I have contemplated over and over how I was going to handle this game when I finally sat down at the trusty keyboard to express my thoughts on the sequel to the game that started ZTGD. I felt it necessary to give this a lot of thought before posting so I have decided a few things in this “review” of MGS2 Sons of Liberty. First off there will be no score…you heard me right I will not be scoring this game on our regular scale for several reasons.
Number one this game is above and beyond a normal review scale and comparing it to another title that received a simple number to describe it’s greatness is simply unfair. MGS2 is not a title you should be checking the reviews to see whether or not to purchase it, you should already own it. Second I have seen too many reviewers giving this game the perfect score everywhere. Almost every publication that reviewed this game gave it a perfect score and I think they only did this out of the hype behind this title.
Yes I do disagree that this game is perfect, in my opinion it is well beyond that. This is not just a “videogame” that you play, it is like an experience that you live. For the mere 15-20 hours you spend in front of the TV watching this game progress you are engulfed into the lives of fictional characters that almost seem real, an experience never captured with a form of entertainment in the past, at least not to this extent.
Having said all of this I will now continue with the “review” of Metal Gear Solid 2 : Sons of Liberty. Let me start off by saying that so far in the life of the PS2 there have been very few “must own” titles. Sans Grand Theft Auto 3, Devil May Cry and a few others we have yet to see a game that really showed that the PS2 was a system that you had to have sitting in your living room. Don’t get me wrong the PS2 has many, many titles that are fabulous and fun to play, but nothing that made it a must purchase for 300 bucks.
MGS2 is the reason you shelled out a week’s paycheck to own the black tower known as the PS2 and it shows indefinitely that the system is capable of so much more than the average developer puts into it. Playing through this game will give you a sense you have never felt from any other game in history, especially not on the PS2. The visual and sound quality of this game, not to mention the gameplay are so far ahead of everything else on the PS2 it almost feels like it is on another system.
I won’t bore you with the details of how great the character models are, or how incredible the Dolby 5.1 audio screams from your surround sound system when playing because we have all seen and heard this game in action a thousand times. The point I am trying to come across with this “review” is that this game is more than just that “a game”. It is an experience, a gift to hardcore gamers everywhere that have been feeling deprived of a massive console experience for the last 4 years.
This game almost brings a tear to my eye every time I think about it. Just the goose bumps I get when Snake hugs Otacon, or when you see Solidus for the first time. The moments in this game will be with us, as gamers, for the rest of our lives. The standard for gaming has just reached an all time high and from this point it will be hard to top such an astounding achievement.
Now for the part everyone who has played the game has been waiting for, the infamous, message board igniter that has spanned since the game’s release last week, Solid Snake. Yes Hideo Kojima showed us a million trailers all with footage of our favorite hero Solid Snake and we all expected the game to be played as Solid Snake for the duration of the entire game. When the moment arrived and you all took control of a completely new character the world immediately took offense and began bashing the game and questioning it’s greatness because of this.
For the record I was also a bit shocked when this occurred, I had to take a few minutes and realize the shock of what had just happened. I knew deep inside that Kojima had a purpose when he kept this a secret and he surely kept it well as it shocked a nation of die hard MGS fans. The point is that the game is still just as great as it would have been with Solid Snake as the main character throughout the game. Most people didn’t realize how awesome this game was because of this event that bewildered us all.
In the end I have to say that those that rushed through the game as Raiden just to see if you could play as Snake again owe it to themselves to play through the game in it’s entirety with a clear head just to see how beautiful this game is. I still feel, sans Snake, that this game is still the most incredible title to ever grace a console, and will be for a long time. Do not sell this game short as it surpasses anything and everything I have, or you will ever play. Let us thank Kojima san for allowing us the pleasure to be a part of his grand vision that is….Metal Gear.