Metal Gear Solid 2: Substance - PS2

Also known as: Metal Gear Solid X

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Metal Gear Solid 2: Substance (PS2)
Also for: PC, Xbox
Viewed: 3D Third-person, floating camera Genre:
Strategy: Stealth
Combat Game
Media: CD Arcade origin:No
Developer: Konami Soft. Co.: Konami
Publishers: Konami (GB/GB)
Released: 28 Mar 2003 (GB)
Unknown (GB)
Ratings: BBFC 15
Accessories: Memory Card
Features: Vibration Function Compatible


One year on from the release of the original Metal Gear Solid 2, this pseudo sequel is essentially the same game but comes packaged with a few little extras. Originally released for the Xbox, and also making an appearance on the PC, Substance is now available for the PS2, so owners of Sony's machine need not feel left out.

As the story goes, some time after the events on Shadow Moses Island, Metal Gear's top-secret technology has somehow been leaked into the black market through the machinations of Revolver Ocelot. As a result, countless variations of Metal Gears have sprung up in every corner of the globe, making the weapon an increasingly common component of the armed forces and nuclear powers. In the midst of all of this, Solid Snake, now a member of the anti-Metal Gear group 'Philanthropy', has learned that a new prototype Metal Gear has been developed by the U.S. Marines and is being transported in secret to an unknown destination. To learn more about this new machine, Snake infiltrates the transport, rumoured to be disguised as a tanker, as it makes its way down the Hudson River. Just as Snake is about to begin his mission, however, the ship is seized by a mysterious and well-armed group bent on stealing the new Metal Gear for their own, nefarious purposes.

The main game sees players sneaking, hiding, sniping, and generally 'stealthing' their way around various military establishments and taking out enemy forces. Narrative and character development play a key part in the game, resulting in a wealth of cut-scenes that, although can at times be a bit overbearing, add a very cinematic quality to the proceedings.

As well as the main adventure, Substance comes complete with a sub-game entitled Snake Tales, which contains a series of mini adventures starring Solid Snake. There are five in all, including such titles as 'A Wrongdoing', 'Big Shell Evil' and 'Eternal Gazer'. There's also a wealth of VR missions that serve as an extremely extensive training mode. Broken down into the elements of MGS gameplay, namely: sneaking; weapons use; using the first-person mode, the VR Missions are set in a virtual reality suite at Solid Snake's HQ.

Substance is perhaps what Sons of Liberty should have been in the beginning, offering a great many more hours of gameplay and replayability. If you don't already own the original, then this title is strongly recommended.