Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons Of Liberty by Raymond Benson

June 18, 2015 | By | Reply More

The blurb on the front cover announces that ‘Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons Of Liberty’ is ‘The official novel of the thrilling Konami video game created by Hideo Kojima!’ So no change there then, as that’s what it said on the first book, ‘Metal Gear Solid’. In many ways it’s almost identical to the first book being essentially the script from someone who has played this instalment of the game and completed most of the levels. On reflection, it might be compiled by the author from the notes of someone who was watching someone else play the video game.


Our hero from the first book Solid Snake features in the first three chapters where he’s attempting to get information on another variant of the Metal Gear robotic killing machines. This unit is being secretly transported in a container ship along the Hudson River where it’s being protected by a detachment of Marines. While Solid Snake successfully gets onto the ship things quickly go pear shape when a load of Russian mercenaries board this ship dropping down from helicopters. Russian helicopters in USA airspace. Is any of this meant to be even remotely plausible? It’s not a great advertisement for the marines who seem to be completely inept at guarding anything and are quickly subdued.

Anyway, moving on in chapter 4, we meet the new hero, Raiden, who’s fresh from special agent training collage. From this point on in the book it’s Raiden’s story, with the now disgraced Solid Snake limited to popping up every now and then. The story itself is set on a huge construction in New York harbour known as Big Shell. The cover story is that it’s cleaning up an environmental disaster from two years earlier although the truth is somewhat different as you may expect. Raiden gets sent in when terrorists kidnap the president and his entourage and hold them captive in the Big Shell.

Following the same format as the earlier book, Raiden encounters difficult situations he has to stealthily navigate. There are guards to take and bombs to neutralise using ingenious methods. Then there are the encounters with the various super-villains and the cyborg ninja. A little love interest is introduced when Raiden’s controller enlists Raiden’s girlfriend onto the team providing him with radio assistance. From time to time they get in touch with Raiden to change his priorities and generally make things more difficult. When Raiden’s girlfriend starts to question him about why today is so important while he’s in the middle of a very dangerous mission, I began to wonder if this story had been thought through.

There is a lot wrong with this novel which is actually worse than the first. Even though I have read it, I’d still have trouble describing the Big Shell facility to someone and this is where most of the action takes place. The descriptions are too vague and general to get any type of feel for the place. There are secrets within secrets to the point where it just becomes silly. I’m also not convinced that you can use a samurai sword to deflect machine gun bullets. I think that last bit nicely sums up my objections to this book, it pushes any type of credibility over and then jumps up and down on it. I’m not even going to mention the vampire. This isn’t a book I’d recommend.

Andy Whitaker

June 2015

(pub: Orbit. 309 page paperback. Price: £ 7.99 (UK). ISBN: 978-1-84149-765-5

pub: Del Rey/Ballantine. 309 page small enlarged paperback. Price: $1.00 (US), $17.99 (CAN). ISBN: 978-0-345-50343-5)

check out websites: www.orbitbooks.net, www.delreybooks.com, www.konami.com and www.raymondbenson.com

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Category: Books, Games, MEDIA

About the Author ()

I live in deepest darkest Essex where I enjoy photography, real ales, walking my dog, cooking and a really good book. I own an e-book reader which goes with me everywhere but still enjoy the traditional paper based varieties. My oriental studies have earned me a black belt in Suduko and I'm considered a master in deadly Bonsai (there are very few survivors).

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