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Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty

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Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty
Mgs2sol
North American packaging.
Developer(s) Konami Computer Entertainment Japan (West)
Publisher(s) Konami
Designer(s) Hideo Kojima (director, producer)
Writer(s) Hideo Kojima
Tomokazu Fukushima
Artist(s) Yoji Shinkawa
Composer(s) Harry Gregson-Williams
Norihiko Hibino
Rika Muranaka
Platform(s) PlayStation 2
Release date(s) NA November 13, 2001
JP November 29, 2001
EU March 8, 2002
Genre(s) Stealth action
Mode(s) Single-player
Rating(s) BBFC: 15
CERO: 15+
ESRB: M
OFLC: MA15+
PEGI: 16
USK: 16
Media 1 DVD
Input methods Gamepad
Prev game (release) Metal Gear Solid
Next game (release) Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater
Prev game (canon) Metal Gear Solid
Next game (canon) Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots
This article is about the video game, Metal Gear Solid 2. You may be looking for the titular organization.

Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty (メタルギア ソリッド2 サンズ・オブ・リバティ Metaru Gia Soriddo 2 Sanzu obu Ribati?) (commonly abbreviated as MGS2) is a stealth action game directed by Hideo Kojima, developed by Konami Computer Entertainment Japan and published by Konami for the PlayStation 2 in 2001. It is the fourth game in the Metal Gear series produced and directed by Kojima and is the direct sequel of Metal Gear Solid. Its release was followed by an expanded edition, Metal Gear Solid 2: Substance for the PlayStation 2, Xbox, and Microsoft Windows. Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, a prequel to the entire Metal Gear series, followed in 2004. In 2008, a direct sequel, Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots was released.

The game was well-received, shipping over 7 million copies worldwide and scoring a metascore of 96 on Metacritic. While the gameplay and graphics were universally acclaimed, critics and fans were divided on the philosophical nature and execution of the game's storyline, which explores the themes of memes, social engineering, political conspiracies, and artificial intelligence. Critics and fans were also divided on Raiden, a new character who serves as the main protagonist for the majority of the game and the length of the game's cutscenes.

Plot Edit

Metal Gear series chronology
Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater (1964)
Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops (1970)
Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker (1974)
Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes (1975)
Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain (1984)
Metal Gear (1995)
Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake (1999)
Metal Gear Solid (The Twin Snakes) (2005)
Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty (2007/2009)
Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots (2014)
Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance (2018)

Two years after the events of Shadow Moses Incident, Solid Snake and Otacon, working as Philanthropy, receive intelligence of a new type of Metal Gear being transported through the Hudson River. As Snake boards the tanker, it's seized by a group of Russian mercenaries led by Revolver Ocelot, intent on stealing the new Metal Gear.

For a full summary of the Tanker Chapter, see Tanker Incident.

Another two years later and the Big Shell, the offshore clean up facility constructed in its place is taken over by a terrorist faction calling themselves the Sons of Liberty. New FOXHOUND operative Raiden is sent in to neutralize the threat. However, all is not as it seems.

For a full summary of the Plant Chapter, see Big Shell Incident.

Cast Edit

Character English Voice Actor Japanese Voice Actor Motion Actor
Solid Snake David Hayter Akio Ôtsuka Mizuho Yoshida
Raiden Quinton Flynn Ken'yû Horiuchi Eiji Morisaki
Hal "Otacon" Emmerich Christopher Randolph Hideyuki Tanaka
Rosemary Lara Cody Kikuko Inoue
Olga Gurlukovich Vanessa Marshall Kyôko Terase
Colonel Paul Eiding Takeshi Aono N/A
Solidus Snake John Cygan Akio Ôtsuka
Fortune Maura Gale Yumi Tôma
Vamp Phil LaMarr Ryôtarô Okiayu
Fatman Barry Dennen Kôzô Shioya
Peter Stillman Greg Eagles Shôzô Îzuka
Emma Emmerich Jennifer Hale Maria Yamamoto
Revolver Ocelot Patric Zimmerman Kôji Totani
Liquid Snake Cam Clarke Banjô Ginga
Sergei Gurlukovich Earl Boen Osamu Saka
Scott Dolph Kevin Michael Richardson Daisuke Gôri
Richard Ames Peter Renaday Masaharu Satô
President Johnson Paul Lukather Yuzuru Fujimoto
Mei Ling Kim Mai Guest Houko Kuwashima
Johnny Sasaki Dean Scofield Naoki Imamura N/A
Navy SEALs Neil Ross
Dee Bradley Baker
Dean Scofield
Jeff Doucette
Dominic Armato
Russian Soldiers Michael Bell
Richard Gilbert-Hill
Roger Rose
Michael Gough
Morgan Sheppard
Hostage Scott Dolph
Computer Nancy Linari N/A
Additional Voices Jin Domon
Tetsu Inada
Takayuki Inoue
Yuki Makishima
Yuko Morooka
Osamu Ryutani
Shinobu Satouchi
Hiroyuki Sato
Hirofumi Tanaka
Munehiro Tokita
Yasukiko Tokuyama
Takehiko Watanabe
N/A

Theme Edit

Memetic engineering (the theory that ideas, beliefs and thoughts can be isolated and controlled) is the theme of this game. The aim of the Patriots is to control the flow of information through society, censoring the public from the things they don't want shared. Solid Snake's philosophy is that humanity needs to find something worth believing in and pass it on to future generations.

