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How Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker is kind of like Pokemon

11:01 AM on 05.03.2010 // Hamza CTZ Aziz

On top of the main game presented in Peace Walker, there’s a whole other engrossing aspect called Mother Base. In trade for the help of Snake and the Soldiers without Borders group, Ramón Gálvez Mena gives an abandoned oil platform that becomes Snake’s central base.

At Mother Base, players will develop new weapons, trade or send gifts to other players, access the versus mode, send soldiers on missions and more. Before anything fun can happen with Mother Base though, you first need to put on your Ash Ketchum hat and capture soldiers, Pokemon style.

Confused? Good. Hit the break to see just what the hell I'm talking about.

Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker (PSP)
Developer: Kojima Productions
Publisher: Konami
To be released: June 8, 2010

One of the items Snake can carry is the Fulton Recovery System. The Fulton is a device that once attached to a person, will shoot out a parachute and launches whoever’s attached towards the sky. A plane will then fly by and take the person to Mother Base.

There are prisoners scattered throughout levels that you can save, but you’ll find yourself "recruiting" enemy soldiers the most. The only way to recover an enemy is by either knocking them out or by nearly killing them. For the most part, recovered enemy soldiers will join you, but some will be hostile to the idea and will remain in Mother Base’s brig until they’ve changed their mind.

So yeah, like Pokemon. Sort of.

As you collect soldiers, you’ll find them in the waiting room in the staff roster section. From here you can either manually -- or let the game automatically -- assign where your soldiers will be used. The main section is the combats unit and these are the guys you’ll be sending on missions in Outer Ops. You’ll also be able to assign soldiers to research & development, intel, medical and the mess hall.

Every person you recover will have experience points, stats, special effects and traits. The soldiers assigned to your combats unit can be used in a couple of the game’s modes and the more you use them, the more they’ll level up and get stronger.

The best way to level up your character is in Outer Ops. You’ll be able to create eight teams of eight to venture to different conflict zones and battle with the computer in turned based style matches. You’ll send them off before you go into a main story mission and when you get back, you’ll be presented with a battle report of how your team did. Soldiers will come back from battles with increased stats (the ones that survived anyway) and they’ll sometimes bring back items and new recruits. This is also where you’ll be able to make use of the tanks, helicopters and a very special treat for MGS fans.

You’ll also be able to play as recovered enemy soldiers and level them up in Extra Ops. Here, you’ll do little missions with specific objectives. Missions will range from simple target practice, fulton recovery based ops, document retrievals, armored vehicle battles and more.

After awhile, word of the Outer Heaven group makes the rounds and you’ll find that soldiers want to volunteer for your group. There’s a section in Mother Base called Recruit that will let you recruit more soldiers based on Wi-Fi connections. Once a signal has been found, you’ll be given a mission to bring on more soldiers. These soldiers won’t simple join the cause right away though. You have to defeat them in un-armed combat first in order to prove your group is really worth joining. Two players can do the recruiting missions together and both players will get the same amount of recovered soldiers.

The last part of Mother Base that you need to know about is the research & development section. Here, you’ll do as the name suggests in order to upgrade weapons, unlock better weapons and gain new items. 

I had over 250 soldiers on my team by the end of my playtime. As you progress through Peace Walker, the oil platform housing Mother Base expands and evolves in order to accommodate all of the new features and personnel.

At the end of the day, a lot of what Mother Base offers, specifically the features for your soldiers, will have no impact on the main game at all. Still, I found myself always messing around with all of these extra features as it was just really fun. I enjoyed leveling up these characters and I liked the idea that I had multiple teams of soldiers out in the world fighting as I played the main game. Mother Base will keep you coming back for more long after you've completed the main quest.

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