Snake has appeared on PSP twice before, courtesy of the two Metal Gear Acid games, which presented the hero's actions within the context of a card battling game. Now that Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops is here, fans of Konami's sneaky series can sample the stealth gameplay of the more famous MGS games on the move for the first time.
Portable Ops follows on from the events of Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater on PlayStation 2, with Naked Snake beginning the game in a cell. Via a brilliantly drawn cutscene - comic book fans will love the cinematic sequences, drawn by renowned artist Ashley Wood - we learn that Snake has been taken captive by his former unit, FOX.
From there, it's breakout time, courtesy of a fellow prisoner who sets Snake off on a new mission to dismantle a deadly nuclear threat.
Gameplay is up to the high standards set by MGS3, with Snake's range of moves and equipment instantly familiar to fans of the series. Sneaking about and taking out guards with maximum efficiency is as compelling as ever, and the superb presentation only makes it more so.
A new feature for Portable Ops is the ability to recruit units to your cause. You can then deploy them in the field to make your life easier as you go about your mission - a nice touch that gives you that authentic rebellion leader feeling.
In addition, a variety of Wireless functions allow for multiplayer action, and even the ability to recruit new units from another person's PSP system.
If the Metal Gear Acid titles left you hankering for more portable Snake action, or if you're merely a fan of the games on PS one and PS2, Portable Ops is a triumphant stealth experience that stays true to the spirit of the series while adding some inspired ideas of its own.