Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty

aka: Hejin Zhuangbei 2, MGS2, Metal Gear Solid III
Moby ID: 5211
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Description official descriptions

In 2007, two years after the Shadow Moses incident, Solid Snake - now working for a freelance organization known as Philanthropy - infiltrates the oil tanker U.S.S. Discovery, investigating the development of a new Metal Gear-type weapon. A confrontation with a Russian military group as well as an old acquaintance from Snake's past adventure leads to a massive detonation, after which Snake is presumed dead.

Fast-forward to the year 2009: the player takes control of Raiden, a rookie agent operating under the order of the Colonel, apparently a member of a reformed Foxhound unit. His initial assignment is to infiltrate the offshore clean-up facility Big Shell and rescue the President of the United States of America, who was kidnapped by members of a terrorist organization known as Sons of Liberty. However, the matters become increasingly complicated as almost everyone Raiden communicates with appears to have a hidden agenda, and it is hard to tell a friend from foe...

Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty is the sequel to the espionage action game Metal Gear Solid. Much of the gameplay remains the same, as the game's protagonist has to sneak past guards, outsmart them using various gadgets, and defeat the tricky boss enemies. There are a host of weapons to be picked up throughout the game, some old, such as the FAMAS and Socom, and some new, such as the AK-47. Martial arts combos can be used to disable guards. It is possible to crawl through small spaces, peek around corners, and perform acrobatic leaps to get away. The protagonist can also hang from railings, effectively hiding from guard, or stick his gun in a guard's back, surprising him. The cardboard box is also back, and can once again be used for hiding.

Gadgets such as sneak suit, mine detector, thermal goggles, and others can be found along the way.. The radar from the original game is still there and alerts the player to guards' positions and also shows their field of view. If an alarm is sounded the radar is disabled while the hero has to escape. In some situations, it is necessary to enable the radar before it becomes possible to use it.

Like its predecessor, the game is heavy on codec conversations and cutscenes. All the cutscenes in the game use the in-game 3D engine; the characters' movements are motion captured animations.

Spellings

  • 合金装备2 - Chinese spelling (simplified)

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Credits (PlayStation 2 version)

270 People (215 developers, 55 thanks) · View all

EVP Sales, Marketing, Operations
VP Marketing
Product Manager/Director of Marketing
Associate Product Manager
Senior Manager Creative Services
Director of Public Relations
Senior Public Relations Specialist
Director of Marketing Communications
Consumer Services
Sr. VP Product Development
Director of Production
US Localization Producer
QA Manager
Lead Tester
QA Liaison
Testers
Packaging & Manual Design
  • Department X
Special Thanks
[ full credits ]

Reviews

Critics

Average score: 94% (based on 71 ratings)

Players

Average score: 4.0 out of 5 (based on 162 ratings with 12 reviews)

A great game that OD'd on storyline

The Good
- Wide selection of weapons and items; grouping option in the menu made things easier to find

  • Stellar graphics and locales

  • Controls are great, although it seemed hard to target enemies in first person mode

  • Fantastic sniper section

    The Bad
    - More reliant on shooting and killing instead of stealth; much more of an action platformer than Metal Gear Solid 1

  • Story is so complex and thick you can cut it with a knife; they're trying to make so many points it's hard to keep track of

  • Some of the cutscenes, especially the final two at the end, are WAAAYYY too long

  • Raiden looks a bit too anime for a game such as this

  • The final boss, Solidus Snake, looks like a Doctor Octopus ripoff, except with only two mechanical arms, he'd be Doctor Bipus!



The Bottom Line
Essentially, you play two characters in this Stealth/Action classic series, Solid Snake and Raiden. Snake fights through a prelude part of the game on an ocean tanker, while Raiden is used the bulk of the game on an ocean-based complex outside of New York City. Your job is to rescue the President from this complex, who has been taken hostage by terrorists. After many boss battles, challenges and plot twists, Raiden comes across Arsenal Gear; dozens of Metal Gear-type killing machines. I'm not going to get into the nitty-gritty of the story, but ultimately (SPOILER!!!) your entire mission was staged by AI entities determined to see if human behavior can be controlled. If so, they'll know that they can control the multitude of 'nonsense' information on the internet, decide what's most important, and pass that story down to later generations (the AI can't trust the stupid humans to know what's important or not). At least, that's how I understood it. A lot more to it, but that's the gist of it.

