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Metal Gear Acid streaming video

Witness Solid Snake's turn on the PSP. And then see the guard's turn. And then Snake's again. Etc.

Dark blue icons of video game controllers on a light blue background
Image credit: Eurogamer

Konami has released a streaming trailer of PSP title Metal Gear Acid via its website, showing off various sections from the title it teased us with during E3, and giving us a better idea of how Hideo Kojima's team has translated the series' familiar gameplay to the PSP. Or hasn't, as the case may be.

Metal Gear Acid's announcement at E3 wasn't entirely unpredictable. Sony and Nintendo may not be competing officially, but Sony was always going to have a line-up of key franchises ready to help the PSP steal the show from DS. And while it's debateable whether or not it did that, Metal Gear Acid certainly hit us like Diazepam as our sights wandered aimlessly over the various PSP exhibits. Bang. We'll have some of that.

What was unpredictable about Metal Gear Acid's announcement, however, was the change of direction. Hideo Kojima reckons a handheld system is not suitable for the kind of fine input the game requires in its traditional form, so instead his team opted to create a game that used a similar look and feel (and most, if not all, of the characters from the three home console MGS titles) but relied upon a turn-based strategy style of gameplay.

In practice it's hard to say how this will play out (the Acid demo units at E3 were just "rolling demos" - actual code, certainly, but not in playable form), but on the surface it's an intriguing approach. Konami says Snake will be able to make various moves per turn while guards patrol the area - with the player drawing cards (as seen in one of the screenshots) to open up various options. A certain card might let Snake break the guard's neck without alerting him, for example, while another might haul out a rifle.

It's an unexpected application of the MGS series on new hardware, which many would argue is manifestly capable of delivering the expected style. Still, Kojima has never been influenced by what's expected of him, and his desire to protect the series' credibility here is hardly surprising, whether or not you agree with his assessment of the PSP's capabilities.

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