Support me on Patreon for exclusive content, works cited, podcasts, Q&As, and more!
Follow FSP on Twitter:
In this entry in my ongoing look back at 2001's METAL GEAR SOLID 2: SONS OF LIBERTY, I take a deep dive into all the things that make the actual script of the game, included in the 'Document of MGS2' European release, a masterwork in its own right.
Ever wonder how key scenes are described in the script? What was cut from the finished game? How much Olga or President Johnson knew about the S3 plan? What mysteries are conclusively spelled which ones are left intentionally ambiguous? Find out all these little details and more, in this in-depth video no MGS2 fan will want to miss!
"The long awaited sequel to the PlayStation game Metal Gear Solid, Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty was released on November 13th, 2001. MGS2 does not star the former FOXHOUND agent Solid Snake. Instead, Hideo Kojima took players into the mind of super soldier Raiden, a stealth operative on his first live combat scenario. His objective is to stop a group of terrorists, calling themselves the Sons of Liberty. This includes blowing up a large oil cleanup facility and killing the President of the United States.
MGS2's innovations included its introduction of the laser sight mechanic for more accurate aiming, and a refined cover system that allowed both players and enemies to shoot from cover. It also introduced collective enemy AI routines that relied on squad tactics rather than working individually, while individual enemies expressed fear and even birds had their own AI routines. MGS2 was considered to have the best enemy AI in gaming for many years. The physics was also a major step forward for gaming, particularly the sophisticated particle effects for its time (including for individual drops of rain) and the way objects moved.
The game earned both critical and commercial acclaim upon release, with the highest sales and review scores in the series. However, the game's convoluted story, excessive use of Codec conversations and new protagonist Raiden was criticized by a number of fans, temporarily relegating him to a joke character (even with Kojima himself) until his popular transformation in Metal Gear Solid 4.
Despite the controversy surrounding the unexpected bait-and-switch and convoluted storyline at the time, Sons of Liberty is today seen as a landmark title in the history of video games. It is considered the first truly postmodern video game, is frequently cited as a primary example of artistic expression in video games, and is generally considered one of the most influential games of the past decade, both for its artistic influence on later video game storylines (most notably Eternal Darkness, Killer7, Portal, and especially BioShock, which even featured a very similar plot twist) as well as its influence on the gameplay mechanics of many action games since."