Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty

Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty  (PlayStation 2)  2001


First postmodern philosophical action game, advanced AI of enemies (introduced a collective enemies to the genre, the enemy guards work together in squads, can communicate with one another,and react in a more realistic manner towards the player, the game's enemy AI was considered among the best examples in gaming for many years)

Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty

Gameplay video

Playstation 2
Playstation 2 console

Earliest Magazine preview - Arcade (2000-07)

Magazine preview - Games Master (2001)

Magazine review - Games Master (2002)

Magazine preview - Computer and video games (2000)

Magazine review - Computer and video games (2001)

Magazine preview - PlayStation 2 Official (2000)

Magazine preview - PSM2 (2000)

Cover art

1) The philosophical nature and execution of the game's storyline explores themes such as memes, social engineering, political conspiracies, censorship, and artificial intelligence.

2) Aim of the story involves "a series of betrayals and sudden reversals, to the point where the player is unable to tell fact from fiction" (departing from the "very clear and understandable story" of its predecessor), that "every character lies to (betrays) someone once," blurring the line between "what is real, and what is fantasy," and "ironies aimed at the digital society and gaming culture."
3) The fututistic plot take place in 2007-2009.
4) MGS2 was also intended to reference the novel City of Glass (by american writer Paul Auster), notably in the naming of its characters. Raiden's support team originally featured a different field commander named Colonel Daniel Quinn; Maxine "Max" Work, an Asian woman who saves game data and quotes Shakespeare, and William "Doc" Wilson, the creator of GW. All take their names from key characters in the book, and all three would have turned out to be artificial intelligences. None of these characters survived to the final edition, their roles being absorbed by other characters, namely the "Colonel Campbell" simulation, Rose, and Emma Emmerich. Peter Stillman, however, takes his name from another City of Glass character.

5) Significant changes to the game's ending were made late in development following the September 11 attacks in New York, where the finale occurs. A sequence depicting Arsenal Gear's displacement of the Statue of Liberty and crashing through half of Manhattan was removed, as was a short coda to appear after the credits, a breaking newscast showing the Statue of Liberty's new resting place, Ellis Island. At the point where Solidus dies, Raiden was supposed to have cut the rope on Federal Hall's flagpole, causing an American flag to fall over Solidus' body, and American flags that were supposed to be on all the flagpoles in New York were removed from the title.The animation is still in place of Raiden raising his sword and then slicing it down, but the flag was removed.  More recently, Kojima revealed that the name "Raiden" was spelled in kanji rather than katakana due to the latter form of the name resembling "Bin Laden" in Japanese.
6) The game's E3 2000 demo surprised many spectators with it's level of realism and played a key role in the
PlayStation 2 console's early success.

7) In his paper "How Videogames Express Ideas", Matthew Weise of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology described Sons of Liberty as "perhaps the most vivid example of a game that uses tension between different levels of player agency to fuel a multi-faceted ideological argument," noting Solidus Snake's suggestion of the United States being a "totalitarian regime of thought control" and pointing to the "very meta concept" of "how the designer’s imposed plan or path for the player maps to the tyrannical nature of the government", where, "like the player, Jack has no agency other than what his puppet masters give him."
8) Jeremy Parish of notes that "Metal Gear Solid 2 is a game built on misinformation" and that it "was simply too avant-garde—too clever—for its own good".
9) Gamasutra has compared the game's themes to the philosophies of Thomas Hobbes, Friedrich Nietzsche, and Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, as well as the more recent social media and social gaming trends.
10) According to Kojima, Metal Gear Solid 2 paid more "attention to the surroundings" in real-time and later games like Call of Duty have followed this trend of making surroundings more realistic.
11) MGS2, along with its predecessor, has been featured in the Smithsonian American Art Museum's exhibition- The Art of Video Games in 2012.
12) A crazy Bomber man, one of the bosses is named Fatman. That was also a name of one of the atomic bombs that fall onto Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

13) The names of the characters Jack and Rose were taken from the main characters of Titanic. This film also influenced the decision to set the first chapter of the game on a sinking tanker.
14) Towards the (very strange) last part of this game, the Colonel begins acting very erratically and speaking nonsensically. Many of the things he says are what his character has said in previous Metal Gear games.
15) One of the few japanese made games to be released in North America before being released in Japan.
16) The game's plotline was inspired by a newspaper article Hideo Kojima read about the US Government
shutting down the popular music sharing site Napster. The S3 Plan was also inspired by George Orwell's
17) Solid Snake's arrival on the tanker containing Metal Gear Ray is similar to the Terminator's arrival in
Terminator 2 (1991); both Snake and The Terminator get up from kneeling on one knee, and both arrive in a flurry of electrical beams.

18) PSX Extreme (Nov 14, 2001)- "For starters, Solid Snake has this -drop-dead- gorgeous detailed look. Everything about him overflows with visual brilliance, even the little things such as eye-sockets! Snake's very noticeable new feature is his five o' clock shadow (rugged beard). The way it is designed is pretty clever. Instead of being thick, the hairs on Snake's face are moderately dense, as you can still see the skin on Snake's jaw area. It's a weird graphical feature to talk about, but it's just there and pretty cool. Little details such as Snake's eyes and his bandana move around very gracefully as well, making everything all the more realistic. The character detail as a whole is fantastic. Each and every secondary character is incredibly detailed and composed of some very high-resolution texture work. Solid Snake himself, along with another playable character that shall remain nameless, is hands-down one of the best-crafted videogame characters since Onimusha's Samanosuke, The Bouncer's Sion, or Final Fantasy X's Auron. His movements are so fluid and his physical properties are so detailed, that a cut-scene is good enough to be mistaken for a CG. It's very safe to say that Konami is pushing polygons well up to ten thousand column, per character."

19) Emulated in: PCSX2 (not fully emulated). Windows version "Metal Gear Solid 2 Substance" runs great on Windows 10 with patch.

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