Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker Review

One sneak too many for Snake or should we give Peace a chance?

By Rupert Higham, June 11, 2010


This is your ever expanding mother base, and the place that Big Boss hones his ideals before the events of the 1987 MSX original.

Each recruit specialises in a particular area so delegating correctly is essential to MSF’s success. Once you’ve accumulated a big enough combat team you can ship them abroad through outer ops where they take part in global conflicts that play out as stat-based strategy games, earning you new items and experience points. Once you command the resources, Big Boss can even somewhat paradoxically join the nuclear arms race himself. The greater your number of recruits, the higher your GMP – currency for buying the huge number of weapons, tools and items you use throughout missions. In tandem with the Fulton, this makes for an exceptionally in-depth symbiotic experience and is a time sink of Pokémon and Monster Hunter proportions.


Kojima has always reveled in incongruous non-canonical Snake replicas for multiplayer, though it's not like the narrative shies away from Snake clones either...

This new reliance on number-crunching doesn’t come at the expense of the core experience which is tighter than ever with the level design some of the best in the series. From claustrophobic forests, to guerrilla hideouts and military facilities – each area presents multiple options and rewards patience and observation, and even when stealth fails, the CQC controls (including the superbly effective multi-throw commands) are more consistent and reliable than past iterations.

It just wouldn’t be Metal Gear if there wasn’t some bitter with the sweet, and Peace Walker’s difficulty setting can leave a bad taste in the mouth. Boss energy bars appear to have been designed around the multiplayer (sadly unavailable for testing for this review), where up to four Snakes can team up and take on these towering goliaths. When tackled alone the penultimate boss can take over half an hour of repeated rocket punishment in a drawn out battle that’s not so much challenging as it is tiring and dull. If you haven’t sunk enough resources into weapon R&D, the battles drag on even longer, making the extra ops less optional and more mandatory.


The cut scenes are dark, moody and alive with movement and detail. The lack of pause option during their playback is a real oversight given their length however.

Imaginations seem to have waned with early boss design too, with lifeless tanks requiring identical tactics, and even when they wheel out the impressively colossal big guns, they still lack the spark and vision of Fox Hound or the Cobra Unit.

These minor issues can’t detract from the astonishingly complete package however. Kojima Productions have squeezed more out of Sony’s hardware than any developer yet, boasting polished high-detail models and rich topographically varied environments that put most PSP games to shame. Showing little concession for the format’s perceived limitations, they’ve produced an exceptionally complete experience that towers above a sea of PS2 and Wii shovelware. It’s not just an incredible PSP Metal Gear – it’s an incredible Metal Gear and an unexpected leap forward for the series.

9 out of 10

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2 Responses to “Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker Review”

  1. This game rocks!

  2. wryguy says:

    one of the best games i’ve ever played on any console.


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