Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker
|Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker|
|Mode(s)||Single-player, cooperative multiplayer|
|Distribution||UMD, Blu-ray Disc, DVD-9, download|
Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker (Japanese: メタルギアソリッド ピースウォーカー Hepburn: Metaru Gia Soriddo Pīsu Wōkā?) is an action-adventure stealth video game produced by Konami and Kojima Productions that was released for the PlayStation Portable in 2010. Peace Walker is the sixth Metal Gear title released for the PSP and the first in the series released for a portable platform to be directed by series' creator Hideo Kojima. This is the first title in the series to alter the traditional tagline ("Tactical Espionage Action") to "Tactical Espionage Operations", referring to the base building and mission mechanics of the game.
Set in 1974 in Costa Rica, the game follows the exploits of returning protagonist Big Boss (previously known as Naked Snake in Snake Eater and Portable Ops, now known simply as Snake) as he runs the mercenary unit Militaires Sans Frontières (Soldiers Without Borders).
Peace Walker consists of two primary playing modes: "Mission" and "Mother Base". "Mission" are the actual action sequences of the game, where the player must infiltrate an enemy territory, whereas "Mother Base" is a crew managing simulation mode similar to the "Comrade System" in Portable Ops.
Players get to choose which missions to play from the "Mission Selector" screen. There are two main types of Missions: Main Ops are the primary story-based missions in which goals are determined by the narrative and must be played in a strict order in order to proceed. Some Main Ops missions include illustrated cutscenes that involve bits of interactivity in order proceed. Extra Ops are optional side-missions that involve much more elaborate goals ranging from simple target practices to obtaining secret documents.
When the player completes a mission, his or her performance are evaluated afterward. A player's score is penalized with a lower rank and reduced heroism for excessive killing and frequently being discovered, whereas players who are stealthy and subdue enemy soldiers non-lethally will be awarded appropriately. Players can replay previously cleared missions for higher ranks.
Players can go through missions as Snake or as an MSF soldier (male or female). Some missions will only be available to Snake, and likewise for MSF soldiers.
The game adopts certain mechanics from Metal Gear Solid 4, such as the ability to move while crouched, the over-the-shoulder shooting view, the CQC system, and the ability to search held-up soldiers. The truck from Portable Ops, where players can bring subdued enemies for recruitment, has been discarded in favor of the Fulton Recovery System, which players attach to subdued soldiers and prisoners. The Wi-Fi recruitment system from Portable Ops has been modified that instead of tapping the Circle button to obtain a strong enough signal from an access point, the player will have to knockout soldiers using CQC to accept them. The cardboard box used to hide from enemy soldiers is now available in two-man versions called Love Boxes, which have different variants. The Surround Indicator in Portable Ops can also be used only when it is equipped in the item box and players will also develop and use an early version of the Soliton radar system from Metal Gear Solid. The game features the camouflage index system from Snake Eater, but the player does not have the ability to change camouflage uniforms during a mission as the point index will be entirely based on movement, position, and the size of the weapon equipped in the weapon box. The player can also use marking devices to call in artillery strikes or resupply drops.
Movement is done on the analog stick; actions such as co-op actions use the directional-pad; melee actions, which include multiple throws into crowds of enemies, use the R button; and weapons use the L button with the R button. Players will be unable to move or shoot while lying down and while pinned on a wall. The player can set the control system according to that of Portable Ops, Guns of the Patriots, or Capcom's Monster Hunter.
Before starting a mission, the player can determine his or her character's item and weapon load-out, including the character's uniform. The player's carrying capacity is limited and any excessive items that the player obtains during a mission will be transferred over to Mother Base's inventory. There are four primary types of uniforms that can be worn by the player.
- Jungle Fatigues — The default uniform for Snake and MSF Soldiers. A balance of stealth, defense, weapons, and inventory. Available in multiple camouflage patterns.
- Naked — A shirtless version of the Jungle Fatigues, players using Naked uniforms move fast at the cost of lower stealth, weaker defense, and fewer items.