The game is highly addicting and enjoyable just like the first, but I think it lost some of the original's charm. It seems like it bit off more than it can chew when it came to the movie part of it, and I think it detracted from the overall experience.

PlayStation 2 · by lado (25) · 2012

Still a quality game despite all the hype

The Good
Back in 1998, Metal Gear Solid was critically acclaimed as being the best game ever released for the PlayStation console. It was the perfect amalgamation-- mix tactical espionage action with a deep, fascinating storyline and great graphics. Metal Gear Solid still remains on many people's "Favourite Games" list (as it does mine). You can only imagine the monumental task that Hideo Kojima had in front of him. How does one exactly create a sequel to one of the greatest games of all time? Well, his answer is in the form of Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons Of Liberty. And a great answer it is.

First on the new features is the new gameplay additions. They're almost too numerous to mention, but I'll try: Shooting in first person; being able to hang from ledges; rolling manuevers; being able to hold guards at gunpoint; "jump-out" shots; completely destructible environments and being able to hide in lockers, among others. Even though this seems like you may have a monumental advantage, you don't. When you are spotted, guards come out in numbers and in full force to try and find you. They are much more intelligent than in MGS, and it takes a lot of skill to evade them effectively. This makes the whole "sneaking" aspect of the game much more enjoyable than in MGS, because you have so much at your disposal. There's likely techniques that I've never dreamt of that are possible in MGS2.

Second up are the graphics. MGS2 and FFX (Final Fantasy X) are often categorised as having the best graphics on the system, but I must say I prefer MGS2 over FFX anyday. Simply put, the animations in MGS2 rule over FFX. Every animation in this game is as fluid and life-like as you'd come to expect playing a video game. Adding onto that is the detail level-- especially when it comes down to little things like the V/STOL jets on a Harrier jet, it shows that Hideo Kojima, like every game he does, has done his homework.

The Bad
The worst part about this game, by far, is the storyline (which I and many other loyal MGS fans were hoping wouldn't be the case). After the amazing epic scope of the first Metal Gear Solid game, this is a large disappointment. In the beginning of the game, it all looks good-- Solid Snake, now working as a part of an anti-Metal Gear organisation called "Philanthropy", sneaks onto a tanker in the lower New York Harbour. This tanker is no ordinary tanker-- Otacon, Snake's partner and fellow member of Philanthropy, receives word that a new model of Metal Gear is being transported...

This part of the game is known as the "Tanker chapter", and it's the only time you'll play as Snake. At the end of the chapter, when the Tanker sinks, you fast-forward two years later to a decontamination facility (set up to clean up the oil spill that the Tanker produced). Much to the dismay of fans, you don't play as Snake, you play as Raiden, a green, annoying agent with a lot of fancy moves. As the storyline progresses, you'll find storyline elements like Otacon's sister, a mad bomber and the bomb disposal expert who square off, a vampire (!), a NEW form of Metal Gear which is more than just a weapon, and, biggest of all, a conspiracy that's been hiding beneath the (supposed) democracy of the United States.

This is simply too much information for the player to grasp in a 10-12 hour game. What's more, the plot, though grand in scope, never gets off the ground. Unlike MGS, where you have a specific goal in mind throughout the entire game, MGS2 confuses the player to the point of frustration. This confusion is mostly through MGS2's rampant use of plot twists. In MGS, plot twists were used so effectively-- they drew the player's emotions to the limit. MGS2, however, will just leave the player with a resounding "WTF".

What's most frustrating, though, is that MGS, which is a grand masterpiece in story development, was created to set up for this game, which sputters and fails. It almost seems like MGS2 could have been drawn out a while longer to allow for more of Kojima's ideas. Oh well.



