Metal Gear Solid HD Collection


By: Tristan Clark    On: PlayStation 3
Published: Thursday 19 Jan 2012 1:15 PM
 
 
 
Ad FeedbackAdvertisement

Metal Gear Solid is a funny old series, isn’t it? It has moments of exquisitely tense and thrilling gameplay… and then bookends those moments with increasingly lengthy, increasingly absurd, increasingly exposition-filled cutscenes.

Both sides of the coin are on full display in the Metal Gear Solid HD Collection, and how much you should care depends on how much of a fan you are. If you’re casually curious about the series, then I have a few things to tell you about before you dip your toe. If you’re a diehard MGS lover, then you probably actually quite like the stealth gameplay and the convoluted plots. Either way, you can rest assured that this collection has been made with the sort of care that these games deserve.

So what do we have here? Well, what we do not have is the first Metal Gear Solid. It remains, in my opinion, the best of the series, so it’s a shame — and a puzzling shame, at that — to not have it included here. However, you do get the PlayStation 2’s Metal Gear Solid 2 and 3, along with the PSP’s Peace Walker. Let’s break it down…

Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty was famous back in the day for misleading players about the prominence of Solid Snake, everyone’s favourite Kurt Russell lookalike. It’s also where the truly crazy plot elements the series is famous for came into play: you have a whiny main character who’s constantly berated by his girlfriend via intercom while trying to rescue hostages; a villain from the previous game returns possessed by the arm of Snake’s evil twin; and the amount of double-and-triple crossing gets rather hard to follow.

Put that aside — or indeed, try to enjoy it and follow along — and you’ve also got some stealth action that is simultaneously dated and fun. Games like this have come a long way since the early 2000s, and it shows in the awkward controls. But once you get to grips with it, there’s a lot of fun to be had here. I may rail against the silly plot, but can still be a sucker for it at times.

More importantly: the polished nature of the game, combined with the HD scrub-up, means it holds up surprisingly well. There are many, many moment throughout where you’re painfully aware of the game’s age, but it’s also not hard to get immersed. This is how the game looks in your rose-tinted memory.

All of this applies to Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater as well — with the added bonus that it’s arguably the stronger entry in the series. Although it’s still a slow burner, with its fair share of boring cutscenes and expository meanderings, it’s also comparatively tighter and more focused. The camouflage system, the lush jungle setting, and many of the marquee battles combine to make for a very enjoyable game.

And finally, we have Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker, the odd one out of the bunch. Acting as a direct sequel to MGS3, it was originally released for the PSP, and it shows. The graphics naturally don’t hold up as well as the other two games, and the game is lacking in some of the series’ traditional pomp and memorable boss battles. At first, it can feel sub-par.

But stick with it, and you’ll find that what it lacks in some traditional MGS elements, it makes up with streamlined gameplay, a heap of bite-sized missions, and — most importantly — an almost Monster Hunter-like collection system. Throughout the game, you must kidnap and recruit enemy soldiers to your own cause. These soldiers, once on your side, can be assigned to various departments such as R&D or even into skirmishes. It provides a cool counterpart to the stealth offerings, and makes for an oddly compelling package.

And there you have it: three Metal Gear Solid games for your HD console, updated with care, and still with all the elements of the series you may love or despise. The lack of the original MGS is, once again, really stupid. But otherwise, if you’re a fan of these games, you shouldn’t hesitate in grabbing these versions if you’re looking to play them again. It’s harder to know if newcomers will appreciate all the foibles on display here, but this collection is as good a place as any to get yourself acquainted should you feel the need.


The Score

Metal Gear Solid HD Collection
"A worthy face-lift of a crazy series."
8.2
Great
Rating: PG   Difficulty: Hard   Learning Curve: 30 Min

 

More You May Like

 

Comments (10)

You must be logged in to post comments.

or Register now!
grieving NZGamer.com VIP VIP Bronze
On Thursday 19 Jan 2012 4:24 PM Posted by grieving
Stopped reading after "boring cutscenes".
 
 
3
 
fauzman NZGamer.com VIP VIP Bronze
On Thursday 19 Jan 2012 5:53 PM Posted by fauzman
I personally am not a fan of the 'stealth' genre - all stealth sections in games I have played have generally been some of the more annoying missions. On the other hand, considering the series' popularity and how good MGS4 reputedly was, I might just have to pick this up.
 
