Review by tyltyl

"PAL version doesn't live up to hype too..."

MGS2 was probably the most waited game for PS2 since 2 years ago. It's probably the most hyped up too and people thought it was the best game ever made, but most of them are disappointed with it, the same for me.
I'm reviewing the PAL version, so the game comes with some extras like an extra DVD and some other game modes.

Graphics 9.5/10
The game looks very good with detailed graphics, the models are great and the animations perfect. In the Tanker mission you can see a great rain effect that involves the camera too if you use the first person view. Also the fog effect is really great. When the character talk the mouth is in sync with the words and the expressions are realistic.
it's just 0.5 from perfection because I see some imperfection with the polygons, the game lose some of them during colissions. For example when you took a sleeping guard you will see him losing some polygons while going down stairs or taking it up. Not a great flaw but sometimes it's really annoying.

Sound-Musics 10/10
Perfect. MGS2 has some great orchestrated tracks, this game looks like a movie with a great soundtrack, the encounter music or the escaping music are great for the moment. The intro song is really great and make the game look really like a movie. I found the voices pretty good and the sound effects appropriate, nothing really wrong.
They did a perfect job in this part of the game.

Storyline 5/10
I don't want to spoil you about the story, I just want to say that I found it quite lame and not that articulated. MGS on PSX had a great storyline and MGS2 doesn't even get near to it. I have to say that I found good the relationship between Rose and Raiden, contrary to most people say.

Controls 9.5/10
You may find this game perfect in controls but I found something that really annoys me. It's easy to control the characters and do all the available moves, but I had some problems with the first person view. For example in the first boss I wanted to remain behind the crates while I was duck. I wanted also to move the head to avoid bullets and try to see after the crates. So I had to use a total of 4 buttons, not that much but it was completely impossible to move easyily and fast enough. It was easier if you could lock on the first person view and then move how did you want.
Apart from this I didn't find anything wrong with that.

Gameplay 5/10
The worst part of the game comes when you have cutscenes. MGS2 contains too much cutscenes and discussions on the codec. Contrary to MGS1 this one really exaggerated with that. The first you play you HAVE to watch them all, not to lose important parts of the game. Yes you can skip them but you will lose the story. At the beginning of the second part of the game you play no more then a few minutes. After half of the game it gets a little better though. Just at the end of the game you will realize that you didn't play that much.
The AI was hyped too, the guards are really intelligent, especcially at the higer difficulty levels. I played the first demo too much times and I found funny to play with the guards, seeing their reactions, but during the game I completely left them to their work.

Replay value 7/10
PAL version comes with an extra difficulty level, the European Extreme that is...really extreme! After completing the game you can restart it in different difficulty levels (very easy, easy, normal, hard, very hard, extreme and european extreme if I remember well), you can choose wich part of the game to play (tanker or plant) and also if you want the game over screen to show up when you get spotted by the enemy. I think you have lot of choise for sure and this is great, but when a game contains so few parts to play with, the replay value doesn't count that much.

Extras (PAL version) 7/10
The extras that come with the PAL version don't add that much to the game. Actually you have an extra DVD like in Silent Hill 2, it contains the making of, some trailers (also about other Konami games) and some other infos.
The game has a Boss attack mode, you can choose between Snake or Raiden and you have to fight all the bosses of the game in the less time possible. You can choose between 3 difficulty levels, you have different weapons during the fights and...that's all. Funny for a game or 2 and then it's over. I'm not sure if the casting theatre is on the other versions too. This option lets you play some cutscenes of the game, and as a little extra you can change the characters. For example in the intro you can choose an office worker instead of Snake, or you can see Raiden instead of Olga in the first boss battle. Not that bad after all, at least funny for some minutes.

Overall (not an average) 6/10
I'm really really disappointed with this game, it could have been great but the weak storyline and too much cutscenes have ruined this game IMHO. It was almost perfect in the technical department (graphics and musics) and the controls were perfect too. The gameplay was great too...but only if you find time to play between 2 cutscenes!
If they just have made a better story and add some more gameplay parts this game deserved a perfect 10!

Reviewer's Rating:   3.0 - Fair

Originally Posted: 03/19/02, Updated 03/19/02

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