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Opinion Trailer GamingBolt: Why Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty Was Way Ahead of Its Time

IbizaPocholo

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Whether it's the advancements and stealth mechanics found across Snake’s adventure in the tanker and Raiden’s quest throughout the Big Shell, or the eclectic group of antagonists the game throws at you, or the overarching themes about the future of warfare, humanity, and the downsides of freely-flowing information, Metal Gear Solid 2 has it all - and then some. To say it was ahead of its time would be an understatement.

The reach of its themes and the execution of its gameplay were unmatched in it’s time, and even today hold up shockingly well. It’s a game that must be played to be believed.

No doubts it's an amazing game with very interesting conversations via codec.
 

JLB

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2 is absolutely amazing, though the one that wowme the most was 3. Probably because graphics were outstanding.
 

Krappadizzle

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It's shocking actually how predictive MGS2 was as far as memetics culture and context for information control. Like, it almost exactly predicted what's happening in politics now.

Kojima's pulse on the geopolitical military nature of humanity back in the late 90's-2000's was crazy accurate.

nbc 90th special GIF by NBC
 
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AlteredForms

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Said the same thing in the Syphon Filter vs. Metal Gear Solid thread. The original game on the PlayStation is nowhere near as good people claim it to be. MSG2 and MGS3 are much more superior titles and they weren’t released that long after the first title.
 
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Simultaneously Kojima's greatest triumph and greatest failure. The topics discussed around memetics and information are incredibly prescient. And this is probably one of the most daring games ever made, in terms of taking such a significant franchise and twisting it inside out and making the mere act of playing it tie directly into the story itself, as well as the broader meta themes. Snake has always represented the player, but in MGS2 Raiden IS the player, and the fact he makes them so uncomfortable and is so hated speaks volumes.

The problem is he expected way too much from his players to appreciate or even understand what he tried to accomplish, and then doubled down by taking things way too personally when they didn't. On top of that, he failed to pass down the legacy of Metal Gear to his own team, which led to him being obligated to come back to the series for MGS3 to save it.

I would love to see what gaming would be like if Kojima was able to quit the series after 2 like he wanted.
 
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Colonel: The digital society furthers human flaws and selectively rewards development of convenient half-truths. Just look at the strange juxtapositions of morality around you.
Rose: Billions spent on new weapons in order to humanely murder other humans.
Colonel: Rights of criminals are given more respect than the privacy of their victims.
Rose: Although there are people suffering in poverty, huge donations are made to protect endangered species. Everyone grows up being told the same thing.
Colonel: Be nice to other people.
Rose: But beat out the competition!
Colonel: "You're special." "Believe in yourself and you will succeed."
Rose: But it's obvious from the start that only a few can succeed...
Colonel: You exercise your right to "freedom" and this is the result. All rhetoric to avoid conflict and protect each other from hurt. The untested truths spun by different interests continue to churn and accumulate in the sandbox of political correctness and value systems.
Rose: Everyone withdraws into their own small gated community, afraid of a larger forum. They stay inside their little ponds, leaking whatever "truth" suits them into the growing cesspool of society at large.
Colonel: The different cardinal truths neither clash nor mesh. No one is invalidated, but nobody is right.
Rose: Not even natural selection can take place here. The world is being engulfed in "truth."
Colonel: And this is the way the world ends. Not with a bang, but a whimper.
Scary how precise this is
 

stn

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It needs to be remade with better controls and a controllable camera. Both of those things aged like shit even if the rest of the game is still really awesome.
 

tsumake

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Wasn’t there a thread that said it was one of Kojima’s writers that wrote the “prescient” subject matter, not him?
 

salamanderjuice

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Said the same thing in the Syphon Filter vs. Metal Gear Solid thread. The original game on the PlayStation is nowhere near as good people claim it to be. MSG2 and MGS3 are much more superior titles and they weren’t released that long after the first title.
MGS1 is an amazing game especially for the PS1. Few non-RPG, non-2D titles hold up nearly as well on the PS1. I think the plot is more interesting in 1, the bosses are more interesting in 1 especially Psycho Mantis. It's an absolute PS1 masterpiece. 2 & 3 are good but they are more refinements of what 1 created while at the same time descending into Kojima's story telling madness that made the later games worse (in particular 4).

