Metal Gear Solid 2 ****
Judged by some as disappointing following Metal Gear Solid on the Playstation Sons of Liberty makes for an intriguing gaming experience despite its faults. The cut scenes may still be too long, the plot pointlessly confusing, Raiden slightly annoying and the oil rig setting certainly lacking in the diversity of the Shadow Moses Facility of the first game but thanks to a number of refinements and additions to the 'tactical espionage system' the gameplay itself is actually, for the most part superior to the original even of it is comparatively lacking in the imagination department.
Metal Gear Solid 3 ****
Slight departure from first two Metal Gear Solid games 'Snake Eater', takes place in a Russian jungle in 1964 before the enemy detecting radar had been invented and this brings a whole new level of tension to the gameplay as you can no longer be certain of exactly where the enemies are.
The jungle itself also provides for a far more interesting setting than the oil rig from the series previous entry. Not only is it aesthetically pleasing but it also has a real impact upon gameplay with your level of camouflage vital to remaining hidden. The games hand-to-hand fighting mechanics have also seen an overhaul with the introduction of the CQC system. This allows Snake to pull off a more complex set of combat moves and even tackle more than one enemy at once. On the negative side there is still the odd camera issue to be found but the biggest problem, as with previous Metal Gear games, continues to be the quite frankly ludicrously long cut scenes (Some must exceed the half-hour mark!).
Peace Walker ****
Originally a PSP title this spin-off breaks the gameplay down into shorter missions. The series trademark stealth gameplay is still in evidence but many missions can now be played in co-op adding a new layer of tactics to proceedings. Between missions captured enemy soldiers can be used to help manage your home base in order to keep morale high and develop new weapons and technology. This adds a further level of depth to an already deep and enjoyable game. Cut scenes, although not exactly short, are also nowhere near the length of previous entries thanks to its background as a portable game.