Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker PSP
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Released on 18/06/2010
Developed by the legendary Hideo Kojima – the mastermind behind the most successful video game tactical-espionage series of all time – this latest PSP® installment picks up where Metal Gear Solid®3 left off. Players take control of the famed Snake, in a thrilling story set in 1974.
Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker features original game design, story and scenario by Hideo Kojima. Scheduled to launch in 2010, the game takes the series in an exciting new direction with its incredible visuals and its unique new game system designed specifically with the PSP in mind.
Cold War Snake
Set in Costa Rica in 1974, at the tail end of the cold war and shortly after the events of Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, Peace Walker has many of the hallmarks of previous franchise entries, placing you in a series of hostile scenarios as a terrible plan for world domination unfolds. But while the game mixes the recruitment elements of Portable Ops, the camouflage from Snake Eater, the refined controls of Metal Gear Solid 4 and the mini games from VR Missions, it's also a very different Metal Gear experience.
Metal Gear Monster Hunter
Your time in Peace Walker is spent mostly in the jungle, but you also visit mountainside locations and industrial enemy strongholds. There's plenty of the trademark sneaking and gadgets that the series is known for, but the title also has a new, distinct RPG feel to it. Clearly influenced by the likes of Monster Hunter and Pokémon, there's plenty of collecting and levelling up to be done.
Plenty of the trademark sneaking and gadgets that the series is known for, also plenty of collecting and levelling up to be done.
It's up to you how you approach the on-field action, meaning you can choose to play stealthily or opt to go in all guns blazing. On the battlefield you catch and recruit as many soldiers for your army as possible; off it you manage your resources, researching and developing new weapons, and healing sick troops or damaged vehicles to aid you in battle. Taking place in an offshore area called the Mother Base which acts as a hub for items and personnel collected within the game, it's a highly rewarding process once you get to grips with it, and a great new addition to what is one of the biggest and most varied Metal Gear experiences yet.
Peace Walker controls exceptionally well, adopting a refined, western setup similar to that of Metal Gear Solid 4. You aim using the left trigger, fire with the right, control the camera with the face buttons and movement with the analogue nub. It's streamlined and effective, allowing you to get down to action with a minimum of fuss.
It's also a fantastically attractive game that demonstrates the PSP's potential. The environments are clean and crisp and the cut scenes – despite being a little too frequent and long – are beautifully realised. The audio completely immerses you too, from the subtle rustling of foliage to the frantic gunshots of battle and dramatic orchestral scores.
If there's one area where the game falls slightly short it's in the boss battle department. The end of level face offs are often wars of attrition as you fight to wear down massive enemy energy bars, rather than ones of pure skill. You're always pitted against vehicles or mechs too, as opposed to some of the more outrageous human opponents in previous Metal Gear games. When compared to those in rival titles the fights are by no means poor - and there are some standout moments - but generally they don't quite reach highpoints the franchise is renowned for.
In addition to its massive solo campaign, Peace Walker features a wealth of multiplayer modes and extra missions.
In addition to its massive solo campaign, Peace Walker features a wealth of multiplayer modes and extra missions, with four person co-operative play perhaps the star attraction. A first for the series, it introduces "Co-Op Ring” and "Snake Formation.” The former lets players interact by sharing items, equipment and life gauges during the heat of battle, while the latter sees one player take the lead so the others can focus on defence. The game also offers a great three-against-three battle royale mode, in which up to six players face off competitively, applying a variety of rules to spice up the action.
On top of this there are 100 "Extra Ops” missions. Mixing recycled maps from the main campaign with unique locations while adding new enemies and goals that are unrelated to the main story, they're unlocked by clearing certain conditions. These fun mini-game offerings - from time attack objectives to more complex ones like freeing prisoners of war, or bizarre ones such as a date with one of the supporting cast members - are perfect for quick pick up and play sessions and for honing your skills.
Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker not only features many of the top gameplay features from the franchise's past but also borrows the best bits from the wider handheld market, making it both a familiar and new kind of Metal Gear experience. With stunning presentation, a massive campaign, deep single player and multiplayer options and loads of extras, Peace Walker is one of the biggest, most impressive and varied Meta Gear Solid – and PSP - games to date.
- An arresting technical showcase.
- Extensive solo and multiplayer offerings.
- Combines the best Metal Gear elements with new features.
- Still too many lengthy cut scenes.
- The boss fights aren't quite up to their usual high standard.
- Some Metal Gear traditionalists might oppose the new influences.
