Metal Gear Solid 2
Review of Metal Gear Solid 2
The gameplay for MGS2 has been stepped up a good bit from the original. Control soon gets to be very intuitive. This is good because you will need it to be able to get by the guards, who are a good deal smarter this time around. If a noise is made, they will hear it and investigate it. If discovered, the guards will quickly radio for reinforcements. They will even notice things like wet footprints and follow them. However, players can, and will have to get very creative in either avoiding or taking out the enemy to move on. Players will have a good time experimenting to find their favorite way of dispatching guards.
The number of moves provided for completing the missions have been increased greatly without losing any of the feel from the first. Sneaking is still the preferred mode of play and it is still as smooth as ever with improved control for sneaking along walls and peeking around corners. When it does come down to gunplay the first-person view will let players snipe with precision. While it may seem like violence is a major part of the game, the emphasis is most definitely on avoiding it so as to not alert anyone to your presence. A good test of the gamer’s skill is to get through the entire game without having to kill anyone (other than bosses).
The graphics of this game are excellent. Every character is extremely detailed and the weather effects while on the tanker are equally impressive, making excellent use of the PS2’s particle effects. As impressive as the looks are of the characters, even more so is how smoothly they move. Everyone moves almost as though they were people, not polygons. The cutscenes strewn throughout the game are well done also. The amazing thing is these are all rendered in real-time by the game engine- no premade CGI scenes here. This helps the scenes blend in much more smoothly with the in-game graphics.
The sounds found in the game help make the game complete. The sounds found in the game help to create the “being there” atmosphere. The environmental sounds all work together to be an integral part of the gameplay.
Of course no game is complete without the music soundtrack. The musical score for MGS2 was composed entirely by Harry Gregson-Williams, who did the soundtracks for several movies including Enemy Of The State and The Rock. The music pieces work well to convey the tempo while playing. When sneaking about its suitably low-key, but when discovered it jumps to a much faster tempo, building the tension nicely.
The voice acting is very extensive and fits each character. David Hayter returns to do the voice of Solid Snake and while some of it does go a bit over the top, MGS just wouldn’t be the same without it.
The only complaint I really have about the game is the storyline later into the game. Eventually you are met with so many plot twists it gets very confusing. The story gets bogged down with philosophical ponderings, which could have some people scratching their heads. The amount of time spent on the Codec and in the various cutscenes, while helping to expand the story, do seem to drag on and could have been made a bit shorter in places. Those who complained about the length of the first MGS will not have quite as much to argue about this time- the first time through should run about 15 to 20 hours if you sit through all the cutscenes and Codec transmissions.
OUR PLEDGE: We promise that we have fully played 'Metal Gear Solid 2' before writing this review. The scores given above are our honest opinion and were not influenced in any way by the manufacturer or distributor of the game.
This review was written by Lyndon Macleod © Absolute PlayStation
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