Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops
Release date5 Dec 2006
MPO is the fourth Metal Gear title made specifically for the PSP and the first one to retain the series' action-based play mechanics. It is the first canonical outing of the Metal Gear Solid series for a portable platform, following the storyline of Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater. Set in Colombia in 1970, six years after the events of Snake Eater, the game follows the exploits of Naked Snake after his former unit, FOX, goes renegade. The game also chronicles the eventual founding of FOXHOUND and The Patriots, as well as the inspiration of the military state Outer Heaven. Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops has received highly positive critical reception from critics, and is often viewed as one of the best games released for the PSP. It was praised for its visuals, usage of Metal Gear elements and story, while criticism was directed at the game's control scheme.
About Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops
Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops is released by Konami in 5 Dec 2006. The game is designed by Kojima Productions. Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops is a typical representative of the Adventure genre. Playing Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops is a pleasure. It does not matter whether it is the first or a millionth hour in Adventure, there will always be room for something new and interesting. Thrilling levels and gameplay Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops will not leave anyone indifferent. The complexity of gameplay increases with each new level and does not let any player get bored.
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Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops is versatile and does not stand still, but it is never too late to start playing. The game, like many Adventure games has a full immersion in gaming. AllGame staff continues to play it.
Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops is perfect for playing alone or with friends.
At AllGame you can find reviews on Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops, gameplay videos, screenshots of the game and other Adventure representatives.
This section tells the history of the world of Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops
Portable Ops takes place in 1970, six years after Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater. It follows the soldier Naked Snake (David Hayter/Akio Ōtsuka) who is forced to fight off his former unit, FOX, after they instigate a revolt in a South American base. In his fight he meets Roy Campbell (David Agranov/Toshio Furukawa), a surviving member of the Green Berets team that was sent to investigate the affair. Snake's former teammates including his commanding officer Major Zero (Jim Piddock/Banjō Ginga), Para-Medic (Heather Halley/Houko Kuwashima) and Sigint (James C. Mathis III/Keiji Fujiwara) return as the support crew as they are suspected for treason alongside Snake. The main antagonist is Gene (Steven Blum/Norio Wakamoto), the current commander of the FOX unit who seeks to establish his own military nation. He is a product of the Successor Project that aimed to artificially create the perfect commander, patterned after The Boss. He is assisted by Lt. Cunningham (Noah Nelson/Daisuke Gōri), an expert in interrogation techniques. (who is later revealed to be a double agent of the Pentagon sent to tarnish the CIA's reputation) Gene also has a protégé named Elisa (Tara Strong/Saori Goto) who is gifted with extraordinary psychic abilities, implied to be the result of exposure to nuclear fallout during the Kyshtym disaster. Elisa suffers from dissociative identity disorder and has a developed a second personality called Ursula', whose psychic abilities are stronger than her "Elisa" personality. As "Ursula", she works as a member of FOX, while her "Elisa" personality is a medic who takes care of Null and an informant for Snake. Snake meets Elisa, who initially tells Snake that she and Ursula are twin sisters, only to later learn the truth. Two FOX members previously associated with Snake include Null (Larc Spies/Jun Fukuyama), a teenage assassin trained to be the perfect soldier. and Python (Dwight Schultz/Yusaku Yara), a former war buddy of Snake who was previously presumed dead during the Vietnam War. Other characters include Ghost (Brian Cummings/Naoki Tatsuta), an informant who comes into contact with Snake, revealing the existence of ICBMG, the new Metal Gear prototype, Ocelot (Josh Keaton/Takumi Yamazaki), a former Spetsnaz Major who assists Gene from behind-the-scenes, EVA (Vanessa Marshall/Misa Watanabe), a spy for the PLA who assisted Snake in Snake Eater and Raikov (Charlie Schlatter/Kenyu Horiuchi), a GRU Major. Teliko Friedman (Kari Wahlgren/Yūko Nagashima) and Venus (Kathryn Fiore/Rika Komatsu), the heroines from Metal Gear Acid and Metal Gear Acid 2 respectively, can both be added to the player's squad by either: completing certain side-missions or by starting the second playthrough with save data from their respective games.
Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops - game review
The first hours spent on getting to know Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops did not make me too optimistic. The game seemed underdeveloped, and the empty locations did not look too impressive. I must admit that I was deeply disappointed for some time. Believe it or not, I had no fun playing the reviewed title! However, as the game progressed, the fun became more and more fun. The action took on a blush, and the plot slowly revealed new secrets.
Each part of MGS beats the vast majority of games, primarily with the story - perfect, perverse and suspenseful. Entangled in a web of intrigue, we feel like we're watching a nice movie. Naked Snake's pocket adventures do not differ much from those released for stationary consoles. In the sense that they are equally fascinating and testify to the genius of Hideo Kojima. The plot was set in the times of the Cold War - but we do not enter the action until the end of 1970. The game will often feature the theme of treacherous USSR agents or nuclear warheads installed in Cuba, whose presence near the coast of Florida has once greatly disturbed the United States.
The main theme of Portable Ops revolves around Naked Snake, later called Big Boss. Without deviating too much from the topic, I would like to note that anyone who has had contact with Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater will find it easier to understand the plot. The action starts 6 years after the end of Snake Enter's storyline. Young Big Boss, probably during one of his missions, is captured by unknown perpetrators and put behind bars in a dingy prison somewhere in South America. After a few days in prison, Naked Snake wakes up with a headache and meets Cunninghan, a former CIA agent, face to face. This is where the player steps in. We talk to Roy Campbell and receive tips on how to escape. From now on, the gentlemen begin to cooperate with each other.
Portable Ops is the fourth game in the Metal Gear Solid series for PSP. We control Big Boss in real time. The hero has a relatively limited range of moves, which often causes problems. He can climb a one-meter box, but he cannot climb a slightly taller container. Apart from that, Snake is able to crawl, but cannot crouch - this also makes the game a bit more difficult. Hand-to-hand combat was also not very good. While attacking is limited to pressing one button, grabbing enemies is extremely difficult and causes a lot of trouble. If we do not position ourselves exactly facing the enemy's back, we can forget about effectively neutralizing him. It would not be very difficult if it were not for the fact that a slight movement of the analogue is enough for our plans to fail. The panicked opponent starts to run away, raises the alarm, and we have nothing else to do but to curse violently and start the mission anew. We can shoot each other with our opponents, but is that what this game is about?
Continuing to curse. The controls are extremely inconvenient. When I looked at the instructions to see how to lean out from behind the wall and take a shot, my hands dropped. Four buttons must be used to perform the above action. Of course, you get used to it after a while, but it clashes with the hallmark of the Metal Gear Solid series, which is the large number of possible interactions with the environment. For example, we can hide in a ventilation duct or an armored wardrobe. Not only is it possible to confuse the enemy in this way, but it will also provide us with a lot of satisfaction, because watching the opponents' actions through the vent is really cool.
The team creation is completely new - this was not the case in the previous parts. As the area of our activities is a large peninsula, and we only act together, we need helpers. But where should we recruit them, since the area is completely unknown to us, and wherever we look, the Soviets are lurking? It's simple - you have to drag the above-mentioned ones to our website. All you have to do is stun the guy and then drag him to the truck, which we move between locations. We are informed about the abilities of the captured person by their clothes. The guy dressed in dirty yellow rags is none other than a regular private. It is more important to collaborate with people wearing white coats or other characteristic clothes. Their skills affect the development of our engineering and medical facilities, which measurably translates into the combat abilities of soldiers and Snake himself. Creating a team is a bull's eye and I regret that Koijma did not come up with more equally interesting ideas. It brought a breath of fresh air to the slightly ossified mechanics of Metal Gear Solid . To have an idea is one thing, and to use it well is another. And this condition was met by Konami. Bravo!
The spies who play an extremely important role should also be mentioned. Before we start a mission, we must send a secret agent to its area to investigate the situation. Spies also find special items that are hidden in various strange places.
A few words about the artificial intelligence of enemies - this is another important element that, unfortunately, fails a bit. AI has mishaps. It is not uncommon to come to absurd situations when the enemy does not notice our character literally from a few meters. Worse, his behavior is not always what it should be. It may sound strange, but the artificial intelligence of enemies seems to activate with a delay; up to a point their actions appear to be script driven. If the enemy notices that we are hiding under the bed, he will not use grenades immediately or bend down to fill us with lead. Instead, he will come as close as possible and encourage us to puncture his legs ...