Run through the jungle
The Metal Gear Solid series has had more false endings than a synthetic wig by now; every time series creator Hideo Kojima says that's it and he's never coming back, and yet, miraculously, a couple of years later a new game appears with his name on it. 2008's Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots on PS3 was supposed to be the final, total end to it all - and then Kojima announced Peace Walker, a PSP game that, he says, might as well be Metal Gear Solid 5.
In fact, Solid Snake's story really is over. This is set decades earlier, in 1974, and stars his genetic precursor Naked Snake, a.k.a. the superspy-turned-mercenary Big Boss. It follows the Cold War backstory started in Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater and continued by earlier PSP spin-off Portable Ops.
Peace Walker is a lot like those games, having a largely jungle setting like Snake Eater, and a gotta-catch-em-all sub-game in which you recruit an army of soldiers, like Portable Ops. It finds Snake in Costa Rica, getting caught in the middle of a turf war between the CIA and the KGB which naturally involves building giant robots that fire nukes.
The most important thing to know about Peace Walker is that it's a tough old stealth action game in time-honoured Metal Gear Solid tradition. It can be pretty frustrating at times, especially with the lack of checkpoints - die, or quit in rage at being found out, and you have to go all the way back to the start of that mission. The controls, shoehorned awkwardly onto the PSP, don't help. But it's also really tense and exciting at its best.
There's less high-octane action than in MGS4, but the game does a great job of rewarding you for careful, non-lethal stealth play - not least because you can whisk slumbering soldiers away with your Fulton Recover System (a balloon that lifts them to a waiting helicopter) and add them to the ranks of your Mother Base.
Here you can develop new weapons and gadgets with an R&D team, and send a Combat Team into missions to earn you cash. There are other supporting teams like Medic and Mess Hall. It all happens automatically while you're in missions. There's loads of detail and satisfying tinkering and management to get into here, if that's your thing, and perhaps more importantly loads of cool toys to unlock. So much that it will take multiple playthroughs of the main campaign missions to unlock it all and level up all your teams.
That's not the only way to earn Heroism points and recruit new operatives, though. Peace Walker also has competitive multiplayer, online or local, for up to six players, and a huge suite of bonus missions - score-attack or time-attack scenarios reminiscent of the old VR missions from the original game.
Most of the latter can be played in co-op, as can most of the main missions - two players for sneaking sections, and four players for boss fights. This is a brilliant addition, and it can really help having a friend to get you through the tough missions. It's funny to watch two Snakes crawl along together in a cardboard Love Box built for two - this series still hasn't lost its mischievous sense of humour.
It's still got great production values too, with the cut-scenes being done in the stylish graphic novel style used in Portable Ops, and fully voiced. The story's the usual improbable, tangled tale of intrigue and giant robots; it makes a bit more sense that MGS games usually do, but then it's a bit less colourful, too.
But then, Peace Walker is less about that main story than any MGS game has been before. It's about coll ecting operatives and trading them with your friends, improving your ranking in the bonus missions, replaying levels in co-op, unlocking everything in Mother Base and generally enjoying a hugely flexible and almost infinitely long full-scale Metal Gear Solid game that you can take with you wherever you go. As a Metal Gear Solid game, it's not the best, but it's not far off; but as a PSP game, it's untouchable.
+ Mother Base means it will last you forever.
+ A fantstically lavish package for the PSP.
+ Co-op is a great new addition.
Down to earth
- Awkward control layouts.
- Lack of checkpoints can lead to tedium.
- Not for the faint of stealth.
"Choose your own legacy."
The History of Metal Gear Solid
Metal Gear Solid is one of the most revered game series ever. A unique mix of stealth, storytelling and style, Hideo Kojima's Tactical Espionage Action blends engrossing story, inspired direction and philosophical debate with genuine humour, hilarious quirks, brilliant boss battles and ingenious design decisions. If there's another game that features hiding in a cardboard box, we've yet to play it.
Yet Metal Gear Solid is gaming marmite. Detractors consider it the work of a frustrated film director and more interactive movie than game. Fans, however, adore its intricate plotting, post-modern spin and sophisticated sneaking. So as Snake's final mission sidles into view, we've taken the opportunity to look back at Metal Gear Solid's highs and lows, based upon six key themes.
Still confused with the story? Check out our MGS Timeline!