- Sneaking Suit — Resembles the sneaking suit worn by Snake in Snake Eater and Portable Ops, it allows players to move without generating foot noises and have higher camouflage compared to other suits while moving, but restricts them to five items and six secondary weapons.
- Battle Dress — A heavily armored suit that allows the player to carry a third primary weapon and absorb heavy firepower, but at the cost of a lower item carrying capacity, slower mobility and a lower camouflage index. A variant outfitted with a helmet is also available, which increases the defenses.
The Mother Base is an abandoned OTEC research platform in the Caribbean that serves as the MSF's headquarters. Aside from managing the combat, medical, intelligence, and technology research teams seen in MPO, the player can assign personnel to the mess hall crew to feed the troops and keep up their morale. Rebellious or injured personnel can be brought to the brig and sickbay, respectively. The player will also have a chance to capture military vehicles that appear in the game as minor boss opponents, such as armored personnel carriers, tanks, and attack helicopters. Up to 350 soldiers can be recruited; excess staff caught in a mission must be discharged and up to 50 vehicles can be captured over the course of the game.
Items and weapons are not procured on-site, but rather they're developed by MSF's R&D division based on blueprints obtained from missions. New items and weapons can only be developed when the player has sufficient GMP and certain MSF divisions have both reached the required level. Once development of an item has been completed, the R&D staff will automatically mass-produce them for the entire army.
Outer Ops is a new game mechanic where players can deploy their combat unit soldiers (with the exception of Snake and other unique characters) and captured vehicles on certain missions against computer opponents. Each assault force codenamed from Alpha to Hotel has eight slots for assigning vehicles or soldiers, who can gain combat bonuses such as additional hit points and Psyche points, and generate income for the team. Depending on the scale of the enemy's firepower, MSF soldiers who are defeated during the battle can either die or be brought to sickbay for treatment. Vehicles that show damage in one mission will still show damage unless they are taken off the front for repairs, while decommissioned vehicles will be stricken from the inventory.
The Comrade System from Portable Ops has been removed in favor of a cooperative play mode called "Co-Ops", which allows two players to play most sneaking missions and four players in boss missions. There are several actions that can take place when two players are next to each other. 'Snake-in' allows players to hold on to each other as one player leads the way, also allowing the players to fire on the move. Other co-operative actions include holding up closing doors, performing CPR on fallen comrades, sharing items, and acting as a spotter for other players whose vision is obscured.
Versus Ops are multiplayer matches played over special versions of certain maps. The player has a choice of whether to organize individual or team deathmatches, base capture and quetzal capture missions. Only certain items or weapons unlocked in the single-player campaign can be used in the mode. Each match can gather up to six players with restrictions included, such as life and psyche points not regained and limited time for CPR revivals.
|Metal Gear series
Peace Walker is set in Costa Rica in November 1974, four years after the events of Portable Ops and ten years after Snake Eater. Snake (Big Boss) is running his own mercenary unit after he decided to break away from The Patriots group founded by Major Zero after learning of the Les Enfants Terribles Project. A mysterious group equipped with the latest weapons, called the Peace Sentinels (PS), has been deployed in-country. Despite the PS being equipped with the firepower equivalent to that of a land army, the Costa Rica government cannot do anything about them because the country's constitution does not allow the creation of an armed forces. The PS presence threatens to endanger the balance of power between the East and West.
The game's returning protagonist is Snake (Akio Ōtsuka/David Hayter), who is leading a new mercenary group called the Militaires Sans Frontières (MSF) after leaving The Patriots which was under the command of Snake's former CO Major Zero. He is assisted in this endeavor by MSF deputy chief Kazuhira Miller (Tomokazu Sugita/Robin Atkin Downes). They are eventually joined later in the game by Sandinista rebel leader Amanda Valenciano Libre (Romi Park/Grey DeLisle) and her kid brother, Chico (Kikuko Inoue/Antony Del Rio), Paz Ortega Andrade (Nana Mizuki/Tara Strong), a student at the University of Peace; Hal Emmerich's future father Huey (Hideyuki Tanaka/Christopher Randolph), and French ornithologist Cécile Cosima Caminades (Yu Kobayashi/Catherine Taber).