The Bottom Line
Despite this, MGS2 is still a quality game with lots of memorable moments. The only thing that brings it down is its' predecessor. MGS2 would probably be an even better game were it not attached to Metal Gear Solid. But to be related to MGS just leaves a disappointment in the player.

The amazing graphics and great gameplay additions come close to making this downfall up, however. I still recommend MGS2, despite its' shortcomings.

PlayStation 2 · by xofdre (78) · 2004

A wildly overrated game.

The Good
This game improves on the strengths of the previous game's engine. The same stealth emphasis is here only now you have more abilities to use. Most notable is the addition of being able to peak around corners for a view of whats a head and being able to hang over the edge rails by your hands.

The AI is greatly improved over the first MGS game. If you are spotted then the enemy will radio for reinforcements. If you manage to kill a guard quietly you still need to vacate the area because when the guard fails to radio in its status report, other guards will arrive to investigate.

The graphics and animation in this game are fantastic. They really show off what the PS2 is capable of. I especially liked the fluid movement of the characters. While I have problems with the actual story presented in the cut scenes they are a technical high point. They are the best looking ones presented in any game I have played.

The Bad
Like the last game, this one is quite linear and very short. This game can be easily won in a weekend. If you've played it before and know what to do, it can be beat in a single day. Apart from seeing how fast you can beat it there is not really any replay value here.

While I earlier praised the AI of various guards you have to get by, the boss characters are not very well done. The strategy for beating them was basically finding a pattern for doing damage and then repeating until they were dead. These supposedly "climatic" battles were something I came to dread. The boss fights were dull slug it out fights. And did not compare to the tense, stealthy measures you had to employ against the lowly guards!

Adding to the game's lack of replay value are the very long cut scenes. You will spend as much time watching movies as playing the game! Its obvious that the creator of this series really wanted to be a movie director but ended up in video games. Watching long cut scenes would have been acceptable of the game's plot were not so terrible.

The story is bad, soap opera bad. I don't expect much from a video game plot but when you spend so much of the game learning about the story it should at least be tolerable. There is a basic thread of covert terrorists groups working to gain leverage over a corrupt U.S. government. That would have been fine but they had to throw in a lot of bad long lost brother-sister-father-son crap. Plus a trite bit about incest and suicide and an apprentice gone bad. All this would have been comical if it were not presented so seriously.

The Bottom Line
Metal Gear Solid 2 is fun weekend rental. I really enjoy the whole stealth aspect of the Metal Gear games. Its unfortunate that these games are short on actual play value and long on soap opera plotting.

PlayStation 2 · by woods01 (129) · 2002

[ View all 12 player reviews ]

Trivia

1001 Video Games

Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty appears in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die by General Editor Tony Mott.

Action figures

Just as for the original, a line of action figures has been released by McFarlane Toys. Most of the main characters are depicted and as an added bonus each individual figure comes with a part of the new Metal Gear. Collect them all and assemble the monster!

Development

The development budget for Metal Gear Solid 2 was somewhere in the region of 10 million US dollars.

Ending

Pretty soon as the game starts and you get used to controls, you are requested to enter your name, date of birth and such things (like in some typical Square RPG games). In the ending animation, when Snake asks Raiden about that dog tag he's wearing, Raiden looks at it, before he throws it away, and in that cinematic, on a dog tag, you see your name and info.

Intro

On the opening of the game, there's one piece that somehow does not fit the game without any explanation. First, we see some roman letters (numbers) etched on stone, then we see some Japanese ink writings on a paper, and then we see programming data and computer code. Hideo Kojimo commented how that was to show the advance of civilization from storaging data. First through stone, than using paper, and the least digital data which is the only that doesn't have its existing time period. And that is then connected to the game and especially Arsenal Gear as an AI with great capability to track, store and control data.

Making of

On the Making Of MGS2 documentary that comes on an extra DVD, Hideo Kojima said that idea for Metal Gear series originated from his playing 'hide and seek' with his son.

North American version

In comparison to the Japanese version, some extra gore was added to the North American version. In the Substance re-release this was revoked.