The rich equipment makes it easy to deal with not always smart opponents. Its basic element is a compass with a built-in sound detector. It works perfectly and allows you to properly assess the situation. Without this miniature device, the game would be much more difficult. In addition, Snake and his companions are equipped with many types of multi-caliber weapons, thermal imaging goggles, a mine detector, night vision device, first aid kit and many other more or less useful gadgets. Big Boss also has a radio through which he contacts, among others, Cambell.
The ability to create a team has another benefit - Portable Ops has become less linear than the previous parts. The fact is that we must perform our missions as if on a string, but we can return to any place at any time. We even have to, because it is necessary to recruit new allies. The area of our operations covers a huge area of the peninsula - we will go to a nuclear warhead warehouse, a Soviet military base or a secret laboratory. At the beginning, we will also visit the hospital and the prison. There are a lot of locations, so listing all of them would be a miracle. Unfortunately, they are terribly empty! I perfectly understand that the main "attraction" in the prison can be (and are) the bars, but why does the hospital look like a building in an abandoned city? Such emptiness spoils the atmosphere.
The tasks are varied, but usually not too complicated. Sometimes you need to blow up something, obtain information or steal secret files that will help us find the truth and continue the mission aimed primarily at finding answers to Naked Snake's questions. The stages are usually short and relatively simple even at Medium level. We can save the game state between subsequent tasks. Due to their length, it does not make life difficult for the player. From time to time we will face the boss. Such fights are difficult and can be irritating. Despite this, the gameplay is interesting and it doesn't get boring after a few hours. This is very important.
In assumptions, the graphics in Portable Ops were to be slightly less detailed than that in Snake Eater. And it ended there, because the textures are of poor quality, and I have already written a few harsh words about the design of the surroundings. The characters, however, look pretty good. The Snake model in particular looks really good - it consists of a large number of polygons and stands out favorably from the rest. We get an interesting effect after detonating the explosive. The image becomes brighter and an interesting filter is applied to it.
The times of the day vary. Unfortunately, this does not open up new opportunities for the player, because the enemies are blind both at night and during the day. Another drawback is the cleverly hidden pixelosis - a skilled eye will, however, see small squares in the surroundings. The authors did not avoid penetrating objects. However, it is possible to get over it. As a sweetener, we have great cutscenes in the form of a comic. The uneven line gives them dynamics. In this respect, there is nothing to add. Average animations are scratchy on the glass. While movement looks quite realistic, the same cannot be said about hand-to-hand combat.
The people responsible for the sound did a great job. The music is sensational and fits perfectly with the Metal Gear Solid atmosphere. It changes depending on the situation and is catchy. The teachers also did a great job. The dubbed voices sound perfect and are well matched. It is a pleasure to listen to the dialogues between the characters. This element could not be done better. Miracle, honey and peanuts.
For people who are not satisfied with single-player missions, a multiplayer game has been prepared. Importantly, there was also the Infrastructure mode. The multiplayer in Portable Ops was similar to that in Syphon Filter: Dark Mirror , which, however, does not work well in the case of the reviewed title. There are few multiplayer modes and they are usually "all against all". Not the best control combined with low dynamics of Metal Gear Solid gives an average effect. It seems to me that my opinion is shared by other players, because there are no crowds on the servers ... If someone does not have access to wireless Internet, he can play with a friend nearby. The creators have not forgotten about game-sharing, so one UMD tile is enough to have fun together. An interesting fact is the ability to download additional characters from the Internet.
I was expecting more from Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops. This is a good, but underdeveloped production. Too many essential elements are on a fairly low level. How to evaluate one of the most famous titles with a great storyline, great music and addictive gameplay, but also with the same AI and not very intuitive controls? This is an action game with stealth elements, so the bugs and shortcomings I mentioned must have a negative impact on the gameplay. Fans of the Metal Gear Solid PO series will like it without a doubt. The PSP version includes everything they know plus one interesting idea. For other people, of course, I also recommend this game, but if you want to feel the magic of Snake's world, check out the previous parts first.
Szymon "SirGoldi" Błaszczyk
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