It's also good to keep in mind that gaming made giant leaps between 1995-2000, it's not like today where everything moves at snails pace.
 
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Wasn’t there a thread that said it was one of Kojima’s writers that wrote the “prescient” subject matter, not him?
Fukushima wrote most of the optional codec calls, but the main story related ones were done by Kojima. I mean like most writing a lot of it is collaborative so I highly doubt what is in the codec is directly from Kojima's mouth every time, but the hard on people have to attribute the entire series to Fukushima/discredit Kojima doesn't really hold up in reality.

Directly from Fukushima's mouth:

“While there were some parts that were edited by the both of us, but if I’ll be bold to say it, all the real-time cutscenes were written primarily by Mr. Kojima, as well as all the mandatory CODEC calls. I was assigned to writing all the optional CODEC. We ended up creating around 2,500 files.”
 

AlteredForms

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MGS1 is an amazing game especially for the PS1. Few non-RPG, non-2D titles hold up nearly as well on the PS1. I think the plot is more interesting in 1, the bosses are more interesting in 1 especially Psycho Mantis. It's an absolute PS1 masterpiece. 2 & 3 are good but they are more refinements of what 1 created while at the same time descending into Kojima's story telling madness that made the later games worse (in particular 4).

It's also good to keep in mind that gaming made giant leaps between 1995-2000, it's not like today where everything moves at snails pace.
Graphically it looked like absolute ass and wasn’t even long in terms of gameplay. Tekken 3 and Gran Turismo were released before then and they looked much better. The narrative was the only thing going for it as Liquid was an entertaining and devilish British villain.

People only have a hardon for Psycho Mantis because he could read the memory card. People are often driven by nostalgia and that’s fine, but it’s nowhere near a masterpiece, it’s a good game that’s it. It’s not even the best stealth game of 1998, that’s Thief: The Dark Project.
 
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salamanderjuice

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Graphically it looked like absolute ass and wasn’t even long in terms of gameplay. Tekken 3 and Gran Turismo were released before then and they looked much better. The narrative was the only thing going for it as Liquid was an entertaining and devilish British villain.

People only have a hardon for Psycho Mantis because he could read the memory card. People are often driven by nostalgia and that’s fine, but it’s nowhere near a masterpiece, it’s a good game that’s it. It’s not even the best stealth game of 1998, that’s Thief: The Dark Project.
MGS1 is one of the better looking 3D titles on PS1, no it's not the best but neither are MGS 2 or 3 the best looking PS2 games when there's stuff like GT4, RE4 and FF12.

Psycho Mantis was novel and memorable. Yeah the memory card thing was cool, so was making you swap controller ports. It is absolutely a masterpiece and the best in the series.

Thief is also a better stealth game than any MGS title. What's your point?
 
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Sub_Level

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So much gets said about the stories in MGS2 and MGS3 that I feel many overlook that they are also genuinely fun arcadey stealth games. The VR missions, the dog tag hunting across every difficulty, the bosses in MGS3 & fantastic overall level design are all good stuff.

There's also the part where, ya know, MGS2 was a technical showpiece in 2001. Easily rivaling & arguably surpassing its contemporaries on the stronger XBOX & Gamecube. And it ran at a rock hard 60fps.
 
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Kokoloko85

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Was an amazing game. Lost a point or 2 because playing as Raiden still sucks ( when prime solid snake was around ) but was special game with special feels
 
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Kokoloko85

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Graphically it looked like absolute ass and wasn’t even long in terms of gameplay. Tekken 3 and Gran Turismo were released before then and they looked much better. The narrative was the only thing going for it as Liquid was an entertaining and devilish British villain.