Gear - Metal Gear Begins (MSX & NES, 1987, 1990)
Also: Snake's Revenge (non-Canon)(NES, 1990)
While the first Metal Gear Solid hit UK shores in 1999, the Metal Gear saga, minus the 'Solid', began in 1987. MSX and NES Metal Gear and its 1990 Japan-only MSX sequel, Metal Gear: Solid Snake introduced Solid Snake, his covert government unit FOXHOUND, and his one-man mission to rid the world of the titular nuclear-equipped mobile battle tank.
Sneaking past patrolling enemy soldiers who attacked only if they spotted you, was the height of sophistication.
But it was the unusual concept of a hide and seek videogame which was creator Hideo Kojima's inspiration. In an era of side-scrolling platformers and rudimentary artificial intelligence, to be tasked with sneaking past patrolling enemy soldiers who attacked only if they spotted you, and would hunt you down if you hid, was the height of sophistication.
The plot was special too, laced with subterfuge, double-crosses and genuine shocks. FOXHOUND commander, Big Boss, was unveiled as the first game's terrorist leader, and in the sequel as Snake's own father which didn't stop Snake killing him in an emotive, bittersweet 8bit finale. Epic and gripping even in 2D, Metal Gear 1 and 2 remain landmarks in videogame history. Both can be found as bonuses on MGS3: Subsistence.
Gene - Metal Gear Solid (PSone, 1999)
Also: MGS: VR Missions (1999), MGS: The Twin Snakes (GC, 2003), MGS: Digital Graphic Novel (PSP, 2006)
Twelve years on and Metal Gear Solid arrived on Sony's market-leading PlayStation. Snake's mission was to infiltrate Alaska's Shadow Moses Island and stop renegade unit FOXHOUND, made up of Revolver Ocelot, Vulcan Raven, Sniper Wolf, Psycho Mantis, Decoy Octopus and their enigmatic leader Liquid Snake, launching a nuclear strike. But unbeknownst to Snake and the player, he was merely a vessel for FOXIDE, a deadly virus carried by the nanomachines inside his body, designed to target the terrorist's DNA.
It was a stellar success. The top-down viewpoint, on-screen enemy radar, sneaky gadget-packed 3D gameplay and thrill-ride story surpassed anything in the genre. Metal Gear Solid was a clever game. Taking out enemy soldiers required sweaty-palmed planning and ruthless execution. One false move and you'd be hunted by gun-toting terrorists as a timer ticked tensely down.
And it was inventive. One boss required you to swap joypad ports to stop him reading your thoughts. Kojima even had gamers scratching their heads looking for a radio frequency. 'It's on the box' you're told. Cue players frantically scouring Snake's inventory and gameworld. As it turned out, it was found in a screenshot on the back of the game's own box.
Inspired in design and satisfying at its conclusion, this was one of the great games of its era.
Metal Gear Solid remains one of the few games to make gamers think outside of the confines of its world. It also wasn't afraid to reference its rich back-story, causing players to read up on the events of the old NES games. Few videogame narratives offer such depth.
The theme of Metal Gear Solid was Gene. Its closing act revealed Snake and Liquid to be clones of Big Boss; products of a project to create the perfect soldier, called Les Enfants Terrible. By sneaking past the Genome Army (themselves combat optimised by Big Boss's DNA), eliminating the renegade FOXHOUND, defeating Metal Gear Rex, killing his genetically superior twin Liquid (thanks to FOXDIE), rescuing Rex designer Hal 'Otacon' Emmerich and saving rookie soldier Meryl Silverburgh, Snake proved that his own choices and character mattered more than the legacy of his genes.
Metal Gear Solid was itself proof that the PlayStation was a gamer's console. Setting new standards for production, inspired in design and satisfying at its conclusion, this was one of the great games of its era. Criticised for being short (12+ hours coasting through, but under 5 if you rushed), and for relying heavily on the dialogue-driven Codec (Snake's in-ear radio) to tell the story, there was still nothing like it. A PS2 sequel topped everyone's most wanted lists.
Meme - Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty (PS2, 2002)
Also: MGS2: Substance, (PS2, Xbox, 2004)
Hailed as a 'killer app' and delayed in the UK to stifle the Xbox launch, Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty proved a controversial follow-up. Consternation centred on the fact that Metal Gear Solid's rock-hard hero Solid Snake was replaced by girly white-haired Raiden for the majority of the game. No-one saw it coming.
Moreover, Kojima went to town on the plot, confusing with elaborate Codec dialogue, long cutscenes and a bonkers screenplay, enhancing what made MGS1 so divisive. Ocelot now had Liquid Snake's arm grafted to him, which somehow took him over. FOXHOUND were replaced by another set of superpowered freaks called Dead Cell one of which, Vamp, seemed immortal. And a longwinded climax practically told you that everything had been a cover-up. Plenty were perplexed. A disillusioned few swore off the series for life.
