Why Raiden From Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty is the Perfect Protagonist
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When in the company of hardcore gamers, there’s certain topics too controversial to share your true opinion on. Saying something like ‘Don’t you think they should stop releasing Skyrim on new platforms?’ will earn you a swift (and well deserved) punch in the throat.
With that being said, I’m going to open a very big, very metaphorical can of worms and say Raiden from Metal Gear Solid 2 is the perfect protagonist.
After the initial tanker infiltration mission having the player control Snake to document a possible Metal Gear. Hideo Kojima caused an eruption of anger amidst the Metal Gear community, after a slow ascending elevator revealed the protagonist to be a blonde, long haired non Snake.
For anyone that hasn’t played any Metal Gear games and can’t relate, just imagine you’ve purchased FIFA 20, loaded it up to find that Arsenal have been replaced by a year 11 football team.
Admittedly, marketing the game with Snake as the protagonist was a kick in the teeth for any hardcore MGS fans out there, but lets be honest, Raidens only crime was that he wasn’t Snake.
Don’t get me wrong, Raiden is an insufferable brag who considers his VR training to be on par with real world experience. However, it’s his inexperience and arrogance that make him so relatable to the player controlling him. Raiden is an opportunity for players to get an outsiders perspective on Snake.
As Raiden stumbles his way through each level, more of his own personal story unfurls, and you cant help but humanise him whilst respecting his dedication to the mission and his meticulous yet sometimes sporadic strategy in completing it.
By the time the credits roll, the player will have traversed a gripping narrative and shot a vampire in the face, fully accepting Raiden as the seasoned professional he always claimed to be.
And he’s now a sword wielding NINJA CYBORG…What else do you need in a protagonist?