Attack of the Fanboy

Metal Gear Solid Peacewalker Review

by William Schwartz

Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker takes the series in an exciting new direction with incredible visuals, as it sheds new light on well-known adversaries and allies, along with a wealth of new characters. In true Metal Gear Solid tradition, Peace Walker drops the player into a series of hostile scenarios, as a terrible plan for world domination is revealed. In addition to solo operations, players can team up via the game’s multi-player CO-OPS (CO-operative OPerationS) mode. This extends to key gameplay advances, with players administering medical help to colleagues, sharing munitions, or providing cover for each other using the Snake formation to cover each other’s blind spots. [Konami]

Aside from being a Metal Gear title and all the inherent goodness that goes along with that, Metal Gear Solid: Peacewalker is unbelievable in its size.  When you couple the fairly long campaign in the game with  the 100+ challenges and mini games, Metal Gear Solid Peacewalker could keep you tied up for quite awhile.  It could be one of the largest and most comprehensive Metal Gear titles of the storied franchise.  But beyond it’s sheer length, the gameplay is more fun and addictive than some of the recent Metal Gear titles.  The capturing of enemies which has been added to game is extremely fun and well done.  Capturing soldiers will help you build your squad and the soldiers you capture have different classes which will in turn add different attributes to your squad as you assign them to different divisions.  The hook is that as you keep capturing and recruiting you will find better and better people which will lead to you getting better stuff and a more powerful army.

Aside from all the single player depth and fun to be had there is a co-op mode as well.  (nearly)Every mission in Peacewalker can be played with a friend allowing you to play collectively, with any items earned as a group in co-op will be earned towards your single player experience as well.

The story reeks of Metal Gear Solid through and through, as a fan of the series, I just wouldn’t have felt comfortable with anything other than the twists and turns that a Metal Gear Solid title brings.  Delivered through a series of animated sequences that are stylized to help digest some of the excess that a Metal Gear Solid story line can offer.

Being a game for a portable device, Kojima studios knows that players are unlikely to sit down for marathon sessions of Peacewalker.  And for this reason the game is broken down into shorter bite size missions.  But the overall collective effort of Peacewalker is really something to behold.  The game takes the best from every game in the franchise and somehow incorporates them into these smaller scenarios.  You can sense the developer drew from just about every other aspect of the Metal Gear Solid Games plus added a little more to make it unique. As was mentioned above, the addictive capture and recruit which looks like page from Portable Ops is there, or the stealthy gameplay from the Snake Eater title.  Each bite size portion is surprisingly satisfying.

Portable Ops arguably had one of the hardest control schemes to master for a Metal Gear Solid title. It was painstaking to say the least and felt a bit cluttered at times.  Metal Gear Solid Peacewalker has changed this for the better, and while it is much better there are still some flaws.  I think it really boils down to the hardware than it is the software but Kojima’s team is definitely on the right path with Peacewalker.  The problem that most portable games face from their console counterparts is that for the most part they are mostly over simplified.  Living within the technological constraints of a small platform and a different control scheme is difficult especially when a game is as ambitious as Peacewalker is.

I am all for difficulty in games, I love a challenge but there was some serious failure on the developers part in this area.  With a game like Peacewalker, where the levels can be tackled with friends in co-op mode, there needs to be a sliding scale of difficulty based around the number of players that are in the game.  Some of these missions you are going to swear to god that it is impossible without the help of friends.  Boss battles in particular suffer from these conditions if you are friendless you are going to have a hard time with the bosses in Peacewalker.  It feels like they were specifically designed to be beaten with 4 players effectively overpowering the military grade mechs.  As mentioned above the controls are an improvement in Peacewalker but they definitely do not shine when in tight hectic situations, like a boss battle.  So some of the single player parts of the game can be a bit challenging.

Metal Gear Solid: Peacewalker has a ton of moving parts that come together wonderfully.  Whatever the reason that you play a Metal Gear game for, you will find in Metal Gear Solid: Peacewalker.  What you won’t find is a watered down port, quickly thrown together for a quick buck like you do from so many other games.  Even after the dust has settled and you campaign is complete,Metal Gear Solid: Peacewalker brings a ton of value to the table with unlockables not to mention both the co-op gameplay and multiplayer gamemodes. Most of the game’s major faults are likely to be overshadowed by the overall excellence that the game exudes in so many of its other areas. Get.


Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker

  • Available On: PSP
  • Published By: Konami
  • Developed By: Kojima Productions
  • Genre: Stealth
  • US Release Date: June 2010
  • Reviewed On: PSP
  • Quote: "Metal Gear Solid: Peacewalker has a ton of moving parts that come together wonderfully. Whatever the reason that you play a Metal Gear game for, you will find in Metal Gear Solid: Peacewalker."
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