The game's main antagonists are Hot Coldman (Mugihito/H. Richard Greene), who is the CIA Central America station chief, and Ramon Galvez Mena (Hōchū Ōtsuka/Steve Blum), Paz's instructor. Dr Strangelove (Yumi Kikuchi/Vanessa Marshall) is a British AI expert whom Coldman hired to work on the Peace Walker Project and is later attracted to Huey.
The game also features flashback scenes from Snake Eater, particularly the final battle between Snake and The Boss, plus the audiotape that EVA (Misa Watanabe/Suzetta Minet) left behind after Operation Snake Eater. Through a set of audiotape briefing files unlocked upon completing the game, EVA also provides Snake with new information about The Boss' activities during a period where Snake was unable to keep in touch with her. Kikuko Inoue and Lori Alan also reprise their voice roles as The Boss in the flashbacks and as the voice of the Mammal Pod AI construct modeled after The Boss. Trenya from Monster Hunter also appears as Snake's transporter to a mythical island.
Four years after the events of Portable Ops, Big Boss—who prefers his original title, Snake—and Kaz Miller have established Militaires Sans Frontières, a small mercenary faction, on the Colombian coast. They are approached by Ramon Galvez Mena, a professor at the University of Peace, and his student, Paz Ortega Andrade. Galvez attempts to hire MSF to investigate an army that has discreetly occupied parts of Costa Rica. Snake refuses, identifying Galvez as a KGB agent, but is convinced when Paz plays a recording of The Boss.
When Snake arrives in Costa Rica, he begins to suspect that the mystery army has brought nuclear weapons with them. Enlisting the help of the Sandinista Liberation Army, he tracks a shipment to a research facility deep in the mountains. His suspicions are confirmed when he witnesses Hot Coldman, a senior CIA agent, announce his intentions to fire a live nuclear weapon as part of a project code-named "Peace Walker," a fail-deadly nuclear tank. Snake reveals himself to Huey Emmerich, one of Peace Walker's designers, who agrees to help him stop Coldman.
Following Huey's instructions, Snake ventures deeper into Costa Rica, searching for Dr. Strangelove, the designer of Peace Walker's artificial intelligence systems. He discovers that Strangelove has based Peace Walker's primary control systems on The Boss' personality. She demands to know whether The Boss genuinely defected to the Soviet Union, or if she died on a mission that was covered up, going so far as to torture Snake for information.
Snake escapes custody and attempts in vain to destroy Peace Walker, a quadrupedal nuclear launch platform. He chases Peace Walker across the Nicaraguan border to an American airbase on the shores of Lake Cocibolca. Discovering that the base has been occupied by Soviet soldiers, Snake infiltrates the facility to confront Coldman. Coldman reveals the purpose of Peace Walker: he believes that nuclear deterrence is a flawed theory, relying on humans to retaliate in the event of a nuclear exchange, whom he believes to be unwilling to destroy their own race. As an impartial artificial intelligence, Peace Walker would guarantee retaliation, and Coldman intends to fire a warhead to prove it. The facility is overrun by Soviet soldiers, led by Galvez, now known as Vladimir Zadornov. Zadornov intends to hijack Peace Walker for the Soviet Union, but the standoff is broken by the arrival of MSF and the Sandinistas, giving Snake enough time to destroy Peace Walker.
In the aftermath of the battle, Zadornov is captured and Coldman mortally wounded. In his dying moments, Coldman activates Peace Walker's data uplink, convincing NORAD that the United States is about to be hit by a Soviet nuclear strike. Snake contacts NORAD, and tries to convince them to stand down, but senior members of the armed forces refuse and plan to retaliate. With a nuclear strike imminent, The Boss' personality takes control of Peace Walker's damaged artificial intelligence and drowns Peace Walker in Lake Cocibolca, severing the connection and ending the threat.
