Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty is celebrated for how it critiques social engineering, Hideo Kojima having crafted a theme that shows how controls built into the social fabric of a culture can shape an individual’s thoughts, ideas, and beliefs. The story and game progression do an outstanding job of subtly running players through a simulation of the events of MGS1’s Shadow Moses incident as the rookie Raiden, forcing them to question whether their actions were truly their own or if they had been molded into a clone of Shadow Moses’ legendary hero Solid Snake.
The stealth action genre has long been an echo chamber unto itself. While many games have integrated its core ideas, its pure form hasn’t evolved much since Metal Gear 2 on the MSX. It’s a genre that many critics have argued relies too heavily on trial-and-error, exists as puzzle games in action-game skin. Mark of the Ninja shrugs these distinctions off while living inside them. It’s a smart title that promotes a different kind of stealth: action not patience; the hunter, not the prey.