Review – Metal Gear Solid : Portable Ops (PSP)

Anticipation : 9
Expectation : 9
Initial Reaction : 10
Overall : 9
Genre : Third-Person Action/Adventure

I was first introduced to Metal Gear on the Playstation 2 console. The gameplay and story was incredibly engaging and I thoroughly enjoyed the experience. Based on that experience, I purchased Metal Gear Solid for the Gameboy. The graphics were horrible compared to the Playstation, but I expected that. The game itself was pretty good.

Fast forward to the PSP launch and Metal Gear Acid. While I was caught a little by surprise at the card based gameplay, I was pretty satisfied overall with the experience. In fact, I plan on getting Metal Gear Acid 2 at some point in the future.

I picked up a copy of Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops after reading up on all the hype. I was pretty excited about the game prior to it’s release and couldn’t wait to get my hands on it. My enthusiasm was not in vain, MGS:PO is an incredible game.

The game opens with Snake being captured by his old unit, FoxHound. After rescuing another prisoner and escaping from the prison, Snake start on a mission to save the world. Again. Think Jack Bauer, but cooler.

General gameplay is similar to what previous MGS games provided. Sneaking around, attacking from hidden positions, sneaking up on unsuspecting enemies… It’s all there. It seems that Konami spared nothing when preparing this game for the PSP. The graphics are simply incredible, the controls are almost perfect, and the gameplay is amazing.

But wait, there’s more! You can recruit additional troops by capturing them. Each recruit comes with unique skills that assist you in accomplishing your goals. You can place each recruit into special units that give you additional abilities within the game. The spy unit gathers intelligence about locations you visit in the game. The tech unit manufactures new technology for combating the enemy. The medical unit heals your injured troops and sometimes produces useful items.

Multiplayer has a number of modes that you can take part in. Cyber Survival pits your team against other teams around the world. Cyber Survival is mostly hands off, outcomes being determined by a central server. However, loading up your troops with advanced gear can help to make your team a winner. During these missions, teams can encounter unique characters or capture prisoners of war which they bring back to your system.

There are also other multiplayer modes such as deathmatch, team deathmatch, and capture. These games can be played in either Real or Virtual mode. The difference between these modes is rather simple. In real mode, if your character is killed, he’s a permanent loss from your game. Virtual mode allows you to play to your hearts content without the chance of losing a character forever.

MGS:PO is the first game I’ve played that has Game Sharing. Game Sharing is a method by which the game can be played with other PSP owners that don’t have their own copy of the game. They download a client from your PSP and then join in the multiplayer fun.

Overall, MGS:PO is an incredible game. The gameplay, story, and controls are all top notch. Definitely check this one out, it’s worth it.

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