Metal Gear Solid 2: Substance

released on Nov 04, 2002

Metal Gear Solid 2: Substance is a re-vamped and revised edition of the original Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, in which Solid Snake must recover the stolen Metal Gear Ray from a group of terrorists bent on using its power for unthinkable reasons. Along with the original espionage shooter comes a collection of 200 VR missions. Missions range from killing certain targets and using particular weapons, as well as seeing the world of Solid Snake from different perspectives and styles, with first-person target modes and a variety mode including crazy characters of different shapes and sizes. Also included are various alternative missions, ranging from the protagonist sneaking around and snapping photos of targets to bomb disposal, all out destruction, and more.

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Só pedrada, não sou muito fã da gameplay mas a história é do caralho.

While the first MGS game may be considered as the better game for many, I actually vastly prefer MGS 2.
The gameplay has seen some additional quality improvement, especially with the inclusion of first person aiming, and there's also fewer frustrating creative decisions in the game that makes playing it incredibly fun and tense.
One thing that I think the first game did better though was its story and characters. There's fewer and shorter cutscenes here, instead, the game prefers using codec calls when it comes to telling its story. Sometimes, this often feels like a cheap and lazy way of telling the story as the character still uses codec calls despite being in the same room as each other. As for the characters, Raiden is just isn't as badass as Solid Snake, and the bosses are nowhere near as intriguing as from the first game. However, their enccentric traits does go along way in making them memorable. With Fortune being my personal favorite due to her melodrama.
And ugh, that ending theme slaps though.