Which was a shame because, between breaks in play, Sons of Liberty was astonishing. For starters, it oozed production values; with unrivalled graphical detail and a soundtrack courtesy of Hollywood Harry Gregson Williams, fronted by a rousing re-edit of the MGS theme.
Sons of Liberty is, with hindsight, a contradicted game, but still a bonafide blockbuster action-adventure.
Gameplay followed suit. This was an extrapolation of everything that defined Metal Gear. Refined A.I., a new hold-up technique and some ingeniously designed rooms gave MGS2 a sandbox feel. Lockers, tables, first-person aiming and hiding bodies made sneaking at once tenser, but more open to interpretation. And the big plot twist the Big Brother style Patriots put the entire saga into a new context.
MGS2 made everything bigger. It showed Kojima wasn't afraid to sacrifice popular opinion to pursue his vision. Impenetrable at its most pretentious but compelling, playable and stupendously surreal at its peak, Sons of Liberty is, with hindsight, a contradicted game, but still a bonafide blockbuster action-adventure.
It evolved Kojima's storytelling, too. Though controversial, playing as Raiden gave a newfound respect for Snake. The theme also evolved, becoming Meme. Kojima wanted to express that we should pick the ideas, culture and beliefs for us; passing on these memes to shape the future.
MGS2's story reflected this, seeing Snake and Liquid's older clone brother, Solidus, turning terrorist to rebel against the secret censorship of the all-controlling Patriots. The Patriots became an ominous, faceless, oppressive uber-foe, who have still to be defeated, which is what makes Metal Gear Solid 4 such a tantalising prospect.
Scene - Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater (PS2, 2005)
Also: MGS3: Subsistence, (PS2, 2006)
The stage firmly set for a climactic battle between Snake, Liquid and The Patriots, Kojima instead made a prequel. Set in the Cold War era, Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater starred Snake and Liquid's Dad, Big Boss, in his Darth Vader style turn to evil which led to the events of NES Metal Gear. This was Kojima's Revenge of the Sith.
The theme, Scene, was something different. Kojima had explored Gene, and genetic legacy. He'd gone into Meme, and handing down values. But Scene focused on adapting to the here and now. It was expressed in the gameplay, with Snake adapting to his jungle surroundings through camouflage and cannibalising wildlife. And it was explored in the narrative, which discussed how values of people, politics and nations change with the times.
At the same time, Metal Gear Solid 3 detailed the origins of the Patriots; who ultimately pulled the world's political strings, of Metal Gear technology, and of Big Boss himself, known by another codename; Naked Snake.
Snake Eater starred Snake and Liquid's Dad, Big Boss, in his Darth Vader style turn to evil. This was Kojima's Revenge of the Sith.
But there was an awful lot of stop-and-start. Cutscenes and Codec conversations were prevalent in the opening quarter of this longest ever, 20+ hour Metal Gear. Healing and feeding menu screens ate into gameplay too. The jungle, meanwhile, presented fewer hiding places. Getting spotted meant running between areas (with long loading screens) or hiding in foliage for minutes at a time. Snake Eater was slow going.
But when it gathered momentum, MGS3 was a triumph. The 1960's setting made this a low-tech Metal Gear Solid, lacking on-screen radar or hi-spec gadgets, but the story was far easier to follow. Snake's mission to rescue a Soviet scientist and destroy the nuclear-equipped Shagohod tank (the forebear to Metal Gear robots) encompassed memorable characters including a young Ocelot, megalomaniacal cyborg Colonel Volgin, femme fatale Eva, and Snake's mentor, The Boss, accompanied by her team, the Cobras.
Slow start aside, MGS3's main criticisms lay in the camera, and the Cobras' lack of depth. MGS1 and 2's bosses had intricate personal histories, but here they were simply The Boss's war comrades. Nonetheless, they made for spectacular battles, and when Subsistence re-released MGS3 the following year with a new free-floating camera and online multiplayer, fans and critics were unanimous that Metal Gear Solid 3 was another sneaky Kojima corker.
Small - Handheld Metal Gears (GBA, PSP)
As well as the famous home-system versions, the Metal Gear series has spawned a selection of stylish portable spinoffs to varying degrees of success. Here's the handheld titles any true Metal Gear gamer may wish to track down/p>
- Metal Gear: Ghost Babel (2000): A GameBoy Color title that played a little like the original NES Metal Gears, renamed simply Metal Gear Solid in the west. Starring Solid Snake, the story was later dubbed an 'alternate sequel to Metal Gear' by Kojima.
