Review by kidgame2001

"Snake's first appearance on the playstation 2"

Introduction- Now it is time for my 14 th review. Today's game is Metal Gear Solid 2 Sons of Liberty. Is it good? Bad? Spectacular? Please read my review for my thoughts and opinions.

Game play- Finally a sequel to the great metal gear solid. Game play is much like the original. You play as solid snake and you basically have to stop terrorists again. There are several returning favorites who'll you'll have to play the game to find out who as well as some new characters several of which are not popular. Along the way you'll have to get all this info on metal gear hence the name metal gear solid. You'll fight a decent amount of enemies and a couple of interesting bosses most of which are a bit too easy even on harder difficulties. There are around 10 weapons in the game all of which have their own usefulness but some you'll probably only use once or twice. The game is so easy that you can beat it using just the so-com handgun using other weapons if its necessary. Still the game is kind of fun but the original one was better. The enemy AI is somewhat improved. Now they have slightly improved vision and they hear movement and gunshots better and they also detect blood trails and follow them back to you. If they spot one of their dead comrades they inspect the body and then call for backup. It is something that wasn't in the original game. Yes the guards are a little bit smarter but in a few ways they are still pretty dumb. I give the game play a 6.

Graphics- Ok now the graphics in SOL are pretty good. There are a few moments in the game that show off the games great graphics engine. For one instance you will see a beautiful sunset which shows up nicely. The ocean looks interesting enough but could have been better. The buildings and rooms you get to explore look well done and are pretty polished up. The enemy guards and bosses look nicely made too. Their clothing is suited for the area somewhat well but could have been better. The weapons and items in the game look nice but there is some room for improvement perhaps. I will give the graphics an 8.

Features- Minimal. There isn't much to do aside from the main game itself. In the special menu you find some things. First is a previous story option. Here you'll find three different "books" to read detailing events in the metal gear games. Some are long books some are short but they are interesting reads. Next you'll find a dog tag viewer which it's function is simple- it let's you view all of the dog tags you have collected so far and where you acquired it. There is also a photo album which allows you to view pictures you have taken in the game if you have the digital camera item and have saved the pictures to a memory card. There is also a casting theater. This basically allows you to view different conversations in the game. The neat thing is that you can select which characters are talking to who but the voices and words spoken are still the same. Note that casting theater is a hidden option. Another hidden option is Boss Survival Theater. Basically this is a battle mode where you fight against all of the games bosses back to back trying to beat them as fast as you can. You start with preset weapons and ammo and sometimes, rations. The boss mode is neat since it allows you to practice your skills against the bosses and look for their strengths and weaknesses. I'll give the features a 9.

Story- The story is pretty good. As stated you play as Solid snake and basically need to find what and where metal gear is and to disable it if it becomes active hence the games title Metal gear solid. The story is pretty easy to get into and follow and isn't anything difficult to follow. If someone in the game does something you don't understand usually later on you will find out why so the story is usually explained as the game progresses along. There are a good amount of characters and lots of cut scenes so it does make for an interesting storyline. The story probably could have been a little bit better but still it is good enough. I give the story an 8.

Sound and Music- Great. The background music is nice. Usually during certain moments like boss battles the music gets a little more intense. Also when spotted by enemy soldiers and an alert go's out then the music also gets a little intense. But when things are calm the music is calm too and generally fits the area you are in. There are tons of sounds to hear. In some areas you'll see the seagulls which sound similar to their real life counterparts which sounds nice. The water makes a few soft splashing noises so thats pretty good too. The sound of gunfire is heard fairly often and sounds a bit realistic too. Explosions naturally let off a loud boom which is easily heard as is the alarm that follows. I give the sound and music an 8.

Replay- For one thing your probably going to want to play again and again on each difficulty setting in order to get all of the dog tags so that you can unlock some of the hidden items. You'll also probably want to get better scores time wise. A lot of people want to beat the game in as little time as possible so you may want to do that. If you don't understand the story for some reason or another just play through the game again! There is a lot of stuff you can do in SOL so you may as well take advantage of it. Play through the game a couple more times and find out weaknesses for the bosses. Try to find some secret areas and acquire a few secret items like some weapons or items you didn't know where in certain areas. And again the dog tags which is probably the number one reason. In each of the difficulty modes there are different dog tags each time. Each dog tag in the game is unique and only appears on certain difficulties. For example the first guard you encounter has a dog tag on very easy but then when you go to easy mode that same guard has a different tag. So if you want all the dog tags and secrets you have to play through the game on each difficulty to get the tags. You should use the dog tag viewer for this purpose. Find out what tags your missing and on what difficulty levels and in what area of the level the dog tag appears then simply go there and try to get it. I give the replay an 8.

Buy or Rent?- Well back then when the game came out this game was all the rage. It was considered the best game of the year and well it still is in its own way. Back then if you asked about the game everyone would say definitely buy the game. Even now some people will say buy the game but some peoples opinions have changed. I didn't like the game that much simply because it was a bit too easy even on extreme difficulty. There was no real difficulty to it and the guards and bosses didn't even put up a challenge. Me personally I say to rent the game first before you but it and then decide if you want to buy it or avoid it.

Overall- A good game overall but sons of liberty has its flaws and could have been a lot better. When it came out it was spectacular getting excellent scores from magazines and websites. Even now people rate it highly but some people don't think it is that good of a game. The game is too easy so don't buy the game and be expecting a hard and challenging game unless you are really new to this genre of games. Graphically, it is an awesome game with pretty much everything looking great especially that bright sunset towards the end which you should see. Sound and music wise the game is pretty good too. The background music is usually calm when nothings wrong but when the alarm go's off or if you fight a boss then the music gets more intense. Story wise, the game has a very nice story line that obviously took a long time to write. It isn't that hard to understand the story as usually everything is displayed on screen sooner or later. The special menu is a nice touch and the items in there are worth checking out especially the boss mode once you unlock it. Overall I give the game an 8 out of 10.

The Final Scores-

Game play- 6
Graphics- 8
Features- 9
Story- 8
Sound and Music- 8
Replay- 8
Overall- 8

Reviewer's Rating:   4.0 - Great

Originally Posted: 09/16/04

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