Metal gear solid 2 is probably the most disliked game of the franchise by fans, and I can't figure why.
The gameplay is what you would expect from a metal gear game: infiltrating an area completely filled with ennemy soldiers, slowly working your way from having no weapon but your wit to a collection of rocket launchers and assault rifles stored in hammer space and taking out crazy bosses with them. The AI is very solid, even by modern standard, as the HQ frequently makes sure that all the patrol are safe and dispatching assault teams when you are spotted.The game is split in two areas: the tanker and the big shell, an offshore plant. Both are claustrophobic areas that really help you get in the mindset of being alone in hostile area. Be aware though that the PC controls are horribly ported. For example, you aim with WASD and move with the directional pad. It takes a while to get used to it although it's workable.
The story is probably why everybody has a problem with this game. Yes, legendary badass solid snake is replaced by a whiny androgynous dork halfway into the game. Yes, the plot gets pretty confusing, especially toward the end. Despite this, I found myself liking Raiden a lot because he is so lame. I tought the contrast between the skilled soldier and infiltrator and the unlikable twat very interesting. The story to gameplay ratio is a problem, but then, it's metal gear, what did you expect?
You will probably want to replay this game a few times, to understand the story better and because the gameplay is so solid. There's a wide variety of tactics you can use and the increased difficulty are dependent on playing well, rather than trial and error. The only thing you should know about the higher difficulty level is that there is one obnoxiously hard thing you need to do near the end that I won't spoil, but found incredibly annoying.
Overall, this games holds up against modern game. The graphics are very good for its era, the gameplay is excellent and the story is solid, overall. A must try if you own a PS 2
or PS 3
, and pc owner should also give it a try despite the controls.