- Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops
Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops Developer(s) Konami Computer Entertainment Japan / Kojima Productions Publisher(s) Konami Designer(s) Masahiro Yamamoto (director)
Noriaki Okamura (producer)
Gakuto Mikumo (writer)
Composer(s) Akihiro Honda
Series Metal Gear Platform(s) PlayStation Portable Release date(s)
- NA December 5, 2006
Genre(s) Stealth action Mode(s) Single-player, online multiplayer Rating(s) Media/distribution UMD Download System requirements
North America, Japan: PSP firmware 2.81
Europe: PSP firmware 3.03
Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops (メタルギアソリッド ポータブルオプス Metaru Gia Soriddo Pōtaburu Opusu , commonly abbreviated to MPO) is a stealth game directed by Masahiro Yamamoto and written by Gakuto Mikumo, with series creator Hideo Kojima acting as a producer. Portable Ops was developed by Kojima Productions and published by Konami in 2006 for the PlayStation Portable. It is the third Metal Gear title for the PSP and the first one to retain the series' action-based gameplay. It is also the first canonical outing of the Metal Gear Solid series for a portable platform, following the storyline of Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater.
Set in 1970 in South America, six years after the events of Snake Eater, the game follows the exploits of Naked Snake after his former unit, FOX, goes renegade. The game also chronicles the eventual founding of FOXHOUND and The Patriots, as well as the inspiration of the military state Outer Heaven.
Unlike the previous titles on PSP, Metal Gear Acid and Metal Gear Acid 2, which were turn-based tactical games with stealth elements, MPO retains the action-based gameplay from the console iterations, drawing heavily from Snake Eater and utilizing the camera system from Subsistence.
The main addition to MPO is the Comrade System. Instead of the solo missions of previous Metal Gear Solid games, MPO goes for a squad-based approach, with Snake having to recruit allies and form a team of trained specialists. Before each mission, the player must compose a four-man squad. The squad is then sent into battle. Each member of Snake's squad has his own strengths and weaknesses. While some units are best utilized on the battlefield, others may specialize in producing items, healing allies, or providing intel for each of the game's maps.
During gameplay, the player controls only one squad member at a time. The squad members not in use hide themselves inside a cardboard box, and can be swapped into play when the player-controlled character finds a hiding spot, where he can hide in his own cardboard box.
Characters who are killed in combat are eliminated from the player's squad permanently, unless they are "unique characters", such as Snake. Unique characters also include team mates that are bosses or supporting characters in the story. If a special character's health is reduced to zero, they are sent to the infirmary, in order to recover. The player can also abort the mission.
A variety of methods can be employed to expand one's squad. If an enemy character is tranquilized or stunned, they can be dragged to a waiting vehicle and captured. After a period of game time, the captured soldier will become a member of Snake's team. Also, enemy characters can be dragged to an ally waiting in a cardboard box, where, through the use of a transceiver frequency, or by giving the cardboard box a "nudge", they will be ordered to transport the enemy for the player, saving stamina. Alternatively, by accessing the PSP in certain hotspots using the system's Wi-Fi feature, soldiers and even special bonus characters can be recruited. The PSP GPS Receiver can also be used to similar effect. Because some of the player's recruits include former enemy soldiers or personnel, they can walk among the enemy undetected as long as the player avoids suspicious actions.
Another new feature is the surround indicator added to the game's HUD. Similar to the radar in previous titles, the surround indicator allows players to determine the relative proximity of enemy soldiers by the noises they make. The surround indicator is composed of two circles; the outer circle displays the noises made by enemies and inner circle displays noises made by the player himself.
