Spring TGS 2001: Metal Gear Solid 2

Surprisingly, little new was shown of this anticipated game.

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Despite rumors that Konami would be showing an "extended demo" of Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty at this year's Spring Tokyo Game Show, the version of this anticipated PlayStation 2 sequel that was on display was essentially the demo that was bundled with the recently released Zone of the Enders. In fact, the only difference between the American MGS2 demo and the build of the game on the show floor was the lack of English subtitles--all the text in the version we played today was Japanese. For those of you who haven't picked up Z.O.E. or read our extensive preview of MGS2 yet, the demo takes place aboard a massive tanker amid a squall in New York Harbor. As Solid Snake, you're given the simple task of finding out where the ship is headed when the tanker is suddenly overrun by a group of Russian terrorists who summarily kill all of the sailors on board. You make your way through the ship's various decks before you eventually reach the bridge. There, you'll meet up with the game's first boss character, Olga. Once you defeat her, the demo ends. In all, it takes about an hour to go through the demo the first time, but experienced players will be able to complete it in a matter of minutes.

We bumped into the US producer of Metal Gear Solid 2, Ken Ogasawara, on the show floor and jokingly expressed our disappointment on the lack of any new MGS2 content. Ogasawara told us to pay close attention to the looping video footage of the game that was playing on a large screen above the Konami booth. At first, the video looked like the movie that was first unveiled at last year's E3, and in fact, it was. However, tacked onto the end was a very short ten-second sequence that depicted a group of Russian soldiers standing on one of the decks of the bridge frantically looking for someone or something. After a few seconds, the soldiers give up, and the order to "return to your positions" is given. As the soldiers start walking back to their posts, a rain-soaked box slowly unfolds to reveal Solid Snake, who had used the crate to remain hidden from the patrolling sentries.

Ogasawara told us that Metal Gear Solid 2 is still on schedule for a worldwide release in late 2001, but had no news about the status of the Xbox version of MGS2. Metal Gear Solid 2 will be publicly shown once again in May at E3, where it's rumored that footage of scenes beyond the demo will be displayed. We'll update you with more news on MGS2 as it becomes available.

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