Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops Plus PSP
Published by: Konami
Developed by: Konami
Release Date: Out Now
When I first learned about Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops Plus, I was under the impression the game was an enhanced version of the superb Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops (you can read our review of Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops here) and therefore I assumed it would be one of the most memorable games on the PSP to date. I assumed wrong. Portable Ops Plus is essentially a stand-alone expansion for the original Portable Ops and it’s an expansion whose value is questionable to anyone other than diehard Portable Ops fans. It certainly isn’t a good place to start for those who didn’t purchase the original Portable Ops.
Some will see Portable Ops Plus as a way of getting in the mood for Metal Gear Solid 4, only weeks away now, but if you were hoping for a storyline you’re going to be out of luck. The original Portable Ops picked up the storyline from the end of Metal Gear Solid 3 and was good value for those fans of the series who are interested in following Snake’s story. Portable Ops Plus offers no storyline and as such its value is diminished. Instead there is a mode called Infinity Mission which essentially offers an indefinite string of increasingly difficult bland missions that are there to allow you to recruit more characters and level-up those you already have. You can carry forward any characters you had from the original Portable Ops if you wish. Infinity Mission just feels like a lacklustre practice mode in all honesty and essentially ends up being an exercise in tedium.
Those who will get real value from Portable Ops Plus are those who enjoyed playing the game as a multiplayer experience. The game offers support for both Ad Hoc and Infrastructure play meaning you can play against both friends and opponents from across the globe. The game allows you to either play the multiplayer game from the original Portable Ops or take advantage of the new maps and features that Portable Ops Plus provides, which is a nice touch. One problem with the multiplayer game is that it can be very unbalanced. Should you play against someone who has invested hours and hours levelling-up their squad, you’ll find yourself slaughtered in no time at all which is quite disheartening to say the least. However there is a beginner’s lobby this time around to allow you to play games against more casual or first time players. A new shooting gallery mode has also been included.
As to be expected, Portable Ops Plus looks and controls the same as Portable Ops and the game is just as deaf gamer friendly. If there’s one criticism to be made of the game from a visual standpoint, it’s that the levels in the game are rather bland looking and there isn’t a great deal of variation in how the levels look. If you didn’t play Portable Ops then you might find the controls in Portable Ops Plus take some adjusting to. Thankfully, like Portable Ops, Portable Ops Plus is subtitled and deaf gamers will have no problems in enjoying the game. The game provides all of the same visual clues that Portable Ops provided making the game very accessible for deaf gamers.
Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops Plus is a game that is only going to appeal to those who want to get more out of the online experience that Portable Ops provided. As a single-player title it has little to no value at all, thanks to there being no real storyline in the game. Those who didn’t purchase Portable Ops would do well to pick up that excellent title instead of what is arguably one of the weakest additions to the Metal Gear Solid series to date(or keep their cash for Metal Gear Solid 4 or course). Portable Ops Plus should only be considered by those who intend to play the game online on a regular basis.