Pros: Vastly improved, graphics, AI, music, animation and game physics...
Cons: A HUGE gamble that dosn't pay off... A MASSIVE Inexcuable DISASTER of a game!
The Record needs setting straight on this outrage of a game. And I don't give a f*** how unpopular this is gonna make me. This is NOT a good game.
Before I let rip with the criticisms however let me make this clear, MGS 2, bears a number of improvements over it's predecessor. Graphically of course the game is a was improvement on the previous title, as gamers should expect the game makes full use the Machines capabilities, with some stunning water effects, smooth crisp character animation's and without a doubt unsurpassed levels of inter action with the game environment. That is until two hours into the game, where for reasons I won't go into, the whole thing goes bright Orange, with a simplistic almost unfinished level design that is totally lacking in the very atmosphere and realism on which the game is being plugged and which the opening section has promised. The music is hands down the best in any video game to date, incorporating a Hollywood musical score perfectly into the video game medium. The controls are significantly more responsive and fluid than the last time round and every technical aspect of the game has been improved...
So what so wrong with it then?
well while the previous title had a number of technical short falls it made up for these with it's superb design, excellent direction and superb story, all of which came together to ensure that the games technical failings would not be so apparent on the first second or even third times through. Basically two hours into this game everything will start to going down the plug hole, and just when you think they can't get any worse and simply HAVE to start looking up they get even worse until you're laughing and crying and begging for your money back by the end you'll conclude that MGS 1 was a Fluke and Kojima needs to have his head examined for daring to gamble with a sure fire hit in the way he has with what should have been a game which delivered on the promise of it's predecessor.
If you like MGS 1 for it's mixture of tension and action, for it's Hollywood direction and crisp cinema tics, for it's complex and engaging twist-packed plot, for it's all action central protagonist, for it's cast of colourful characters and for the way it built into an unforgettable climax, or for the games powerful messages about war love and morality, in short if you liked MGS 1 for being the thrill ride that it was, AVOID THIS GAME! I urge you not to waste your money, this is a disaster of a game. All those elements I've listed are NOT NOT NOT present here, I promise you, that nothing you would want from this game is actually delivered. It's a huge cop-out and Hideo Kojima has a hell of a lot to answer for. The only Excuse I can think of, and believe me once you get to the end of the pile of cr*p a huge one should be in order, is that because of the events of September 11th the game has had to be changed drastically and directionlessly to the point where it has become the pretentious incoherent mess that it undoubtedly is. Whole sequences featured in the many available trailers and teasers FAIL to surface during play, There is no excuse for this, people are giving Konami their hard earned cash on the strength of a promotional campagin which DOESN'T reflect the content of their produce. This is UNFAIR. Having played though the whole game on the NORMAL difficulty setting, and this did not in any way reflect the games closing stages as dipicted in the various trailers and teasers. Konami should be held to rights for what they are doing here.
I still find it hard to believe that the pile of S*** I've just played through was MGS 2. It has to rank as one of the biggest disappointments of recent years. Solid Snake's envelopment is minimal, (and I mean less than you'd believe possible!), and the replacement aswell as the new cast of colourful bad guys he has to take on, are just down right stupid and wouldn't get into an episode of G.I Joe. Their motives are either totally non existent or laughable when explained. This is utterly soul less and the conclusion leaves MGS 3 with nowhere to go. The ending, without giving anything away, is abrupt, TOTALLY nonsensical, inconclusive pretentious and self righteous to the point of being sickening. Kojima has got so gathered up sucking his own c*** that he's forgotten the basics, like logic, drama, action, motivation, tension and emotion. The worst thing is that you won't realise any of this until you've reached the end and by then there's no way of getting your money back. Borrow it or Steal it but don't pay to for this insult of a game. Kojima has sacrificed fun, in a selfish attempt to say something deep and meaningful which he has failed totally to convey.
I think with all the hype and all the expectation a lot of people are in denial. The plot isn't clever it's pretentious, it's not confusing or convoluted it's just plain lame. The Metal Gear franchise has gone from being a series that was a cut above every other 3rd person action adventure, to being a substandard mess, atleast Syphon Filter 3 doesn't prance around with it's head up it's a** waving an over used library card. Metal Gear Solid 2 has set itself up as a game which demanded to be taken seriously and yet everything about it is immature and embarrassing and cocksure. Hideo Kojima is a disgrace, and I'm ashamed to have ever thought he was anything other than just another game designing geek.
The action is minimal, the tension is non-engaging and distant, as is the plot and the characters. This is a game with nothing to say that demands to be listened to. This game will make fans of the PS1 title cry in disgust, only Hideo Kojima's head on a pitch fork could make up for daring to disappoint the public on such a dramatic scale. DO NOT believe the hype, this thing is so bad I can't put it into words, you'll only know how bad once you've finished it that'll take about six hours, only one and a half of which are like anything approaching fun. This game is painfully bad, and there's simply no way to stop it shifting millions of copies, so I'll stop wasting my time writing this. BE WARNED! This Game IS a MASSIVE LET DOWN, so if you have to get hold of the thing as I'm sure you will, bring a parachute it's a long way down!
Here's hoping that this is just some 'terrible nightmare' and that one day I'll snap out of it and the 'REAL' MGS:2 will turn up. I CANNOT WARN YOU MORE.... BE BEWARE OF THIS THING!!! This is the emperors new clothes, on an unbelievable scale. Hideo Kojima, can F*** off back into his philosophy text books, I for one will NEVER WASTE my TIME or my MONEY on any product with which he is associated ever again!
What follows is a list of sequences and images that I have seen first hand (in a number of both pre and post september 11th trailers and teasers ) which are NOT in ANYWAY featured in the main body of MGS2:
-Metal Gear Ray's assend on Lower Mannhattan through the Hudson river.
-Metal Gear Ray's going Godzilla on Lower Mannhattan.
-Solid Snake on lady libery's tourch with a stinger launcher in hand.
-Solid Snake confronting Vamp.
-Solid Snake confronting Fortune.
-Solid Snake taking on Fortune (in-game engine).
-Solid Snake confronting Ninja.
-Solid Snake under Metal Gear Ray's head answering a Codec call.
-Solid Snake taking on a Harrier on the Hudson Bridge (in-game engine).
-Solid Snake taking on the Spetznaz with a variety of automatic weapons.
-Solidus Snake deflecting machine fire with his twin Katana.
I understand that Trailers and teasers cannot be expected to precicely reflect the content of the product, but in this case I feel as consumers we deserve a little more respect from Mr. Kojima and his company. The game that they have promise HAS NOT been delivered, they have mounted a DELIBERATLY misleading promotional campagin which has, perhaps become increasingly misleading as a result of recent political events( and the changes in the games story that they have nessessitated). We deserve an explaination and in a perfect world, we deserve our F***ing money back!