Why Metal Gear Solid 2 Isn't As Bad As Everyone Thinks

The other day, me and a couple of friends were talking about Metal Gear Solid and it’s sequels, and I found out that there is a lot of hate exists for Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty. Whether it’s the character of Raiden, the story or just the boss fights; many people really don’t like MGS2. However, I do like MGS2. It’s one of my Top 10 games. So I thought I would take the time to write about the reasons I like it, and to counter the arguments my friends presented. To make this both easier to write and read I took the top 3 problems (after this, the complaints were more about very individual things and one even complained that the water was the wrong colour).

Number 3: The Boss Fights.

Complaints: You never kill a boss. Much more preposterous than those in MGS1.

Yes there are of course boss battles, each person with some specific way of fighting you, which means you need to adapt. The fight against Fatman needs a different approach to the fight against Vamp, or Solidus. However, seeing as they had all played MGS1, they had expected this. What they didn’t expect was to be fighting an explosives expert who was vastly overweight who rollerbladed around and was drinking wine. Or a Vampire who could run on water and up walls. But the next game, had bosses you fought whilst one of them was dead and another had a jetpack. The killing thing is hard to get around, but who cares if you pull the trigger, or a cutscene does. If the fact that you are put off by the oddity of the bosses, then you probably shouldn’t be playing a game where you fight a giant robot bi-pedal tank from foot.


Number 2: The Story.

Complaint: Complicated, with little explanation.

Okay, I’ll accept the fact this seems complicated. Seems. If you played the game properly and didn’t skip the cutscenes, then you probably understand the story. The problem comes from when people skip some cutscenes but not all. Meaning they come through the game with a half understanding of what happened. Which means that at the end of them game they are sitting there wondering about what happened and why someone is saying what they are. The first time I played through it I didn’t skip a cutscene, or any unavoidable Codec calls. When my friends brought up this point, I asked if they had watched the cutscenes and all three of them said they hadn’t. The story suffers from being the middle child somewhat. It doesn’t have the beginning MGS1 did, and it’s relying on MGS4, to do the big reveal. All Sons of Liberty can do is tell a part of the story that needed to be told, it also needed the proper perspective for that, which brings me to my final point.

Number 1: Raiden.

Complaint: Everything.

When you read the title of this article, you saw where it was going. The main complaint that everyone makes about Sons of Liberty is that you don’t play as Snake, you play as a feminine noob. But think about it, you aren’t playing as Solid Snake the unstoppable testosterone man whose nipples are made of Stinger missiles and speaks in a voice so gravely I’m not sure his throat doesn’t look like a quarry. You are playing as Raiden, trained solely in VR, this is his first real mission. It actually puts you in a position to see what Snake truly believes as he takes on the role of mentor to Raiden. And if you think back over your time spent playing this game, you might realize that Raiden is as good as Snake. In MGS1, Snake manages to take down a Metal Gear with help from a Ninja, it’s pretty damn cool. In 2, Raiden takes down at least six, and another two in a cutscene. He wasn’t helped by a Ninja. He stood his ground and fought. And what did Raiden do after Arsenal Gear crashed into New York? Thats right, he fought the former president of the United States and Doctor. Octopus fanboy with just a sword. Prior to all this, he managed to escape from the torture chamber and get through Arsenal Gear to meet up with Snake.

This is a pretty impressive list of achievements, especially for someone like Raiden. He does have points where he’s annoying, like the constant codec calls from Rose to talk about their relationship in the middle of a battle, or his need to call someone and ask what was happening if he forgot (okay that might have been me if I had to get something to eat).


At the end of the day, Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, is actually a good game in my opinion. If you think differently or would like to contact me about this article, please write to george@thegamefanatics.com.

One day George Marriott will actually get around to writing his Top 10 Games list, that one day might have already happened if in the future he gets a TARDIS.

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