In essence, Substance is kind of like one of those special edition, director's cut DVDs you get for films, in that it's the same old movie but with so much cool stuff layered on top it seems totally new. There's also a similarly scattershot approach to the new features, but the most obviously appealing are the chance to play through both missions as Solid Snake (or a bunch of others including Pliskin and the cyborg ninja) instead of the anaemic Raiden. Then there's a mountain of over 100 VR missions and five brand new mini-episodes for Snake to try his luck at.
Any additional extras, and the answer to whether Snake really does get to do a Tony Hawk, remain secret until the final version is complete (if you're really desperate to see Solid Snake on a skateboard you might want to check out his cameo appearance in Evolution Skateboarding in the meantime) but it's impossible to imagine that if you're a Metal Gear fan you won't enjoy this. --David Jenkins
Metal Gear Solid 2 Substance is a radical new take on Hideo Kojima's best-selling tale of stealth, heroism and double-crossing. Featuring new missions, characters and settings created by Kojima-san and his team, Metal Gear Solid 2 Substance retains the ground breaking stealth-based action of its predecessor, with players guiding a series of characters through key terrorist situations.
Solid Snake and his protégé Raiden return to the PlayStation 2 fold, and their various abilities are further showcased in 150 alternative missions, and across 350 VR missions designed to test their agility, stealth and weapons skills within virtual reality scenarios where the normal rules of combat are altered to push the player to new levels. The game also drops Snake into five new 'Snake Tales' set within environments seen in Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty.