Ten years ago, Metal Gear Solid Peace Walker was released for the Playstation Portable and as I was new to the series back then, I spent quite some time watching and reading about how much of an impact it had caused. Ten years later I finally could buy a PSP and while I wasn't sure whether or not to get Peace Walker for it (I used to have it for PS3 but got stuck and stopped playing) but once I started playing it again and embraced its core design I was ready to play the direct sequel to MGS3. And so I did, getting the first Retro GOTY nominee in the proccess and having a blast with this gem.
Metal Gear Solid Peace Walker takes place almost immediately after the events of the Snake Eater, as here the game's mentions of what happened in Portable Ops is zero to non-existent. Following this, Big boss founds himself in a jungle with new partner Miller and is asked to another job, a job which and as always, is related to Snake's past. The plot develops more and more but the big game changer here is how one of the main characters from Snake Eater makes such of a comeback without feeling forced or as if the writers wanted to rely on a past decision that worked for them. That character is present once again in Peace Walker and from then on, Snake 's new adventure goes big.
In contrast with Portable Ops which practically was a port of MGS3 to the PSP, Peace Walker uses most of its assets and engine from zero, that is, making it to look enormous and fitted for the portable. However, one thing that does come back is the comic style from Ops and that makes the already captivating storytelling more intriguing. As for how the game performs during gameplay, to ask for 60 frames per second is way too much. Nevertheless, what the game manages to deliver is very cool on its own right. Boss fights feel immersive thanks to how much thought was put into the gameplay and how it would end up looking.
Portable Ops was a game that without a doubt suffered from its porting tag, and controls needed to be changed within the game options in order to make it playable without dying too much, and that button mapping changing alternative still resides here, just in case one wants to experiment with the totally revamped, and better new one. As for the core gameplay per se, much has been improved from previous entries and new additions are more than welcomed. From example, how to recruit your soldiers is faster now, the way weapons and items are selected shines bright during every given situation and better yet: boss battles require both strategy and knowing that the game actually works in your favor once you master what is has to offer. All of this made the final moments of the game a journey that I didn't want to see ending. Guess that's what happens to great games.
The Metal Gear Solid series has always been known for its unforgettable soundtrack, and that is no exception here. From the scenery to the voice acting to finally the final boss of the game, what you hear is top notch. I must say though, some script desicions affected not only this area of the game but many others as well for the real final boss fight, but everything prior that is music for your ears. Played with or without headphones, Peace Soundtrack's soundtrack is one to remember. Heaven's Divide, the game's titular song is one big example of video game stories and songwriting done right when combined.
While with all of the written above Peace Walker deserves a perfect score, nothing is without, or at least for most cases, without a flaw. The button mapping did an excellent job, just that a little refining could have been better. Still, once you master its controls the game is a joy to play. However, what is not a joy to play is the post game content which tells you something must be done, but what happens after you do that? You get the real final boss fight which by all means feels more of an anime extra episode than something related to the Metal Gear mythos by a longshot. Why after witnessing the anime influence do its job, we have to listen to a japanese song totally not fitting for the occasion? In the end, I was satisfied with when the game showed me credits, not after this, and this I don't forgive nor forget.
I can't encourage Metal Gear Solid fans to play this more, and that is why this game gets:
4.5 out of 5
Next time in Exber's Blog: Retro Review - Persona 3 Portable
Thanks for Reading.