People only have a hardon for Psycho Mantis because he could read the memory card. People are often driven by nostalgia and that’s fine, but it’s nowhere near a masterpiece, it’s a good game that’s it. It’s not even the best stealth game of 1998, that’s Thief: The Dark Project.

MGS1 story was better than MGS2 by far. Better bosses too. MGS2 had better mechanics, graphics and gameplay but mostly due to tech.
I love both but I still cant forgive Raiden and the whole, its just a “simulation“ for Raiden to see how he does story.
The lore and political philosophy of the game is amazing though.

Graphically its a PS1 game, sure Tekken and Gran Turismo are better but most fighting and racing games always were at the time except maybe Resident Evil. Action games, and RPG’s never look as good as them back in the day.

It was unique and special with how it handled story, voice acting, cool boss fights, stealth, action and cool mechanics no other game had at the time. The overall style of the game was awesome.
Theif was great too but try playing it on Playstation tech lol
 
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GodofWhimsy

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This isn't really a hot take these days, but I do love me some MGS 2. Kinda feels like this opinion is just getting regurgitated at this point though.
 

Krappadizzle

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Said the same thing in the Syphon Filter vs. Metal Gear Solid thread. The original game on the PlayStation is nowhere near as good people claim it to be. MSG2 and MGS3 are much more superior titles and they weren’t released that long after the first title.
The original was as good as people claimed it to be. You obviously learned nothin from MGS2 either if you don't understand why in context MGS1 was so good. It pretty much created its own genre while having full voice acting and cinematic in-game cutscenes. There were literally no games like MGS in such a complete package.

It may not RETROSPECTIVELY feel as amazing of an achievement considering how many games copied and improved it's blueprint, but at the time it was literally in a league of it's own.

I prefer 3 as well over 1, but to discredit MGS1's achievement is short-sided and foolish.
 
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AlteredForms

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The original was as good as people claimed it to be. You obviously learned nothin from MGS2 either if you don't understand why in context MGS1 was so good. It pretty much created its own genre while having full voice acting and cinematic in-game cutscenes. There were literally no games like MGS in such a complete package.

It may not RETROSPECTIVELY feel as amazing of an achievement considering how many games copied and improved it's blueprint, but at the time it was literally in a league of it's own.

I prefer 3 as well over 1, but to discredit MGS1's achievement is short-sided and foolish.
Created it's own genre? Pretty sure there were stealth games prior to MGS and you're making it sound it was the first game to have full voice acting and in-game cutscenes. How many games have so called "copied it's blueprint"? I know of Splinter Cell but we're not talking about the same level of influence such as Doom or GTA, with every similar game released after called a "clone" and branded was inferior. Pure prisoners to nostalgia, I said it was a good game in a slick package, but people talking like it was a revolution in the medium need to check themselves.
 

bender

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I hate the game once you hit Big Shell. It's still an amazing experience because of the narrative.
 

Krappadizzle

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Created it's own genre? Pretty sure there were stealth games prior to MGS and you're making it sound it was the first game to have full voice acting and in-game cutscenes. How many games have so called "copied it's blueprint"? I know of Splinter Cell but we're not talking about the same level of influence such as Doom or GTA, with every similar game released after called a "clone" and branded was inferior. Pure prisoners to nostalgia, I said it was a good game in a slick package, but people talking like it was a revolution in the medium need to check themselves.
It literally created the stealth action espionage genre. I'd love for you to show me another game on consoles from that era that is comparable or better. It set the standard for "Hollywood-Style" cutscenes in videogames. Not sure why you're being so resistant to understanding that. It's not about nostalgia, it's about context. IN CONTEXT, compared to it's contemporaries there were no other games that did what it did in such a complete package. You don't have to even take my word for it. There are literally dozens and DOZENS of videos that released even this year alone that you could watch if you feel so inclined. Or you could go back and read the ol' reviews from 1998 to try and understand in CONTEXT why it was such a revolutionary game. This isn't a case of everyone else is crazy but you...It's you. You are the crazy person.