- Metal Gear Ac!d 1 & 2 (2005, 2006): Replaced MGS's action with a turn-based card battle system. Not your typical Metal Gear, Ac!d is the most cult release amongst series fans.
- Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops (2007): A proper MGS game in shrunken-down form and a direct story sequel to MGS3, again featuring Naked Snake/Big Boss as the main character, this time in the 1970's as he established the fledgling FOXHOUND.
- Portable Ops pioneered a squad system, allowing players to recruit soldiers and utilise their unique abilities. It also boasted Wi-Fi compatible online multiplayer that took a lot from Subsistence, and proved a huge success for Sony's smaller system.
- Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops Plus (2008): Portable Ops Plus gave gamers extra multiplayer content in the form of new characters (including Raiden), new missions and tutorials, plus a new singleplayer component that put aside story to focus on randomly generated missions. One for fans of the first game's online offering.
Sense - Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots (PS3, 2008)
Underpinning Gene, Meme and Scene of Metal Gear Solids 1 to 3 has been a central theme of passing on information to future generations. MGS1 was Gene. MGS2 was Meme. MGS3's Scene discussed how the times and places we live in dictate the information we see and share. Metal Gear Solid 4's Sense focuses on how perceptions and feelings influence those choices.
What we know about Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots has us extremely excited. In the five years since Sons of Liberty, Snake's clone body has aged considerably. His last mission is to stop Liquid, in control of Ocelot's body, launching a military coup against the United States, secretly controlled by The Patriots.
Snake's last mission is to stop Liquid Ocelot launching a military coup against the United States, secretly controlled by The Patriots.
MGS4 will span five global locations including the Middle East, and a snowy area looking suspiciously like MGS1's Shadow Moses, where Snake will face new bosses with familiar codenames; Crying Wolf, Raging Raven, Screaming Mantis and Laughing Octopus. As the final chapter, all remaining stories of an enormous ensemble cast must be tied up especially Snake, pictured holding a gun to his own mouth on several occasions.
Sense is apparent in Old Snake's new armoury. The Solid Eye combines binoculars, thermal and night vision goggles to one all-purpose sight sense. The Octo Cammo Suit mimics the look of surfaces it touches to conceal Snake from sight. And the Metal Gear Mk.II can scout ahead to stun enemies, becoming an advanced eyes, ears and attack option.
Sense is also apparent in the new Stress and Psyche system. The explosive MGS4 warzone causes Snake's stress to soar, increasing accuracy and damage resistance for a short while at the expense of psyche, which will eventually crash, affecting stamina and health.
For its many, many fans Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots will be a fitting finale to a trailblazing series.
It promises a constant balancing act, maintained with cigarettes, adult magazines, and stealthier approaches. Those who wish, however, can go gung-ho, earning Drebin Points to buy new weapons from MGS4's gun launderer. And of course, it will all be framed by epic cinematics, evocative sound and the option to see catch-up flashbacks from past Metal Gears.
But what of the remaining sense? Will MGS4 conclusion leave behind a bitter taste? The proof will be in the playing, but Kojima has promised a true fan service, with the boldest, most Metal Gear MGS ever. The inclusion of Metal Gear Online makes this an immense package, and production values are unparalleled. It may still be marmite, but for its many, many fans Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots will be a fitting finale to a trailblazing series, a great goodbye to Tactical Espionage Action, and a Sense-sational send-off for Solid Snake.
Article by: Mark 'Gene' Scott
The History of Metal Gear Solid - Timeline
- The Manhattan Project, worked on by Otacon's grandfather.
- The Boss sets up The Cobra Unit, who go on to help win WWII for Allied forces.
- The Boss Gives birth to Ocelot, who is taken by The Philosophers.
- Hiroshima is bombed. On the same day, Otacon's father is born.
- The Boss disbands The Cobras.
- Jack becomes a student of The Boss.
- The Boss abandons Jack on a mission.
Events of Metal Gear Solid 3 Naked Snake - Metal Gear Solid Timeline
- Jack, codenamed 'Naked Snake', infiltrates the Soviet jungle, defeats Shagohod, kills The Boss and gets a new codename, 'Big Boss'.
- EVA, a Chinese spy, steals The Philosophers Legacy.
Events of Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops.
- Big Boss meets Roy Campbell and Frank Jaegar, and defeats the first Metal Gear.
