Metal Gear Solid 2 is a divisive title. At the time of release, many gamers felt the rug was pulled out from under them, as the protagonist was switched from the cool-as-hell Solid Snake to the…very pretty Raiden.
Along with the fact the game switches players characters, it also switches from a highly interactive ‘tanker’ prologue to a far more sparse play area, “The Shell” for the majority of the game. As a result of these messed-with expectations Metal Gear Solid 2 is a sore spot for many, despite the innovations the game made in regards to a first-person view and its incredible (for the time) graphical fidelity.
With Hideo Kojima slated to make an appearance at the 2017 game awards to ‘present’ with Guillermo Del Toro (and likely bring a Death Stranding trailer along with them), it’s worth revisiting Metal Gear Solid 2, especially as 2017 winds down.
Why? Because, more or less, the game was ahead of its time and quite literally predicted everything about our modern day news and information cycle. Philosophically speaking, anyway.
Not sure what I mean? That’s okay. The intellectual, eloquent, and occasionally sock-selling George ‘Super Bunnyhop’ Weidman, has you covered with this profoundly entertaining, profoundly shocking, and profoundly terrifying video of what exactly Metal Gear Solid 2 was trying to warn us about all those years ago.
The 35 minute video is an examination of Metal Gear Solid from a bunch of different perspectives: Its place in gaming history, its place in gaming history at the time of release, and why the creative choices in the game weren’t always made in the name of ‘fun’, but rather in the name of making a subtle, but incredibly important point.
What is that point? Well to get the full picture you’ll need to watch the entire thing. It’s complex and nuanced and I’d only mess it up here.
What I will say is Weidman re-contextualizes Metal Gear Solid 2 into a thought provoking meta-textual masterpiece of philosophical predictions, while also showing us how the predictions made by Metal Gear Solid 2 came true in our modern era – and that was 4 years ago – flash forwarding to now, the overload of information and disinformation is even worse.
If you want an examination of how how things like ‘fake news’ became a thing so suddenly, this is the video to watch. It will blow your mind wide open.
The video is part of a series of ‘Critical Close Ups’ regarding Metal Gear Solid, the first video examining how Metal Solid on PS1 was possibly the first game to evoke the action-movie genre, and use dynamic action in game cut-scenes to change the world of games forever. The third, focusing on Metal Gear Solid 3, shows us how sometimes a game that doesn’t take itself very seriously at all, can punch us in the gut emotionally because of it.
As news and information has become almost unwieldy in terms of whats true and whats not, and how information travels so quickly it’s impossible to catch up, spending 35 minutes with the Metal Gear Solid 2 video about serves as almost therapy. Some of sense making of the chaos of our reality in a completely a-political way.
With the political climate being what it is, and Hideo Kojima prone to take the next step in *his* career with a new IP at a new Studio (which looks just as provocative and *weird* as Metal Gear Solid) likely with a trailer at The Game Awards, it seemed like an appropriate time to highlight this incredible video, the incredible game its about, and celebrate a man who perhaps got a bit too much hate for trying to make a very important point – at the expense of fun, all those years ago.