I hate the game once you hit Big Shell. It's still an amazing experience because of the narrative.

So much so.....Raiden really annoyed me as a character and I HATED him at the time. I can appreciate the switch-up NOW, but back then, I was so pissed. Hell, I didn't even enjoy the story of MGS2 at the time only really coming to appreciate it much much later. I think that initial shock of Raiden left such a sour taste that I wasn't very receptive to really even trying to understand the story. I've since grown to appreciate though..
 
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bender

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MGS was revolutionary.

So much so.....Raiden really annoyed me as a character and I HATED him at the time. I can appreciate the switch-up NOW, but back then, I was so pissed. Hell, I didn't even enjoy the story of MGS2 at the time only really coming to appreciate it much much later. I think that initial shock of Raiden left such a sour taste that I wasn't very receptive to really even trying to understand the story. I've since grown to appreciate though..

Raiden was a cool "fuck you" and it is something that can never happen again (Halo 2 tried, I guess). I just thought the bosses were terrible (fat guy on roller skates, how do we top the Rex fight? How about dozens of Ray's, Vamp and Fortune weren't great either and the last fight was horrible) and Big Shell was boring. The Tanker had so many cool sandbox elements and then we got that.
 
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AlteredForms

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It literally created the stealth action espionage genre. I'd love for you to show me another game on consoles from that era that is comparable or better. It set the standard for "Hollywood-Style" cutscenes in videogames. Not sure why you're being so resistant to understanding that. It's not about nostalgia, it's about context. IN CONTEXT, compared to it's contemporaries there were no other games that did what it did in such a complete package. You don't have to even take my word for it. There are literally dozens and DOZENS of videos that released even this year alone that you could watch if you feel so inclined. Or you could go back and read the ol' reviews from 1998 to try and understand in CONTEXT why it was such a revolutionary game. This isn't a case of everyone else is crazy but you...It's you. You are the crazy person.
Pretty sure that isn't a whole genre, that's just an extension of one. And I basically named another game on consoles from around that time that is comparable and that's GTA III, Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, Tomb Raider and so on. You keep going on and on about "Hollywood-Style" and full voice acting as as those are the key points behind your whole argument. And yet you fail to give key examples of developers who who were so enamoured by those features that you're inclined to talk about.
 

Krappadizzle

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Raiden was a cool "fuck you" and it is something that can never happen again (Halo 2 tried, I guess). I just thought the bosses were terrible (fat guy on roller skates, how do we top the Rex fight? How about dozens of Ray's, Vamp and Fortune weren't great either and the last fight was horrible) and Big Shell was boring. The Tanker had so many cool sandbox elements and then we got that.
The Tanker was SO bad ass. I remember buying Z.O.E. just for that MGS2 demo and playing that Tanker section so many times just messing with everything, was so annoyed to learn that, that was the best part of the game for me at the time. Agree too on all fronts as far as the boss fights go. MGS felt like this Tom Clancy espionage spy-thriller that kept escalating and escalating until it's bad ass conclusion while MGS2 felt like a hodge-podge of different elements that were more there for the "cool" factor. Hell, I remember in the previews thinking that "Fortune" was such a cool idea for a character and then was so underwhelmed when you fight her and then learn more about her. MGS2's unique telling of a "memetic future and context" was way ahead of it's time and it's tech did some really bad ass things too, but overall it felt like it underdelivered in a few areas that MGS1 did so much better.
Pretty sure that isn't a whole genre, that's just an extension of one. And I basically named another game on consoles from around that time that is comparable and that's GTA III, Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, Tomb Raider and so on. You keep going on and on about "Hollywood-Style" and full voice acting as as those are the key points behind your whole argument. And yet you fail to give key examples of developers who who were so enamoured by those features that you're inclined to talk about.