Substance is also a theme within the game. Raiden is a blank character, as he has been controlled and used his entire life. When Rosemary tells him about his room, an all white room with nothing more than a bed and a desk, Raiden becomes angry. When he finally meets with Solidus Snake, the person who introduced Raiden into war, he ends up having his own substance and personality. After taking down his "father" so to speak, he proclaimed his love to Rose, although she herself is also part of the "meme" theme. Rose was initially sent by the Patriots to keep tabs on Raiden, but after a while, she legitimately fell in love with him.

Gameplay Edit

Metal Gear Solid 2 carries the title of "Tactical Espionage Action," and most of the game involves the protagonist sneaking around avoiding being seen by the enemies. The game also features much more elements than its predecessor. The new first person aiming mode allows the player to target specific points in the game, greatly expanding tactical options, while guards can be blinded by steam and distracted by thrown objects. The player can now walk slowly, allowing them to sneak over noisy flooring without making a sound, or hang off walkways to avoid guards. The corner-press move from the original title, which allowed the player a sneak peek around the next bend, is expanded to allow them to fire from cover.

The guards were given more advanced AI "to prevent an imbalance of power," and unlike the original Metal Gear Solid, work in squads. They will call on their radios for a strike team upon seeing the player, then attempt to flank them and cut off their escape while avoiding the player's attacks. If the player is skilled enough, the guards radio can be disabled with a well-placed shot with any firearm. Often strike teams will carry body armor and riot shields, making them an even greater threat. The player can hide from guards and strike teams by hiding in places such as lockers or bathroom stalls.

Boss battles and set-pieces remain a case of finding a strategy that bypasses the defenses of the enemy. 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 the use of tranquilizer guns, stun grenades, and melee attacks.

The game also features a new character that the player controls for most of the game. While Solid Snake is playable, most of the game revolves around the new character Raiden, who is more athletic and maneuverable than Snake.

Development Edit

According to Hideo Kojima in the documentary Metal Gear Saga Vol. 1, the original plot of the game revolved around nuclear weapon inspections in Iraq and Iran. In the plot, Solid Snake was supposed to stop the new Metal Gear while it was located on an aircraft carrier, in a certain time limit. He was also supposed to defeat Liquid Snake and his group, implying that Liquid had faked his death from FOXDIE in the previous game. However, about six months into the project, tensions in the Middle East began to arise, so the development team decided that they couldn't make a game with such a plot. The tanker in the final version is based on the original plot.

MGS2 Trial Edition - Title Screen
Title screen of Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty Trial Edition.
Yoann718Added by Yoann718

Significant changes to the game's ending were made late in development following the September 11, 2001 attacks in New York, where the finale occurs. A sequence depicting Arsenal Gear's displacement of the Statue of Liberty and crashing through half of Manhattan was removed, as was a short coda that was supposed to appear after the credits, consisting of a newscast showing the Statue of Liberty's new resting place on Ellis Island. At the point where Solidus Snake dies, Raiden was to have cut the rope on Federal Hall's flagpole, causing an American flag to fall over Solidus' body, though the development team removed all the American flags from the game. For most of the game's development, Raiden's name was written in katakana as ライデン or literally "Raiden." After 9/11, Raiden's name began to be written in kanji as 雷電.

"Since the story resembled 911 closely, and some people said ‘Raiden’ reminds them of ‘Bin Laden.’"
— Hideo Kojima

The name was altered because in Japanese, "Laden" is written as ラーディン.[1]

Metal Gear Solid 2 was also intended to reference the novel City of Glass, a novel by Paul Auster published in 1985, most notably in the naming of its characters. Raiden's support team originally featured a field commander named Daniel Quinn (simply referred as the "Colonel" in-game); Maxine "Max" Work, an Asian woman who saves the game data and quotes Shakespeare; and William "Doc" Wilson, the creator of GW. All take their names from key characters in the book, and all three would have turned out to be AIs. None of these characters appear in the final version. Their roles were absorbed by other characters, namely the "Colonel Campbell" simulation, Rose, and Emma Emmerich. Peter Stillman, however, takes his name from another City of Glass character.

A two player versus mode was also planned. However, it was dropped for unknown reasons.