The game also contains a Wi-Fi-enabled multiplayer mode, which is an expansion of the Metal Gear Online mode previously featured in Subsistence. One's performance in the Online Mode may affect his performance in the single player campaign; the player can recruit and trade soldiers from beaten opponents, or vice-versa. Additionally, certain multiplayer options result in recruits being removed from the one's single player roster permanently. In contrast to the console games in the series, the cutscenes that drive the story are not rendered using the usual in-game engine. Instead, they are presented using an animated comic style consisting of hand-drawn artwork by artist Ashley Wood. This style was previously utilized in Metal Gear Solid: Digital Graphic Novel. The game also features voice acting, consisting of returning cast members from Snake Eater and new actors. However, the number of cutscenes and in-game voiced sections are minimal, due to the PSP's UMD storage capacity constraints.
- Naked Snake - He reprises his role as the protagonist from Snake Eater. While already awarded with the title of Big Boss, he refuses to be addressed as such and prefers to be called by his former codename, believing that he has not yet surpassed his mentor. Snake is forced to fight off his former unit, FOX, after they instigate a revolt in a South American base.
- Roy Campbell - Snake's primary ally, a surviving member of the Green Berets team that was sent to investigate the affair.
- Voiced by: Toshio Furukawa (Japanese), David Agranov (English)
- Gene - The main antagonist. He became the leader of the FOX unit after Snake's departure and seeks to establish his own military nation. He is a product of the Successor Project that aimed to artificially create the perfect commander.
- Voiced by: Norio Wakamoto (Japanese), Steve Blum (English)
- Lt. Cunningham - An expert in interrogation techniques. Is later revealed to be a double agent of the Pentagon sent to tarnish the CIA's reputation.
- Voiced by: Daisuke Gōri (Japanese), Noah Nelson (English)
- Null - A teenage assassin trained to be the perfect soldier. He met Snake in the past as a child soldier in Mozambique known as Frank Jaeger.
- Elisa - A German-born teenage girl and the adoptive daughter of Gene. She is gifted with extraordinary psychic abilities (including precognition, telepathy, and psychokinesis), implied to be the result of exposure to nuclear fallout during the Kyshtym disaster. Elisa suffers from dissociative identity disorder and has a developed a second personality called Ursula, whose psychic abilities are stronger than her "Elisa" personality. As "Ursula", she works as a member of FOX, while her "Elisa" personality is a medic who takes care of Null and an informant for Snake. Snake meets Elisa, who initially tells Snake that she and Ursula are twin sisters, only to later learn the truth.
- Ghost - An informant who comes into contact with Snake, revealing the existence of ICBMG, the new Metal Gear prototype.
- Ocelot - A former Spetsnaz Major who assists Gene from behind-the-scenes.
- Major Zero - Snake's commanding officer during the events of Snake Eater, who is arrested by the Pentagon for suspicions of treason.
- Para-Medic - A former member of Snake's support crew from Snake Eater who assists him during the game as well.
- Voiced by: Houko Kuwashima (Japanese), Heather Halley (English)
- Sigint - Another former member of Snake's support crew from Snake Eater. He assists Snake in the game while working for ARPA.
- EVA - A spy for the PLA who assisted Snake in Snake Eater. She joins Snake's squad after completing several non-canon optional missions.
- Raikov - A GRU Major who was romantically involved with Colonel Volgin in Snake Eater. He joins Snake's squad after completing an optional mission.
- Skowronski - A Red Army Colonel overthrown by Gene.
Metal Gear series fictional chronology
Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater
Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops
Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker
Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake
Metal Gear Solid (The Twin Snakes)
Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty
Metal Gear Solid: Rising
Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots
In 1970, six years after the events of Snake Eater, Naked Snake's former team, FOX unit, has broken their allegiance with the CIA and gone rogue. Snake himself is also targeted by the FOX unit, which sent renegade FOX unit soldiers to attack and capture him. The game begins with Snake being tortured and interrogated by one of the members of FOX, Lieutenant Cunningham, who's trying to locate the whereabouts of the missing half of the Philosopher's Legacy, with the United States Government having already acquired the other half of the Legacy from the Soviet Union at the conclusion of Snake Eater. Snake is imprisoned in a cell next to Roy Campbell, the sole survivor of an American Green Beret team sent in to investigate the base. Snake learns through Roy that they're on the San Hieronymo Peninsula (a Russian transliteration of "San Jerónimo Peninsula") or "La Península de los Muertos", the site of an abandoned Soviet missile silo in Colombia.