- Ocelot retrieves The Philosophers Legacy.
- American Branch of The Philosophers change their name to The Patriots.
- Big Boss officially establishes FOXHOUND, with Roy Campbell his second in charge.
- Les Enfants Terribles Project. Big Boss is cloned; Snake, Liquid and Solidus are born.
- Big Boss breaks Frank Jaegar out of prison camp and officially adopts him.
First Metal Gear on Nintendo Entertainment System - Metal Gear Solid Timeline
- Frank Jaegar officially adopts Naomi. Big Boss gets them into the US with the surname 'Hunter'.
- Solid Snake joins FOXHOUND.
- Events of Metal Gear. Snake infiltrates Outer Heaven, rescues FOXHOUND operative Frank Jaeger, now codenamed Grey Fox, defeats the turncoat Big Boss and destroys Metal Gear.
- Following Big Boss's turn, Roy Campbell becomes FOXHOUND commander-in-chief.
Events of Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake.
- Snake infiltrates Zanzibar Land, fights and kills both the turncoat Grey Fox, and the returning Big Boss, who reveals before he dies that he is Snake's father.
Metal Gear Solid Codec - Metal Gear Solid Timeline Events of Metal Gear Solid.
- Dr. Naomi Hunter injects Snake with nanomachines carrying FOXDIE; a deadly virus designed to target FOXHOUND member's DNA. Angry over Grey Fox's death, Naomi also programs FOXDIE to kill Snake at a random time.
- Grey Fox returns as a cyborg ninja, cutting off Ocelot's hand and fighting Solid Snake, before giving his life helping Snake battle Metal Gear Rex.
- Liquid Snake details the Les Enfants Terribles project to Solid Snake.
- Commanded by Campbell via Codec, Snake infiltrates Shadow Moses, stops FOXHOUND, kills Liquid (thanks to FOXDIE) and defeats Metal Gear Rex, rescuing Campbell illegitimate daughter Meryl and Rex designer Hal 'Otacon' Emmerich.
Events of Metal Gear Solid 2 'Tanker' Chapter.
- Snake meets and battles Olga Gurlukovich aboard an oil tanker on the Hudson River.
- Ocelot, now with the 'dead' Liquid Snake's arm grafted to him, steals the new Metal Gear Ray.
Snake and Raiden - Metal Gear Solid Timeline
- Olga Gurlukovich gives birth to Sunny, who is kidnapped by The Patriots.
Events of Metal Gear Solid 2 'Big Shell' Chapter.
- Ocelot's body is overtaken by the consciousness of Liquid Snake.
- The Patriots are officially revealed as the true power in the United States.
- Raiden infiltrates Big Shell, meets Snake, fights members of Dead Cell, battles a series of Metal Gear Rays aboard Arsenal Gear, and kills Solidus, who was attempting to liberate Manhattan from Patriot control.
2009-2014 (Date unknown)
- Sons of the Patriots (SOP) system implemented, placing nanomachines in every solder for maximum battlefield efficiency.
- Snake and Otacon rescue Sunny. She's an awful cook.
- Liquid Ocelot kidnaps Naomi Hunter in order to control the SOP nanomachines.
Snake in Guns of the Patriots - Metal Gear Solid Timeline Events of Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots.
- A prematurely aged, FOXDIE-ravaged Solid Snake is hired by the UN to eliminate Liquid Ocelot, who is engineering an SOP override, and building forces for an armed insurrection against The Patriots.
- War has changed...
Kojima Productions getting ready for next MGS?
Okay, big news for stealth fans. Eurogamer's reporting that Kojima Productions is hiring for the next Metal Gear Solid game.
That's how things certainly look, anyway. The news comes via a job listing on Konami's Japanese website, which was translated rather handily by Andriasang.
The listing, titled "Next Generation Metal Gear Solid Series Production Staff", asks for programmers with experience on "PC/PS3/Xbox 360" alongside graphics staff with an interest in conducting research into next-gen CG.
Amongst other things, as Eurogamer notes, this means that the next MGS could be going multi-platform.
The one thing you have to admit about Kojima Productions, whether you love the studio's slick take on action stealth or not, is that the team likes to keep busy. Since Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots landed on the PS3 in 2008, the studio's also put out the brilliant Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker for the PSP, helped out with Castlevania: Lords of Shadow, for the PS3 and Xbox 360, and is currently working on Metal Gear Rising, a fast-paced swordplay adventure for the PC, PS3 and Xbox 360, which follows series regular Raiden on a new deadly mission.
