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Reviews Comments: Too clever by half Metal Gear Solid 2 Sons Of Liberty game review by Storm C

Metal Gear Solid 2 is, essentially, highly subject to Poes Law. While it is an intentional satire of the nature of video game sequels and the player's relationship to video games, without the outside context of that, the game is not fully functional or coherent.

The Big Shell is highly linear, repetitive, and has a lot of backtracking. All of this was intentional, but that does not make it any less of a hassle to go through. The same goes for the bait-and-switch with Snake and Raiden, and the nature of rehashing elements from Metal Gear Solid. To offer a comparison, while Watchmen is deeply entrenched in deconstructing themes from superhero comics, it still functions perfectly well as its own comic and story without having to understand that; MGS 2 feels like it has to remind you all the time ("I feel like a legendary mercenary or something..."). Outside of Solidus Snake, most, if not all of the new characters are fairly unmemorable at best and annoying at worst.

Which isn't to say the game is a complete waste. The gameplay is quite improved from its predecessor, and the non-disappearing bodies and improved AI mean you can more easily be punished for being reckless in your stealth. First person aiming adds a lot more depth to how you approach situations, as well. And even if the individual components are disjointed and strange, as a whole, MGS 2's plot and themes are interesting in what it's trying to say and do. In particular, the final chunk of the game after the section with E.E.* is filled with a great combination of Mind Screw, Nightmare Fuel, and fantastic set pieces. If nothing else, the entire game was worth it for that section.

In the end, Metal Gear Solid 2 can be seen as an example that even though a piece of media, even video games, makes for a great analysis or social experiment, it doesn't necessarily make it a great game.


  • Robotnik
  • 5th Feb 13
Pretty much this. I'd be a lot more comfortable with this game if its story and characters were more capable of standing on their own merits rather than simply as set-ups and mouthpieces for philosophical musings. Not That Theres Anything Wrong With That, but if I wanted just philosphy at the expense of a narrative, I'd read a nonfiction book on the subject.
  • AquamarineGavial
  • 18th Sep 14
Especially when those "philosophical" musings amount to something like the following:

Haha, you believed the trailer. I lie to you to teach you not to trust people blindly, fool!

We're ripping off chunks of our own predecessor and making it a plot point. Take That, [[Sequelitis Sequelitis]]!

Censorship of digital information is bad, but you suck because you live in cliques on the Internet.

You want to play as Solid Snake. So does this blonde haired "loser" who controls just like him! I manipulate your and his desires in a plot that relies on Gambit Roulette. Therefore, you obviously suck for wanting to play a badass in a video game.

When we talk about a secret government conspiracy censoring and manipulating the masses, we're really talking about gamers and gaming, donchaknow? Deep!

Video game linearity sucks, doesn't it? That's why I made this linear game; to teach you that! Yes, the rest of the game is awesome, but I made you go along one route!

What's real? What's not? Ooh, Matrix philosophy is deep!

Stop making me make Metal Gear games!
  • Bastard1
  • 21st Sep 14
You do realize that if Kojima actually reads your comment he will suffer another bout of "depression" and withdraw from the internet for months... then, when Metal Gear Solid VI: The Mandate of Outer Heaven comes out in 2019 (helmed by Kojima again, naturally) there's gonna be an enemy named "Aquamarine Gavial" that's gonna, like, wear a pink Tutu and fire Teletubbies at you. Also, Gavial will be implied to be Tingle's bisexual lover in a codec conversation with a slightly balder Puroresu Miller (that's right, his name is Puroresu Miller now for some reason. Nanomachines? You betcha!).

Words have power. Be mindful of what you say. The consequences might never be the same.
  • AquamarineGavial
  • 24th Sep 14
I think I'll survive, but thanks for the friendly warning. ;)

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