Finished. Like Metal Gear Solid, MGS2 has a brilliant sense of place: the relatively small amount of backtracking actually helps to establish the Big Shell as a real structure. Now, the story. Over the past nine years, I have gone through a number of phases as far as MGS2's story is concerned. At first I was confused but intrigued, being 14 at the time of the game's release didn't help, but apparently I was not alone in my confusion: there was simply too much going on in the story to be understood on a single playthrough. I played the hell out of this game and gradually started piecing together an understanding of the story. My interpretation and understanding grew along with own maturity and knowledge. I read some analysis and interpretation from other people, but only one had any significant impact on my own interpretation of the game: an essay entitled "Driving Off the Map" (available at http://www.deltaheadtranslation.com/MGS2/) put MGS2 in the light of a deconstruction of the original Metal Gear Solid drastically altered an deepened my understanding of the game and cleared up a lot of my confusion. Likewise, the release of Metal Gear Solid 4 answered almost all of the questions that lingered at the end of MGS2, and this being my first time playing it since MGS4's release, I am surprised at just how cleanly the gaps fill themselves in. Yes, MGS2's story is probably far too complicated for it's own good, yes, it is easy to dismiss it as crap or confusing mumbo-jumbo, but if you keep at it, there really is a lot there, and solving that puzzle becomes a game unto itself, and a bloody great one at that.