Metal Gear Solid: Master Collection – A Meticulous Tribute or a Missed Opportunity?
With the recent unveiling of the Metal Gear Solid: Master Collection Vol. 1, fans and newcomers alike are in for a tantalizing journey through time. Spanning almost two decades, this expansive collection brings to life a series that has profoundly impacted the gaming world. But is this all-encompassing anthology offering modern upgrades, or is it just repackaging the classics?
While the original 1987 Metal Gear was born out of system limitations, leading Hideo Kojima to introduce the world to stealth gameplay, the Metal Gear Solid: Master Collection seems to bask in its originality. Available on modern consoles like the PS5, Xbox Series X and S, PC, Nintendo Switch, and PS4, this collection pays homage to a franchise with specific hardware-centric designs, sometimes making cross-console adaptations challenging.
Costing $59.99, the Master Collection Vol. 1 is more than just the original Metal Gear Solid. With games ranging from the 1987 Metal Gear to 2004’s Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, it covers an impressive expanse of the Metal Gear journey. Add-ons like the NES versions, graphic novel adaptations, and additional Metal Gear Solid releases with VR simulations (sans the VR headset experience) provide an exhaustive ensemble for die-hard fans. Yet, notable absences like the Twin Snakes GameCube remake and the Ghost Babel Game Boy Color game leave some yearning for more.
Though the series has aged, the heart of the Metal Gear Solid trilogy remains timeless. From cinematic storytelling prowess to gripping core gameplay of stealth and strategy, these games evoke nostalgia and appreciation even today. That said, Metal Gear Solid’s enduring appeal doesn’t erase the minor hiccups experienced during gameplay, especially when viewed through the lens of today’s technological advancements.
Konami’s effort to maintain the authenticity of Metal Gear Solid is commendable. Navigating the line between preserving the essence of the original and offering up-to-date mechanics isn’t easy. Still, some elements, such as button prompts and fourth-wall-breaking features, highlight the challenges of adapting a classic for current-gen consoles. On the other hand, Metal Gear Solid 2 and 3, based on the 2011 HD remasters, strike a balance, staying true to their origins while integrating seamlessly with modern displays.
In addition to the games, the Master Collection provides a deep dive into the Metal Gear world. From scripts, soundtracks, to “Master Books” offering plot summaries and character backstories, there’s much to explore. However, it’s hard to overlook the minimal recognition given to Hideo Kojima, the maestro behind this iconic series, suggesting Konami’s reluctance to acknowledge its former creative genius post their 2015 split.
Konami’s Metal Gear Solid: Master Collection undeniably serves as a tribute to the Metal Gear legacy. While the authenticity-first approach is praiseworthy, there’s a lingering sense that Konami may have missed an opportunity to revamp the series for the current generation. Nonetheless, with rumors of a forthcoming Metal Gear Solid Δ (Delta) remake of Snake Eater, perhaps the future holds more audacious endeavors for this legendary franchise.