Metal Gear Solid Noob Diaries #7: An incredible ending
Welcome to the Metal Gear Noob Diaries. This is the recounting of my experience through the MGS series from MGS2: Sons of Liberty all the way to MGSV: Ground Zeroes. I’ll be updating every so often with new thoughts on sections of the games and taking a look back at memorable and enjoyable moments. I’ve never played the series before, so for the fans out there it could be an amusing tale of one noob’s journey, while those as green as myself could well learn a little about the mad world of MGS. Enjoy!
Wow. Just, wow. After playing Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty for a few more hours last night, I’ve now completed the game. I can easily say that without compare it was the best finale for a game I’ve ever played. Just nonstop unbridled action and brilliant storytelling combining to make an interactive experience that I now fully understand. I understand the ebb and flow of the game, I actually understand the ridiculous story, and yes, I understand why everyone raves about this series.
Let me take you through my final experience with MGS2 step by step:
So I kicked off proceedings with a butt-naked Raiden. As in, he was naked, and I could see his butt. Now inside Arsenal Gear, the super information-controlling device that the Patriots intend to use to tighten their grip on humanity, I needed to sneak through a bunch of guards without the aid of my all-so-important weaponry. Which I was doing perfectly well until the Colonel (who I’ve also managed to omit from these diaries so far - he’s the guy who tells Raiden what to do) comes on the radio talking weirdly - at moments sounding as though he’s some kind of robot.
He then tells me to turn off my console. As in, he tells ME to turn it off. Now let me remind you, I am a videogame journalist, so I’ve heard about this stuff. Unfortunately, I didn’t remember how I was supposed to react - which was for the best I suppose. I did turn the console off though, which it turns out was a mistake. I just had to reload the game and start again with butt-naked Raiden. Fail. Lesson learned.
I got past the guards only to be confronted with one of the strangest parts of the entire game - which is saying something, really. The Colonel came on the radio again and this time began to go a little crazy, splurging out lines like “munch...munch....munch”, “as J.E swindles yet another innocent into purchasing high-priced junk” and “I need scissors, 61!” Among other, equally mental phrases. It was pretty damn hilarious if I’m honest. I think that, coupled with the breaking of the fourth wall, elements of it were supposed to be a little scary, but I just couldn’t stop laughing. I’m pretty sure some parts were supposed to be funny though.
Anyway, once that had run its weird course Rose came on the wire to confess that she had been a spy for the Patriots all along and, despite falling in love with Raiden for real, had been reporting to them the whole time. Which explains why she was so happy to be a part of the mission, so I take that one back - sorry Hideo. Snake then pops up on the scene and hands Raiden the katana that he’s now famous for - a gift from the Ninja who turned out to be hairy Olga.
This is followed by an awesome gameplay section in which I finally got to fight beside Snake, taking down guards with my new sword and generally being the most badass team since the last time someone, somewhere played this game. This all leads to the return of Fortune, who’s still awesome despite her desire to knock off Snake. Raiden leaves Snake to deal with her, encountering Solidus in the process leading to one of the toughest parts of the game.
The battle with the numerous Metal Gear RAY units was, like the fight with Vamp, tough but fun. I only died a few times, although one of those was right at the end of the level, but it’s a well constructed boss fight that favours manoeuvrability and picking moments. Had a good time with this one and it also excellently led into the longest cutscene of the game, but also one of the best. I won’t go into total detail at risk of this entry taking years to write, but safe to say that it was one hell of a ride.
To cut things short: the whole game was essentially a training exercise staged by the Patriots designed to replicate the events of the original Metal Gear Solid. All with the hope of making Raiden a soldier as capable as Solid Snake. Or that’s what Revolver Ocelot is told, who’s been a double agent all along. Revolver tries to kill Snake, Raiden, Solidus and Fortune in one blow but is thwarted by Fortune’s bullet deflecting powers the first time (her final moments are awesome), then Liquid Snake the second time, who possesses Ocelot and dashes off with Metal Gear RAY in an effort to hunt down and kill the 12 members of the Patriots wiseman committee.
It was an incredible final sequence that turned out not to be the final sequence as Raiden is persuaded by the Patriots, who are revealed as a sort of ethereal power, to finish off Solidus Snake who had been duped by just about everyone. This led to by far the best boss fight of the game that focused on swords as opposed to guns. Suddenly, Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance makes a lot of sense. The sense of pace and satisfying controls make for a wonderful finale that sent the gameplay out with style.
The closing cutscene was even more complex, so I won’t even attempt an explanation at that. It was cool to see Raiden and Rose have something of a happy ending - despite her spying ways. Then there was the big revelation right at the end - every member of the wiseman committee has been dead for 100 years! Whut?
Simply put, I’ve really enjoyed my time with MGS so far. Sons of Liberty is an excellently paced game that makes the most of its limited game world. In fact, in makes that small world something worth bragging about. In an age where games like Watch Dogs and GTA promote huge open-worlds, it’s great to play a game that despite its much smaller size, is filled with so much more content. That doesn’t mean golf mini-games or generic driving missions, it means consistently original gameplay experiences all tied together with a brilliantly bonkers plot that touches on some intriguing themes.
That’s the reviewer in me speaking. Normal me: that was a really good game.
Roll on MGS3.
Here are my game stats, if you’re interested:
Play time: 10:42:34
Save: 10 times
Continue: 62 times
Alert mode: 53 times
Persons: 101 killed
Rations: 76 used