Lol, what? GTA 3 was a completely DIFFERENT generation of hardware, Oot didn't have voice acting, and ran comparatively like garbage and was a completely different genre. Tomb Raider? Fuck outta here. There was literally no games at the time that offered what MGS1 did at it's release. I concede that you could make the argument that "Stealth Action Espionage" isn't specifically it's own genre and def. falls into the Stealth genre, but again on consoles we had what?...Tenchu.....Winback...as really the only comparable alternatives and they were massively outclassed as far as a complete package is concerned(though Tenchu was a better stealth game overall) I don't even think MGS1 is a great stealth game as again, Tenchu did it better and arguably still to this day Thief 1/2 are still some of the best purely stealth games ever made, but again, in context, on consoles, MGS1 was in a league of it's own. Look at all the games that came out after MGS1 did with full in-game cutscenes, fully voice acted, copying "Hollywood" style cinematography...Hell, you named one GTA3...
 
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bender

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The Tanker was SO bad ass. I remember buying Z.O.E. just for that MGS2 demo and playing that Tanker section so many times just messing with everything, was so annoyed to learn that, that was the best part of the game for me at the time. Agree too on all fronts as far as the boss fights go. MGS felt like this Tom Clancy espionage spy-thriller that kept escalating and escalating until it's bad ass conclusion while MGS2 felt like a hodge-podge of different elements that were more there for the "cool" factor. Hell, I remember in the previews thinking that "Fortune" was such a cool idea for a character and then was so underwhelmed when you fight her and then learn more about her. MGS2's unique telling of a "memetic future and context" was way ahead of it's time and it's tech did some really bad ass things too, but overall it felt like it underdelivered in a few areas that MGS1 did so much better.

I'd guess MGS2 was just rushed plus they had to make those Twin Towers cuts. MGS3 was pretty off the rails too but the Sandbox was just so much better throughout.
 
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Krappadizzle

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And the industry has been suffering from it ever since.
It was refreshing at the time, but it's definitely become exhausting now. Just like Half-Life 1. Half-Life really set an awesome tone for this silent-protagonist(player is you kinda thing) and environmental story telling, that it's now come full circle on itself and is boring and cliched at this point.
 

AlteredForms

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And the industry has been suffering from it ever since.
Half and half on that one.
Lol, what? GTA 3 was a completely DIFFERENT generation of hardware, Oot didn't have voice acting, and ran comparatively like garbage and was a completely different genre. Tomb Raider? Fuck outta here. There was literally no games at the time that offered what MGS1 did at it's release. I concede that you could make the argument that "Stealth Action Espionage" isn't specifically it's own genre and def. falls into the Stealth genre, but again on consoles we had what...Tenchu.....Winback...as really the only comparable alternatives and they were massively outclassed as far as a complete package is concerned(though Tenchu was a better stealth game overall) I don't even think MGS1 is a great stealth game as again, Tenchu did it better and arguably still to this day Thief 1/2 are still some of the best purely stealth games ever made, but as again, in context, on consoles, MGS1 was in a league of it's own.
I thought you were talking about games from around that time so I included GTA III and that's my mistake. As for voice acting, it wasn't the first game to include it, but I would agree there are games influenced by it's grandiose cinematics. I assumed we were talking about the landscape of gaming as a whole and not just consoles. If that's the case then stealth gaming on the PS1 is practically unrivalled with MGS with Tenchu being a closet competitor, but I'm more enamoured with the later games which did the same things but much better.
 
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ElCasual

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Is not a game is a warning or a profecy. The stuff that Kojima smoke in the developent of MGS 2 gave him a visions of the future.
 

A.Romero

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MGS2 feels prophetic nowadays. It was a great game then and it should be remembered as a master piece now. It's peak Kojima. I liked the rest of the games as well but MGS2 was simply something special and time has only aged the story to turn it into fine wine.

Not a perfect game (it doesn't exist) but the topics it touches upon and the way they do it... Huge balls on Kojima's part to do that switcheroo and Konami's as well to trust that mad man.

Regretfully MGS4 couldn't provide the ending MGS2 deserved but MGS2 is just amazing by itself.