previews\ May 9, 2006 at 8:00 pm

Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops - PSP - Preview

E3 2006 First Look Preview 

Offshoots are good. True sequels are better. Metal Gear Solid Acid has been a great series, but it’s an offshoot to the most thrilling spy game on the planet. No matter how good it was, I couldn’t stop thinking, “Where’s my true handheld Metal Gear?” 

Finally it’s here – Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops. Crazy name? I suppose it’s not as catchy a subtitle as Guns of the Patriots, but it’s merely used to differentiate this title from the console sequels. In Portable Ops, a new story will be told. In the beginning of the trailer, a woman warns Snake of what is destined to happen. One must die, one must live. The “ones” she is referring to are not specified, but if you’re a fan of the series you probably already have Kojima’s clever story snippets figured out. “The one who survives,” she says, “will inherit a life of endless battles.” Call me crazy, but I think she’s referring to our hero and star of Portable Ops – Solid Snake. 

The game takes place six years after the events of Snake Eater (before the first Metal Gear Solid). Big Boss returns to the battlefield, joining a cast of new and familiar faces. You’ll get the chance to sniper some new thugs, several exclamation-sensitive guards (what would an MGS be without them?), and if its console predecessors are any indication, several bosses. 

Movie sequences are intense, the voices are on the same level as they have been from the beginning, and the theme song is a remix of the theme from MGS2. Intriguing? Unbelievably. Am I going crazy for it? You have no idea. 

And that’s just the fun stuff – the extras that make MGS feel more like the interactive movie Hideo Kojima set out to create. The gameplay itself is going to provide the same kind of immersive world found in the console versions. Konami stresses that the game will feature a “full-blown single-player campaign,” but that’s just one part of the package. Multiplayer is also coming in full force: get online using a Wi-Fi connection, hook up with other players and unite for a powerful soldier squad. 

Toward the end of the trailer, one character questions Snake’s decisions. 

“[Will you have] loyalty to your country, or loyalty to yourself?” 

“The mission, or your beliefs?” 

“Your duty to your unit?” 

“Or your personal feelings?” 

These lines, mixed with great MGS music, awesome graphics and top-tier voices set the tone for what is already becoming the most memorable handheld game of tactical espionage action. Look for this snake to slither into stores this winter (late 2006 / early 2007). 


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