Kojima Productions brings the epic story of Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots to Apple's iPhone platform with the Metal Gear Solid Touch, a touchscreen controlled shoot 'em up.
In Metal Gear Solid Touch, Old Snake's goal is the same as it was in the PlayStation 3 version: assassinate Liquid Ocelot, taking out any PMC soldiers and cybernetic members of the Beauty and the Beast corps.
Since the iPhone (and iPod Touch) don't really do epic—at least not on the scale that current-generation hardware can—the experience has been whittle down considerably. Gone is the stealthy "tactical espionage action," replaced by touchscreen tapping and arcade-style shooting. To call it Metal Gear meets Duck Hunt isn't unfair.
But is catering to the platform, giving hardcore fans something to play with on the go, a bad thing?
Sharp Presentation, Challenging Action: There's no lack of polish in Metal Gear Solid Touch. The game controls beautifully, with reliable aiming and shooting, and has similarly attractive visuals. MGS Touch actually provides a decent challenge, especially if you're looking to perfect your scores and acquire all of the game's unlockables. It's a fun little shooter with the Metal Gear Solid licence carefully applied.
It's... Not Finished: At the end of Act 3, the game ends. It promises additional content (aka the rest of the game) at a later date, something that took us somewhat by surprise. While we'd imagine that many Metal Gear fans will already be intimately familiar with what transpires during the final two acts, opting to simply enjoy the shooting gallery fun, Konami's asking you to pay for an unfinished product.
Getting Phone Calls: Some of the boss fights are a little challenging, but they're made more maddening by the fact that Metal Gear Solid Touch and phone calls don't mix. The game doesn't pause the action, it simply stops it. If you're serious about playing levels to perfection, snagging all those valuable Drebin Points, you'll want to put your iPhone in "aeroplane mode."
Metal Gear Solid Touch, while maybe a bit confusing of a concept and contradictory to the game's stealth-based roots, is somehow charming. It's an appealing, fan service-filled diversion, one fortunately packed with replay value. The downside is that it's simply an incomplete package. We'd recommend waiting for either a price drop or for Kojima and company to get the rest of the game out in a future update.
Metal Gear Solid Touch was developed by Kojima Productions and published by Konami for the iPhone and iPod Touch, released on March 19th. Retails for US$7.99 USD. Completed main missions, tested Survival mode.
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