The two escape and Snake makes his way to a communications base, where he attempts to contact his old CO, Major Zero. Instead, he is greeted by his old FOX comrades Para-Medic and Sigint, who reveal that Snake and Zero are being charged for treason and that the only way for Snake to be exonerated from the charges is to find and apprehend the leader of the rebellion, Gene. To complicate matters, Gene has also convinced most of the Russian soldiers stationed on the base to join their side by simply taking over the chain of command of a former Red Army unit, that was secretly stationed inside the Colombian territory. In order to complete his mission, Snake must persuade enemy soldiers to join his ranks because of the scale of his mission.
Snake and his squad defeat the top members of the FOX unit and eventually they make their way into Gene's guesthouse. Snake learns many things on his way. Cunningham was working for the Pentagon and wanted Snake to push Gene into launching a nuke to Russia to tarnish the CIA's reputation as well as to prolong the Cold War. Gene was actually aware of this plan the whole time from information from Ocelot. Gene really wanted to launch a nuke at America to destroy the Philosophers and to make his nation of soldiers, "Army's Heaven". Snake destroys an experimental model of the ICBMG (the Metal Gear model) codenamed RAXA and eventually defeats Gene, destroying the finished ICBMG model afterward. After Gene is defeated he gives Snake the funds, equipment, personnel, and all other information regarding Army's Heaven. On his return home, Snake is awarded for his actions and establishes FOXHOUND afterwards. Elsewhere, Ocelot kills the DCI (Director of Central Intelligence) and takes documents containing the identities of the Philosophers in an effort to "end them".
In the post-credits epilogue, Ocelot speaks with an unknown man on the phone, plotting on using the Legacy to fulfill their own agenda. Ocelot actually wanted the trajectory data of the nuke to point to the DCI so he would bring the documents right to him. Ocelot agrees to join his new employer's project under the condition that Snake/Big Boss participates as well.
Versions and re-releases
The game was first released in North America on December 5, 2006. In Japan, it was released two weeks later, on December 21, in two limited edition packages, with both of them sharing most of its unique bonus content, such as a special camouflage for the PlayStation Portable, as well as a set of three original lapel pins.
In Europe, the game was set to be released in April, yet it was delayed for a month. In the United Kingdom, the game could only be released on May 25, 2007, after it was revealed that the required BBFC rating was missing, forcing retailers to send back their stocks. The added features for the European release included new maps for the single-player campaign and multiplayer mode, characters, missions, player careers, as well as a new "Boss Rush" mode.
On November 1, 2009, the game was released on the PlayStation Network for download on the PSP in all three regions.
Portable Ops Plus
On July 17, 2007, Konami announced Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops Plus, a stand-alone expansion of the original game, focused on online play. Among its new features, the expansion includes new characters such as Genome and Gurlukovich soldiers from MGS and MGS2 respectively. There are also new missions, tutorials for beginners, as well as a new single-player mode called Infinity Mission.
In Japan, Portable Ops Plus was released on September 20, 2007 in two formats: the expansion on its own and as a deluxe package that includes the original game and the expansion. It was later released in North America on November 13, 2007 and in Europe version on March 28, 2008. This is the first game for the Metal Gear Solid series to have a Teen rating by the ESRB.
