Review: Metal Gear Solid HD Collection

Metal Gear Solid seems to have had a love or hate relationship with many gamers over the years, some moan about the overblown cutscenes, which can go on for ages, while others see the game as a very egotistical creation from Hideo Kojima.

Despite this, the game has managed to get itself millions of loyal fans alongside some excellent reviews. No matter what you think of the story and cutscenes, the game has been first class when it comes to stealth gameplay and this shows across this HD revamp.

The first thing you should know about the Metal Gear Solid HD Collection is that if you never enjoyed a previous title in the series, you won’t find anything that will change your mind here.

The Metal Gear Solid HD Collection is a full high-definition remake of Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater and the recent PSP release of Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker. The collection also comes with the original MSX versions of Metal Gear and Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake, strangely the collection doesn’t include the first Metal Gear Solid game, a bit of disappointment for many fans.

Gameplay:

Getting used to the controls of Metal Gear Solid 2 and Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater after such a long time away from these games isn’t easy, they feel dated and can take some time to get used to again. The camera controls and aiming can be very annoying at first especially if you compare them to any of the more recent stealth based titles on the market.

Things do get better over time though, but tweaking the original controls may have helped make the first few hours with the set of games a little easier, especially for anyone new to the series. The PSP based Peace Walker doesn’t suffer as badly as the older games thanks to it being a more recent release is much easier to play from the get go because of this.

The games themselves are still very good even today. Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty was a huge title when it was first released over 10 years ago and while the feeling that you are watching a film rather than playing through an actual game is clear right from the start there is a good bunch of games behind all of the cutscenes and codec calls.

Its sequel, Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater is set in the 1960s and has an emphasis on camouflage. This is because most of your time will be spent in the jungle or forest. Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater is my favorite in the series and after another play through my view hasn’t changed, it has the best story and I felt that visually it is the best in the collection.

Peace Walker is an upscaled version of the PSP game released a couple of years ago and as mentioned earlier, it doesn’t suffer from any control issues as the result of this. It has a different feel to the rest of the games in the series but is just as good and once again has a very good story.

The PlayStation 3 version of the game allows you to use your PSP save for Peace Walker and vice-versa. The PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 versions of all games come with Trophies and Achievements, the only difference is that the Xbox 360 version of the games ship on two DVD’s.

Graphics: 

The high definition update has been done well, though it isn’t always kind to the games artwork. The HD collection manages to improve the frame rate and the resolution no end and is a much smoother overall experience when compared to the original PlayStation 2 titles. It helps that the games were never slouches when it came to displaying great graphics, especially in the games numerous cutscenes.

Not everything is perfect though, there are occasions when each title shows some slight frame rate problems and this means that screen tearing can rear its ugly head. Lip-syncing is also showing its age too and is very poor at times, especially when compared to the current generation of titles.

It would have been good if they could have improved the textures in the collection too, especially those of Peace Walker that were made originally for the PSP. 3D is also missing too, something that many “HD” revamps on the PlayStation 3 have been adding recently, it isn’t a major issue, but it would have been a good option to have.

Sound:

The sound across all of the games is great, the voice work is just as good as ever and the addition of 5.1 surround sound to all of the titles is great. I was a little wary on how it would be implemented but from the first few minutes of Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty you could hear the improvements.

Overall:

There isn’t a great deal to fault in the collection, especially as you get five games for less than the price of one brand new one. For a start you get three very well made games that have sold millions of copies around the world. You get some excellent stories told through the numerous cutscenes and codec calls.

There are over 100 hours of gameplay and story-based cutscenes to get through across the collection, it is just a shame they couldn’t have tweaked the controls a little and added some improved textures to an otherwise excellent set of well loved games.

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este said,
5.... ?

*Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty
*Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater (Subsistence) - Comes with the MSX versions of...
***Metal Gear
***Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake
*Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker

I have a friend who loves to game obsessively and a HUGE fan of Metal Gear Solid games.
He is playing it now, and he was disappointed.
Just saying. I trust him, since he played all famous games many times, and he did seem to like other games HD remakes better. Maybe he had the hopes too high.

Stocker360 said,
Looks like a potential purchase for me. However I'm going to hold fire and see if FFX actually gets a PSN release.

FFX will be released, it'll also be released for the PlayStation Vita.

Zeikku said,

FFX will be released, it'll also be released for the PlayStation Vita.

Isn't it going to be PS3 and Vita?

