Review by THAguyINgta3

"Not Just A Game, But Also A Work Of Art"

Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons Of Liberty is not just a game, it is a work of art. The Metal Gear series is famous worldwide. Does Metal Gear Solid 2 (MGS2 for future reference) live up to the hype and or it's name? Damn right it does!

The controls are average. They may take a while to get used to because of all the things you have to remember. It took me about 30 minutes to get used to them but it might take you a shorter or longer amount of time. Basically, you have a button to move, get in first person view, shoot, pick items in your inventory of weapons, pick items in your equipment, and a button that lets you crouch, lay down, hang from rails, and open doors. Overall, the controls are very good once you get used to them.

The gameplay is awesome. The Metal Gear series is famous for it's stealthy gameplay. There are many tactics at your disposal to stay under the enemy's radar. Some examples are the ability to lay down, hang from rails, get against walls, and more. The game really gives you a rush when you are playing. It is just something about being unknown to the enemy that makes it so great. You just get a real adrenaline rush.

The enemy artificial intelligence is pretty great. If you kill someone and leave a body laying around and a guard finds it, they will radio for help and send in back-ups. If an enemy sees you and they are alone, they will try to fight you until they get shot once. Once they get shot, they high tail it away and radio for help. Overall, the artificial intelligence is great.

The weaponry is pretty good. The weapons are placed in a menu that you can easily access at any time. The weapons all have a certain purpose. If you are trying to keep yourself unknown to the enemy, you might want to take care of someone without a gun. This might call for kicking ass with hand-to-hand combat or just going up behind someone and snapping their neck in two. For example, if an enemy did not know you were behind him, you can go up to him and press square. This will cause you to wrap your arms around his neck and cut off his circulation. Now, if you do not want to kill him, you can simply put him to sleep after a while. If you did want to kill him, you could continuously tap square and snap his neck.

If you decide you want to shoot an enemy, be careful where you shoot them because you don't want to have to waste time shooting someone five times in the arm to kill them while you have guards on your trail. Say you shoot a guard in the arm, they will not be able to use that arm to fire at you ever again. Shoot him in the leg and he will have to walk while dragging his bum leg behind him. Shoot him in his radio, and he can no longer radio for help! Remember how a head shot usually doesn't kill people in some games? Well in MGS2, they automatically die from it (except on the highest difficulty). This really shows how detailed the game is and is an awesome thing. The weapons range from AK-47's, M4's, and SOCOM .357 pistols to PGS1 sniper rifles, grenades, and a rocket launcher. The weapons rule!

One of the items you must use throughout the game is the Codec. The Codec lets you receive orders from Octacon when play as Snake and the Colonel when playing as Raiden. It can get annoying at times but it is overall really useful when you are lost and don't know what to do, which will probably happen often.

The game is divided into two chapters. The chapters are the Tanker and the Plant. In the Tanker, you play as Solid Snake and in the Plant, you play as Raiden. The level designs are good. The Tanker is a big ship and is pretty dark while the Plant is like a huge oil rig with many paths and it is all connected. Overall, pretty great variety in levels.

Every so often in the game, a boss fight will occur. The boss fights are on a whole hard as is the whole game on your first time(s) through. The bosses range from a vampire to a girl that really can't be killed to a trigger happy old man. The bosses are designed well and the fights are challenging. Overall good boss fights.

So now we are coming to the characters. I'm sure you all know who Solid Snake is. He is the bad ass with a mullet and a bandana around his head. This guy is the definition of bad ass. Now on to Raiden. He is pretty whiney and in most people's eyes, looks like a girl. Most fans of the MG series were disappointed by not being able to play the whole game as Solid Snake and they didn't like Raiden whatsoever. Overall, you might be disappointed by Raiden, but I say the two main characters are pretty cool in their own ways. The bosses are cool and pretty well designed too.

The replayability is average. To add replayability, they put dog tags on each enemy in the game. If you collect a certain number of dog tags, you will get special items to use in the game such as infinite ammo and invisibility. It is worth it to get the tags but they can get tiresome. That is really the only replayability unless you just love this type of game. If you do, you could probably play through this countless times.

Overall, the gameplay is awesome. Everything is good and the only real flaws are that you can't play as Solid Snake through the whole game and that there isn't as much replay value for some gamers.

The storyline is great. There are lots of twists and turns in the plot and it is pretty entertaining. You are always trying to guess what will happen next. The story starts out when you are on the Tanker and are seeing if the Navy has developed a new Metal Gear. The plot evolves from there and I don't want to spoil this for you so I will say nothing more. The story will get a little ''weird'' for some, but most liked it.

The graphics are beautiful. They are among the best graphics on any console to date. When you are outside of the Tanker, it is raining and the rain effects are beautiful. The game gets dark, yet not too dark. The graphics give it a real great feel to it. Overall, the graphics are great and among the best ever in a game.

The sound is good. The Codec can get annoying at times, but you will be able to see past that. The music is good and makes you get really nervous at times. The sound is great. All of the guns sound good and so do the explosions. Overall, great sound.

To buy or to rent? I would definitely buy this game. It is only 20 dollars now that it is a Greatest Hit and since a game rental is usually 5 dollars, how can you go wrong?! Buy this game. It is a great title for your collection.

Reviewer's Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

Originally Posted: 02/11/03, Updated 02/11/03

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