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Built to Play Special: Metal Gear Solid 2

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Built to Play Special: Metal Gear Solid 2

We laugh at the most problematic game in the Metal Gear Solid franchise, Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty. 

No matter which way you cut it, Metal Gear Solid 2 is the weird one. If Metal Gear Solid is military fiction built on camp but with delusions of grandeur, its sequel is military fiction subsumed by that delusion. The game remains fun, at times, but it has the poorest gameplay, worst level design and easily the most outlandish plot of the series. It's also closest series director Hideo Kojima has come to producing a video game art project.

Metal Gear Solid 2 pretends to be a post-modern masterpiece. The game mocks the player, and goes out of its way to obfuscate its story. It tries to be about the need to break away from well-worn paths, by making you run well worn paths until you can see the ridges in the game's repetitive level design. The fact that it shifts lead characters from Solid Snake to Raiden is almost besides the point when the game introduces the poorly-motivated Patriots, an artificial intelligence bent on creating Big Boss' perfect future because of reasons. 

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Built to Play Special: Metal Gear Solid

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Built to Play Special: Metal Gear Solid

THE BUILT TO CREW EXPLORE THE WORLD OF METAL GEAR SOLID, TRACING THE SERIES FROM ITS MSX ORIGINS TO ITS INCREASINGLY NONSENSICAL CONCLUSION.

Metal Gear Solid, first released in 1998, is one of the biggest game franchises out of Japan. Its combination of stealth gameplay, cinematic presentation, and charismatic voice acting has lent this series a charm it would have had otherwise. As for all of its moments of brilliance, Metal Gear Solid often feels like a game about the American military made by a film director for a Japanese audience. Which is exactly what it is, in all of its glory.Metal Gear Solid so frequently crosses the line between camp, military fetishisation, and half-hearted attempts at meaning that its hard to make heads or tails of any one part of it.

Yet, it's impossible to deny that it's entertaining. Metal Gear Solid is the kind of game that drives up to your house around 3 a.m. and screams, "Get inside!" without telling where it's going or why. You get in anyway, not because you trust the driver, but because your life was so boring up until this lunatic stopped by.

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