Metal Gear Solid on the iPhone is kind of insane, kind of awesome

Straight from Tokyo, here's some gameplay and a few thoughts on MGS: Social Ops.


Metal Gear Solid: Social Ops

Yes, you read that right. Metal Gear Solid is coming to mobile devices in the form of Metal Gear Solid: Social Ops. Rather than a port of an existing Metal Gear Solid game, this iOS and Android title is a brand-new take on the series due to be published by Japanese social gaming giant GREE. Wondering what the game's about? Well, go ahead and take a look at some video we just shot here at Tokyo Game Show 2012.

Hopefully that gives you a better idea of what this game is about. I say "hopefully" because I played the thing and I'm still completely mystified by its finer points. But then again, I don't speak a word of Japanese. Still, there were a few things that grabbed me about the game during my brief bit of hands-on time.

It may not look it, but this is very much a card game. Take a brief look at the footage, and Social Ops looks more or less like Peace Walker. But in the demo I played those bits of the game pretty much played themselves. You tap on a location to immediately move there, and tap on an enemy to immediately approach him. From what I can tell, the meat of the game is in collecting cards (all based on various MGS characters), tweaking your deck, and letting battles play out based on whose brought the superior deck of cards to the table.

It plays fast and loose with the MGS timeline. Clearly this game is a case of Kojima Productions looking to have a bit of fun with the overall timeline in the series. You'll notice in the video above that Peace Walker-era Snake is receiving instructions from MGS4-era Mei Ling, while the next level after the one I just played was the Big Shell facility from MGS2. It pretty much feels like a mash-up of characters and places from the entire series.

It's got a crazy sense of humor. Metal Gear Solid has always had a silly sense of humor buried under the layers of serious storytelling, but it looks like Social Ops is going to crank that up to 11. There's one scene in the demo where three or four guards all cram their way inside the same cardboard box, then the box starts shaking around for a bit and explodes into dust. Amazing.

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