Initially, you'll begin the game with a M9 rifle, which fires tranquilizer rounds to subdue soldiers. While you can still use your laser sight, MGS2 now features a first-person mode, giving you the ability to make precision shots. This time around, you'll need to be selective as to which part of the body you shoot the enemy as the effect varies accordingly. The first-person view is highly effective, but can be somewhat cumbersome at first, since you don't have the ability to run away during a firefight. It requires some adjustment, and personally, I would've preferred this function for exclusive use in certain areas, but it's generally reserved for targeting purposes. There's also a vast selection of weapons which can be acquired. Generally, the majority of offensive firepower at your disposal will be put to use - specifically designated for various objectives. Though this is not to say that players will be engaging with recycled missions. On the contrary, as the game introduces a unique spin in the manner the weapons are put to use, thus creating a new gameplay experience.
Other highlights which carried over from the original include the excellent voice acting. Overall, the quality is very solid, due to the fact that the sequel includes all of the major characters reprising their roles. There are moments where the dialogue feels somewhat contrived and exaggerated, but to its credit, the voice acting remains solid throughout. And to further complement the audible experience, Hollywood composer Harry Gregson-Williams, known for his work on Enemy of the State and The Rock delivers a powerful soundtrack. It's been argued by some industry colleagues that his performance on MGS2 though remarkable will be somewhat unmemorable. Personally, I disagree, since I've had the main trailer theme permanently etched into my brain ever since I've experienced it at E3. The complement of in-game musical tracks are just as dynamic, creating an immersive experience as they vary accordingly to the action taking place.
Initially thought to be the conclusive chapter in the Metal Gear series (as Kojima-san has recently stated that the series will continue), most will argue that the latest installment is marginally disappointing. Players will draw their own conclusions, which overall will be substantially positive. Boasting a wide range of interaction, exploration and replay value, the true experience comes from appreciating the story and the gameplay itself. For fans of the previous editions, Metal Gear Solid 2 delivers an action-packed ride from beginning to end. Due to the mixed criticism it's received, Metal Gear Solid 2's appeal depends upon your personal tastes and expectations. Nevertheless, it's very likely that the MGS2 will become an oft-played title and one of the most memorable releases on the PS2 this year.
Article originally published on The Next Level