As the first real Metal Gear Solid game for the PSP (the acid games were strategy games), Portable Ops is one of the best handheld game of all time.
Taking place after Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, Portable Ops is the missing link in the Metal Gear Solid saga. The story follows Naked Snake (also known as Big Boss) as he had been captured and imprisoned in some unknown place. It turns out Snake has been falsely accused of starting a rebellion; as a result, Snake must find the real leader of the rebellion to clear his name. As with the other infamous Metal Gear Solid storylines, players can expect some twists and turns the series is famous for.
Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops is easily the best looking portable game ever. Heck, it’s even better looking than most of the PS2, Gamecube and Xbox games. The developer, Kojima Production, did an excellent job in transferring the graphical engine from the PS2 to PSP.
One noticeable change is the use of comic book drawings with limited animation in cut-scenes instead of using real-time graphics. Drawn by Ashley Wood (who drew Metal Gear Solid: Digital Graphic Novel, also availble for the PSP), the cut-scenes add some fresh style to the story.
The voice cast from Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater returns to continue the tradition of excellent voice acting in the Metal Gear Solid series. The soundtrack (with the ending theme “Calling to the Night,” sung by Natasha Farrow), too, stacks up quite well with the rest of the series.
The classic Metal Gear Solid sneaking gameplay have been transferred to the PSP almost flawlessly in Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops.
One noticeable difference is the controls; the PSP has less buttons than the Dual Shock. Thus, the controls take a bit of getting used to. Even then, the controls never really felt second nature and can be quite a hassle in the heat of boss battles.
Fortunately, Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops takes full advantage of PSP capabilities. The biggest new feature is the ability to recruit your enemies to work for you. To recruit, you must knock out your enemy and drag them to your truck. These new recruits can develop new weapons and medical supplies, spy, and even help you out on your mission. In addition, players can also recruit by downloading characters on GPS or Wi-Fi hotspots and winning them in online battles.
Portable Ops is also more non-linear than its console counterparts. Instead of following a linear path like in previous games, players can take a break from the story to recruit soldiers and stock up on supplies. As a result, Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops has an incredible amount of depth.
Once you are done with the incredible single player game, you can take your skill online and challenge other players. Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops’ multiplayer may not be the deepest, but it provides a whole lot of entertainment and adds a lot of replay values.
Easily the best looking portable game ever, Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops plays as good as it looks (with the exception of some control issues). With deep single player and addictive multiplayer modes, Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops is the killer app for the PSP.