More news on this as soon as we hear it.
This week's new GAME releases see you on embarking on a Cold War sneaking mission, staying in for a karaoke night or body and mind workout, or becoming a fashion or cricket star.
Cold war crisis
Snake is back in Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker (PSP), the latest entry in the long-running tactical-espionage series. Set in Costa Rica in 1974, at the tail end of the Cold War and shortly after the events of Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, Peace Walker has many of the hallmarks of previous franchise entries - such as stealthy sneaking and cool gadgets - but also features a new RPG dimension. That means there plenty of collecting and levelling up to be done as you catch, recruit and manage as many soldiers as you can for your army. Offering stunning visuals, the deep singe player campaign is complemented by two and four-player cooperative and three-versus-three competitive multiplayer modes.
Karaoke follow-up U-Sing: Girls Night (Wii) offers 30 great tracks from today leading female musicians. It also boasts a revamped interface designed to make the game more accessible and a feature that lets you record and play back your performances. On top of that Girls Night debuts the U-Sing Wii Store, which enables you to download new tracks for the game after its release. It will be available on its own for those who already own U-Sing, or bundled with either one or two microphones for those new to the series and keen to sample its top mix of multiplayer modes.
Body and mind workout
Fully compatible with the Wii Balance Board and Wii Motion Plus, New U Fitness Yoga and Pilates & Balance Board (Wii) is the follow-up to New U Fitness First Personal Trainer. Focused on the increasingly popular yoga and pilates workouts, the game allows you to bring both disciplines to life using a range of breathing and relaxation techniques from the comfort of your living room. For the uninitiated it also features customisable exercise programmes which are demoed by personal trainers via videos and voiceovers.
Based on the hit US reality TV show, Project Runway (Wii) places you in the role of an aspiring fashion designer faced with the fiercest challenges of your young career. Taking on board tips along the way from Project Runway celebrities like Heidi Klum, who act as both your mentors and judges, youl be set a variety of themed objectives, from creating a look for a rock star to designing the next high school uniform. You can also design your own fashion line with numerous options for style, fabric, colours, models, make up, hair and accessories, and use the Wii Remote and Balance Board to walk down and pose on the runway.
Step into the crease
Boasting officially licensed players, stadiums and kits from English, Welsh and Australian cricket, plus slick TV-style presentation and commentary from the BBC Jonathan Agnew and bowling legend Shane Warne, Cricket 2010 (X360, PS3) is perhaps the most authentic recreation of the sport yet. As well as enhanced fielding, bowling and batting gameplay across quick tournaments, Twenty20 matches and full test series, the title introduces a new owerstick that gives you 360 degree analogue control over power and direction, enabling the widest selection of shots in the franchise history. In addition, a new action camera gives you on-field perspectives not possible with traditional broadcast views.
Also out this week:
In an interview with Eurogamer conducted at E3 last week, Matsuhana said the team couldn’t use the original game in its forthcoming MGS HD Collection as the original’s looking a little too old.
"Obviously, we wanted to include it and make it a complete collection. However, as you know, Metal Gear Solid 1 was for the PSone. It has a very, very low polygon count," he said. "While at the time the game was something new and refreshing, just bringing it as is into HD probably wouldn't have that much meaning to us. We're doing two and three with a certain work flow where the goal is to take that game, preserve it and introduce it to a new generation. We can't really take that approach with Metal Gear Solid 1 because it's very dated at this point."
Excitingly, we went on to add that, "if we were going to do Metal Gear Solid 1 we'd want to take more time with it. Not just up-res the textures, not just make things look pretty and polished, but go back and tweak some of the gameplay, tweak the story to update things and do it properly. Not just a re-master but a re-imagining almost. We do want to do that sometime down the road but it will take more time.”
Okay, so that’s kind of a misleading headline, but this is still an interesting story. Metal Gear creator Hideo Kojima loves his famous stealth action series – but he hates the Metal Gear NES game, which was a lot of fans’ introduction to the world of Solid Snake.
It all comes down to the fact that Metal Gear was originally released for Microsoft’s MSX computer, way back in 1987. The game only ended up on the NES after it was ported. And Kojima wasn’t happy about it.
"I had absolutely no participation in the development of the NES version," Kojima told Nintendo Power recently (thanks Eurogamer). "The NES version was a pitiful title developed cheaply and simply by a small team in Tokyo. That was during the bubble economy where anything and everything that was released would sell. I came across the game in a bargain bin and tried play it, but the game design is pretty bad. There is some gameplay that includes infiltrating a base that didn't exist in the original. However, even I, the developer of the original game, was unable to infiltrate the base even once. That title has only soiled my reputation."