Raiden

In order to cover up the character Raiden, the promotional trailers for the game showed several scenes with Solid Snake in different scenes. In the final game, Raiden is involved in the same scenes, but in Snake's place. Hideo Kojima used computer tricks to cover up Raiden and no one knew of his existence until the game was released. However, the manual spoils the surprise on its very first pages.

References

  • Just as in the original Metal Gear Solid, a poster for Hideo Kojima's previous game Policenauts can be found in the Computer Room in the Shell 1 Core.
  • If you look quickly in the scene where Snake logs into the computer to send the pictures to Otacon, you can spot another reference to Policenauts.
  • During the game, you will come into contact with a man named Pliskin who is actually former protagonist Solid Snake in disguise. The name is a direct reference to "Snake" Plissken, the main character played by Kurt Russell in John Carpenter's movies Escape from LA and Escape from New York.
  • A crazy Bomber man, one of the bosses is named Fatman. That was also a name of one of the atomic bombs that fall onto Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
  • The names of the characters Jack and Rose were taken from the main characters of Titanic. This film also influenced the decision to set the first chapter of the game on a sinking tanker.
  • emma's nickname (E.E.) and full name (Emma Emmerich-Danziger) are references to E.E. Danziger, a character in Jack Finney's novel Time and Again.
  • In the flooded basement of Shell Core 2, you can find a rubber duck floating harmlessly in one of the air vents. While it's possible that it's just a humorous detail, it's most likely a reference to the original tech demo for the PlayStation 2 which featured a rubber duck floating in a tub.

Series

In a Gamespot interview done shortly after the finishing of the American release, Hideo Kojima has amended a former comment about MGS2 being the last installment, saying, "I really think that Metal Gear has to live on in some form. But as I said at the end of Metal Gear Solid, I really think it is time for me to hand the director role over to someone else. I might do the initial planning for the next game but not much more than that."

He goes on to mention that the future of a certain character who is disliked in some gaming circles is still uncertain.

Soundtrack

Due to the success of Metal Gear Solid, the development team had a higher budget for the sound of the game. However, they didn't know who they would hire to compose the score for the game. One day, executive producer Hideo Kojima and sound director Kazuki Muraoka went to see Replacement Killers at the cinema. They both liked the movie a lot, and the music from the movie seemed pretty good. So, they flew to US, and got Harry Gregson-Williams to make the score for Metal Gear Solid 2. They actually took his music from other movies, such as The Rock, Enemy of the State and some and put on one CD, and told him they'd like to make this video game with a Hollywood type of soundtrack. He also saw the interest in composing for something before he actually saw the picture, since when composing for movies, he always got inspiration from the pictures. And so the soundtrack for MGS2 was created.

Women

Looks like developers of Metal Gear Solid 2 had focused minds on some things while making a game. You open a locker, you see wrapped up posters of a women, you enter the dining hall, you see framed pictures of women in swimming suits. There is even a poster of the Charlie's Angels movie in one room.

Working Title

During development, the game was originally going to be called Metal Gear Solid III (MGS3 for short), which would have completely skipped over the second installment of MGS. This can be seen in the Metal Gear Solid 2 Grand Game Plan by Hideo Kojima.

Awards

  • EGM
    • February 2006 (Issue #200) - #82 out of 200 of the "Greatest Games of Their Time" list
  • GameSpy
    • 2001 – PS2 Game of the Year (Readers' Choice)
    • 2001 – PS2 Action/Adventure Game of the Year
    • 2001 – Best In-Game Cinematics of the Year
    • 2001 – Best Force-Feedback of the Year

Information also contributed by Big John WV, FinalGMR, MegaMegaMan, Mejs, J. Michael Bottorff, Juan Pablo Bouquet, Macintrash, MAT, Ray Soderlund, xofdre and Zovni

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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Macintrash.

Additional contributors: MAT, Unicorn Lynx, Ganjo, Apogee IV, DreinIX, —-, Cantillon, Caelestis, Patrick Bregger, Thomas Thompson, FatherJack, 64er.

Game added November 17, 2001. Last modified February 1, 2024.