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LTTP: Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker HD

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Metal Gear Solid - Peace Walker Logo

LTTP or ‘late to the party’ pieces are opportunities for me to catch up and write about games I missed out on the first time around. They may contain spoilers.

Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of The Patriots was the last Hideo Kojima helmed game that I played. I played it once in 2008 and left it in 2008. I never revisited it because I felt MGS4 was a game that was meant to be experienced once. There was limited replayability because of the game’s heavy reliance on cutscenes. I enjoyed the wacky adventure for what it was and appreciated the fact that it was one of the last big budget games where the game’s director was allowed to go hog wild.

I first tried Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker in 2009 with the release of the demo for the PlayStation Portable. I tried it and enjoyed it for what it was but decided not to pick it up hoping it will find its way to consoles.

In 2011, it made its way onto the PlayStation 3 and underwent an HD remastering in the process but I continued to put it off. Finally, in 2014, I decided it was the time to play Peace Walker because Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain was on its way and I heard it evolves some of the concepts introduced in the PlayStation Portable title.

I knew Peace Walker was going to be a compartmentalized game but I didn’t realize how much that would hurt the Metal Gear experience. I couldn’t get into this game. When I started to get rolling, I ran into a loading screen. When the story finally started to pick up, I was slapped with a “To be continued” message. It happened all the time and it was detrimental to whatever nonsense Hideo Kojima was trying to deliver.

I’m okay with most of the ridiculous antics found in a Metal Gear game but much of Peace Walker’s ideas rubbed me the wrong way. I didn’t care for how they handled the main plot line surrounding nuclear deterrence. I found the inclusion of man sized A.I canisters mounted in giant walking nuclear missile platforms incredibly stupid. But worse of all, I thought revisiting of the Boss’s death cheapened the legacy left by Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater. The entire game felt like a boondoggle.

I also didn’t care for the lines delivered by David Hayter. I’m not sure if it was him or Kojima’s direction but Big Boss sounded constipated. Or maybe it’s just me and David Hayter’s voice work was always off.

I didn’t mind the gameplay side of Peace Walker; it actually played well with the Dual Shock 3. Aiming down the sight to pick off heads with the tranquilizer pistol was easy and navigating around the maps was painless. I was wondering why Big Boss wasn’t able to crawl on his stomach though. He was able to lie flat but wasn’t able to move in that stance. It was a weird regression coming from the last game.

It took me a long time to finish Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker. I kept putting it down after one or two missions. I’m technically not finished with the game despite witnessing the credits roll. I’ll keep chipping away at it but I doubt the “true ending” will alter my opinion of this game: I actively dislike it. It may have Metal Gear trappings galore but Peace Walker wasn’t the Metal Gear game I was expecting.

Verdict:
Disappointing

Ratings Guide

For more information on Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker, visit the official website.

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