|By Art Mead||Friday, 17 Sep 2004|
Fans of the original Metal Gear Solid for the Playstation will not be disappointed by this sequel, which once again is a tale of action, espionage, and politics. Sons of Liberty plays almost identically to its predecessor, with the same mix of using stealth and wits to avoid being caught while infiltrating enemy facilities and using weapons to fight enemies that cannot be avoided. The main emphasis is on the covert gameplay, with rewards being given to those that can avoid conflict at all costs. In this game, with the new addition of the tranquilizer gun that can be used against enemy soldiers and bosses, you can defeat the game without ever killing a single person, but where’s the fun it that?
The story begins with Solid Snake a few years after the Shadow Moses incident attempting to destroy a new development of Metal Gear that the military has produced (for those unfamiliar with what a Metal Gear is, imagine a transformer that is not transformed, huge, metallic, and roughly shaped like a person). Of course, some developments ensue with old enemies reappearing and hijacking the boat that the Metal Gear is being transported on.
Flash forward 2 years and you are now controlling Raiden, a FOX operative who is attempting to diffuse a terrorist situation in an offshore oil spill cleanup facility. All of the typical Metal Gear plot twists ensue, with such familiarities as stealth ninjas, superhuman bosses, and Solid Snake himself appearing throughout the game. Without giving away the conclusion, I can say that this game has a plot that is quite similar to the original Metal Gear Solid, and while the reasoning is given for this mirroring, it just feels like not enough has been added to make the game distinct as a stand alone entity. In order to understand the plot, you need to be familiar with the prior game, which can hurt the game to those not familiar with the series.
Positives for this game include the fact that it is quite well produced and quite an attractive game. All of the graphics are top notch, the voice overs are well done, and even the cutscenes are interesting (though a bit too abundant). The attention to detail is also amazing, from actually seeing ice melting to posters on the wall, the subtle nuances make this game seem much more in depth than your average game. The controls are spot on, and fighting is quite enjoyable, either hand to hand or with a gun, and the camera angles typically fit in with the game play to enhance the entire game.
One of the biggest downfalls for this game is the fact that the action is actually quite sparse if you play it as it is meant to be played. You can go the entire game without ever fighting a regular enemy, only ever fighting the bosses. While this is much more realistic, it also can tend to be quite boring, and I found myself whipping out my assault rifles and mowing down enemies for pleasure, which ended up with me getting attacked by waves of soldiers. Also, the plot doesn’t differentiate itself enough from the original, resulting a feel of it almost being more of a remake than a sequel.
Overall, this game is actually pretty enjoyable, especially if you liked the original Metal Gear Solid. While some of the repetitive elements are distracting, this game is fun enough to warrant giving a try, especially since it can be found for less than ten dollars right now.