TGS 2002: Hands-onMetal Gear Solid 2: Substance

We check out the PlayStation 2 incarnation of the next Metal Gear game.


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Konami was showing off the PlayStation 2 version of Metal Gear Solid 2: Substance at its Tokyo Game Show booth, but unfortunately, the demo didn't feature some of the aspects of the game that most people are curious about. We were allowed to choose between new VR missions for Raiden, alternate missions for Raiden, VR missions for Snake, alternate missions for Snake, and a first-person shooter set of VR missions for Raiden.

The VR missions for both Raiden and Snake are set up similarly to those featured in Metal Gear Solid. You'll be presented with a specific objective and be forced to complete it within a certain time period. Some of Raiden's VR missions include sniping small targets at long range and avoiding detection by enormous enemy soldiers with Godzilla scales on their backs--this mission is particularly entertaining, especially near the middle point when one of the soldiers is peeking his head through an opening. Snake's VR missions appear to be a little less surrealistic--the first few missions only require him to jump through basic stealth and attack hoops. However, in one of the later VR missions, Snake basically has to rappel down a building by holding onto ledges, maneuvering so that he's directly above another ledge, letting go of the ledge, and then grabbing the next one as he falls. This gets a little tricky near the end because it changes from ledges to bars pointing in different directions, making it difficult to tell what Snake can grab as he falls.

The alternate missions for Raiden and Snake are basically VR missions, but they take place in various MGS2 environments as opposed to the simulated VR world. The first alternate mission for both Snake and Raiden requires you to avoid detection for a certain period of time, which isn't quite as easy as it sounds since you're confined within a relatively small area.

The first-person shooter VR mission mode for Raiden uses a familiar control scheme in which movement is controlled by one analog stick, and the other controls your aim. This takes a little while to get used to because the MGS2 pressure-sensitive button mechanics are still in place, so your gun isn't automatically drawn like it is in most first-person shooters. The first mission in this only requires you to take out a few simple targets.

Metal Gear Solid 2: Substance for the PlayStation 2 will hit Japan this December. It is scheduled for release on the North American PlayStation 2 in 2003. The Xbox version of the game is scheduled for release in November. We'll have more on all the versions of the game as new information becomes available.

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