Metal Gear Solid HD Collection Review
The Metal Gear Solid franchise is one of the most successful and popular series of games of the past few generations. Boasting tight, stealth based gameplay, intriguing plots, and great cinematic presentation, it’s no wonder why the games are so well loved. Now, seemingly every game from the PS2 era is getting an HD rerelease giving new and old fans a reason to play through these games for the first time or the 30th time. Metal Gear Solid HD Collection consists of Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, And Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker, all excellent titles. But should you let this collection sneak its way into your arsenal, or should you let it slither away? Read on to find out.
All of the games are just as you remember them, although the HD Collection really does clean up most of the PS2 era games. The infamous Sons of Liberty seems to have aged quite well, being much better than I remember it. It’s almost eerie playing through the game and realizing that certain plot points parallel current day issues regarding the SOPA debacle. Gameplay is still as good as ever, and once you’ve completed the game you can tackle tons of VR missions as well as a separate story called “Snake Tales” featuring Solid Snake. Unfortunately, the skateboarding minigame from the Substance release has been removed.
Snake Eater, by far my favorite game in the series, is still as glorious as ever. The game looks gorgeous in HD, although the cutscenes still look a bit rough. Thankfully, the 3rd person camera mode from the Subsistence release has been added in, making the game much better to play. The original MSX versions of Metal Gear and Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake have been added as well as a theater mode, however the very funny Secret Theater videos are omitted. Strangely enough, Snake’s nightmare sequence after being tortured has also been left out. Regardless, Snake Eater HD and Sons of Liberty HD are the definitive versions of their respective games.
Peace Walker, on the other hand, plays almost like a completely different game from its PSP counterpart. The game, which was originally meant to be on consoles, plays much better with a second analog stick and more buttons. The graphics are improved dramatically from the handheld version, allowing the title to stand on even footing with the PS2 games. What makes Peace Walker HD so great is that the levels are broken up into small chunks, each lasting 5-20 minutes. With over 20 Story missions and hundreds of Extra-Ops missions, as well as a very addicting team management mechanic, this game has hours of replayability. On top of that, the special cameos from Assassins Creed II and Monster Hunter remain intact along with the online multiplayer features.
The Metal Gear Solid HD Collection is a great place to start for anyone wanting to get into the Metal Gear franchise (although, Metal Gear Solid on PSX is still the best jumping off point). Each game is packed with so many features beyond the main game that you can easily sink tons of hours into each of the games. Unfortunately, some features have been snipped out of the games for no clear reason while other are left in. It may be hard to justify a purchase if you already own all of the games, but with a price tag of $40 some of the sting is taken off of a new purchase. Metal Gear Solid HD Collection is available now for Xbox 360 and Playstation 3.
Final Score: 8.0