Death Stranding review - Forget Metal Gear, this is one of Kojima's best games (Image: SONY)
The crown jewel in the PS2's library, the follow-up to the trailblazing tactical espionage action game managed to raise hype levels to fever pitch.
Boasting the best graphics that gen had ever seen, jaw-dropping stealth and shooting mechanics and the return of the newest gaming icon - Solid Snake.
Anticipation was so high that gamers in droves had rushed out to buy copies of Konami's Zone of the Enders, just to play a brief demo of it.
However, when Metal Gear Solid 2 finally dropped it turned out the rug had well and truly been pulled right from underneath fans' feet.
All the marketing and promotional material for MGS2 indicated players would be reprising the role of the first game's beloved hero Snake.
And while they did get to step into his shoes again, it was only for the first hour or so - with a new character Raiden the main protagonist.
It was a bold, ballsy move which marked Metal Gear Solid creator Hideo Kojima as a game director willing to take major risks.
Putting Raiden front and centre of MGS2 risked alienating fans, as did the story which went to some very unexpected places.
But while there was plenty of fan anger following the game's release, the years have proved extremely kind to Metal Gear Solid 2.
It told a story well ahead of its time, of the dangers of the digital age, misinformation and the truths we end up believing.
MGS2 also typified the bold direction games often would take in the PS2 era, when devs were willing to take huge gambles on the type of games they made.
These risky decisions are virtually unheard of in the modern era of gaming, with big budgets invariably leading to much more safer bets.
That is, until, Death Stranding came around.
Death Stranding review - Death Stranding is one of the most highly anticipated games of this gen (Image: SONY)
It seems only fitting that the man who rolled the dice with MGS2 would break the mould once again and make the most daring game of this generation.
You may have watched trailers in the years since Death Stranding's 2016 reveal and wondered what on earth it is all about.
We've all been there.
But while the teasers may have befuddled you, when you play Death Stranding a lot feels reassuringly familiar - and at the same time new and fresh.
You play as Sam Porter Bridges, a man dubbed "the Great Deliverer" who helps people stay connected in a post-apocalyptic world.
Earth has been subject to a phenomenon known as the Death Stranding, which in effect has seen the worlds of the living and dead intertwine.
In the wake of destruction it left, America has turned into a sparse land - with small hubs of people separated by huge distances living in shelters.
Those few survivors daren't venture outside due to the risk of monstrous BT creatures that can emerge, ageing Timefall rain, terrorists and scavengers.
Death Stranding review - Death Stranding is Hideo Kojima's first post MGS work (Image: SONY)
The Death Stranding has left the world in a precarious state, with Porters among the few willing to venture outside and connect disparate communities.
While the teasers may have given PS4 fans a flavour of what the story is about, there have only been brief glimpses of actual gameplay.
So, how does Death Stranding actually play?
In essence, Kojima's latest blends plenty of gameplay elements you will have come across to create something altogether unique and different.
It's best to separate these elements into a few categories: exploration, stealth, action and survival horror.
Yes, the trailers weren't lying - you will have to set off on foot a lot in Death Stranding, but rest assured this isn't a glorified walking simulator.
Death Stranding review - The sheer level of imagination shown in Death Stranding is staggering (Image: SONY)
There is so much you have to bear in mind whenever you step foot out of a Bridges depot to make a delivery.
The huge variety of terrain you encounter means it's never a straightforward journey from A to B.
Often times in open world games when you reach a mountain that's unclimbable, or a deadly sheer drop there's alternative ways around it.
Not so in Death Stranding. Sometimes this hazardous route is the only way you can go.
Even if you can turn back, the threat of a BT ambush or risk of your cargo getting destroyed (as they essentially have life bars) means you push on.
This is where that nifty extendable ladder seen in the trailers, or climbing pegs and ropes you can use to abseil down cliffs comes into play.
Death Stranding does such a good job of making these long, perilous journeys feel like a mammoth undertaking, a huge expedition.
It's like a Ranulph Fiennes simulator in many ways, making you feel like an explorer on an epic journey that's discovering new land.
Death Stranding review - Death Stranding boasts a stellar cast full of major Hollywood names (Image: SONY)
Even once you negate these obstacles, there are other factors that keep each journey a challenge.
Sam is only human, and being just one man means he can only carry so much cargo.
If you load him up with too many parcels, he'll struggle to keep his balance - and he may be prone to stumbling to the side or lurching forward.
A momentum system also means that when you walk down a sharply inclined hill, or up one, this gets even more pronounced.
A press of the shoulder buttons can thankfully help Sam regain his footing, but it adds another touch of realism to each journey you undertake.
Death Stranding review - There are a variety of enemies players will face off against (Image: SONY)
As we mentioned, the world of Death Stranding is a hazardous place - and one danger you will often encounter on journeys is Timefall rain.
This, as the name suggests, rapidly ages anything it touches - meaning cargo you carry can get heavily damaged by it.
It also invariably brings with it the threat of BTs, huge, terrifying monsters that look like they have skin made of black ink.
To negate these threats, and also to aid you on your journey, Sam is able to build a number of structures which can be a lifesaver on your trips.
Shelters to protect you from the Timefall, bridges that can be placed over rivers and roads that you can use vehicles on to speed across.
And, the great thing about these structures is - if you're playing online - they can appear in other players' games.
This all ties into the Dark Souls-esque social system Death Stranding has.
Death Stranding review - Death Stranding boasts one of the best stories Kojima has ever crafted (Image: SONY)
Signs can be left that warn players of impending dangers, and you can also like structures other online Porters have left behind.
These likes are tied into the levelling system, so in