Review: Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty HD Edition

Hello Lusislaves it is I, Pierson ‘Blitzmage’ Stone come again this week to review another Metal Gear Solid game, this time Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty HD Edition. This game was originally released on the PlayStation Two in November 2001. Produced by Kojima Productions and published by Konami, Sons of Liberty was the first game in the series where for the majority of the game you did not play as a Snake. It also marks the beginning of the deeply complicated storytelling that the Metal Gear series has become known for.

Metal Gear Solid 2 US Box Art

Metal Gear Solid 2 US Box Art

The game is split into two sections, The Tanker and The Plant. The Tanker section is set in the far off year of 2007 and features the long time series protagonist of Solid Snake as he sneaks onto a United States Marine tanker to obtain a picture of the new Metal Gear that is being developed. To give a bit of back story to this, The Tanker section is set a few years after Metal Gear Solid 1 and since the events at Shadow Moses the secret Metal Gear projects have become public and everyone and their mother are trying to develop the best Metal Gear first. The second section of the game, The Plant, features the series lesser protagonist Raiden two years after the events of the first section of Metal Gear Solid 2. In Raiden’s part of the game he is sent to “The Big Shell Plant” which allegedly is used to clean up the oil spill and other such chemicals from the Hudson River because of the events of two years ago. Raiden is sent to Big Shell because a terrorist group called Dead Cell have kidnapped the US President and are holding him hostage until their monetary demands are met. With the help of Cr. Campbell and Raiden’s girlfriend Rose, Raiden begins his mission but what he does not know is that he is walking directly into a plot that is much bigger then he is. Players will spend the majority of the game proper with Raiden but if gamers so choose they can partake in side missions called Snake Tales. The Snake Tales missions are side missions that play out the story of MGS 2 HD if Solid Snake was the protagonist. Also packed in with the HD edition is the VR missions that were featured in the Substance release of MGS2.

Raiden Art Work

Raiden Art Work

In regards to gameplay, MGS2HD retains all the controls that it had in its PlayStation 2 iterations and takes no control whatsoever of the PS3 sixaxis controls, which is a good thing. Compared to the controls of Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker HD players will find it very easy to transition from one game to another with only slight changes to button layout that are easily adapted to. Although a staple in the current MGS games, MGS2 was the first game in the series to incorporate the first person perspective to take out and look around for enemy soldiers. The game does feel dated when it come to movement, especially when it comes to sticking to a wall to hide from soldiers. When sticking to a wall the camera repositions itself, in doing so the movement controls become reversed and staying in one place to not be noticed becomes very hard. The HD upscale, like Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker HD, does leave something to be desired. Although cutscenes are in HD the textures of the PS2 at the time do not do the upscale any service and makes the game look even worse than it once did in many respects.

When it comes down to it Metal Gear Solid 2 is still not as good as some of the other MGS titles but still can stand the test of time better then its three predecessors. Fewer series have stood the test of time as Metal Gear has to create a highly original and dynamic story that spans many console generations. To have been a MGS fan when this game was first released must have been a horrible. One had to deal with the introduction of the most complex story any video game series has had to date and very little reference material to go back to and piece together what Kojima was trying to do at the time. Only until later did things in MGS 2 start to really make sense and come together. If nothing else can be said about this game, it is the game that brought Metal Gear into the twenty first century and did it with a huge splash.

6 comments on “Review: Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty HD Edition”

  1. Ah metal gear. My only first hand exposure to it was Twin Snakes on the Gamecube and MGS4 on PS3. I kinda have respect for the game, but I don’t hold any nostalgia for it. Good review, but I don’t plan to delve too much deeper into past MGS titles.

    Also, happy birf day.

  2. I would REALLY encourage you to play MGS2/3, they are great titles from the PS2 era that shouldn’t be missed

  3. Well, I said first hand exposure. I watched an entire lets play (on the lp archive, the one by chip and ironicus…very funny) of MGS3 and years ago I watched a friend play MGS2 when it was new. So I know most of what makes those games special and astounding. I’d play them both for myself, but the real problem is that I don’t have time to play these very long games plus all the new ones I want to get to from the last holiday season.

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