Plus
Release date13 November 2007 (US), (UK)