Product Type: Konami PS2 games
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Metal Gear Solid 2 - Sons of Liberty (PS2)
Member Name: MHmission701
Metal Gear Solid 2 - Sons of Liberty (PS2)
Date: 18/02/03, updated on 13/02/05 (164 review reads)
Advantages: Enviable gameplay; just brilliant graphics and sound; novel plot
When Metal Gear Solid came out on the PlayStation, people had mixed opinions about it, some said it was too short, others said it was just the best. No matter, it was a popular game, built around gameplay, style and movie character. Based around a small plot which unfolds as you play the game, and then finally end as if it were a final battle in a good movie with only the happy ending left. Loosely based around the 007 movies, but in an American style IGI, MGS was a stealth based game putting the players wits against their ability to kill everyone on screen in an effort to survive rather than to have fun. Serious stuff was Metal Gear Solid.
When the second game was announced at an E3 show, nobody could wait for the second game, those who wanted better graphics could now be happy with the PlayStation 2's processing and those who complained about the game length now had a smirking DVD-ROM over their shoulder, and those who loved the first now had to imagine the new games design.
The first time you play Metal Gear Solid 2, you're totally unaware of what might happen, at first it feels unfamiliar, you are put in this new location and told to investigate, but you just want to know the plot. In fact you won't know the plot as it has that many twists and turns you might lose it by the final hour. From the start you can chose what type of level you wish to play,
ironically it is all presented rather automated, you get a happy female voice telling you what to do, and assisting you through the first couple of menus. You can chose to play a number of difficulties and in a number of ways. The main producer Hideo Kojima, who you'll know of since he now has ?A Hideo Kojima Game? plaque on the cover, has spent some time thinking of the game design, three years to be exact. He has come up with a pretty complex method; if you played the first game, you can play as Snake, but if you haven't you must play as the new character. While playing as Snake first you're going to end up playing the new character eventually. Snake is the character from the first game, and by now playing him first you are told rumours and stories of his supposedly erratic turn to terrorism after Shadow Moses. Shadow Moses was the plot of the first game, in which Snake, also known as David Hayter, under took a mission given by Fox Hound a sort of under cover secret service formed in Alaska.
The new character, Jack, is the one you would be playing if you haven't played the first game, with this younger ?VR? trained recruit you must undertake a very dangerous task, infiltrating a massive Oil Rig and rescuing the president along with Hostages. He at first calls himself Snake, but is renamed to Raiden by the Colonel. Jack has come very much alone, and with little supplies, in the game you must use your stealth to outwit the enemy centuries. You'll have to do a lot of sneaking around and without the Virtual Reality (VR) missions to practice it is somewhat hard to learn at first.
Choosing the Snake missions is altogether more advanced to begin with, here you are sent alone to a Tanker, but you are to simple investigating the contents of the ship. This mission is rather ?illegal? in the eyes of the law, and with what happens onboard Snake is given a bit of a bad look. On this mission you'll be expected to know all about how Metal
Gear Solid works, ie how the camera's change angles and how to use the radar. All of this is explained if you need it.
If you're new to this type of game, it is somewhat weird how it is played. In the game you have a main view of your character, this view point varies from where you are, the camera more often than not is above the character and gives you a limited range to your surroundings. As you move not only does the camera angle change but also the position. For example, when you first begin you can move around on the decks of the Tanker, there are big objects on the deck, if you move to an object like a wall or crate on the deck, your camera angle will shift from the sky to a lower viewpoint allowing you to see forward. Also you can use the 1st person perspective during gameplay, by pressing the R1 button you see what the character sees. You can also load a gun and see through the sight and will make you feel great.
The main controls allow you to move around (left analogue stick), do flips (X), punch combo and kick (O x3), and unlock doors or interact with the environment (triangle). When pressed up against a wall you can strafe along it by using the L2 and R2 buttons, when you get to a corner, you can peek around it, by simply continuing to hold the strafe button. This peek method is very chic, it allows you character to bend around the corner, and if your gun is equipped, jump out and prepare to shoot. Even better you can hold the R1 button and see the target through 1st person view directly after the jump out.
