Metal Gear Solid 2 sure is old.

So I’ve been playing a lot of Metal Gear Solid 2 (MGS 2). And I wouldn’t say I love the game so far, and at one point I almost gave up and skipped over to Metal Gear Solid 3. But I’ve stuck with it and I’m glad I did because things are starting to look up.

My to biggest complaints so far are the cover mechanics, and that you don’t, as Raiden, start out with a silenced gun.

For those of you who are unfamiliar or confused by the plot of MGS 2, lemme give you a quick debriefing.

MGS 2 is the sequel to MGS 1, in which you controlled video game icon Solid Snake. For the prologue of MGS 2 you will be controlling Snake, but around an hour or so in something happens that causes you to lose control of him. Two years later and you are now controlling the rookie, code-named Raiden. Other then personality the two characters are functionally the same. The only perceivable difference is that instead of doing a rolling dive, Raiden does a fancy cartwheel spin.

Up to speed? Sort of? Okay, good.

Since the game came out in 2001 gaming has made many, very meaningful, strides. And one of the biggest legacy problems that MGS 2 HD faces, are those of its horribly outdated cover mechanics.

If you were to go into a story now a-days that sells games and you were to pick up a third-person shooter, chances are it would have Gears of War style cover. It is pretty much a guarantee that third-person shooter have some button dedicated to snapping to cover. We might not notice or appreciate it these days, but not having to be constantly be pressing the joystick against a piece of cover, is a godsend.

Unfortunately MGS 2 was developed in a pre-Gears of War universe. And so you must do just as what I described. If you want to stay in cover keep that finger pressing that joystick. But this same joystick is the one used for moving, so if you want to move while in cover you’ll have to either push the stick in what are sometimes awkward ways, or you can use the R2 and L2 buttons to move left and right. But this too can get messing due to camera angles and the general un-intuitiveness of the controls.

I know that they probably wanted to keep the integrity of the original intact, but I don’t see any good reason why, with this rerelease, they couldn’t have added a snap to cover feature.

Combat is not MGS 2’s strong suit. And so when you get stuck, caught out in the open, it is always a huge bummer. Most of the times that this happens to me I will just stand there and let myself get killed. And this brings me to something else that irks me about this game.

When I play a stealth game I want to be unseen. I don’t care so much about not killing people, but I play stealth games to be sneaky, so if I get spotted I feel like I failed. And ofttimes if the game has a reload last checkpoint option I will take it. What I want to say about MGS  2 is that I really wished that for the remake that they had added in a reload button. Because not only does it feel like I failed, but sometimes there really isn’t any way out of the situation, other then death. And so by adding the ability to kill yourself, it would have speed up the process.

Something that goes hand-in-hand with what I just said is that fact that, without a silencer, there is no good way to kill an unconscious enemy. So if I accidentally knock somebody out instead of kill them with my choke-hold, I have pretty much screwed myself over.

I like hard games. But when a game isn’t fair is when I get frustrated. And so if the game had given me a means to kill I wouldn’t care, but the fact that I had to go to a FAQ just to have the honor of owning a silencer is kind of horse-crap. Give me knife, or even some way choking unconscious people, something! and I would have been fine. But since they didn’t some of the beginning areas of the game got very tedious as I had to play them over and over.

But as I said, “things are looking up.” I have a silencer (thanks to a FAQ), and the plot is starting to pick up. Only time will tell if the overall experience is a good one, but so far it has been shaky.

Check back soon for my Metal Gear Solid 2 HD review, and my Catherine review which should hopefully be up by the end of the week.

–Levi

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Posted on January 21, 2012, in 2001, PS3, Thoughts and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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