Dan Birlew

Las Vegas Web Developer, Designer, Programmer, and Author

Full Rundown on Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker

Posted October 8th, 2009 at 2:36am by Dan Birlew in Game Previews. 1 Comment on Full Rundown on Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker

Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker is an upcoming game currently in development by Kojima Productions for the PlayStation Portable (PSP) set for release in 2010. Peace Walker will be the first Metal Gear title for a portable platform directed by series mastermind Hideo Kojima. The story takes place following the events of Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater and Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops. Gripped with Metal Gear Mania (look it up, it’s a not-so-rare disease), I decided to compile all known info about this game in one place.

Big Boss returns to PSP, leading the Militaries Sans Frontiers.

Big Boss returns to PSP, leading the Militaries Sans Frontiers.

Set in 1974, the game is a direct sequel to Portable Ops. The protagonist is again the man known only as “Jack,” a.k.a “Naked Snake.” Having crushed the insurgence of the renegade FOX Unit, prevented the creation of Army’s Heaven and secured one half of the Philosopher’s Legacy fortune, Snake now accepts the auspicious title granted him by President Lyndon Johnson after he killed his former lover, “mother” and mentor, The Boss. Now letting himself be called “Big Boss,” he uses the data and funding from Army’s Heaven to establish FOXHOUND. He’s spent the last few years in Colombia training the Militaires Sans Frontières (MSF) or “Soldiers Without Borders.” This is where Peace Walker apparently picks up the story.

Series creator Hideo Kojima's personal touch makes this a true Metal Gear sequel.

Series creator Hideo Kojima's personal touch makes this a true Metal Gear sequel.

Snake and his “Soldiers Without Borders” are approached by visitors from Costa Rica, a “nation without a military.” The recent incursion of an unknown military force threatens the balance of world power in Costa Rica, the only nation to maintain neutrality in the wake of the Cuban Missile Crisis. The visitors, Ramón Gálvez Mena and his protégé, Paz Ortega Andrade, wish for Snake and the MSF to intervene.

The game features a host of new characters and baddies. The only recognizable returning character is Kazuhira “Master” Miller, who previously appeared in Metal Gear 2 and Metal Gear Solid (though in MGS Master turned out to be Liquid Snake, wearing a disguise). Master Miller is Snake’s main advisor in the field via radio. Other than that, little else is known about the plot.

The game features new conventions appearing for the first time in the series. While the series is well-known for it’s long-winded cutscenes, the dialog scenes in Peace Walker are handled with hand-drawn animations similar to the digital graphic novels previously released on PSP.

Cutscenes are handled graphic novel styles with hand drawn stills and animations.

Cutscenes are handled graphic novel style with hand drawn stills and animations.

The main difference most series vets will notice is the controls. Camera control is similar to the 3D camera option in Metal Gear Solid 3: Subsistence. The left stick controls movement while the face buttons (square, triangle, circle, X) are used to move the camera. Pressing various directions on the d-pad executes a variety of actions. The d-pad is used to equip weapons and miscellaneous items (right and left, respectively), to make Snake crouch or lie flat (down) or to interact with the environment or hide behind cover (up). Pressing the L button causes Snake to aim, and pressing R makes him fire. The Select button toggles between guided, over-the-shoulder aiming and auto-aim. The Start button lets you view the map or call people on the radio. These controls can be changed later, but they must be used when starting the demo (and possibly the game). There doesn’t appear to be a way to pause except to put the PSP on standby.

Snake cannot drag and hide bodies as in previous games. However, there is an item called the Fulton Balloon which he can attach to a body, removing it from the battlefield. Deduction tells me these will be few in supply, meaning you must move through areas fast.

Player linking in co-op adds a new feature to Metal Gear.

Player linking in co-op adds a new feature to Metal Gear.

The game can be played solo or co-op. Many new functions are built into the co-op mode, including linking two characters so that they move together while fighting. Also, video makes it look as if though one player will be able to perform CPR on a fallen comrade if they reach the body within a given amount of time. Cardboard boxes used for hiding can now fit two people. If someone is already in another box, it appears to be a simple matter to run over and join him.

Players may be able to perform CPR on each other to keep them in action.

Players may be able to perform CPR on each other to keep them in action.

Peace Walker trailers appeared at E3 2009 and Gamescom. During the 2009 Tokyo Game Show, attendees were able to download a three-level demo of the game. This demo is available for download at IGN, but be warned; the demo is entirely in Japanese. Peace Walker received awards at the show for Best of Show and Best PSP Game.

2009 Tokyo Game Show Trailer:

2009 Gamescom Trailer:

E3 2009 Trailer:

Peace Walker is shaping up to be a great game and a new Metal Gear experience. I didn’t pick up Metal Gear Solid 4 because I don’t own a PlayStation 3. Plus, I enjoy the mix of fantasy and history in Big Boss’s storyline more so than the futuristic story featuring Solid Snake, so I definitely look forward to this new entry in the series.

Tags: , , , ,

One Response to “Full Rundown on Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker”

  1. Youtube has become such an offensive place full of spam and mean sprirted commenting on almost any video put there – that I think you would be better served to keep your material off of youtube until they learn to moderate or police the use of comments and profanity. You could simply host the videos on amazon s3 and stream them from any site you choose.