Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty

Pros & Cons:
Pertaining to My short list below.

Full Pros & cons re-review coming soon...

This is a fantastic followup to Metal Gear Solid, with heavily improved graphics and gameplay, and one of the best stories in gaming. The only negative is that some could find the story to be a bit long-winded and/or bizarre (hey it's a taste), and you still get the classic MGS static camera, which means you have almost no control over it.

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Content review for this game:
Pertaining to the ESRB rating.

Content sum up: This is more mild compared to its successor Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, with far less sexual content, and not as frequent gory scenes. But it's still full of mature themes, and even with the blood off, this game is in no way appropriate for kids. So, I recommend this game for ages 17+.

Full content re-review coming soon...

(Note: The ESRB rated this game for Animated Blood and Violence. They corrected later for the re-release of Metal Gear Solid 2: Substance, rating it "M" for Blood and gore, Partial nudity and Violence. I will be using the latter rating in this review.)

Blood and gore: There is a moderate amount of blood, mostly in the form of splatters and puffs when you or enemies are shot. Also, blood lingers in puddles and stains the characters' clothes. However, blood can be turned off under options, disabling it for gameplay and cutscenes—but static blood on floors and walls will remain.

Specific scenes of blood & gore:

  • An early scene shows enemy soldiers stealthily kill several marines by stabbing them in the throat, with the appropriate blood effects. And later in this early area, you see several dead and bloodied marines scattered throughout. Also, if you open a certain locker, a marine's dead and bloodied body will fall out.
  • Revolver Ocelot (a main villain) shoots a soldier in the head, with blood spurting from the wound. Later in, he shoots and kills more, all with appropriate blood.
  • A later scene shows a team of soldiers being slaughtered by what appears to be a vampire (Vamp, a main villain). You see blood splattered all over the walls and floors, with several dead soldiers lying in pools of blood. You then see as the Vamp slash one soldier's throat, resulting in blood squirting and splattering from the wound onto clothes and walls. Vamp pins another half dead soldier to the wall and sucks his blood. You see another one of Vamp's bloodied victims lying dead on the floor with his throat slashed open, blood pooled on the floor.
  • Raiden (playable character) shoots Vamp in the head and stomach, with you seeing the impact as it tears through, resulting in blood splattering and showing on both wounds. Vamp apparently drops dead, and the scene ends there.
  • After you defeat one of the early bosses, his wound starts to stain his clothes with blood. Also, his overall appearance is somewhat grotesque; he is deathly pale, obese, has prominent veins bulging from his body and has very feminine hands. He even has pink nail polish, as he considers himself to be an artist with bombs, and wishes to keep his hands in perfect condition for said activity.
  • After you've defeated another boss by shooting down his jet fighter, you see as he crashes in the water and starts to sink; you see that one of his eyes has been completely destroyed, showing blood stains in and around his eye socket.
  • In a later area, as Raiden and Emma (a main female character) are swimming underwater in a drowned part of an abandoned facility, they come upon a sealed pressure door. When Raiden finally manages to open it, a dead, bloodied body pops up from behind the door; as it floats up, its blood stains the water.
  • A later boss is again, Vamp. Raiden's bullet grazes the Vamp's face. Vamp then slowly takes his tongue and licks his wound in a satisfied manner (seeing that Raiden is challenge). After defeated, Vamp drowns; his blood stains the water.
  • Later in, Vamp makes a return and holds one of the main female characters at knife point. You shoot him in the head with a sniper rifle, but see that he has already stabbed her through the back; you see blood start to soak her clothes.
  • After Raiden defeats the last boss, the boss loses balance off the skyscraper they're on. You see him fall, as the wounds on his back spurt blood heavily.

Partial Nudity:

  • The first boss is a female named Olga. Your fight takes place in the rain, and she has a thin shirt, so it is a bit transparent, showing the overall shape of her chest, but is offset by the fact that she is wearing suspenders over her chest (covering certain details) and has some pretty hairy underarms.
  • Later in the game, the main character wakes up in an interrogation room tied to a electrocution table. The shot shows that he is completely naked, but his private parts are covered by smart camera angles. After you escape, the main character is still without clothes, but he covers his private parts with his cupped hands. Also, while running around looking for your gear, there is a full view of the character's (male) naked behind.

