Platform: Sony Playstation 2
Developer(s): Konami Computer Entertainment Japan
Metal Gear Solid 2: Substance, the expanded edition of the game, was released on the original Xbox and Windows in addition to the PlayStation 2. The Xbox version was initially released in North America as a timed exclusive for the console on November 4, 2002. This was followed by the PlayStation 2 version, released in Japan on December 19 of the same year. Substance was eventually released on PlayStation 2 and Windows in North America and on all three platforms in Europe in March 2003. The console versions were developed internally by KCE Japan, whereas the Windows port was outsourced to Success. Substance contains several supplemental game modes in addition to the main story mode from the original Sons of Liberty releases. The main game contains all the changes and additions that were made in the Japanese and European versions of the original release (e.g., Boss Survival, Casting Theater, European Extreme), along with further additional changes. Players can now start the main story mode at the Tanker or Plant chapters without the need to answer a questionnaire first, and a new set of collectible dog tags have been added (exclusively on the PlayStation 2 version) based on names submitted from a second contest in addition to the original (2001) set. The visual effect for the thermal goggles was also changed in Substance, and the FHM-licensed posters that adorned several locations in the original Sons of Liberty version have been replaced with public domain images (these were also replaced in The Document of Metal Gear Solid 2). The Xbox and Windows versions feature slight dialogue changes during specific control explanations in which the term "analog stick" was substituted with "thumbstick" (Microsoft's preferred term). The controls were also slightly altered for the Xbox version, due to its fewer shoulder buttons (clicking on the left thumbstick switches between normal and first-person view, while the Y button serves as a lock-on for the player's aim). The Xbox version has support for 5.1 surround sound. The primary addition of Substance is the inclusion of an extra missions mode with 350 VR missions set in a computer-constructed environment and 150 "Alternative" missions set in areas from the main story. The player can choose to play these missions as Solid Snake or Raiden, with alternate versions of both characters (in different outfits) becoming available as the player progresses. These missions are divided into eight categories (although not all of them are available to every character): Sneaking, Weapon, First Person View (which simulates a first-person shooter), Variety, Hold Up, Bomb Disposal, Elimination, and Photograph. The other new addition is "Snake Tales", which is a set of five story-based missions featuring Solid Snake as the player character. These missions are primarily set in the Big Shell and involve characters from the main story in new roles such as Fatman, Emma, Vamp and Solidus Snake, while one mission set in the Tanker features Meryl Silverburgh. These missions, which are unrelated to the main campaign and are non-canonical, have no voice-acted cutscenes - instead, the story is told through text-only interludes. Exclusive to the PlayStation 2 version is a skateboarding minigame in which the player control Snake or Raiden in a pair of Big Shell-themed levels. The player has to complete a set of objectives before time runs out, which range from collecting dog tags scattered throughout the level to blowing up parts of Big Shell. The minigame uses the same engine from Evolution Skateboarding, which was developed by Konami Computer Entertainment Osaka. On release, Famitsu magazine scored the PlayStation 2 version of the game a 35 out of 40.
ESRB Rating: Not Rated
Genre(s): Action | Adventure | Stealth