The stages in the game for the MPO is putting together in difficulties including Easy, Medium, Hard and Extreme, where the player must go through randomly chosen maps, looking for the advance point within the level, using the surround indicator to help them. Stage Selection consists into difficulties. This adds some extra difficulty, because the surround indicator could show an enemy, or the advance point. Within this mode, there are also Kerotan, which make a small croak sound, as well as briefly showing on the surround indicator with every croak. The game places an emphasis on online gameplay, with the modes from the original being used with their + counterparts, such as "Cyber-Survival+" and "Infrastructure+". During online gameplay, rookie players will have a rookie mark (On the EU and NA versions of the game the mark is a cherry logo, whereas on the Japanese version its a green and yellow heart shape), reducing the damage they get, and increasing the damage they give, making online gameplay easier for less skilled players.
The game is available in 2009 on the PlayStation Store for download for both PSPgo and PSP.
The musical score of Portable Ops was composed by Norihiko Hibino, Takahiro Izutani, Yoshitaka Suzuki, Kazuma Hinnouchi, Nobuko Toda and Akihiro Honda.
The ending theme ("Calling To The Night") was composed by Akihiro Honda and arranged by Norihiko Hibino and Akihiro Honda, with vocals by Natasha Farrow and lyrics by Nobuko Toda. "Calling to the Night" was later featured in Metal Gear Solid 4 as an iPod track, and Nintendo's Super Smash Bros. Brawl as one of the songs played on the Shadow Moses Island stage. Recently the song was adopted in Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker as a playable in-game track via the Walkman tool.
The soundtrack was first released in Japan on December 20, 2006.
Reviews Aggregate scores Aggregator Score GameRankings 87.3% (based on 43 reviews) Review scores Publication Score 1UP.com A Eurogamer 9/10 Game Informer 9/10 GamePro 4/5 GameSpot 9/10 GameSpy 5/5 GameZone 9/10 IGN 9/10
Portable Ops was met with universally positive reviews. At GameRankings, the game scored an average of 87.3% based on 43 reviews. IGN and GameSpot in particular both awarded the game 9 out of 10. Portable Ops Plus, on the other hand, met universally negative reviews, some remarking that it was the worst MGS game ever.
- ^ a b c GameSpot site staff. "Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops Tech Info/Credits". GameSpot. http://www.gamespot.com/psp/action/metalgearsolidpo/tech_info.html?om_act=convert&om_clk=stats&tag=stats;techinfo. Retrieved 3 July 2007.
- ^ Anoop Gantayat. "New Metal Gear Solid For PSP". IGN. http://psp.ign.com/articles/678/678002p1.html. Retrieved 3 July 2007.
- ^ a b c d Brad Shoemaker. "E3 06: Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops First Look". GameSpot. http://www.gamespot.com/psp/action/metalgearsolidpo/news.html?sid=6149966. Retrieved 3 July 2007.
- ^ IGN site staff. "Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops First Look Game Profile". IGN. http://psp.ign.com/objects/783/783630.html. Retrieved 3 July 2007.
- ^ a b c Jeff Haynes. "Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops Preview". IGN. http://psp.ign.com/articles/747/747473p1.html. Retrieved 3 July 2007.
- ^ a b c d Greg Kasavin. "Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops Review for the PSP". GameSpot. http://www.gamespot.com/psp/action/metalgearsolidpo/review.html?om_act=convert&om_clk=gssummary&tag=summary;review. Retrieved 3 July 2007.
- ^ James Mielke. "MGS: Portable Ops Plus Review". 1UP. http://www.1up.com/do/previewPage?cId=3153108. Retrieved 3 July 2007.
- ^ a b c d GameSpot site staff. "Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops Company Line". GameSpot. http://www.gamespot.com/psp/action/metalgearsolidpo/news.html?sid=6149936. Retrieved 3 July 2007.
- ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Jeff Haynes. "Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops Review". IGN. http://psp.ign.com/articles/749/749133p1.html. Retrieved 3 July 2007.
- ^ a b c d Jeff Haynes. "Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops -- Recruiting An Army, Part 2". IGN. http://psp.ign.com/articles/748/748359p1.html. Retrieved 4 July 2007.
