It’s not common to see events happening in real life affecting the media industry, but no place would be the same after what happened on September 11th, 2001. The terrorist attack to the World Trade Center shook the world in a way that everything would change from that point forward.
In movies, some of early blockbusters received a few changes to accommodate this new reality, with Spiderman (from 2002) losing a scene where Spidey traps a helicopter in a giant web between the two towers after a bank robbery. The scene was completely done, with a few adjustments to be fixed in post production, and was completely scrapped (for obvious reasons). There is a new cut on youtube and you can find it here (link: Spiderweb WTC)
It was not very different for the games as well, and one of my favorite games also suffered from the same fate.
METAL GEAR SOLID 2: SONS OF LIBERTY – Playstation 2
Set 10 years after the original Metal Gear Solid, MGS2: Sons of Liberty takes the player to the “future” of 2009, where a new soldier to the series, codename Raiden, has to infiltrate Big Shell. This gigantic advanced cleaning facility is the environmental response of the government after an incident happened 2 years prior, where a Tanker sank, releasing tons of oil into the New York’s Hudson river. During a presidential visit to the facilities, a terrorist group took control of the place, and is threatening to explode a nuclear device in New York if their demands are not met. It’s your mission to rescue the president and disarm the bomb threat.
Being set in the heart of the Manhattan island, not showing the WTC or any building close would be difficult, so the team decided to move some scenarios for different places in NY. One of them includes a big structure hitting Manhattan in the south corner, exactly where the WTC was placed.
Regardless, the game was received with acclaim and surprise. According to many fans, it was a cheap trick to replace Solid Snake (the main character from the previous game) for a new soldier with less than half of the original hero’s charisma. However, the game designer Hideo Kojima states that “taking Snake out of the player’s hand was a calculated move, to make the real hero survive its legend”. This way, you have a chance to witness the hero in action, and fight alongside him.
It was a bold move by Kojima, but the game falls into the lower positions, when it comes to preference of its audience. Then again, it could also be that Raiden does not handle a candle, when compared to Snake.
METROID PRIME – GameCube
After years without any major development in the series, Nintendo released in 2002 the first 3D Metroid game of his history, and created a remarkable game for that. Combining a lot of elements of the original Metroid, with elements that made the lore even bigger, Metroid Prime is almost a masterpiece, specially if you consider the bold changes made to the core game.
The most impacting change can be seen right away in the 3D scenario. For the first time in the series, you are inside the famous helmet, and your first person adventure begins. The second change is the way you aim and use your tools, including a quick escape to the third person perspective while Samus is using the morph ball. And the third impacting change is the size of the scenarios, and the depth each level can get.
The game was received with an initial warm skepticism, but eventually was recognized as one of the best games ever made. As of today, it still occupies one of the highest ranks in the Metacritic website (97 out of 100 for the critics, 93 out of 100 for the general public).
FAR CRY – PC
Created based on a tech demo to demonstrate the capabilities of the new NVidia GeForce 3, Far Cry was developed by a small team in the company Crytek, based on the new engine CryEngine. The publisher Ubisoft acquired the right to release the game, and eventually that original idea became one of the most recognized series in the FPS/Adventure genre.
Set in a mysterious island in the South Pacific area, the game utilizes the full power of the new graphics card to deliver breathtaking scenarios, while engaging the player in a story about mercenaries, genocide and civil war.
The success of the series confirmed the release of sequels and remakes to several other consoles and systems, with the most recent being Far Cry Primal, where the player goes back to the caveman settings and have to survive in the jungle, in the unique first person hunting ever made.