Visuals notwithstanding, Acid 2 is much more accessible than Acid was. Rather than having to sit through tedious text explanations, for example, the new game starts players off with a few interactive training missions and then sends them into the fray. The controls also feel more organic; while the first game made you move a cursor around to indicate where you wanted to run to, Acid 2 actually lets you move Snake himself (although you can still take back the move if you need to).
More strikingly, everything's been simplified; as you're sneaking through the game's industrial complexes, you no longer have to use a card or navigate a menu if you want to do something as basic as flattening against a wall or punching out a guard. Instead, things like crouching, climbing ladders, knocking on walls and even close-quarters combat can be executed with a simple button press.
Of course, those who loved the first game won't be left out. While you can import some of your saved cards from the first game, Acid 2 will contain around 500 cards for players to find, ranging from simple movement and weapon cards to so-called linkage cards, which can be used together to create a chain reaction. Other cards will let you use the attacks of various Metal Gear bosses, including those from MGS3.
Speaking of bosses, Acid 2 features a few baddies that are bizarre even by Metal Gear standards, such as the acrobatic, gun-toting mystic Chaigidiel and a hulking ape-creature that launches its arms like rockets. You'll also be able to unlock characters for the Arena mode, which lets you fight against previous Metal Gear bosses Liquid Snake, Revolver Ocelot, Fortune, Vamp, The Boss and The End.
With the promise of Wi-Fi multiplayer, dynamic environments and (naturally) another ginormous Metal Gear to fight, Metal Gear Acid 2 looks to have been dealt an impressive hand. Add in the 3D bonuses and streamlined gameplay, and even people turned off by the first one will want to give this a look.