Some time later, Zadornov repeatedly escapes from MSF, arousing Snake's suspicions that someone has betrayed them. Paz reveals herself to be the traitor, using Zadornov's escapes to seize control of Metal Gear ZEKE, a walking tank designed by Huey to act as MSF's deterrent against foreign intervention. Acting as an agent of Major Zero—now using the name "Cipher"—Paz issues Snake an ultimatum: surrender MSF to Cipher and become his deterrent, or else she will fire a nuclear warhead on America, at which point they will be branded a nuclear-equipped extremist cult, and the world will unite in their pursuit of MSF. Snake prevents the launch by crippling ZEKE, and Paz is thrown into the ocean. In the aftermath, Snake reconciles with his memory of The Boss and accepts the title of Big Boss as he rallies the soldiers of MSF to prepare for a fight for their survival, declaring them to be living in "Outer Heaven".
The idea of Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker originated during development from Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops. Although Hideo Kojima planned to leave the project in the hands of the other members from Kojima Productions he ended taking the role of director at the same time he was developing Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots. However, in order to make the plot's message more clear to the young demographic he joined in to develop it. The game was made for the PlayStation Portable due to content that could only be added in such a console, such as the cooperative feature. While being a stealth-based game as previous titles, new gameplay features such as customization and level up were added to increase replay value. The use of a cooperative mode is meant to have players help each other's and grow a sense of friendship. The development team that worked on Peace Walker was as large as the team that worked on Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots. Although the several staff members had already worked in the first Metal Gear Solid game for the PSP, Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops, this game was created with a different mindset. Kojima considered Peace Walker the biggest game he has ever done that delayed the game's release.
In common Metal Gear fashion, the game features anti-war and anti-nuke themes this time focused on the countries' states and relationships. The game's theme is "Peace." Character wise, it was made to develop the character of Snake whose experiences across the story make him accept the title of Big Boss, resembling more his antagonist persona from the first Metal Gear game. Due to the game's intended audience, Peace Walker is the first main Metal Gear game to receive a "Teen" rating from the ESRB since Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops Plus. Peace Walker was originally intended to be the fifth numbered entry in the series, but was later renamed. The Japanese version had content cut in regards to a violent scene which resulting in a bothered Kojima commenting: "There's tolerance for fantasy games, but for games where you show war or real violence between people, you apparently can't complain about anything. With this, it seems impossible to communicate something through games."
On March 27, 2010, Japanese beverage firm Suntory released a special line of eight cans in Japan that have images of various Peace Walker characters for the Mountain Dew and Pepsi Nex lines. The drinks are promoted in the game as health items, with Snake possibly getting a Mountain Dew shirt after the player inputs a special code found in the actual cans. Japanese apparel brand Uniqlo is also running a similar promotion. However, the labelled products were only available in the Japanese version; their counterpart in the North American and European version would have generic names and the MSF logo. The player can also use various incarnations of Sony Walkmans to listen to the game's background music. Sony also released a limited-edition W Series Walkman, the NWZ-W252CAMO, which comes with special game codes, six exclusive tracks from the game, and a special camouflage skin.
On April 1, 2010, Konami released a short promotional video with Patrice Desilets, the creative director of Assassin's Creed II. The clip, which was an April Fool's Day joke, features Snake performing Altaïr's leap of faith dive into a large pile of hay (the Assassin's Straw Box) and stealthily knocking out enemies. The Easter egg is part of the game as a special Love Box that players can use to capture enemies, but it can also deteriorate with repeated use. Konami and Ubisoft earlier produced an Assassins Creed-themed April Fool's Day joke for Metal Gear Solid 4 in 2008, which featured Snake wearing an Altaïr costume.