Metal Gear Solid 2 is the first, and thus far, only Metal Gear game to contain a note at the beginning that states that the events of the story are fictional.[2] It is also the only canonical Metal Gear to not feature a Mi-24 Hind at all, and is the first game to not feature a boss fight with it.

The consistent plot device throughout the game of virtually all the characters either giving lies at least once or otherwise betraying and going to the other side of the conflict, according to Kojima, was based on the film L.A. Confidential.[3]

FootageEdit

Just like in the previous game, real-life footage was utilized for the game, namely for the New York City aspects. Some of the footage was done first-hand by the Konami development team, while others were supplied via IMAGICA Corp., FRONT LINE, Inc., and ABCNEWS VIDEOSOURCE.

Music Edit

Kojima's choice of composer for Metal Gear Solid 2 was highly publicized in the follow-up to the game's release. Kojima decided upon Harry Gregson-Williams, a Hollywood film composer from Hans Zimmer's studio, after watching The Replacement Killers with sound director Kazuki Muraoka. A mix CD containing 18 tracks of Gregson-Williams' work was sent to his office. Flattered by the research put into creating the CD (as some of the tracks were unreleased, and that what tracks he'd worked on for some films were undocumented), he joined the project soon after.

In order to bypass the language barrier and allow the score to be developed before the cutscenes were finalized, Gregson-Williams was sent short phrases or descriptions of the intended action. The resultant themes then shaped the action sequences in return. Gregson-Williams also arranged and re-orchestrated the original "Metal Gear Solid Main Theme" for use in the game's opening title sequence.

Norihiko Hibino, who had composed the music for Metal Gear: Ghost Babel, was responsible for all of the in-game music. He also worked on the majority of the game's cutscenes, re-orchestrating Gregson-Williams' "Main Theme" remix for use in several sequences.

As with Metal Gear Solid, the cutscene music includes orchestral and choir pieces, while the in-game soundtrack is scored with ambient electronic music. However, the score as a whole incorporates more electronic elements than its predecessor, in order to reflect the plot's thematic thrust of a machine-dominated society. Rika Muranaka again provided a vocal ending theme, a jazz track entitled "Can't Say Goodbye to Yesterday", sung by the late Carla White. The game's music was released via 4 CDs: Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty Original Soundtrack, Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty Soundtrack 2: The Other Side, Metal Gear Solid 2: Substance Limited Sorter (Black Edition) and Metal Gear Solid 2: Substance Ultimate Sorter (White Edition).

SymbolismEdit

MGS2 E3 2001
E3 2001 poster for Metal Gear Solid 2.
BluerockAdded by Bluerock

The background of an E3 2001 poster for Metal Gear Solid 2 features artwork from the 1822 Niklas Müller book Glauben, Wissen und Kunst der alten Hindus (Beliefs, Knowledge and Art of the Ancient Hindus).[4] The image depicts a turtle bearing the 21 worlds of Hindu mythology on its back, surrounded by the world serpent Shesha, one of the primal beings of creation. The image is also featured during the sequence in which the player must navigate Raiden through Arsenal Gear's interior, upon pausing the game with the Start button.

In addition, the poster's tagline notes the use of the snake to symbolize independence by the American founding fathers, and that "only the snake builds a new world." The various imagery can be said to represent the desires of Solidus, Liquid, and Solid Snake, to create a different world from that which is portrayed in the game's storyline. The artwork from Glauben, Wissen und the Kunst der alten Hindus could also be seen to represent either Arsenal Gear or the Big Shell, with the hexagonal designs of the former's hull and the latter's structure having a similar appearance to that of a turtle's shell. Arsenal itself is referred to as "tortoise-like" in Hideo Kojima's "Grand Game Plan."

Reception Edit

Reviews
Publication Score
Electronic Gaming Monthly 9.5/10
Game Informer 10/10
GamePro 5/5
GameSpot 9.6/10
GameSpy 97/100
GameZone 9.8/10
IGN 9.7/10
Official PlayStation Magazine 5/5
Compilations of multiple reviews
Metacritic 96
GameRankings 95.09%

As a result of promising trailers and the huge commercial success of its predecessor Metal Gear Solid, there was a high level of anticipation and hype in the gaming community surrounding the release of Metal Gear Solid 2. Metal Gear Solid 2 received a large amount of critical and fan praise upon its release, maintaining an average of 95.09% on GameRankings, making it the 4th highest rated PlayStation 2 game and the 28th highest rated game overall on the site. The game scored a metascore of 96 on Metacritic. The game also sold over 7 million copies worldwide and won multiple "Game of the Year" awards.

While critics praised the game's level of graphical detail, in particular the use of in-game graphics to render plot-driving cutscenes, the title's storyline was the source of mixed opinions. The storyline explores many philosophical and cyberpunk themes in great detail. Although some have praised Kojima's script, others considered the plot to be "incomprehensible" and overly heavy for an action game. Some also felt that the lengthy dialogue sections heavily disrupted the gameplay, and that the dialogue itself was overly disjointed and convoluted.

