Although I hadn’t played the Metal Gear Solid series until the HD Collection, the games do hold a strong sense of nostalgia for me. I used to watch my dad play Metal Gear Solid on the PlayStation back in the 90s, and my brother and I would always annoy him by yelling out “SNAKE! SNAKE! SNAAAAAKE!” whenever he hit the game over screen (we were put up for adoption straight after that). Kojima’s departure from Konami in 2015 was felt by the Metal Gear Series, with the underwhelming, Metal Gear Survive, being the only game released since. But now, Konami has brought some of the greatest games in the franchise back to life on modern consoles in this Metal Gear Solid: Master Collection Vol 1.
Metal Gear Solid: Master Collection Vol 1 contains Metal Gear, Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake, plus the powerhouse Metal Gear Solid trilogy: Metal Gear Solid, Metal Gear Solid: Sons of Liberty, and Metal Gear Solid: Snake Eater. The review score at the end of this review is tied to the collection as a whole rather than the individual games. You don’t need me to tell you that the Metal Gear Solid games in this collection are some of the best games ever made.
The first two games, Metal Gear and Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake, were the first two entries into the series which introduced us to Solid Snake. These two games are top-down 2D action games that still share the same mechanics of the Metal Gear Solid series, which has a core focus on stealth. These, in my opinion, aren’t an essential part of the Metal Gear Solid series, but if you are new to the franchise and want some extra lore to soak into your brain, then have at it.
The Metal Gear Solid series marked the franchise’s movement from 2D to 3D, which allowed Kojima to create fantastically directed games with a captivating plotline that transcends to the games released after Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater. If you want to test your wit, the VR Missions and Special Missions in Metal Gear Solid are also included in the game.
These games won’t appeal to every fan of action/stealth games, though. I found the controls took a little too long to pick up, and I think other newcomers will feel the same way. They don’t feel clunky, but it does feel like they’ve not aged well, as I kept pressing the wrong button when trying to complete the simplest of tasks.
On top of these games, there’s a bunch of bonus content sprinkled throughout the collection. Every game included in Metal Gear Solid: Master Collection Vol 1 is accompanied by a Screenplay Book that offers more insight into dialogue, settings, and missions. Digital Master Books are also included in the collection, which offers guides to in-game collectibles, complete maps of areas found in the games and more. These are welcome additions to the collection, which just adds even more hours to the total package.
The Master Collection also includes digital graphic novels of Metal Gear Solid and Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, which features full voice acting that retells the events of the two games. If that’s still not enough, there is an in-game music player that hosts 20 of the best tracks in the collection, including Snake Eater by Cynthia Harrell.
Despite Hideo Kojima not having a hand in the creation of the Master Collection, the finesse of the games are still there. What lets the collection down, though, might just be Kojima’s absence. Many years have passed since the original release of these games, and I would like to think if Kojima had been involved in this project, there would have been a lot of bells and whistles added to the collection.
The lack of technical upgrades to the games is a major oversight. Metal Gear Solid runs at 30FPS, while Sons of Liberty and Snake Eater can run at a maximum of 60FPS (apart from the Nintendo Switch version). The output resolution is 1920×1080, but graphically, it does still feel like you’re playing the PS3 Metal Gear Solid HD Collection.
Metal Gear Solid: Master Collection Vol 1 is worth the money if you are looking for an entry point into the Metal Gear Solid series. While this does feel like a bit of a cash grab by Konami, it is brilliant that these games have been digitally preserved and are now available on current-gen consoles. Players who have recently played the Metal Gear Solid HD Collection may want to wait until Master Collection Vol 1 is on sale, as there aren’t many new additional features to gawk at.
METAL GEAR SOLID: MASTER COLLECTION VOL 1 REVIEW
Konami has brought some of the greatest games of all time to modern consoles in Metal Gear Solid: Master Collection Vol 1. The games, while still legendary, are let down by Kojima’s absence and Konami’s greed.
- The games included in this collection are some of the greatest games of all time
- There are close to 100 hours of gameplay across every game included
- The bonus features are generous
- There’s nothing really new here if you played the HD Collection
- Feels like a money grab