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Remembering Metal Gear Solid 2 as it turns 20 years old

Big Shell energy.

Metal Gear Solid 2 is now 20 years old.

The Hideo Kojima-helmed stealth sequel launched in North America on 13th November 2001 on PlayStation 2, before coming out soon after in Japan, then in Europe in March 2002.

Metal Gear Solid 2 was the much-hyped follow-up to PSone masterpiece Metal Gear Solid. Anticipation for its release hit astronomical levels after its classic reveal from E3 2000.

(Digital Foundry published a video, below, that uses machine learning to freshen up the Metal Gear Solid 2 E3 reveal. It's well worth a watch!).

A look at what AI upscaling does to the original E3 2000 Metal Gear Solid 2 debut trailer - includes analysis and the full asset, complete with subtitles.Watch on YouTube

Metal Gear Solid 2 produced next-gen visuals complete with more advanced AI behaviour. But it proved to be a somewhat controversial release. While Metal Gear Solid 2 let you play as series star Solid Snake in its iconic prologue mission, a new protagonist called Raiden was the playable character for the bulk of the game. Some players who had expected Snake to be the main character based on marketing pre-release material reacted negatively to this switch.

Metal Gear Solid 2 did include Kojima's trademark lengthy cutscenes, of course, with extensive dialogue delivering a philosophical takedown of modern warfare. Some called it genius. Others, gibberish.

DF Retro's look at the iconic MGS2 is required viewing if you're in the least bit interested in the game.Watch on YouTube

Still, Metal Gear Solid 2 went down as one of the biggest games of the era, and one of the most popular PS2 games of the year. It ended up re-launching in Substance form on Xbox and PC, and more sequels followed.

In 2015, Rich Stanton called Metal Gear Solid 2 "the first postmodern video game" in a retrospective for Eurogamer.

"My God, it's been 20 years since then?" Hideo Kojima tweeted this morning, summing up the sentiment.

Kojima has been tweeting development tidbits all day, which I've rounded up below:

So, here's to you, Metal Gear Solid 2! Happy birthday!

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