Review by synth
"One very small gripe, but still the best game ever."
First things first, this is perhaps the best game ever, and it is the reason that I, and many other gaming enthusiasts, bought the PS2. It is THE killer app, and being released just before the XBOX and Gamecube, I think it will provide the slightly older PS2 with the power it needs, along with titles like GTA3. Anyways, with those remarks out of the way, on to the review.
Warning: Even though this review contains absolutely no specific spoilers, you may want to skip my review of the story, since it contains my view on what to expect from the story. I suggest buying this game right away(Yes, it is that good), and playing it through at least once before you let anyone tell you anything about the story, even minute details, because, the less you know in advance, the better. So, skip the story section, and come back and read it after you've beat it. Then you may know what I'm talking about. You have been warned.
First off, and I'm not exaggerating, this is the single best looking game ever. Every detail, from Snake's flowing bandana, to the way the rain fall changes with the wind, will make you want to stop and stare at it for a while, and marvel at how detailed the programmers made everything. At some point, you may think this is a work of interactive art, rather than a game.
Same as the graphics, the sound is nearing perfection. The ambient noise, from the sound of walking on different surfaces to gunfire is perfect, even to the point of being creepy realistic at some points, and often times factors into the gameplay, as enemies can hear you if you are too loud. The music is quiet and sneaky sounding, until you are spotted, then crescendos into a booming theme straight out of a high budget action movie.
This is the best part. I'd give it an 11, but that would be lame. Want to sneak around and temporarily incapacitate your foes, taking a generally nonviolent path through the game? Good. Want to charge through, killing anything and everything? That's good too. This game provides both. From the way the AI is actually intelligent, to the little things, like shooting bottles, magazines, and even seagulls, the level of detail is amazing. Furthermore, the game is well balanced, as my first run through on Normal was just that, not easy, but not totally fricking hard. This is maybe the single most interactive, and funnest to play, game ever.
Sorry. I desperately wanted to give this game perfect marks in every category, but my one small, insignificant gripe comes with the story. First, let me say, this game has one of the best stories ever, and throughout the game will amaze you with plot twist after plot twist. And I'm not talking about ''WOW!'' plot twists, I'm talking about ''HOLY FREAKING CRAP!'' plot twists. From the new cast of villains and heroes, to our old returning favorites(including a pint sized cameo from a villain we thought was gone for good. You'll see what I mean :), this game doesn't disappoint. Up until the very end, that is, when they take the well developed, award winning plot that they have striven the entire game to create, and right before and during the last boss, proceed to chuck a significant portion of it right out the window. Not that I'm complaining, I think Kojima-san did a beautiful job, but it got a little excessively weird during the last 15 minutes or so. Anyways, not to spoil anything else, onward.
Replay Value: 10
With so much cool stuff to do, from little things like messing with guards and the environment to getting all the good pics and dog tags to trying to beat Hard and Extreme mode (take it from me, normal is fairly tough as it is), this game will keep you busy for quite a while. Play it once. Play it again on Hard. Play it again on Extreme. Play it again to get all the stuff. Then just keep playing it because it is the best game ever.
Bottom Line: BUY IT NOW!!! This is the game you must play. Any gamer is severely deprived if they cannot play this game once. If you have a Playstation 2, you must go and buy this game this instance. It is the Video Gaming equivalent of the Second Coming. You will love this game. That is, unless you absolutely hated the first, in which case you are a very sick person.
Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 11/16/01, Updated 11/16/01
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