This isnt a new game, why did this take so long to review? Im not saying its unwelcomed but I knew everything about this by now...

este said,
This isnt a new game, why did this take so long to review? Im not saying its unwelcomed but I knew everything about this by now...

yeah, i was kinda surprised too. but whatever

este said,
This isnt a new game, why did this take so long to review? Im not saying its unwelcomed but I knew everything about this by now...

The game was only released 4 days ago in Europe - where the reviewer of the game is based. So this review is based on the EU release.

este said,
This isnt a new game, why did this take so long to review? Im not saying its unwelcomed but I knew everything about this by now...

Hiya. I'm reviewing the UK copy I got sent. Was only released here a few days ago!

Byron_Hinson said,

Hiya. I'm reviewing the UK copy I got sent. Was only released here a few days ago!


Ah sorry.. Odd that the US release date was so far ahead. Usually doesnt happen like that. Either way, good job

este said,

Ah sorry.. Odd that the US release date was so far ahead. Usually doesnt happen like that. Either way, good job

Are you kidding? MGS2 was released in the US in November of 2001. Didn't hit Europe until March 2002.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metal_Gear_Solid_2

Things like this happen ALL THE TIME. You just don't realise it because you're not the ones getting games 100 years after the American release.

I love metal gear solid series, I just hope Sony doesn't buckle and sorts finances out. Solid snakes home is on the playstation. I can't wait to get a copy of this game!

Whats the deal with all these re-releases being at 720p? No excuse for them not being 1080p! Look at ICO/SOTC which was 1080p.

Unless im missing something....?

DiamondFootprint said,
Whats the deal with all these re-releases being at 720p? No excuse for them not being 1080p! Look at ICO/SOTC which was 1080p.

Unless im missing something....?

i dont know. maybe it looked worse in 1080p? i would not be surprised, since the HD version looks just stretched, and stretching it some more would not improve it.

DiamondFootprint said,
Whats the deal with all these re-releases being at 720p? No excuse for them not being 1080p! Look at ICO/SOTC which was 1080p.

Unless im missing something....?


Because there is a limit to what can be done with PS2 assets. A 1080p upgrade wouldn't be an upgrade at all, it would require them to make the game over from scratch. Team ICO Collection displays at 1080p but clearly isn't 1080p native like Gran Turismo 5.

Bun-Bun said,

Because there is a limit to what can be done with PS2 assets. A 1080p upgrade wouldn't be an upgrade at all, it would require them to make the game over from scratch. Team ICO Collection displays at 1080p but clearly isn't 1080p native like Gran Turismo 5.

Not really. 720p and 1080p can all use exactly the same assests, just 1080p will come out sharper - you just have to render your screen to a bigger framebuffer. You can quite easily render Wii & Gamecube games in 1080p, using the original assets - and have them like beautiful, just by updating the rendering area from 480p to 1080p. Takes a bucket load more power (especially in an emulator), but it looks great.

ICO can render in native 1080p. 1080p isn't strictly related to graphical fidelity - all it means is the game is rendering to a 1080 wide framebuffer. It doesn't have to be pushing millions of polygons, or using high-definition textures.

I'm gonna hold out for Snake Eater on 3ds seeing i've already played MGS2 to death and it's a full upgrade from scratch. This is still a steal though, even without MGS1:twin snakes on there.

I'm still on the fence about this. On the one hand I'm a huge fan and would love to get it (although as the review mentions, it's a shame they didn't include MGS). On the other hand I don't want to get it and have it ruin my memories of such great games...

I played all the metal gear solid series each on their respective consoles even on the game cube and psp. Then i played the trilogy again right before MGS 4. I didn't hesitate for 1 second to go out and get this and I am not disappointed. I love playing these over because i tend to pick up more from the story every time. one thing people don't realize is that they wont have today's graphics but they are still the good games with good stories. playing for the trophies is extra fun since you unlock stuff in the game you probably never knew was there. Byrons pros and cons are spot on in my opinion. I'm even considering getting it for the vita.

One of Playstations most loved franchises and for me hat seperated the Playstation 1/2 from Xbox and Dreamcast, great game collection here. Now that I have an xbox, tempted to relive it all again for and see hwo the Shaft handles this

neonspark said,
sony desperately trying to bring back the days of glory...but too little too late.

I don't see how. Feedback from gamers made Sony release God of War in HD, and after good sales and more positive feedback, they decided to go ahead and remaster more games.

These HD remasters are just something that came about because it's what the people asked for. Doesn't happen that often.

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