Preview By: Marty Weisenburger
If you really think about it, E3 doesn't seem to change a
whole lot from year to year. Each time around, for example,
there are a few games - commonly refered to as
"Showstoppers" - that, although often present only
on video, generate huge amounts of anticipation from
awe-struck crowds. And so far, all of these showstoppers that
have been released have pretty much lived up to their hype.
Alongside the likes of Halo, Neverwinter Nights, and Black and
White, Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty may be placed as
one of the most awaited games in development.
Given the original title's critical acclaim, it's safe to
assume that introducing Metal Gear Solid to gamers would be as
inane as telling sports fans all about the NFL. As the game
was the closest thing to a movie anyone played, it's fitting
that the eight minute trailer shown at e3 began with a green
screen that displayed the words "The following preview
has been approved for all audiences by the gaming association
The trailer, consisting almost entirely of actual gameplay
footage (as opposed to CG) demonstrated a number of new
features in the game. One of these is the AI; as good as it
was in the original, enemies are even smarter this time
around. You'll now have to be weary of where your shadow
falls, as guards can often tell where you're hiding by
In addition to some new gameplay moves, the first person
camera will help quite a bit; it's accuracy is used in one
scene in which guards with bulletproof shields attacked snake
and were quickly taken down with some shots to the kneecaps.
Another interesting aspect of the game is the way Hideo Kojima
and his team are handling the violence level. As opposed to a
blood option in a game menu, MGS2 will try to determine the
player's age through indirect gameplay "questions".
Although we're not completely certain how this will work, the
older the player's age turns out to be, the more the game will
lend itself towards adult content.
The power of the PS2 is being put to good use in MGS2.
You'll see in game effects that portray the weather,
temperature, and even the air; when rain falls, you'll see it
drop onto the characters, the ground, and even on the camera
lens. Characters` facial expressions are also the most
detailed to date, surpassing even those in Capcom's Code
Veronica. And despite the PS2's trademark "jaggies",
the game looks as real as you could possibly want.
Although a few jaded gamers may be skeptical due to the
game's video only appearance, it's worth noting that this is
exactly the way Metal Gear Solid, arguably the best
Playstation game made during it's long lifecycle, started out
- as an E3 trailer.
Expectations for MGS2 are already sky high. But with a team
of perfectionists and a budget the size of an action movie,
there's a good chance it'll meet them.