Fans were taken by surprise that they took the role of Raiden during the entirety of the Plant Chapter. Overall, the reception in North America and Europe was negative towards the introduction of Raiden. In Japan, it was neutral. Another dispute was the cutscenes which were considerably longer than the cutscenes in Metal Gear Solid, leading to complaints that Metal Gear Solid 2 was more like a movie with interactive sequences rather than a "Tactical Espionage" game.

Regardless of the mixed reviews of the game's drift from action based espionage and its very lengthy cutscenes and confusing nature, the game is still considered a staple in the stealth game genre, with over 7 million copies sold resulting in it being the best-selling game in the genre to date.

Metal Gear Solid 2: Substance Edit

Main article: Metal Gear Solid 2: Substance

Metal Gear Solid 2: Substance went multiplatform in Spring 2003, being released on the Xbox and Microsoft Windows. The new version included several new gameplay modes such as boss survival and the return of VR training and some minor graphical enhancements. The Windows version required an upgrade due to its high graphic content in which the user would need a DVD drive to play the game. Substance was ported to the PlayStation 2 several months later. It was released at the same time that the original version was added to Sony's Greatest Hits lineup.

Additions and changes in Substance include:

  • Addition of a Boss Survival mode (was already included in the European version of Metal Gear Solid 2).
  • Addition of Skateboarding minigame (PlayStation 2 version only).
  • Addition of 5 "Snake Tales", feature sized games.
  • Addition of over 500 VR and Alternative missions.
  • Addition of Casting Theater (was already included in the European version of Metal Gear Solid 2).
  • Alterations of names on dog tags.
  • Alterations of thermal goggles graphics.

The Document of Metal Gear Solid 2 Edit

Main article: The Document of Metal Gear Solid 2

In the month of September 2002, a making of interactive disc was released in Japan and North America titled The Document of Metal Gear Solid 2. The disc contains VR Missions, a built-in soundtrack, the mechanics and areas of the game, as well as the ability to look at player polygons. It isn't literally a "documentary" in a sense as it is more interactive. To a degree, it served its purpose to show the entire game of Metal Gear Solid 2.

It was eventually released in Europe in March 2003 at no cost. It was packaged with Metal Gear Solid 2: Substance to compensate for the former's delayed release.

Metal Gear Solid 2: Bande Dessinée Edit

Main article: Metal Gear Solid 2: Bande Dessinée

An interactive novel similar to Metal Gear Solid: Digital Graphic Novel based on the Metal Gear Solid 2 comic was released in Japan on June 12, 2008, titled Metal Gear Solid 2: Bande Dessinée. It was released on a DVD and features Japanese voice acting, unlike the Digital Graphic Novel.

Novelization Edit

A novelization written by Raymond Benson was released on November 24, 2009. It covers the complete story and was released in Europe in February 2010. It also included material from the original script that was removed from the final version of Metal Gear Solid 2, due to 9/11, such as Raiden cutting down the American flag shortly after killing Solidus, and the Arsenal Gear crash sequence, the latter of which clarified that it was Liquid Ocelot who had directed the vessel to crash into Manhattan. It also added in a brief bit of dialogue in the ending between Raiden and Snake, where Raiden questioned how Snake could be certain that OIga's child is male. A Japanese version was also released.

Limited EditionsEdit

Like its predecessor, a limited edition Premium Package of the game was released. This package contains the game itself with a different cover art, a full color data book, a making of DVD and a limited edition Solid Snake figure by Yamoto. The Premium Package was only released in Japan.

A bundle pack was released on the same day as the game's European release. It contains a PlayStation 2 console and the game itself. The making of DVD was not included in the bundle.

LegacyEdit

Metal Gear Solid 2 along with Metal Gear Solid were featured in the Smithsonian American Art Museum's "The Art of Video Games" exhibition, running from March 16 to September 30, 2012.[5]

GalleryEdit

Packaging Edit

Demos Edit

Books Edit

Videos Edit

Merchandise Edit

Paraphernalia Edit

Illustrations Edit

Trailers Edit

See also Edit

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Click here to view it

References Edit

  1. ^ Kotaku. What Osama Bin Laden And Metal Gears Solid Have In Common. Kotaku. Retrieved 2011-09-29.
  2. ^ Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, Konami Computer Entertainment Japan (2001).
    After the player selects the chapter they want to play, the message "This story is fictional. Any and all similarities to characters, groups, or other entities in real life are coincidental" will pop up.
  3. ^ http://muni_shinobu.webs.com/mgs2/production.html
  4. ^ [1]
  5. ^ The Art of Video Games

External linksEdit

Start a Discussion Discussions about Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty

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