 
0
 
AshPuppet NZGamer.com VIP VIP Bronze
On Thursday 19 Jan 2012 5:55 PM Posted by AshPuppet
Snake Eater is definitely the best in the series. It's suppose to be an HD version of Subsistance version Secret Theatre has been left out :(
 
 
0
 
kiwiatlarge NZGamer.com VIP VIP Bronze
On Thursday 19 Jan 2012 7:55 PM Posted by kiwiatlarge
If you don't burst out into song, or at least crack a smile during the James Bond style Snake Eater theme song, then there is something wrong with you... ;-)
 
 
0
 
Jake NZGamer.com VIP VIP Bronze
On Thursday 19 Jan 2012 8:02 PM Posted by Jake
19 January 2012, 05:53 PM Reply to fauzman
I personally am not a fan of the 'stealth' genre - all stealth sections in games I have played have generally been some of the more annoying missions. On the other hand, considering the series' popularity and how good MGS4 reputedly was, I might just have to pick this up.
I do agree that stealth sections generally suck, apart from the Pripyat stealth mission on CoD4. Nobody can deny that it was the most badass part of the campaign.
 
 
0
 
dirtyjeff
On Friday 20 Jan 2012 7:33 PM Posted by dirtyjeff
19 January 2012, 05:53 PM Reply to fauzman
I personally am not a fan of the 'stealth' genre - all stealth sections in games I have played have generally been some of the more annoying missions. On the other hand, considering the series' popularity and how good MGS4 reputedly was, I might just have to pick this up.
The MGS series in based around stealth so it is done much better than action games that just tack on a "stealth" level.
 
 
0
 
Kegz NZGamer.com VIP VIP Gold
On Sunday 22 Jan 2012 10:09 AM Posted by Kegz
I don't care what anyone says, I miss my cardboard box.
 
 
2
 
mattf128
On Sunday 22 Jan 2012 10:59 PM Posted by mattf128
To quote Hideo Kojima in a recent interview regarding why MGS1 hasn't been included in this:

"It was a very pure experience. I was just making the game I wanted to make. Looking back, there's not anything in particular I want to go back and fix. If you change anything, you change the game - and I want to avoid that. If you bring the gameplay up to modern standards, then you lose a bit of the original game. It was a game made for a certain era - not just the story, but the controls and everything about it reflect that era in which the game was made.

There are a lot of people wanting remakes of the original, and as producer I want to answer those calls - but as a creator I'm not very interested in going back. If we were to do it, it would have to be a total remake - the only thing that would be the same would be the story. If it happened at some point I would stay as a producer, but would have to hand off most of the actual creating."

So there you go. With reasons like that, for me it's understandable that the first one is not on here if you ask me.
 
 
0
 
Chris Redfield NZGamer.com VIP VIP Gold
On Monday 23 Jan 2012 4:26 PM Posted by Chris Redfield
22 January 2012, 10:59 PM Reply to mattf128
To quote Hideo Kojima in a recent interview regarding why MGS1 hasn't been included in this:

"It was a very pure experience. I was just making the game I wanted to make. Looking back, there's not anything in particular I want to go back and fix. If you change anything, you change the game - and I want to avoid that. If you bring the gameplay up to modern standards, then you lose a bit of the original game. It was a game made for a certain era - not just the story, but the controls and everything about it reflect that era in which the game was made.

There are a lot of people wanting remakes of the original, and as producer I want to answer those calls - but as a creator I'm not very interested in going back. If we were to do it, it would have to be a total remake - the only thing that would be the same would be the story. If it happened at some point I would stay as a producer, but would have to hand off most of the actual creating."

So there you go. With reasons like that, for me it's understandable that the first one is not on here if you ask me.
But Twin Snakes....
 
 
0
 
kiwiatlarge NZGamer.com VIP VIP Bronze
On Monday 23 Jan 2012 6:50 PM Posted by kiwiatlarge
That's kinda funny, because 90% of MGS2 is MGS1 in PS2 graphics. It is so similar, that they bring the similarity into the actual plot (SSS). But ignoring the plot elements, and just looking at the gameplay, the boss fights, the game is MGS1 on the PS2.

I agree that doing MGS1 in the MGS4 would 'ruin' some of the experience that the game gave back when it was released.. what I think it really needs (needed several years ago) was to be remade with the MGS2/3 engine after the Substance and Substinance games, and then later repolished with the other two games in the HD collection.
 
 
0