Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty Turns 13 Today

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Today marks the 13-year anniversary of Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty. Released on the PlayStation 2, it was one of the best-reviewed games of the early 2000s.

With a score of 96 on Metacritic, the game received perfect scores from: The Official U.S Playstation Magazine, Game Informer, and GamePro. Fans, however, have been divided on the game.

The main reason for this is Raiden--the sniveling white-haired kid who supplanted series star Snake for the game's lead role.

This was considered one of the biggest surprises in the gaming community. And the shock was increased considering that the pre-release demo of the game only teased the portion where Snake was playable.

Even major sites didn't reveal the twist to their readers.

"As such, if you take just one thing away from this review," Gamespot stated in their review of the game, "then it should be this: Do not let anyone reveal the plot of Metal Gear Solid 2 to you, whether intentionally or inadvertently, before you play the game yourself. In fact, you'd even be better off not reading the manual that comes packaged with the game, as it includes more information than you'd probably like. You'll learn how to play the game in context anyway.

If you do happen to hear something about the story, don't worry.

Even if someone told you what The Matrix was really about, that still wouldn't replace the experience of watching the movie.

It's a similar case with Metal Gear Solid 2, a game that can't suitably be described in words, even if its plot twists can."

But this surprise wasn't well received by many fans. Even in recent years, some fans refer to the character as an annoyance that hindered their enjoyment of the anticipated title.

Raiden's popularity, however, increased after the releases of Metal Gear Solid IV and Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance.

Metal Gear Solid V is expected to launch in 2015. And, considering series creator Hideo Kojima's aptitude for surprises, we may in for another shock in the series' next installment.