Technological information on Metal Gear has been sold on the black market. Solid Snake is back as the hero. There are lifelike characters, weather effects and shadows that affect gameplay. Players can aim shots and use tranquilizers
Metal Gear Solid 2 was possibly the most eagerly anticipated game of all time. Rolling footage of Hideo Kojima's sequel to the PS one masterpiece, Metal Gear Solid, was first sighted at 2000's E3 exhibition, and instantly sent the gaming press into an unprecedented frenzy of hype. For once, that hype was more than justified by the finished product, because Metal Gear Solid 2 was everything that those initial previews promised, and a lot more besides.
Like the PS one prequel, MGS2 is a 'Tactical Espionage Simulation' - or stealth 'em up, if you prefer. The game's plot is far too complex to discuss here, but suffice it to say that you can't afford to be caught in your mission, and so stealth must be carefully employed to succeed in your objectives. Fortunately, you're being stealthy in the most perfectly realised, interactive and convincing environment ever seen in a videogame; as promised, Metal Gear Solid 2 is so far ahead of the competition it's unfair.
Controlling your character is a delightful experience. The default view is from a third person camera, set far enough back to give you a wide view of the action, and any guards, cameras, or other surveillance devices that you have to avoid. Getting past the security is possible through pure stealth, making use of the wide range of leaps, rolls, belly crawls, and other manoeuvres available to you, in conjunction with the numerous hideyholes that litter the environments. Alternatively, if all that cowardly stealth doesn't appeal, then you can always shoot your way out, using anything from tranquiliser darts to fly-by-wire missiles, or you can employ any combination of the two styles you wish.
This level of freedom is largely made possible by the control system. MGS2 makes full use of the DualShock controller's pressure sensitive buttons, affording complete control over your movements and weaponry. For instance, the behaviour of the weapon triggers are replicated through the controller buttons, allowing you to choose between drawing your weapon, firing a single shot, or releasing a volley of fire simply by adjusting the pressure on the fire button. This can make all the difference between a near-silent takedown and a noisy, messy firefight, and is just one example of the amazing attention to detail that runs through every aspect of the game's design.
Then there are the graphics to enthuse about. Every single aspect of the game's visuals, from the rain effects to the character animation, is flawlessly realised, beautifully animated, and completely convincing. A lesser game wouldn't deserve such high-fidelity visuals, which would only highlight the lack of realism in the environments. In Metal Gear Solid 2, the graphics have to be so convincing to do the environments justice, and they do a perfect job.
Ultimately, there's nothing else like MGS2, and there won't be for a long time to come. Some will find the regular interruptions to the action for plot segments aggravating, and it's fair to say that the standard of scriptwriting fails to match that of the graphics and playability, but this is nothing more than nitpicking. MGS2 is beautiful to look at, completely absorbing to play, and crammed with hundreds upon hundreds of little touches, innovations, and gimmicks that you'll still be discovering months after you've completed the game. Simply put, this should be top of any gamers must-have list - no collection is complete without it.
-Awesome visuals and incredible realism provide an incredible immersive experience
-Interact with your environment in hundreds of ways
-Superb control system making full use of pressure-sensitivity and rumble features