After the huge success of Metal Gear Solid on the first Playstation, Hideo Kojima immediately set to work on a live sequel to the PlayStation 2. Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty was one of the first games announced for the PS2 console and looked amazing at the beginning of the 21st century.
Unlike the first part, the characters below had a clear face shape, and with more capable hardware, some new things in the gameplay could be realized, such as hiding the body, shooting from the first person, and hanging on the fences. When the game was first shown at E3 in 2000, fans were thrilled. The rain-soaked tanker demonstrated a significant jump in graphics quality versus the first game.
And then Metal Gear Solid 2 came out on this day exactly 20 years ago and something happened that no one expected. The protagonist of the first game, Solid Snake, was playable only in the first chapter of Sons of Liberty to experience the rest of the story through the eyes of a completely new character - Raiden. This key information somehow remained a secret until the release of the game, after which many fans were shocked.
The introduction of Raiden made sense in the context of the story, in which Solid Snake was given the role of mentor. Yet many found Raiden extremely irritating thanks to his naivety and constant complaining. It didn't help that a good part of the game was called Snake, nor the section in which Kojima forced the players to run for ten minutes with a completely naked Raiden.
Despite this, MGS 2 was remembered as a great game, primarily because of the extended stealth mechanics. Sons of Liberty gave several stages of the chase after the enemies spotted the player, so the guards opened the lockers to find the player. They also worked via radio so you could disable the guard from communicating with others by hitting his radio. The artificial intelligence of the opponents in MGS 2 was truly impressive at the time.
The story of MGS 2 was complicated by the introduction of a bunch of themes and motifs, primarily a plot about the mysterious group The Patriots, which laid the foundation for future games in the series. Some consider the story to be one of the first examples of postmodern art in gaming, and some even claim that Kojima predicted the future.
Listening to the dialogue from the extremely confusing ending, the truth may not be far from that, because as the patriotic AI says - the digital society selectively rewards the development of suitable semi-truths. Before most people used the internet, MGS 2 talked about unfiltered garbage of misinformation and trivia.
Either way, the Metal Gear Solid 2 story we got wasn’t ultimately the same as it was originally intended. The finale of the game went through a series of changes after a 9/11 attack on a mall in the US. The demolition of the Statue of Liberty, the display of the American flag, etc. were thus expelled from MGS 2.
Despite all the changes and controversies, Metal Gear Solid 2 was greeted with good reviews and sold more than seven million copies. The game was exclusive to the PS2 console until 2003 when it appeared on PC and Xbox. In 2011, there was an HD reissue on PS3, PSV, and Xbox 360 consoles, and since 2017, the HD edition is also available on the Nvidia Shield platform. Since last year, MGS2 has been returned to the PC platform in digital form, but currently, all digital editions of this game have been temporarily withdrawn from sale.