Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty / Playstation 2 / 2001
Snake returns in the stealthy action title, Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty. Take on the role of a one-man army determined to stop a deadly high-tech weapon from falling into the hands of a highly elite resistance group called Dead Cell. Encounter familiar faces including Revolver Ocelot and battle the new war machine, Metal Gear Ray. This time around, enemies are more aware and agile, so you must use your skills in stealth, weaponry, and counter-terrorism to fight off the competing powers.
Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty (commonly abbreviated as MGS2) is a stealth action video game directed by Hideo Kojima, developed by Konami Computer Entertainment Japan and published by Konami for the PlayStation 2 in 2001. It is the sixth canonical game in the Metal Gear series and a direct sequel to Metal Gear Solid.
The story revolves around a massive offshore clean-up facility that has been seized by terrorists calling themselves the "Sons of Liberty." They demand a massive ransom in exchange for the life of the President of the United States, and threaten to destroy the facility and create a cataclysmic environmental disaster if their demands are not met. The motives and identities of many of the antagonists and allies change rapidly, as the heroes discover a world-shaking conspiracy constructed by a powerful organization known as the Patriots.
In spite of controversy concerning the character of Raiden, the game was well-received publicly and critically, shipping over 7 million copies worldwide and scoring an average of 95% in Game Rankings' aggregate. The philosophical nature of its storyline (which explores the themes of memes, social engineering, political conspiracies, and artificial intelligence) and the uneven script in which that story is developed divided both game reviewers and the public, though the gameplay itself was almost universally acclaimed.
Its release was followed by an expanded edition, Metal Gear Solid 2: Substance for PlayStation 2, Xbox and Windows. Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, a prequel to the entire Metal Gear series, followed in 2004.
Metal Gear Solid 2 carries the title of "Tactical Espionage Action," and indeed, most of the game involves the protagonist sneaking around without being seen by the enemies, using intelligence and swift response from the player.
Most fundamental are the wider range of skills offered to the player. The new first-person aiming mode allows players to target specific points in the game world or on their enemies, greatly expanding tactical options; guards could be blinded by steam, distracted by a flying piece of fruit or hit in key weak spots, such as radios which disables the enemy from requesting "back-up" and the head, which would result in an instant death or the soldier being put to sleep immediately, depending on whether the player was using a standard gun or a tranquilizer gun. Players can now walk slowly, allowing them to sneak over noisy flooring without making a sound, or hang off gantryways to slip past below guards' feet. The corner-press move from the original title, which allowed players a sneak-peek around the next bend, was expanded to allow players to fire around edges from cover.
In Metal Gear Solid 2, the enemy guards were given more advanced AI "to prevent an imbalance of power", and unlike the original Metal Gear Solid, work in squads. This amounts to them calling on their radios for a strike team upon seeing the player, then attempting to flank him and cut off his escape while avoiding the player's attacks. Often strike teams will carry body armor and riot shields, making them an even greater threat to the player. Even if the player escapes to some hiding place like a locker or vent, a Clearing team will sweep in to check the area, often blowing the player's cover and causing another dangerous chase to safety.
Boss battles and set-pieces remain roughly similar to gaming tradition: a case of finding a strategy that bypasses the defenses of the enemy and takes them down. However, in a major break from action game standards, it is also possible to clear the entire game, including boss fights, without causing a single deliberate death, through use of tranquilizer guns, stun grenades, and melee attacks.