Suggestive themes: (The ESRB didn't mention this in their rating) There are several posters of bikini/lingerie clad women scattered throughout; some are obvious and others are somewhat hidden. You can also use girly magazines to distract guards, by setting them on the floor.

  • One of the main female villains wears a somewhat revealing jumpsuit. It looks like a wetsuit, and reaches only to her upper thighs like a bikini bottom, and though it's a one piece, it's tight fitting, showing the overall form of her body.
  • In a brief scene, one of the side characters grabs Raiden's crotch to see what gender he is. Though, just for reference, Raiden is feminine looking, with white hair that reaches to his shoulders, a lithe figure, pale skin, and small features.
  • A couple radio conversations between Raiden and his girlfriend, some of the dialog suggests that he and his girlfriend back home sleep together regularly.
  • One of the side stories is about how one of the main characters slept with his stepmother in his early years, resulting in his father killing himself and tearing what was left of his family apart. However, this situation is seen as an extreme negative, and the offending character regrets it to no end.

Crude humor: (The ESRB didn't mention this in their rating.)

  • As you start to walk under a balcony, an enemy appears on the balcony and starts to urinate (you see the stream and hear the effects). If you're not careful it could end up on your head, as you are sneaking underneath.
  • As Raiden is looking for Emma in a half-drowned facility, he comes upon a room lined with lockers. He soon hears her panting in one of these lockers and opens it. When she sees him, she thinks he is one of the villains (they've never met), and as a result, you see as she wets herself in front of him.

Use of alcohol & tobacco: (The ESRB didn't mention this in their rating) At the start of the game, one of the main characters is seen smoking a cigar. Cigarettes are also selectable from the inventory, but they are seen as a negative, and if selected, they start to slowly suck your health away. Also, one of the early bosses is seen drinking alcohol, and holding the bottle with a glass, containing the alcohol, in his hands.

Violence: This game has some bizarre almost mythological story elements exampled below. It's hard to explain, but one of the main villains (Revolver Ocelot) lost his arm in the previous game's story, and had it replaced with one of the main characters (Solid Snake's) dead twin brother's (Liquid Snake's) arms. Somehow, Liquid can talk and sometimes control Revolver Ocelot. Like I said, it's pretty bizarre and hard to explain. Also, the game has a vampire (Vamp) that does not seem to die, no matter what the main character does to him. Add all this and a load of complicated politics, theology, and a little conspiracy theory and you have Metal Gear Solid.

The main characters (Raiden & Solid Snake) can kill with an assortment of weapons, ranging from pistols to rocket launchers, and can snap enemy necks. However, other than bosses, you don't have to kill in the game. You can use a non-lethal dart gun or sneak up on enemies and choke or knock them out until they go unconscious, in fact, this method will give you a higher ranking at the end. Also, later in, Raiden gains the ability to use a sword, and obviously it kills in a not so pleasant manner.

Specific scenes of violence:

  • There are two side characters in two specific scenes who both have pacemakers in their chests. Each of these men have violent heart attacks that eventually lead to their deaths. You do hear the sound effect of the heart malfunctioning (gushing and beating spastically) as their faces contort in pain.
  • After a side character gives Raiden valuable information, he tells Raiden to kill him. Raiden, confused, hesitates—and then flat out refuses. Revolver Ocelot shows up and shoots the man in the chest, killing him (with light blood effects).
  • As Raiden is fighting the main villain (who is in a large walking tank) with his sword, the main villain starts to visibly wear Raiden down. As things start to look dire, and the boss goes in for a final blow by using his machine's foot to crush Raiden, a main character jumps in and braces the foot with his/her body. The boss then grabs this person with one of the machine's arms, lifts the person in the air, and breaks the person's neck, with appropriate sound effects.
  • Near the end, Revolver Ocelot turns against one of the main villains and shoots the person in the chest. He then gets in a large bi-pedal tank, and tries to finish the person off by firing missiles at their position. This person blocks them with his/her powers, while protecting Snake and Raiden (captured by Ocelot).

Language: (The ESRB didn't mention this in their rating) There are two dozen uses of d*mn, under a dozen uses of hell, and two uses of bastard. Also, one of the bosses will say d*mn almost everytime you damage him.

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