On April 7, 2010, Konami and Square Enix unveiled a new line of action figures based on the game. Released under Square's Play Arts Kai series, the line features the Sneaking Suit and Jungle Fatigues variants of Snake and the game's main boss machines - Chrysalis (the VTOL aircraft featured in the original E3 trailer), Pupa (a derivative of the Shagohod), Basilisk (the mech being carried by Chrysalis in the TGS09 trailer), and the Cocoon (a large mobile fortress with multiple turrets). In addition, parts of the Peace Sentinels mechs, plus special game logos, can be transferred to Front Mission Evolved for use in the Wanzers. The line has since expanded to add figures of Battle Dress Snake, Miller and Metal Gear ZEKE, which can be accessorized with certain parts packaged in the Peace Sentinels mech figures. Kaiyodo's Revoltech line followed with a Snake in Sneaking Suit action figure in 2012.
To build interest for the game's North American release, Konami, Best Buy, and Sony Online Entertainment launched a code-collecting contest on May 5, 2010. The "Code Hunt", which was exclusive to United States customers of PlayStation Home, would have teams of five contestants scouring locations for elusive Peace Walker codes, each of which would get them closer and closer to the grand prize. The promo ended on June 2 with the winners announced on June 29. The prizes included $10,000 in cash and Peace Walker Big Boss Bundles.
With the game's Japan release on April 29, Konami embarked on a world tour to promote the game. The Asian leg started simultaneously in Tokyo and Yokohama, followed by events in Yokohama, Nagoya, Osaka, Seoul, Taipei, and Hong Kong. The U.S. leg had events in Los Angeles and New York, with the European legs held in Paris and London, to coincide with the EU release of the game.
A nine-minute video was shown at Gamescom, which strongly emphasized its co-operative play (the term Co-Ops was used frequently, obviously mirroring Portable Ops, which utilized a solo sneaking motif for its story mode). The game made its playable debut at Tokyo Game Show 2009, and IGN released a Japanese-language demo version.
On December 17, 2009, the official English demo of the game was released on the PlayStation Network, containing the levels from the 2009 Tokyo Game Show Japanese demo along with an all-new boss battle. A survey was made available on Konami's website for the rest of the month after December 17.
Versions and releases
Two Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker Bundle versions have been released in Japan, one consists of the game with a camouflaged PSP-3000, leather pouch, leather wrist strap, cloth, dog tags, numbered collectible stands, and a booklet for ¥36,980 or US$404 with 1,974 copies only being made when the game is released on March 18, 2010, from the Konami Style Store. The other bundle offer includes the camouflaged PSP-3000, a pouch, a wrist strap, a camouflaged cleaning cloth and the Peace Walker UMD for ¥26,980 or US$295.
For North and South American players, Sony released a special GameStop exclusive Big Boss Pack that featured a camouflaged PSP-3000 with the UMD game, a downloadable movie voucher for the PlayStation Network, a code to unlock special in-game content and a 4GB Memory Stick PRO Duo. This pack was released on June 8, 2010 for US$199. Among the exclusive items included, is a FOX Unit camouflage and a Stealth Gun.
After the release of Peace Walker, additional content could be downloaded through the Network function in the extras menu. Additional content included extra uniform camo patterns, additional music for the Walkman, new AI boss voices, extra Vocaloid songs (which have since been removed) and additional magazine covers and two comic magazines (Japan only).
Players could also use the NetVocaloid services to create their own Vocaloid files, which could be used as voices for Metal Gear ZEKE, Co-Ops communications, song lyrics, and other uses. However, on February 14, 2012, it was announced that the NetVocaloid services would be discontinued as of February 28, 2012.
Due to the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami, the Metal Gear Servers that host the additional content and NetVocaloid services were taken offline in order to conserve power. They are currently back online and can be used as before.
On August 30, 2013, Konami announced that its downloadable content service will close down on September 30, 2013. It reasoned that the DLC to be discontinued - AI voice support, extra camouflage patterns, and the audio tracks (which include those from the NWZ-W252CAMO) are already available in the HD version.
On June 2, 2011, Konami confirmed that the game would be ported to PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 as part of the Metal Gear Solid HD Collection, a high-definition remastered version which also includes Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty and Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater. Peace Walker is included as part of the North American and European releases of the collection and as a separate download; in Japan the remastered version was released separately.