- ^ a b c d e Thierry Nguyen. "Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops Review". 1UP. http://www.1up.com/do/reviewPage?cId=3155667&sec=REVIEWS. Retrieved 3 July 2007.
- ^ Daniel Dawkins. "PSP Review - Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops". CVG. http://computerandvideogames.com/article.php?id=166806&site=psm. Retrieved 4 July 2007.
- ^ a b c d e f g Jeff Haynes. "Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops -- Recruiting An Army, Part 1". IGN. http://psp.ign.com/articles/748/748104p1.html. Retrieved 4 July 2007.
- ^ a b c Kristine S.. "Post-TGS analysis: Why Portable Ops won Best in Show". PSP Updates. http://pspupdates.qj.net/Post-TGS-analysis-Why-Portable-Ops-won-Best-in-Show/pg/49/aid/67668. Retrieved 4 July 2007.
- ^ Deaf Gamers site staff. "Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops PSP". Deaf Gamers. http://www.deafgamers.com/07reviews/mgs_portableops_psp.html. Retrieved 4 July 2007.
- ^ Greg Kasavin. "E3 06: Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops Multiplayer Hands-On". GameSpot. http://www.gamespot.com/psp/action/metalgearsolidpo/news.html?sid=6151188. Retrieved 5 July 2007.
- ^ Daemon Hatfield. "GC 2006: Portable Ops Reconnaissance Info". IGN. http://psp.ign.com/articles/727/727584p1.html. Retrieved 4 July 2007.
- ^ Roy Campbell: Right. But as you can see, they had already completed part of the facility. We were sent in to investigate what was going on. Before we could do that, they ambushed us. // Naked Snake (Big Boss): "They?" // Roy Campbell: The FOX Unit. My team was wiped out in the blink of an eye. I fear I'm the only survivor. (Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops) Konami Computer Entertainment Japan, 2006
- ^ Gene: (...) My goal of building a new nation of mercenaries with only the most capable soldiers is real. (...) (Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops) Konami Computer Entertainment Japan, 2006
- ^ Gene: (...) I was created for that purpose. // Naked Snake (Big Boss): Created? // Gene: Have you heard of the Successor Project? // Naked Snake (Big Boss): ... No. // Gene: It was a top-secret experiment conducted by the U.S. government. Its goal: To create the ultimate battlefield commander. (...) (Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops) Konami Computer Entertainment Japan, 2006
- ^ Cunningham: My name is Lt. Cunningham. Until four weeks ago, I was with the CIA. // Naked Snake (Big Boss): Cunningham? FOX Unit's interrogation specialist? // Cunningham: Ah, so you have heard of me. I'm honored, Snake. (Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops) Konami Computer Entertainment Japan, 2006
- ^ Cunningham: All right, then, Snake, I'll explain it to you. I don't answer to Gene.
Naked Snake (Big Boss): What?
Cunningham: The CIA may control FOX, but I don't answer to them, either. My employer is the U.S. Department of Defense.
Snake: What do you mean?
Cunningham: Everything you've seen so far -- Surely you know that the CIA and the Pentagon aren't on the best of terms?
Naked Snake (Big Boss): You're talking about a fight over budget?
