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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 164 ratings with 12 reviews)

Great game but didn't have the same touch as the first

The Good
Well once you pop in the disc the graphics will blow you away. The enemy AI is great, just try getting to the first boss in Extreme mode. The "hold up" move is great. The voice acting sounds good with most characters. Wide range of weapons to use. Story is great.

The Bad
RAIDEN! This game could've been SO much better if you didn't have to be the annoying Raiden and have to put up with his boring girlfriend Rose. The CODEC scenes can get really boring between the two. The game is way to short, i beat it in under 8 hours. The whole story probably could have been explained better. There's not enough actual gameplay.

The Bottom Line
Great game if you dont mind listening to the game as much as you play. Still one of the best games on the PS2.

PlayStation 2 · by Matt Ogles (14) · 2002

In spite of, or maybe because of, its many controversial aspects, the game is definitely one of the best ever made

The Good
MGS2 is a very different game, and while it still feels similar to its predecessor, the improvements are instantly noticeable. The core gameplay is just as good as it ever was - tactical stealth action where careful planning and imagination are rewarded.

Enemy AI is vastly superior to the original, and enemies no longer spawn infinitely, but a skilled player can even shoot their way out of a sticky situation, but staying out of sight is still recommended. The difficulty level is just right and there's plenty of gameplay variety, keeping the game interesting throughout. The game is also at least twice as long as MGS1, yet all of it was enjoyable. Even the mandatory shooting segments feel better than before, as you can individually target enemies' heads for quick kills or cripple them by shooting their arms or legs.

Compared to other games of its time, MGS2's graphics are gorgeous, despite the overuse of the color orange. The characters are human, but thanks to subtly cartoonish design, avoid falling into the uncanny valley. Voice acting is good, and even the worst pieces of dialogue are acted convincingly. The music is gorgeous too and makes the game sound like a high-budget Hollywood movie, but sadly the soundtrack still doesn't quite compare with MGS1.

The story is definitely something you either love or hate, and there's no denying that the cutscenes and Codec calls are far too long. But still... few other games have made me laugh, cry, cheer and cringe so often. Every character plays an important role and they're all fascinating in their own way, hero or villain. The plot also handles many themes completely unprecedented in video games, such as censorship, the nature of memes and information, mortality, atonement, child soldiers and so on. While most action games outright glorify violence without a second thought, the Metal Gear series is openly pacifistic, while still delivering its message in a package with lots of explosions and sexy characters. The ending, while it may seem like a mess to some, is very thought-provoking and atmospheric, definitely one of the best in video game history.

The Bad
It's not just that the cutscenes are much longer than necessary - there's also too many of them. For example, you may step into a room, watch a cutscene, walk a few steps, have a largely pointless Codec conversation and watch another cutscene before you an actually play. Most of the game's dialogue is redundant, pointless, unnecessary, filler and did I mention, redundant? Other times, the game is melodramatic beyond belief and scenes that were supposed to make me cry or gasp in shock sometimes made me laugh or roll my eyes. There's also an endless amount of exposition and explaining, which seems to be typical for a Japanese game.

Apart from the opinion-dividing story and characters, MGS2's flaws are minor. The game could have used better controls and camera angles, especially in the mandatory shooting segments, where you can't actually move when firing while in first person, though just the fact that you can do so is an improvement from the previous game.

The Bottom Line
Metal Gear Solid 2 is an original, well-made, challenging and thought-provoking stealth action game. The slight hiccups in game design never manage the ruin the big picture, so as long as a slightly pretentious story doesn't cause problems, the game is definitely something everyone should try at least once.

PlayStation 2 · by Zokolov (49) · 2012

Brilliant in every way.

The Good
How to describe the greatness of this game. Here I go. When I went to buy this on the day it came out. I was so excited, I couldn't wait to get home and start playing this right away. When I got home and put the game inside the PS2. The intro started and my jaw fell to the ground because it was so freaken breathtaking. I knew this was gonna be one hell of a thrill ride.

The Graphics: Simply spectacular, probably the best I have seen on any console. Snake looks even more like a badass than ever. All the other characters look completley realistic. Simply Breathtaking.

The Controls: Awesome, is easy to control snake,raiden and the weapons you get to use.

The Story: Mind-Blowing. The plot is very dark and complex with so many plot twists from beginning to end. This will definitely keep you on the edge of your seat just waiting to see what happens next and I thought 24 had a lot of surprises but nothing comes close to this. This is the type of story videogames should have.

The Sound: Excellent musical score by Harry Gregson Williams, very cool attention details and also great voice acting especially from David Hayter. Also with one of the greatest videogame soundtracks ever made.

Lasting Ability: Collecting all the dog tags is very fun but other people would probably stop playing it for awhile, mainly to free there minds of what they just witness.

The Bad
Zip, Zero, Nadda

The Bottom Line
Overall: This is the greatest game ever made, simple as that. Took a lot of years to make this magnificent piece of art work. My hat goes off to Hideo Kojima and his entire MGS2 crew for creating this true Classic/Masterpiece. Too bad we have to wait for MGS3 to come out in November but trust me is worth the wait. A must buy for any true gamer

PlayStation 2 · by Alberto Castillo (2) · 2004

[ 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 April 17, 2024.