Hands-On: A Second Analog Stick Adds A Lot To Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker

By Kris . June 9, 2011 . 5:30pm

At Konami’s booth, I had a chance to try out Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker HD’s new control setup, and found myself quite pleased with the results!


Based around the original game’s "Shooter" control scheme that used the face buttons (square, x, circle, triangle) to aim while shooting, playing with two analog sticks simply remaps those functions to the right analog stick. While this sounds like a little change, it actually adds a lot to the game, making it feel much smoother and easier to line up headshots. The PSP game’s auto aim option and (very helpful) aim assist are still in the game, but this just feels like the way Peace Walker was meant to be played. The default sensitivity when I wasn’t aiming at things was a little too twitchy for my taste, initially, but that was quickly remedied by lowering it by about half in the options menu.


Only two of the newly-freed buttons are utilized under this new control scheme. The triangle button has become the go-to action button, appearing on prompts where up on the d-pad used to be. However, I used up on the d-pad to interrogate one of the soldiers I had in a headlock (it was instinct! I’ve played a lot of Peace Walker…), and discovered that it worked just as an action button as triangle. X is now the button used for crouching or going prone, making Peace Walker feel even more like its predecessors. Once again, its positional counterpart on the d-pad did the same thing.


Speaking of Peace Walker’s predecessors, Peace Walker’s weapon and item menus have now been lifted from their former positions on the d-pad to their rightful places as R2 and L2 respectively. While I still couldn’t navigate these menus with the left analog stick, it was really nice to be able to browse through them with the d-pad as opposed to using square and triangle to move left and right through them.


Peace Walker HD will be out in the Metal Gear Solid HD Collection for PS3 and Xbox 360 this Winter.

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  • OneOkami

    I’m sure it does.  I spent pretty much my entire time playing through Peace Walker telling myself over and over again how much this game should just been on the PS3, and the primary reason was none of the control schemes felt right.

    • Aoshi00

      Unfortunately I couldn’t even play thru the game and had to give up after 4-5 hrs (many seem to have enjoyed it)… the PSP’s restricted control just didn’t do it for me (neither shooter nor action worked) and I died a lot as a result it was too frustrating and I don’t think I sucked that bad in MGS 1-4, this is how the game should be played in the first place..  I can’t wait to finally play and finish PW w/ 2 analog sticks on the 46″ TV (not via PSP videio out looking like 15″), and maybe have some friends to join the game to take on the missions and bosses.. The comic book cutscenes w/ the small text was hard for me to read on the PSP as well, and playing on the big TV looked ugly before of course..

      but yea, not sh*@ this plays better..

      • Kris

        I will warn you of one thing, Aoshi, Peace Walker still looks like a PSP game in HD… There are a ton of low-res textures everywhere. If you’re still cool with that though, having the second analog stick made a world of difference.

        • Aoshi00

          Thanks for the heads up Kris.  Cool, I don’t think I would have a problem w/ it, it still looks better than hooking up the PSP to the TV via video out (surrounded by black bars on all sides) right?  I’m definitely getting this HD collection anyway for MGS2/3/PW, so..  you know I actualy went thru the trouble of getting a PSP Go, rebuying the game digitally (even though I owned both Jpn and US copies of PW), just wanting to play on the TV w/ the Dual Shock 3, but the 2nd analog stick still couldn’t be used, and I can’t sit back on the sofa since a PSP game still look so small as it’s not displayed full screen..  now I heard about this I traded in the useless PSP Go lol…

          From the videos it looked pretty good to me though.. anyway, it seems like they remap the control for item inventory and turning the camera and everything else, play like a console shooter or just the old MGS games, so this is a savior for me.. and adding to me not being able to play well on the PSP and no local co-op to help me out, I was stuck and couldn’t go on w/ the game before, so…

          As long as it plays like MGS3/4 or something I’m fine, plus trophies/achievement for all 3 games man and wide screen for MGS2/3 :) Can’t wait for this and Ico

      • malek86

        You know, I was wondering, wouldn’t the same problem also be on the 3DS version of MGS3?

        If people had so much trouble with Peace Walker, how is Konami going to rectify it? They still have to rely on one stick.

        • Aoshi00

          I’ve been wondering about how to play MGS on the 3DS from the beginning too, I suppose it would be like PW again.  As much as I liked MGS3 and the cool 3D effects, it’s not a game that I’m going to get after my experience w/ PW. 

    • PrinceHeir

      agree :D

      this is gonna be awesome :P

      Ashley Wood art in HD? damn O_O

  • d19xx

    I wish Kojima went old school and used the classic over head view of the series. That and the comic book cut scene, just didn’t do it for me…

    Well with the PS3’s second analog, I’m sure this game will be vastly improved…

    • Lamashtu

      I agree. The main drawback from playing MGS4 for me initially was the absence of the classic overhead view. Well, i got used to it anyway.
      And I sure hope Snake Eater 3D will have an overhead camera option too.

    • RupanIII

      Same here, it gives it more of that strategy/tactics feel vs. generic shooter feel.

  • I’ll probably play through the PSP version, which I haven’t done yet, and then get it when it comes out on the PS3.

  • Exkaiser

    I was always fine with the Portable Ops controls, myself. Way more comfortable than the “Shooter” configuration.

  • Ryuhawkin

    Will this be a download or an actual hardcopy of the three games?
    Because I really just want Peace Walker, having played both Subsistence versions of MGS2 and 3.

    • The HD Collection is a hardcopy of all three games.

  • YES!! Konami actually revamped the control scheme for Peace Walker! Thank you!

  • Scallion

     This is making me wish they’ll re-release MGPO on Live Arcade and PSN.

  • Never really had much trouble with the PSP PW controls. The learning curve is about an hour and since then I’ve got about 250 hours in. It’s in the top 3 best MGSs ever.

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