Kojima stated that Peace Walker would not be included in the PS Vita Remaster series. He also mentioned it would be the first game to take advantage of the "Transfarring" system, allowing Peace Walker HD Edition players to transfer their saved data to the PSP version.
The game is not part of the HD Collection released for the PlayStation Vita. Kojima Productions employee Sean Eyestone explained on the Kojima Productions Report that this was because the original PSP version can already be downloaded on the PSN Store, that they should 'save their resources' and the Vita does a "pretty good job of upscaling Peace Walker anyway".
The Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker Original Soundtrack was released on April 14, 2010. The soundtrack is primarily composed by Kojima Productions' Kazuma Jinnouchi and Nobuko Toda, while Akihiro Honda provides the orchestral theme and the theme songs, "Heavens Divide" (performed in English by Donna Burke) and "Koi no Yokushiryoku (Love Deterrence)" (performed in Japanese by Nana Mizuki). GEM Impact's Norihiko Hibino, Yoshitaka Suzuki and Takahiro Izutani as well as Soundelux Design Music Group's Todd Haberman and Jeremy Soule also provide compositions to the soundtrack. The game also features music from other Metal Gear Solid games, such as Portable Ops's "Calling to The Night", which can be played in the game's Walkmans. The Carpenters ballad "Sing" is sung by Cindy Asada on a taped recording and by the Boss AI as Peace Walker sinks under Lago Cocibolca. The game also utlilized the Vocaloid software.
|Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker|
Peace Walker has received critical acclaim, with an aggregate of 88.98% on GameRankings based on 47 reviews. It was given a perfect score of 40/40 in the May 5, 2010 issue of Japanese magazine Weekly Famitsu; making it the fourteenth game to achieve a perfect score, as well as the first title for the PSP. However, gaming blog Kotaku pointed out that there is potential conflict of interest for Famitsu in giving the review because the magazine appears in the game and former Famitsu Editor-in-Chief Hirokazu Hamamura appears in print ads and on a Konami website actively promoting the game. PSM3 awarded the game 91%, commenting on the game's ability to "take the best bits from every Metal Gear Solid game — the recruitment tricks... from Portable Ops, the camouflage and multi-player from MGS3: Snake Eater, the stripped-down controls from Metal Gear Solid 4 and the bonus missions... from VR Missions". IGN's Greg Miller gave the game a score of 9.5/10, stating that it "is probably the biggest game in the Metal Gear series, and it's only on Sony's smallest system".
Despite critical acclaim and initial hopes from Konami that the game would become an international hit, sales of Peace Walker have been very poor outside of Japan. In Europe the game failed to chart in most countries and placed 13th in the UK its first week, and by its third week had fallen out of the top 40. In America the game similarly failed to make the top 20 during its first month, selling only 52,000 physical UMD copies, a markedly worse performance than Metal Gear Acid. However, with the PSP's digital content delivery option through PSN, it's been noted that perhaps sales on the PSP should be counted differently since digital downloads on PSP and PSPgo are not counted. Industry analyst Mike Hickey told IGN that poor sales of the PSP platform itself was likely "the main cause" for Peace Walker's unimpressive sales. However, Konami has stated they have a profit of $15 million from sales of Peace Walker and Pro Evolution soccer games, but they did not provide sales figures for Peace Walker. They have however, said Peace Walker sales helped Metal Gear games sell 1.27 million copies for the quarter. The low sales of Peace Walker overseas was cited by Hideo Kojima as the reason why Kazuhira Miller was omitted from the box art of the sequel, Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes for its international release.
Peace Walker received the Best of Show and Best PSP Game awards during the 2009 Tokyo Game Show. IGN later put the game in its Best of 2010 list, garnering awards for Game of the Year, Most Addictive Game, Best Visuals, Most Bang for Your Buck, Best Story, Best Co-Op and Coolest Atmosphere.
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- Official Metal Gear Solid site
- Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker on the Metal Gear Wiki, an external wiki
- Official Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker site