It’s my turn to do a Flashback Friday review, so for my first review I decided to do the game that brought a PS1 classic into the modern age. One of the best entries in the series, it’s Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty. It was released in Japan and North America in November 2001 but it wasn’t until March 2002 that European gamers could play the game. It serves as a sequel to the 1998 hit Metal Gear Solid and really improves on every aspect of that game.
It took advantage of the capabilities of the PS2 to ensure that the game had greatly improved graphics and gameplay, the cutscenes are amazingly cinematic and the voice acting is wonderful. It set the tone for all future Metal Gear games with more of an action focus but still keeping stealth as a key element.
The story did cause a few fans to be annoyed when they discovered that Solid Snake is only actually the protagonist for the first mission in the game. After this you take the role of Raiden for the rest of the game, this new character allowed the developers to introduce a lot of new gameplay mechanics. One of the other great things about this game is that the AI of the guards and villains is greatly improved allowing the environments to feel much more engrossing, guards will react to a lot more making it harder to evade them.
It adds a lot to the complicated story that the series is known for and it is almost essential to have played the previous games to get the full understanding of what is taking place. I confess that the only game I played before this was Metal Gear Solid on the PS1, I have still yet to play any of the original Metal Gear games. The game is very open ended and this allows much greater freedom in your stealth missions, you can use the area around you to conceal yourself from the guards.
The game really holds up even by the standards of today and the amazing graphics are a large part of this, they still look stunning more than 10 years after the original release. It has tension and action, the stealth is perfect and the story is enticing. The chilling and dramatic soundtrack makes this masterpiece even better. If you have yet to experience this classic you can get it pretty cheap second hand. You will not regret it. For more nostalgia check in with Joshtie in 2 weeks time for Flashback Friday #3 and remember to keep it G33k!