With the launch of Death Stranding and the 15 year anniversary for MGS3 coinciding, I thought it was a good time to go back and replay MGS2 and MGS3 before venturing into Kojimas latest game.
They are PS3/360 releases - I dont know about PS4 compatibility but they are BC on Xbox and were added to Game Pass a while ago.
(MGS2) I couldnt remember the first thing about MGS2, even the fact that you play as Raiden most of the time had completely vanished from memory. And I ended up with mixed feelings about the game; a lot like RE2, the first part of this game is great because of its location on the Tanker, but I dont think the Shell in the second part works very well as a playground for Snake/Raidens abilities. It wasnt very exciting to maneuver around the struts, it felt more like a bunch of VR missions cobbled together rather than exploring an interesting location. After you beat Solidus in the Harrier, you start out at the bombed remains of the walkway to next strut, where you have to do some light platforming in order to get across. I fell into the ocean countless times at this point, while trying to do the simplest of maneuvering over the tubes with bird droppings, and to the railing on the other side, where you have to run over a bunch of collapsing metal tiles to the top of the strut. I just felt the controls got in the way a lot of the time, not to mention spending the two first hours of the game shouting expletives at the telly when Snake decides to lie down rather than getting a move on and hide behind that corner.
But the main thing that I have been trying to figure out how to articulate in this post, is how shocked (I guess thats the best word for it) I was at some of the crazy shit that Kojima decided to include in the narrative. Like the sidestory going on between Otacon and his estranged step-sister Emma (E.E.). In the course of events, we are told that Otacon and Emma hasnt seen each other since a fateful day in their childhoods, when their common father (Huey) died and Otacon ran away for ever (for ever and ever). This is the first time since then that they are supposed to meet up again, with Emma being a scientist in the employment of the Patriots, and at one point in the game the player has to rescue her from a flooded part of the plant. And this is where the film breaks for me.
As you reconnect Emma with Otacon, the truth behind their common father's death is revealed: he committed suicide by drowning himself in the family swimming pool after discovering that his second wife Julie, whom he got Emma with, was having an affair with his teenage son Otacon. Huey almost managed to drag Emma down with him in the pool, which is where she feels that Otacon betrayed her in not coming to her rescue. But of course he was hanging out with his step-mother. Emma then goes on to talk about how much she enjoyed playing "house" with Otacon and always wanted him to "look at her as a woman". She was apparenty born in the 90s, so at best she is 15-17 years at this point (MGS2 being set in 2007-2009) but she acts like she is 12. I just find this disturbing, and gross, on so many levels.
So what is going on there? Was this ever explained by Kojima? Because I can see how it works as a sarcastic joke on some level, like how Raiden seem to be the embodiment of any fan of the Metal Gear games ("I played 300 VR missions as part of my training!" or something like that). That having an affair with your step-mom, or your step-sister, is something that videogamers would fantasise about. Im just looking for a rational explanation for why this is in the game at all, and Im probably missing something. There is also the soldier on top of Strut L pissing on Raiden/player as they sneak past below, and the penultimate boss fight takes place in a virtual space called the Rectum. Which was not entirely out of context, as it really felt like I had been on a journey through Hideos digestion system by that point.
I love the speech by the Patriots at the end, though, given the times that this game was released in. No World Trade towers on the Manhattan skyline. The problem for me with this game is that the crazy shit far outweighs the good bits, and even drowns out the hand-holding around GW and the American Constitution at the end. It was still a great revisit, since it turned out I had forgotten almost all of the plot, and a lot of the action scenes.
On to MGS3.