Written by  :  tantoedge (20)
Written on  :  Dec 24, 2001

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Summary

The Greatest Action Epic Yet

The Good

MGS2 has what other games attempt to create. While many game abroad attempt to immerse you with parlour tricks and rehashed storylines, MGS2 takes to the skies with truly interactive environments. What most games call easter eggs, MGS2 calls a real world. In this game, nothing is just as you see it and everything can be touched, prodded, poked or more importantly interacted with. In addition to this, the way the environment affects YOU is indeed a wonder to behold. As rain falls you get wet, when you go inside you get dry. Bright lights bothering your eyes? Never mind tactical espionage action, smash the lights because you've got the odd and undying urge to do so. MGS2 is not a rehash of the original although it may seem so, it is an adventure that rivals the greatest movies and stories around. Not only is the technology cutting edge (allowing for impressive effects), but a convincing environment (thanks to the technology), advanced artificial intelligence (which can only add to the environment), on top of one great storyline which continously keeps you guessing and immersed as any good conspiracy should. All these good points are the tip of the proverbial iceberg and MGS2 is a very very large iceberg.

From the very get-go Metal Gear Solid 2 is a rushing rollercoaster wherein you playing the role of a top-secret operative are racing against time to save the world from terrorists. Sounds familiar? Don't worry, it gets good as you delve deeper and deeper only to uncover one layer after another which forms the most incredible rabbit hole this side of your mind. No game to date has had so many plot twists or turns in such a basic form of gameplay. Nowhere in MGS2 will you find a flaw per-se, no area is without purpose, reason or relation to another. The whole of MGS2 makes perfect sense once the whole picture is revealed and the best part is that once the game is completed your mind will be played like you never expected. The story alone is that good. Not one for cut scenes? The sneaking, the action, the graphics, sound and environment might make up for it, but you'll have to be the judge of that. Myself personally? I bought the game based on my initial experiences in MGS.

The Bad

The only true downfalls to MGS2 are the learning curve and the linearity. However, once the game is understood it can be played and enjoyed by all. I have a brother, and I didn't think he would be capable considering he is only ten years old, however with a well-thought out variable difficulty the game can be adjusted to all ages. Though the gore factor may be an issue with younger audiences. The linearity is also a mild issue because while it is a one way game, there are far too many bonuses and sidetracks along the way to be discovered.

A side note may be that the game can be finished quickly as well. A total of fifteen gaming hours worth of effort were all I needed before I saw the ending credits. (Honestly I'm being nice, it took me twelve) Mind you I also took time to locate different items and this did consume additional time. Also, some challenges and puzzles may be a bit much for the mainstream gamer. MGS2 is not for the faint of mind or nerves.

The Bottom Line

Brilliantly written & directed by Hideo Kojima, Metal Gear Solid 2 rivals even the best Hollywood action movie and the story with all its overtones could put Stephen King in the bargain bin (I hope I'm not shot for that last comment). Simply put, if you don't buy this game, at least rent it and show yourself what you're missing. If nothing else rent it and watch your buddy who loves 'games like these' so you can see a great show. I promise anybody who plays this game, you will not be disappointed.

- I've personally never played Metal Gear, though I completed Metal Gear: Solid Snake with the Game Genie, and I've completed Metal Gear Solid in every way plausible. I'm still working on Metal Gear Solid 2's "easter eggs".