Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops
|a game by||Kojima Productions|
|Editor Rating:||9.3/10, based on 1 review|
|User Rating:||10.0/10 - 2 votes|
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This new portable Metal Gear installment finally gives us the tactical espionage action we expect from an MGS title...and a whole lot more. Kojima Productions took the classic stealth-action formula and added soldier recruitment, which makes it absolutely vital to knock out baddies and throw them in your mystery van to build an army. You can then assign these soldiers to various squads that do stuff like make medicine, find guns, or provide helpful backup during the oh-so-quick missions (which you can now select from a map, making this a more free-form MGS). Portable Ops ends up being a bizarre Kojima chimera of MGS, Metal Gear Add, and Pokdmon, which is A-OK with me. Also, the game's varied use of the PSP's online capabilities-- snagging soldiers via Wi-Fi hot spots or the not-yet-released GPS attachment, and both local and online Wi-Fi multiplayer, which you can actually lose soldiers in--and fantastic graphics make this a stunning showcase for the system despite funky controls and occasional online latency hiccups.
Finally, a game that feels like it belongs here--Portable Ops brazenly shirks the established PSP norm of lazily porting PS2 games to Sony's handheld by instead offering an all-new adventure that actually plays to the system's strengths. Stealthily maneuvering Snake through urban missions delivers bite-sized MGS thrills, but players who want to delve deeper can get seriously hooked on collecting, trading, and battling forces in the brilliant online modes.
While I never felt the urge to trip on Add, Portable Ops is just what I wanted--and what I never thought I wanted--from the series on the PSP. The classic sneaky game-play from the console titles remains wonderfully intact, yet I got strangely addicted to recruiting soldiers and sending them out to collect intel, items, and new members also willing to follow my cause. As Scooter mentioned, the PSP's flawed design throws the occasional wrench into squad control, but it shouldn't stop you from picking up arguably the handheld's most imaginative title,
It's a real MGS action game with a deep strategic layer on top
Complex controls hurt hands