Following such a great game as the first was always going to an upward struggle to follow and before the release Konami teased us with screen shots and video of the next MGS game we all were waiting for and so the hype began. Before MGS2 was released we were treated to a demo of the game that came with copies of Z.O.E and contained the Snake mission of MGS2we all came to know as the tanker level. The graphics looked amazing, the game play had improvements over the first game like First Person shooting and hanging off rails and dropping down to below levels (I am of course talking about the PS1 MGS not the abomination that is twin snakes).
After the demo the hype surrounding the release of MGS2 increased and I believe it had one of the highest pre orders for a PS2 game (correct me if I am wrong). When we all got the game there was Solid Snake on the cover, the instruction manual had Snake all over it, the back had screen shoots that contained snake, those with a beady eye would notice another character on the inner sleeve behind the instruction manual but that could have been a boss!
As we all replayed the tanker level with fond memories of the demo we continued into new territories of the rest of the game. The demo left us wondering if Snake was dead after the tanker sank but snake couldn’t did could he?
At the start of the big shell level it was pretty much the same as MG1 starting underwater infiltrating the enemy base, then the codec goes and there was Roy Campbell talking to………..wait a minute, who’s this voice I hear, Campbell says it’s snake but that sure isn’t David Hayder voicing this man. I started to wonder if something had happen with David between the making of the tanker and big shell levels but then to my horror the suit came off and Raiden was released upon us all.
This is where the game gets so much hate, the guy is unlikable from the start especially as we all believe we would be playing as Snake, Konami obviously now sees this as a joke as Raiden’s face was used for a cheap laugh at the start of MGS3. Somehow I don’t know how but they actually got us liking him during MGS4 so much so that he gets his own game!
Sidestepping away from Raiden and his emotional problems with GF Rose the game is actually very good. The boss fighters were as good as the first game, the controls were improved and so were the graphics, the story wasn’t as strong but there are some fantastic moments in the game. Taking out a Harrier, shooting out C4 control boxes on the connecting bridge, using the ninja’s blade and taking on countless Metal Gear’s at the end.
The game itself for me is pretty enjoyable, there were a hell of a lot of area’s where you were watching more than playing but we all accept that being part of the MGS experience and also Solidus was a pretty poor boss.