Metal Gear Solid Master Collection Vol. 1 Review
Story And Setting
Visuals And Performance
Some technical issues aside, Metal Gear Solid Master Collection Vol. 1 is a great way to experience some of the greatest games ever made.
- Collection of Great Games
- Complex Narratives
- Innovative Gameplay
- Bonus Content
- Dated Visuals
- No Technical Improvements
There isn’t a lot we can say in our Metal Gear Solid Master Collection Vol. 1 review that hasn’t already been said a million times over. Metal Gear has already done it all, from using games as a platform for storytelling to revitalizing the stealth genre altogether, and it’s all well documented.
But for the longest time, certain titles like the original Metal Gear Solid were only playable on the original PlayStation. But thanks to the Master Collection Vol. 1, we get five incredible games in the franchise along with some spin-offs, all neatly bundled in a single compilation.
So join us as we take a look at this collection and its contents in detail.
Story And Setting
Metal Gear and Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake, the first two games in the collection, serve as a prelude to what the series is known for. Both of these are really old games that predate the fame that is currently associated with the series, and they really show their age.
But despite the fact that they were released as 8-bit titles for ancient consoles like the MXS2 and the NES, they were still meaningful titles that game contained meaningful themes about war and its consequences, and I think they’re still worth playing because of that.
Also part of the package are the Metal Gear NES version and its follow-up, Snake’s Revenge. In the Metal Gear universe, these two entries are largely regarded as non-canon, and that’s because Hideo Kojima was not engaged in the production of these games.
But Metal Gear Solid is where the series truly embraced its ideals and made a shift to 3D, and Sons Of Liberty after it pushed the envelope even further than ever before. Both of these games also focused on stopping the deployment of more Metal Gear, but the execution of the narrative was unlike anything we’d seen before.
And then finally we come to the game that is considered the best in the series by millions of fans around the world; Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater. This time, we step into the shoes of Naked Snake, a key figure in the lore of the series.
It takes place during the Cold War and has the best story we’d seen from the series thus far. It explores themes of patriotism, loyalty, and duty, and its narrative cemented it as one of the greatest video games of all time. Almost 20 years later its messaging still rings true, especially considering the current state of the world.
In addition to all of these games in the Maser Collection Volume 1, there’s a wealth of bonus content for both enthusiasts and newbies alike. The master books are the focal point of the bonus content, providing thorough information about the characters and the events that transpired in the Metal Gear timeline.
The information is presented in such a way that the complicated narrative of these games may be readily consumed, enhancing the overall experience. Furthermore, the collection also includes the screenplays for each title.
There were many doubts regarding how the gameplay would hold up in the current gaming landscape prior to the release of the Master Collection, but all of those concerns were unfounded. All these titles hold up exceptionally, and they’re a testament to how much thought Kojima put into his creations.
I feel that out of the three headliners in the collection, Metal Gear Solid is likely the one that players are going to have the most difficulty playing. That’s because it features the older retro-style tank controls which the younger generation of players are not familiar with.
Its level design has also started to show its age a bit, especially in some sections where there is a lot of backtracking. However, that does not detract from the amazing stealth-based gameplay it has to offer and I personally still had a blast.
Metal Gear Solid 2’s gameplay still holds up remarkably well, expanding on its predecessor’s stealth mechanics. Furthermore, combat and movement are considerably more sophisticated, keeping me awed at how well this game has aged after over 22 years.
Last but certainly not least we have Snake Eater again. It is set in the merciless forests of the Soviet Union, as opposed to its predecessors, which were primarily focused on semi-urban settings. Not only is this a dramatic shift in scenery, but the gameplay is also substantially differnt.
Now I have to worry about survival, in addition to the traditional stealth-based action that the series is known for. The entire survival component has been meticulously planned, because now I had to worry about things like restoring my health by hunting and eating animals, and even treating wounds using medical equipment.
On the surface, the increased complexity of gameplay might appear minor, yet it significantly alters the dynamics of the experience. It simply feels more polished and refined than anything that came before, but the fundamentals remain the same.
Visuals And Performance
The performance of the titles included in Metal Gear Solid Master Collection Vol. 1 is not so straightforward though. Because all of the featured titles are not part of a single application, but rather come as their separate executable versions, the performance for all of them varies a bit.
Metal Gear Solid runs at 1080p but at 30fps. This version also maintains the original aspect ratio of 4:3 from the PS1. Furthermore, the textures are incredibly hazy, and you can hardly make out the details on the screen at times.
Metal Gear Solid 2 and 3 have slightly better performance at 1080p and a consistent 60 frames per second. This is primarily due to the fact that these titles were virtually entirely ported from Bluepoint’s 2011 HD Collection. To be honest, the visuals are still not up to today’s standards.
I get the notion of leaving a classic alone, but it diminishes the appeal of a collection like this. Even slight visual enhancements would have gone a long way, but Konami chose to let them stay unaltered. And other issues like the input lag and minor audio glitches are simply inexcusable.
Although these titles haven’t changed much, the publisher at least has incorporated a streamlined UI and menus to give the master collection games a sense of coherence, which is nice in my opinion.
Each of the five titles in the Metal Gear Solid Master Collection Vol. 1 stay true to their original visions, letting us play these game as they were always intended. But Konami could have done a better job with the visual presentation to be sure, and some of the bugs on display are simply indefensible.
Some people may be concerned that these titles might be too dated, and that is valid. There are even some warnings in the games admitting that some of the content included in them may be too outdated, but that isn’t to say that these are unenjoyable by any means.
In fact, the inverse is true. With a cinematic style in video games, the Metal Gear series transformed the nature of storytelling. I would recommend that aficionados and beginners alike experience these titles in their entirety.
- Alan Wake 2 Review
- Super Mario Bros. Wonder Review
- Disgaea 7: Vows Of The Virtueless Review
- RoboCop: Rogue City Review
- Spider-Man 2 Review
- Lords of the Fallen Review
Thanks! Do share your feedback with us. ⚡
How could we improve this post? Please Help us. ✍