It’s not all bad, though: "Even though it was an abomination, it was during the bubble economy and it sold millions overseas.”
If you want to check out more recent Metal Gear games, of course, you could do worse than pick up the Metal Gear Solid HD Collection for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 when it comes out this November. It contains HD remasters of MGS2, MGS3, and Peace Walker. Ace!
Legendary Japanese game designer Hideo Kojima, the mad genius behind the blockbuster Metal Gear Solid series, has admitted to insider website Gamesindustry.biz that he never been completely happy with any of the games he made, including the best-selling Metal Gear Solid 4. Even more shocking, he says that the day he fully satisfied is the day he quits games for good.
"I've never created something that completely satisfies me," he explained. "I don't think that, even as technology continues to improve, I will ever be able to create something that completely satisfies me."
"Creating something is about turning impossible things into possible things, things you want to be able to do. If it gets to the point where I'm able to create anything I want, I'll probably stop making video games.
Kojima, who divides his time between development and his duties as Vice President of Konami, is currently overseeing no less than three entries in the Metal Gear series, including Snake Eater 3D for the 3DS, the Raiden-centric spin-off Metal Gear Solid: Rising and an HD compilation of the original Metal Gear Solid and its sequels.
The upcoming Metal Gear Solid HD Collection will feature four-player support in its conversion of Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker.
Series creator Hideo Kojima, who is overseeing the creation of the new PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 compilation pack, has confirmed that the acclaimed PSP title Peace Walker will make the transition to home consoles with its multiplayer mode intact.
The Metal Gear Solid HD Collection is due for release this November and will feature high-definition conversions of three of the most popular titles in the iconic series.
As well as Peace Walker, the PlayStation 2 classics Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty and Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater will be included.
Each game features support for Trophies and Achievements for the first time, in addition to the visual upgrade.
Metal Gear to continue after Kojima's gone
A fan of Metal Gear Solid? Then you're in luck, as it seems like you'll have games to keep you going for some time to come as creator Hideo Kojima says he'd like to see the series continue long after he's left this mortal coil.
Speaking at The University of Southern California, Kojima said, "First of all, I just want to say that as long as there are fans who want Metal Gear Solid, as a producer, I will always want to still make them and I want the series to continue."
"So even after I die, I still would love to have the Metal Gear Solid series continue."
Kojima, who started the series back when all this was just sprites back in 1987 with the original NES game Metal Gear, also revealed how he just can't get away from the series - no matter how hard he tries.
"I've tried to hand Metal Gear off to other people within the studio and I've tried to raise people up so they have the ability to take over," he said, "And I think since Metal Gear Solid 3, I've tried this and actually did hand it off and have other people come up with the story and come up with the game design.
"But for some reason it just never really works out. And, you know, I end up having to step in again to take charge and kind of fix things here and there and just get sucked back in."
Metal Gear Solid's been relatively quiet of late, though that's all set to change soon; Metal Gear Solid HD Collection is coming later this year, paving the way for the release of Metal Gear Solid: Snake Eater 3D early next year and - fingers crossed - Metal Gear Solid: Rising late in 2012.
Hideo Kojima, the mercurial genius behind the Metal Gear franchise, has been talking about the upcoming evolution of the series, Ground Zeroes. VideoGamer has reported that the Japanese auteur thinks the game may be too controversial for audiences to handle.
"Video games as a medium haven't matured very much at all in the last 25 years," Kojima told journalists. "It's always about killing aliens and zombies. Not that I don't like those kinds of games... they are fun, but I think games have a long way to go before they can mature."
"Over the past 25 year I have tried to work with the Metal Gear series to introduce more mature themes, but really it hasn't gotten there yet. Compared to movies and books it still has a long way to go. That's precisely what I want to try to tackle with Ground Zeroes. Honestly I'm going to be targeting a lot of taboos, a lot of mature themes that really are quite risky. I'm not even sure if I'm going to be able to release the game, and even if I did release the game then maybe it wouldn't sell because it's too much. As a creator I want to take that risk."
What could he be talking about? Ground Zeroes marks a radical departure for the Metal Gear brand, using Kojima's own Fox Engine to power an open world stealth action experience unlike any previous title. It will follow the recently released - and absolutely fantastic - Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, which also shakes things up, focusing on cyborg ninja Raiden and his ability to slice enemies into tiny chunks.
Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker Review (09/06/2010)
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