Cunningham: No, not that. The Bay of Pigs Invasion in 1961... The covert ops in North Vietnam - the influence of the CIA in America's military affairs grows with each passing year. The Pentagon brass started to feel threatened. And then they found out about the Metal Gear project. They enlisted Gene, FOX Unit's commanding officer, and had him steal it before it could be handed over to the Russians. What do you think would happen if Gene were to launch Metal Gear into the Soviet Union? The CIA'd lose face, and the military's influence would immediately start to soar. (Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops) Konami Computer Entertainment Japan, 2006
- ^ Naked Snake (Big Boss): So this is what you were calling the Perfect Soldier? Does he have ESP too? // Elisa: No, he's just an ordinary human being. That is, he used to be... He was raised in a special way, under very special conditions: To be a great warrior. He's incapable of emotions or doubts. He's the ultimate combatant, created with one purpose only: To accomplish the mission. He has no human memories. The only things he has left are his skills in battle. (Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops) Konami Computer Entertainment Japan, 2006
- ^ Naked Snake (Big Boss): Python... So you were alive all this time. (...) // Python: (...) How long has it been since our last mission together? Nearly ten years? We were both so very young back then. // Naked Snake (Big Boss): Yeah... When The Boss vanished... and I didn't know what the hell I was doing... you were there to save me. (...) But I thought you were dead. You were wounded on that top-secret mission in Vietnam. (Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops) Konami Computer Entertainment Japan, 2006
- ^ Naked Snake (Big Boss): It's... it's not like that... When I saw you at the heliport with Cunningham and the others... // Elisa: That... was my sister. // Naked Snake (Big Boss): Sister? // Elisa: Her name is Ursula. She's the one who's a member of FOX. I'm just a medic. (...) Ursula and I were raised in an East German lab. They sent all the kids with ESP potential there to study them. My powers are pretty weak. But Ursula is different. She's one of the most powerful psychics in all the Communist world. (...) (Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops) Konami Computer Entertainment Japan, 2006
- ^ IGN site staff. "Game Details Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops". IGN. http://psp.ign.com/objects/783/783630.html. Retrieved 11 July 2007.
- ^ PSP site staff. "Konami Announces Limited Edition". PSP-Vault. http://www.psp-vault.com/Article731.psp. Retrieved 11 July 2007.
- ^ Emma Boyes. "MGS: Portable Ops Held Up In UK". GameSpot. http://www.gamespot.com/news/6170250.html. Retrieved 11 July 2007.
- ^ Rob Purchese. "MGS: Portable Ops Dated". EuroGamer. http://www.eurogamer.net/article.php?article_id=76218. Retrieved 11 July 2007.
- ^ Bennett Ring. "MGS: Portable Ops Exclusive PAL Content". IGN. http://psp.ign.com/articles/755/755021p1.html?RSSwhen2007-01-11_212600&RSSid=755021. Retrieved 11 July 2007.
- ^ Emma Boyes. "Euro MGS: Portable Ops Getting Exclusive Content". GameSpot. http://www.gamespot.com/psp/action/metalgearsolidpo/news.html?sid=6164129. Retrieved 11 July 2007.
- ^ a b c Anoop Gantayat. "PlayStation Premiere: Metal Gear Expansion Announced". IGN. http://psp.ign.com/articles/805/805614p1.html. Retrieved 18 July 2007.
- ^ Hirohiko Niizumi. "PS3 MGS Online In Works, Portable Ops Expanded". GameSpot. http://www.gamespot.com/news/6175243.html. Retrieved 18 July 2007.
- ^ Alexis Dunham (2007-10-16). "MGS: Portable Ops Plus Goes Gold". http://games.ign.com/articles/827/827730p1.html. Retrieved 2007-10-16.
- ^ "Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops + - Konami". http://uk.games.konami-europe.com/game.do?idGame=171. Retrieved 2008-03-18.
- ^ a b GameRankings.com page for Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops. URL retrieved 17th February 2007.
- ^ Eurogamer's review of Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops. URL retrieved 17th February 2007.
- ^ Game Informer, Issue 166, February 2007. Page 109.
- ^ GamePro's review of Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops. URL retrieved 17th February 2007.
- ^ GameSpy's review of Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops. URL retrieved 17th February 2007.
- ^ GameZone's review of Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops. URL retrieved 17th February 2007.
- ^ http://www.metacritic.com/games/platforms/psp/metalgearsolidportableopsplus
- Official MPO website
- Official MPO+ website
- Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops at the Open Directory Project
- Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops Plus at the Open Directory Project
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