Kojima has done it again, this game is among the best on the PS2!!!
Darkmessaiah wrote this review on .
For those who aren't familiar with this series, this game is Tactical Espionage Action, meaning that you have to clear a certain mission in closed, but quite wide zones (two), but you won't do it by simply shooting every guard you see, because they will call backup, stronger and better equipped guards than you, and your equippement, although you keep finding more, is quite limited (in the beggining you only have a gun that puts guards asleep, and the time it takes depends on the part of the body you shoot, which is also one of the best parts of this game (the effects done of shooting a certain body-part). So you'll have to avoid them, shoot them only when necessary and hide to avoid them seeing you, just like a real spy, avoid capturing attention, but the game isn't so tactical that may get real boring (that happens a lot with me when I play Splinter Cell), this game is fun and tactical at the same time. The guards have an AI, one of the best parts of the game, and react to everything that may catch their attention, like the sound of your footsteps in certain floor types.
This game has 2 parts: first you control Solid Snake, the hero of the previous game (actually it's more correct to say «of the previous games»), and on the second you control another character, Raiden.
Graphically, it's astonishing, there may be games with more detailed graphics now (like X-Box's Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell (I only played the X-Box game) or on the PS2 possibly God of War) but the graphics here can't only be considered because of the pixels or details on the face or characters. The first part of the game looks like a movie, with the spectacular rain effects and the colours chosen for the scenario that combine perfectly to simulate a rainy-day-like background. And the details of some things like marks on the walls or Snake's bandana, or even the fact that the guards , when they fall close to walls, they don't «penetrate» it (a usual glitch in many, many games) are also amazing, and that takes us to one of the things I liked the most in this game: the work done on small details. But first let's talk about the gameplay.
Just like Metal Gear Solid for the first PS, the gameplay is perfecty fit for the PS2, and there's really nothing bad about it. The biggest addition is quite possibly the first person view shooting. Now when you are looking on 1st person, you may draw your gun to shoot, unlike MGS1, and believe me, this WILL be extremely useful.
The story is not only one of the best (and weirdest, but with a lot of sense) ever, and the only letdown of the game in many MGSfans' opinion (me, for example), that is the fact that you only play with Solid Snake, the hero of the previous games, on the first part of the game, is mainly to enrich the story and do something different. So, Raiden was added to the story, a young blond-haired boy with pratically no real-life experience with mission. But maybe they should have done a mode in which you could play with Solid Snake through all the adventure (a problem solved with Metal Gear Solid 2 Sustance).
One of the best things on Metal Gear Solid 2 is definitely the work done on small details, the guards A.I. (this may even be the best thing on MGS2) and the many curious and funny things we may find if we search the scenarios carefully.
The fact that you can destroy the guard's walkie-talkie to avoid the guards to call backup, the fact that you may get a cold or bleed and the guards may follow the traces of blood, or the fact that there are girl's posters in some of the lockers in which you may hide, and some weird and/or conditioned codec talks with partners are one of the funnest things to explore, and are already typical in the MGS series (like there are many funny ways to try to fool the guards, like putting a magazine on the floor). Even the reaction of the bandana to Snake's actions, moves and environment (when it's windy and when Snake changes from a windy environment to another environment (for example, when Snake gets inside the ship coming from the outside).
The adventure is not the biggest ever, but it's one of those games that last a lot due to the fact that it may be cleared many times, always finding someting new (or curious that we didn't know) (I found many last year, 2 years after I had last played MGS2). And it also has many difficulties to choose from before you start playing.
In short, I highly reccomend this game, consider it one of the best ever on the PS2, and it's original and a real masterpiece done by Hideo Kojima and his team, and a game from Konami.