Developer: Kojima Productions
Release Date: Winter 2006/07
In 1970, after the events of Metal Gear Solid 3, Big Boss wakes up in a South American prison camp, right in the middle of a riot. He soon finds out his old colleagues in FOXHOUND have stolen a nuclear warhead, which they’ve got pointed at Russia.
Soon thereafter, Big Boss meets Roy Campbell for the first time. Together, they set out to prevent FOX from starting World War III, in a mission that not only represents Big Boss’s greatest tragedy, but which will set the larger events of the Metal Gear Solid series in motion. Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops represents the “missing link,” to quote Konami’s reps, between the events of Snake Eater and the rise of Outer Heaven.
The stealth-based action that the Metal Gear Solid series is known for gets an extra twist with Portable Ops: recruitment. Big Boss can subdue enemy soldiers and drag them into Roy Campbell’s truck for a little on-the-spot interrogation, which may convince them to renounce their previous allegiance and join your side.
You can also recruit some familiar faces from Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, if you play your cards right. Portable Ops uses a frankly somewhat bizarre system based upon the IP address of the wireless hot spot they’re using to play the game online. Depending on that IP address, you’ll be able to hop online and download a new, returning character to recruit for Big Boss’s brigade.
The overall goal of this is to generate a squad of soldiers that’ll fit your personal play style, with each member of your brigade possessing different skills, deficiencies, and specializations. This won’t only come in handy during the game’s singleplayer mode, but in online multiplayer as well; the squad you build in singleplayer can be taken into battle against other players via the PSP’s wireless functionality. Further, you can either opt to fight to the death if you’re losing, risking the lives of your soldiers, or use the White Flag system to surrender and save the lives of your men.
Portable Ops also features the typically-high production values of a Metal Gear Solid game. All the returning characters in Portable Ops are voiced by the same actors as they were in their last appearance, with David Hayter once again playing the role of Big Boss.
At the same time, the game mixes typical in-game cutscenes with comic-book style panels drawn by Ashley Wood, all of which are accompanied with full voice-overs.
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