Reviewed on PS2


Reviewed By: Scott MacDowall

Computer Platform: PlayStation 2
Produced by: Konami
Price Range: $41-50
Learning curve time: 31-60 min.
Age level: Mature Teen to Adult
ESRB Rating: Mature

Genre: Action/adventure
Christian Rating: 3 of 5
   (some objectionable elements)
Gameplay: 5 of 5
Violence: 2 of 5
Adult Content: 2 of 5

From the very instant that the original “Metal Gear Solid” was released for the PlayStation in 1998 people have been growing increasingly desperate for a sequel. After making the transition onto the vastly more powerful PlayStation 2, the ridiculously hyped game has finally arrived. Expectations are extremely high considering its own predecessor was regarded to be the greatest game available on the original PlayStation. No doubt this sequel will sell by the bucket load, but is it just another case of great game, lousy morals?

Screenshot from 'Metal Gear Solid 2'Before the first second of gameplay begins a long introductory movie welcomes you to Metal Gear?s incredibly complex storyline. This is a pattern repeated throughout the entire game, with plot segments interrupting the play on a frequent basis. It is no overstatement to say that at least 40% of the game consists of critical movie clips and lengthy conversations. Should you have the patience to watch them all, a fine tale of plot twists and intrigue awaits, though it may seem overly confusing for some. Thankfully the story is too vague to be offensive, leaving the player to make their own mind up on its conclusions.

When the time comes to finally start playing, “Metal Gear Solid 2” reveals that peculiar gameplay style that made it so famous. Unlike other action titles, the emphasis here is definitely on sneaking as opposed to all-out violence. Almost every enemy has a blind spot careful players can use to their advantage. The intelligence of the computer foes is highly impressive, especially on harder difficulty settings. The guards move exactly as you?d expect a well-trained military group would, consequently creating many exciting moments as you desperately try to avoid detection. Anybody who?s played the previous game will feel immediately at home here, with a minimum of innovation allowing old veterans to settle in quickly. Newcomers are in for a slightly tougher time, despite the game constantly offering hints on what button to press next.

To its visible credit the game features some of the most impressive graphics yet seen on PlayStation 2. The attention to detail is staggering in certain areas, with many objects reacting when touched. Overall it?s the flawless presentation that stands out above all - the lovingly crafted quality in every room is firm evidence of the hard work creators Konami must?ve crammed into this game. Unsurprisingly the graphical refinement has been harnessed to create very realistic violence. Regardless of how much the player is encouraged to creep through undetected, certain moments leave no option but to shoot your way out. Due to Metal Gear Solid?s fondness for absolute realism, the resulting mini-massacres range from barely tolerable to the pointlessly sick.

For its many good points, including the wonderful soundtrack from a Hollywood composer and ingenious gameplay sections, there is disheartening worldliness to counteract it. Though free of bad language, “Metal Gear Solid 2” is not free of questionable sexual morality. Posters of near naked women adorn the occasional level, and sure enough the lead female character doesn?t wear any more than a swimsuit. To fit in with the futuristic feel there?s a lack of occult imagery, aside from a supposedly bisexual vampire. These moments are spread evenly throughout the game?s roughly 12 hour lifespan, so although they don?t seem overwhelming can sin be any more acceptable in moderation?

To conclude then, “Metal Gear Solid 2” is another superb, expertly made, game, limited by occasionally unacceptable ethics. Perhaps in a token goodwill gesture it is just possible to complete the bulk of the game by only stunning enemies with a tranquilizer gun, a fact that may make the content more satisfactory to people. If you find the inherent violence acceptable, be prepared for a consistently exciting and rewarding game; even with overly long move clips interrupting play. Otherwise its back to hoping that Sony?s next PlayStation 2 masterpiece is more accommodating of God?s Laws…

Year of Release—2001

Comments from Young People…

Neutral—This game has some pretty awesome things about it. I love how you don't have to kill everyone like most games make you, and yes I suppose the girls in the lockers are a bit offensive but only because I'm a girl. The game is a really good game though still, if Rose would just shut up for once. The plots a little too vague though. My Ratings: [3/3]
   —Andrea, age 14

Positive—I loved Metal Gear Solid 2 Sons of Liberty, the graphics are amazing and the game play is excellent. Personally, this is my favourite game of the year. There is some gore and a bit of language but overall a great game. My Ratings: [3/5]
   —Chris, age 14

…a mix of questionability, and high-game play standards… As awesome as the intro is, the gameplay follows with equal power. The gaming masters at Konami have done an outstanding job, except for one part. The game is very much like the last, in terms of reality. You can easily draw the attention of a guard, in which case you must sometimes hide, or distract them. One such way, is very questionable. Inside locker, in which you can hide, are some questionable pictures, which you are supposed to leave the lockers open to draw the guards attention, away form you, so you can hide, or break their neck. I thought "maybe its just on this level", but it sure wasn't, the pics are ALL OVER the game, in lockers, on walls, on almost every level of play. Other questionable content includes the various ways to kill people. I knew this renting the game, but it dosen't send me on a violent rampagae, nor effect me, so I didn't completly pay attention to it, but if your worried about a child you might have, that this could effect, I strongly recommend you don't even pick up the game, for both reasons… The language also is pathetic. Its as bad as an R rated movie, with the “D” and “H” words making a regular appearance. If they ever make a edited version, I might recommend it, but they'd have to edit a lot… It had an interesting storyline, until they brought a soap-opera like twist to it, with the second characters girlfriend being brought in, which also hints at questionable content, and a stance of pathetec morals. The storyline was X-Files like, with a huge conspiracy being played out by a few select men controlling the U.S. goverment, with political leaders being mearly “pawns” in a game. The game took me 13 hours and 56 minutes to beat, on normal game setting. The storyline (the good parts) really draws you in, but after beating it, I wish I'd never really rented it, its just not worth it. Overall it goes like this, on a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being best. Gameplay: 9.0, Graphics & Animation: 10.0, Content: 0.5 (bad language, questionable posters labeled with FHM, and strong graphic violence), Storyline: 6.0. My Ratings: [1/5]
   —Car Guy, age 16

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this Christian Spotlight review are those of the reviewer (both ratings and recommendations), and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Films for Christ or the Christian Answers Network.

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