Because you're infiltrating the tanker, or oil rig alone, you are best advised to stay covered, picking the right moment to pass the guards, and if needed take the out. This time the enemies intelligence is greatly evolved, you have a harder time getting past them, but they still fall for old tricks like tapping on a wall and allowing you to pass them as they investigate. The box trick has also come back ? you
'd find a box and be able to hide in it, unless you block a path the guards ignore it. You can also hide in lockers or better yet hide dead or unconscious guards in the locker away from eyes.
When you are found by the guards there is probably little chance that you'll survive a gun fight, and less chance that you can run away. The fact is, that being spotted you will only have a small chance of surviving without have to start from a Save point or restart that area. If you do manage to escape the fire, you should look for cover in a room like under shelves or behind crates. By standing ground and fighting you need a very good aim and a very good gun.
When you are discovered all types of visual aids, like the radar showing the guards view points all disappear until they call off the search. The alarms are set and reinforcements are sent in to sniff you out. Leaving bodies or making a racquet will cause too much attention. Even letting yourself bleed will allow them to track you down. When they do get a spot on you they'll first call for help, then go in for you. You can do one of two things at this point.
You can run and use the time to hide and take cover. Or you can take out this guard who is about to call for help, you can do this best by trying to go for the radio unit, then the enemy, this won't allow him to call for help even if he does survive the shot.
When sneaking around you'll often be called through the Codec, apparently the device is in your ear and stimulates the ear bones, so no-one can here the call. The people who call you are different for what mission you take, but all will do something to help, even by repeatedly calling in for help doesn't seem to have been under thought: no matter how many times you call you'll always get a different response and an informative response too. They often give you tips like ?hide that body? or ?don't attract too much attention?.
One of the
most fun features to play with is the hold up: here you would go to an enemy and point your gun to him, the character your playing will say ?Freeze?, and the enemy will hold his hands up. At this point you can do some fun things, like pointing at their groin to see them shake and cry, others however, will say much tougher things like ?are you going to shoot me??, ?or what? could easily have been put in there. When they shake themselves they can drop their Dog tags, which you can collect each one gives a name and you can collect everyone in the game to win a prize at the end.
There are a number of ways to use the guards as bait or protection, you can punch them, which can knock them out cold, you can put them in a neck lock and drag them and even break the neck. While they are dead or unconscious you can drag them around by pressing the triangle button near them. You could make them bait by lying them in the path of other soldiers, as they try to wake the unconscious soldier up you can pop out and shoot them down.
Through the game you'll often come to a ?boss?, there are a lot of bosses in this game, you would have to do various things to kill them or just get them out of the way. In a sense it is very cartoon based action, like the floating ring or stars around unconscious soldiers or the very ambiguous boss characters' features, such as Fortune who can avoid bullets without moving. Revolver Ocelot has made it into the game from his run in with Snake in the first, this time he has found a donor to his missing gun arm (which was taken off by Snake btw), but the donor was the main boss and brother of three to Snake, Liquid Snake. Liquid Snake was killed in the first game (the big boss), Snake killed Liquid, but Revolver somehow had his arm replaced with Liquids. Now Revolver gets sudden Life form changes and turns into Liquid. Yes the plot is impressively innovative, and the massive hardware surrounding the environments make you feel incredibly
small, such as the Metal Gear RAY units, which are, evolved version of the first games REX units. These machines, which of course have the ability to launch nuclear weapons remotely, are absolutely huge, they only manage to fit on inside the tanker. Later you uncover a bigger machine, Arsenal Gear, which is much bigger.
The main plot of the game is highly unoriginal to begin with, but sort of evolves and turns around with different aspects as you progress, so it turns from a ?rescue the hostages? -Die Hard- adventure to a ?save yourself and get out because everyone is an enemy? -Cube- adventure. After all, the game has a stunning plot which has more than a few twists that are not worth spoiling.
Graphically the game doesn't need to have itself dressed to perfection, but in this case they have accomplished an amazing level of detail. While some may dislike the very small levels and loading events, there is nothing to complain about graphics wise. The first time you enter the game, you will notice the black borders fade away and you'll think, ?am I playing now!?? as the video and the game are alike, they are completely graphically based, just like the first game, only this looks too good for graphics. The textures, which coat the environment, are lavishly applied, such as the clothing, which have different materials, and the combat uniform, the guards wear. The most detail you'll be able to get is down to the writing on Fire Extinguishers and the rain that lands on your screen in 1st person view. Not only are the environments scaled well, they also look right, the stairs all have parts which you can access and see the soldiers walk un as you peek through the steps. You'll even notice a mammoth amount of cockroaches and other insects as you clamber around in venting shafts.
