Game Review: Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty

Geek Specs:
Title: Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty
Platform: Playstation 2
Genre: Action
Developer: Konami
Publisher: Konami
Release: 2001

Introduction: In 1987, Hideo Kojima, a Konami game designer, created a videogame that originated a classic series: Metal Gear. This game, although it was one of the best NES action games, wasn't a very big commercial success. Years later though, Hideo Kojima created a sequel to Metal Gear for the Playstation, this time with the name Metal Gear Solid. We all know what it has done: it revolutionized the videogaming industry. Metal Gear Solid was in fact a game with amazing realism, which allows you to do whatever you would do in reality. After the release of Metal Gear Solid, many fans began to hope that a sequel would be made. After years of hype surrounding this game, Metal Gear Solid 2 has been released and although it is not as revolutionary as its prequel, it almost reaches its quality level, becoming a must-have for any owner of a PS2. Why? Continue reading to find out.

Review: First, after you choose to begin a new game you must answer some questions: they basically ask if you have played the first Metal Gear Solid, if you love action, and if you are good in action games. These questions will set the difficulty and they will let you see some particular scenes at the game's beginning. After this, the game will begin and you will proceed in your mission accompanied by a tutorial that explains the game's controls, which are not difficult to manage but require some time to be handled. If you have already played Metal Gear Solid, you will not have any difficulty in handling the game's controls that are equal to the ones of the prequel.

You can perform practically any function you would in reality, from walking near walls to furtively looking outside a passage and hiding in air conducts - all with an easy-to-handle control system. Everything is made easily selectable to create a system that allows us to quickly choose a tactic and strategy without losing the excitation of the game. The gameplay, though, is particular for its main target: the realism. The realism is the base of this game, and everything is made to let you feel into it: the guards that ask for mercy if you point your pistol at them, the heart beating when you hide inside the lockers and boxes, and the intelligence of the enemies (which can decipher your location based on footprints, blood, rumors, and even your cold breath). I can say without any doubt that Hideo Kojima made gameplay perfect in every way.

The story is also very nice. However, it doesn't reach the quality of many Japanese RPG's, mainly because the game is focused on tactical realism. Now you'll play as Raiden, a new hero, and Solid Snake, the hero of Metal Gear and Metal Gear Solid, pops in and out of the story as your ally.

Basically, you have to free an offshore platform (that is said to be a base needed to clean the sea from a petrolium spill, but you will early discover that it is not so) from a terrorist invasion where the President of the U.S. is located; but the story will reveal very early on, between lots of surprises, that everything you believe is not what you thought. This fascinating story is accompanied by a graphical mystique that deserves a 5 rating. In fact, the graphics graze the maximum capabilities of the Playstation 2. They are so beautiful that you can't distinguish real-time 3D from FMVs. With a large use of 3D enviroment effects such as Trilinear Filtering, Transparency, Goraud Shading and Mirrored surfaces, the graphics are really outstanding. The music is really well done and fits perfectly in every action of the game; it was written by a movie-soundtrack composer and executed by an orchestra. Sound effects are very nice too and every single sound in the game is perfectly syncronized with graphic and gameplay. This game is almost perfect, but it has only a single defect: its lack of originality. Compared to its prequel, Metal Gear Solid 2 is more an evolution than a revolution.

Conclusion: This game is, together with GTA3 and Final Fantasy X, a killer-application for the PS2 and it is a must-have for every owner of this console. Action, realism, and tactics fuse together for a memorable experience and they return once again to us with outstanding graphics and sound. Metal Gear Solid 2 is a game that, although it lacks originality, is still a perfect game for every Playstation 2 possessor, even for the ones who don't like action and spy games.

Ratings: (scale of 0.0 - 5.0)

Gameplay: 4.5 Graphics: 5.0
Gameplay hasn't changed very much from Metal Gear Solid. However, being MGS' gameplay perfect, I think that there was no need to apply many changes. It takes a 4.5 for its lack of originality. Leaving some asialing defects, the graphics are perfect and you will find almost everything to be interactive. There is nothing more to add: You must go and see it for yourself :).

Sound: 5.0 Overall: 4.5
Music and sound effects are appropriate in every situation. Silence has its own role, though. As its prequel, this game is a must-have. It is perfect in almost every way, and although it lacks the originality of the original, you will have lots of fun with it. Prepare for an adventure of extreme realism.

Written by Coolvortex


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