This review contains spoilers

Much like creating a backloggd account, the Metal Gear franchise is something a lot of people have told me to try out for a very long time, but I just haven't gotten into it till now. To be honest, I really didn't have much interest in the series prior to a couple months ago. I randomly decided to buy a copy of MGS 1 on ebay, but even then I only played the game for a couple hours before I stopped. It wasn't till about a week prior to writing this review that I decided to actually play the game properly, and I was pleasantly surprised with just how much I liked the game. It was to the point where I pretty much immediately ordered a copy of MGS 2 as soon as I finished it. For the most part though, it matched my expectations to a tee. Aside from the anti-eugenics messages towards the end of the game, Metal Gear Solid was exactly what I thought it would be based on my limited knowledge of the series: a stealth game with political messages at the core of the story.
Metal Gear Solid 2, however, was nothing like what I expected it to be.
To be completely transparent, that's not a bad thing at all. But it’s almost like MGS 2’s entire mission statement is to subvert the players' expectations. I wasn't even alive for the great trailer bait and switch that they pulled off for this game, but the switch to Raiden still got me. I don't really think I'm fully equipped to do a full on plot analysis of this game– there's quite honestly just too much shit here. MGS 2 takes so many twists and turns that I never in a million years would have expected. I’ll give my thoughts on key aspects of it anyway though. Raiden is a genius protagonist. From almost the moment you meet him it's easy to tell he's meant to represent the player in a lot of ways. He played the same VR missions that you did in MGS1 as his training, and even (presumably) played through MGS 1 just as you did. This fact makes the huge twist at the end even more powerful. It’s hard to tell if the patriots are talking to Raiden or the player themself. Their rant about believing half truths, accepting “their fiction”-- it’s all the more chilling when it feels like they’re staring right at you and talking right into your ear. In a way, it's not that Raiden is supposed to represent the player, Raiden is the player. Like I said, I don't mean to do some huge overall analysis of the games themes here, but it's hard not to wonder if the Patriots S3 plan is Metal Gear Solid 2 itself. By literally playing this game and the first before it, did we fall in line with their plan? Are we the ones meant to be molded into Solid Snake? It's definitely some interesting food for thought. Speaking of the patriots themselves, it’s hard to put into words how exactly I feel about them. Being clearly inspired by Seele from Evangelion, I think they do a MUCH better job of the whole “secret society who controls everything” thing. They feel really threatening, and it's hard to tell just how much they have control over. Like, clearly it's a lot of shit, but it makes you wonder if they planned out everything ever in the history of the world after the United States was born. Which is another question, how long have they even existed for? I'm sure this is something answered later on in the series but for now it just serves to make them even more imposing. A lot of people today say that MGS 2 is still extremely relevant today with its theming. I couldn't agree more, and The Patriots are a lot of why that is to me. The GW AI, when laid out flat and simple, is just a means for the patriots to control any information they don't want people to see on a global scale. Basically large scale internet fascism, and the plain-and-simple way is the way that the characters in the game tend to describe it. But the patriots explanation of it– and their reasoning for it– almost makes you think that they have a point. The massive amounts of garbage information out there and the rapid and easy spread of it, is harmful to the human race. I mean, how many times have your parents believed in some stupid shit they read on facebook? In a way, The Patriots are right. The “half truths” we tend to believe due to all this garbage information does nothing but divide us and create problems. The Patriots want the player to believe that maybe they’re on your side. Maybe they really do have humanity’s best interest in mind… Which is exactly how they get you. You see it all the time in modern capitalist society, but billion dollar corporations get away with so much because they make the consumers believe that they’re your friends. Not that the patriots are on the same scale as just a mere corporation, but it's the same general idea. Something else that makes The Patriots interesting to me is that you are literally forced to comply with their orders. They’re clearly a bad thing for humanity, but you have to follow their orders in the end because Solidus wants you dead anyway. Speaking of Solidus, I find it hard to say what he was trying to do was even truly bad. Like, yeah, obviously blowing up a hydrogen bomb to create a huge EMP blast is sorta bad, and his motivations for doing so were somewhat selfish, but I can’t say I disagree with him wanting to be free from the patriots. The method to his madness wasn’t good, but the man had the right idea. It’s that sort of morally gray quality to solidus that made me like him as a villain more than I thought I would. Overall, the themes of MGS 2 are extremely thought provoking and relevant to this day. I didn't even really scratch the surface of what this game is trying to say, I just hit the parts most interesting to me.
I do have SOME gripes with the story though. First off, Emma’s death is really strange to me. Was I supposed to feel bad? Because I didn't. Emma is kind of a shit person, to be honest. You’re telling me that she WILLINGLY made the fucking Fascism AI (i've decided to call GW that) just so that her brother would notice her? Yeah, fuck off with that. And dont get me started on the weird, vaguely incest-y subtext there too. At least in the first game when Otacon accidentally made the next terrible blight on humanity with REX, it was by accident and he was being manipulated by others. Emma did this for a purely selfish reason that isn't even worth it in the first place. I guess you’re supposed to feel kind of bad for Otacon, but I still had my jaw dropped from the whole “my dad killed himself because I slept with my step mom” part. And the other thing that I have a problem with is… Rose. Rose is a manipulative bitch. She needed to take a break from the mission and get checked for borderline personality disorder or something because holy FUCK this girl would not stop. The intense amount of cognitive dissonance it must take to think that it is appropriate to complain to your boyfriend that he never cuddles with you after you fuck while you’re IN THE MIDDLE OF A MISSION THAT COULD DETERMINE THE FATE OF HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS MAYBE MILLIONS OF PEOPLE is INSANE. I think sometimes their relationship is cute, but for 90% of the game i wished i could break through my crt and personally tell Jack to break up with her on the fucking spot. Rose either needs to start smoking hella more weed or to get some serious psychiatric help.
As far as gameplay goes, I don't have as much to say about it as I do the story. It plays almost the exact same as the first game, just with some tweeks. First person mode is super nice, and I really liked the addition of the M9. I didn't really like that you had to go to a node to be able to use the radar everytime you went somewhere new, though. I guess it’s more challenging, but it's honestly more frustrating than anything. I also feel like sometimes the way that it was impossible to defeat enemies once they spotted you was a little annoying. Although, it definitely made the moment where you get the sword at the end and get to slice through all those enemies way more triumphant. The sword was so fucking cool, i wish you got more time with it earlier on even if it would break the game in half completely. I also really liked the big shell as a location. You end up almost memorizing the place in your head by the end and honestly it's just a really well designed place. It’s easy to understand on the surface yet complex enough for it to be a good location for the entire game to take place in. There's so many cool little details packed into this game, and i didnt even get to find all of them. There's probably an endless list of just the tiniest details in this game that exist to make the game feel more alive that most people probably wont ever notice, which just goes to show how much of a good job those things did at helping with immersion. Also, I'm baffled to know this game only came out a month after the ps2’s launch. Visually, this game is kind of stunning. I know i'm just biased towards the way ps2 games look in general, but seriously i think this game looks fucking amazing graphically.
I think that's about everything I have to say about this game. A lot of this was just organized rambling, but I hoped you enjoyed it anyway. Metal Gear Solid 2 is a masterpiece. Play it imo its peak

Greatly builds off MGS1 and does so boldly both on gameplay and with the meta narrative it has.