Lighting effects and colours are excellently portrayed, like how the guards light lights up the room as they come towards you, or the way the sunlight shadow
s the objects around you. Even down to the empty shells by big gun fights, the level of graphical detail is overwhelming.
Sound also plays a massive part to the feel of the game, the way the music changes pace when you're discovered and when you're looking around in various rooms. The sound effects are nicely done too, like the gunfire, and voice acting, which is just excellently directed. They have had some trouble with lip-synching; as with these real time videos it must be hard.
The environments are massively detailed, down to the reflections of light panels in the ceiling reflecting off the floor to the way they behave. You can shoot a lot of objects in the game, like kitchen equipment or bottles on display. Using the fire extinguishers to distract and block the view of enemies is a good trick and the way you can clamber over objects to hide in corners is also good fun. The controls allow you to move around swiftly and just about interact with everything on the level.
Equipment and weaponry can be picked up from various locations, you don't start with a great deal, so it's always best to search everywhere. If you ever miss a gun or piece of equipment and happen to need that particular item like a Sniper rifle to take out computers that control explosives, then the helping characters will contact you through the Codec and tell you where you might find one. Also there seems to be a system in that if you miss a gun and continue on you will find that gun a little later in the game. The weapons are not used a great deal, and aren't talked about much between character conversations. Weapons like the Socom (semiautomatic) are pretty loud, so you should look for a suppressor (aka silencer). Others like the FasMas are much stronger to take out groups with, it fires about 40 rounds in a very fast automatic speed. The missile and grenade weapons such as the Nikita (remote rocket launcher) allow you to pilot a rocket and rem
ote control it to a target, the Stinger a very powerful and fast missile launcher which locks onto targets IR signature, the grenade launcher which pops a small grenade which is pretty unpredictable to where it is going. Other weapons are also useful like the tranquilliser gun and silencer the M9 which puts the enemy unconscious and has different effect times depending on where you hit.
The targeting system in MGS2, is very effective, when you are in 1st person view, you can either target manually or have it auto target when a guard is in visibility. When you don't move it, and there are say five guards around you the automatic targeting will allow you to kill each one as it wises you around to the next enemy, very very effective.
The equipment you pick up also is very effective to how you get through, the thermal goggles for example make it easy to spot guards or Claymore mines. The Scope is very good at zooming in to high and far out ranges to spot snipers. Cardboard boxes are also handy too. There are all sorts of objects you can pick up, like the various magazines which you can place on the floor and distract the soldiers, the same can be done by putting an empty clip on the floor too. Staying alive is kept up with Rations, which help your health rise, and the body armour is very effective to both fire and gunfire. Chaffe grenades stun grenades, grenades, C4; all types of explosives are available in the game, and that C4 is brilliant fun to play with if you can get it on a soldier's backside.
Progressive gameplay which allows you to learn tricks and enhance your gameplay power make the game exceptionally addictive, you can't help but see what sort of mischief you can do. Both the plot, characters and the gameplay mix perfectly with a strong formula on modern life, while it gets kind of romantic at the end it is nevertheless a very serious game and one which you should enjoy at the same time. And the major fault of the fi
rst game has been dealt with for this game, the major complaint of MGS was that it was way too short, some managed to do it in under three hours, people said it was the ?perfect rental?. MGS2 however is remarkably full of stuff, I managed to complete it in 11 hours and about 50 minutes, but with all the conversations adding up time, I would say that the next time will take less than 8 hours, still a worthwhile few days of gameplay no matter how many times you complete it.
All in all, what you have here is one of 2002's best game of all time. No doubt about it, Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons Of Liberty has both a level of gameplay only matched by its brilliant graphics and sound and backed up by a monstrous plot. There is basically little to complain about in the game, other than the constant conversations of the characters and the Codec speeches, which do take a lot of time, are still part of the game. If there is a bigger fault, it would have to be the lack of multiplayer support. Still Metal Gear Solid 2 is exceptionally well built and is a definite must buy game.
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