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Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker First Night Impressions

June 9, 2010

The Metal Gear series has been one of the beloved and critically a claimed series in gaming thus far.  The last game in the main series, Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots is in my top two games I’ve played and was supposed to be the last in the main series (Allowing games like Metal Gear Rising to still be made).  However Hideo Kojima, the creator of Metal Gear just couldn’t resist coming back and giving us Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker for the PsP.

*Even though it is still early in the game I still don’t want to spoil anything, spoilerific names will be whited out, highlight at your own risk*

As the title of the article explains, I’ve only had one night’s worth of playing Peace Walker, which turns out to be about six hours worth of gameplay.

So far the game, in true Metal Gear fashion, is excellent.  I’ve only done a handful of missions (due to tinkering with other things, more on that later) but each was fun, interesting with great hand drawn cutscenes with Quick Time Events (QTEs) to tell the story.  The story takes about 10 years after Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater.  Naked Snake aka Big Boss is now starting his own military unit and is confronted by a “professor” and a young girl named Paz (Peace).  Quickly devising who the professor is Snake originally refuses his offer to help Costa Rica with a problem of the C.I.A bringing in soldiers and military equipment into the country.

After hearing  The Boss’ voice on a recording Snake agrees to take on the mission.  The first mission acts as a tutorial, extra tutorial and combat practice.  The very start of the game has Snake joining his soldiers in pratice which is the initial tutorial.  After the actual mission starts Snake is able to practice some more with weapons before preceding onto the mission which is the combat practice.

After completing the first mission the ability to access the Mother Base and it’s Mission and Staff Menus will help define a good chunk of Peace Walker.  Peace Walker is split into different missions that last around 20 minutes each, depending on the player, allowing for the game to played in bite sized chunks.  This work really well considering this is a portable title, and it allows you to manage your staff well after and or before a mission.

Snake’s Staff in the Mother Base is an extremely important factor to consider in Peace Walker.  The initial two teams, Combat & R&D, with eventually adding in the Mess Hall etc are crucial for success.  The R&D team in particular is needed to unlock new weapons (and build them), along with items and tools, giving Snake access to new or upgraded form on his weapons.  Keeping the Mess hall staffed allows for the other teams to be more productive and the Combat Team will go on missions and gain experience and better stats over time, as well as being useful in missions where Snake is unavailable.

Using what is called a Fulton Delivery System (Think of that balloon that helped Batman in the Dark Knight), Snake can remove unconscious bodies off the battlefield as well as recruiting said bodies into your fold.  This will be the main source of new blood for your staff and is quite amusing seeing people just fly up into the air.  Each individual staff member has affinities to different groups, and allocating them correctly is a fun, if not a bit time consuming task.

If there was one complaint with the game is that the controls take a little getting used to.  The “shooter” control type will be the preferred, moving with the analog nub and using the face buttons to control the camera, however those like myself used to two analog sticks will be a bit iffy with the controls.  That said it works well once you get used to them (even then it can be iffy) but doesn’t impact the game too much.  The biggest problem probably is the analog nub, and the difficulty of walking slow for a period of time, as it can be easy to accidentally run.

That said the game is a lot of fun and I can’t wait to finish this post to play it again.  Any specific questions about the game? Wondering if it’s a buy? Send your questions and opinions to me in the comments section!

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