Modder oct0xor has been working on a mod to add a third-person camera to Metal Gear Solid 2, and now has finally released it in time for the 20th anniversary of Metal Gear Solid 2: Substance, the 2002 expanded re-release.
When the Metal Gear series went 3D with Metal Gear Solid, it originally kept an overhead camera like the previous 2D games. Though additions like first-person aiming mode modernized things a little, it wasn't until Metal Gear Solid 3's expanded edition, called Subsistence, that a full 3D camera was added. It's this camera that oct0xor has modded into MGS2, which is why the mod's called The Substance Of Subsistence (S.O.S.) Mod (opens in new tab).
"The code to have a normal 3rd person camera was never present in the game," oct0xor writes, "and in order to implement it, I had to reverse engineer and rewrite many things in the game engine." Apparently there are thousands of lines of new code added by the mod. If you want to know more about the difficulty of its creation, check out this dev diary video (opens in new tab).
To install the mod, download release.zip from github (opens in new tab) and unpack it to the \bin folder in your Metal Gear Solid 2 directory, then run solid_mods_loader.exe. You'll be able to enable and disable the third-person camera whenever you want as you play.
Unfortunately, Metal Gear Solid 2 is not currently available for sale on PC. Along with Metal Gear Solid 3 it was delisted by Konami late in 2021 over issues regarding the licenced footage in cutscenes, which included news footage of US president John F. Kennedy and the Cuban Missile Crisis. On occasion of the Metal Gear series' 35th anniversary on July 13, Konami explained that it was working to get the games relisted and said, "We ask for your patience as preparations are underway to make the temporarily removed titles available again." Appropriately enough when it comes to Metal Gear, they've kept us waiting.