Metal Gear Solid HD Collection Review

Metal Gear Solid: Confliction. Not something I expected as the game booted up for the first time; but it’s there – an uneasy blend of rose-tinted muscle memory and a jarring array of old fashioned, vastly outdated controls.  Underlying everything, of course, is the fact that these are still utterly brilliant videogames, yet unchanged over the years to accommodate modern gaming mechanics.

HD Collections shouldn’t alter the status quo, of course, that’s not the point, but the first time you raise your weapon in first person mode and find out that a) you can’t move and b) aiming’s on the same stick as the one you did just move with the game slams to a halt.  It’s not difficult to overcome, especially for the collection’s target audience of core Metal Gear fans, but it’s still something that brings home the age of the games.

Peace Walker, curiously enough, is the one that bends mostly to modern expectations in that respect.

But then there’s the latent foreshadowing of what’s to come.  Sons of Liberty’s brilliant, fanboy destroying switch-a-roo at around a third of the way in; Snake Eater’s deliciously stealthy camouflage system and Peace Walker’s retro styling and ending that neatly rounds up the series.  It’s all magical, superlative story-telling, leading the player gently whilst padding out what are deeply infectious plots.

[drop2]You’ll know the exposition inside out, of course, from the first time you see that cloaked figure running along the Hudson Bridge, everything is present and correct barring a couple of tiny omissions (Evolution Skateboarding is out, as is the dream sequence from Snake Eater) even though these are the rather more ‘complete’ Substance and Subsistence packages.

Likewise, the PS3 version offers the ability to use your PSP save for Peace Walker and – ultimately – the option to duplicate your progress onto the upcoming Vita version.  Both the PS3 and Xbox 360 versions (the latter of which comes on two disks) offer Trophies and Achievements, respectively.

In terms of the port, the HD upgrade is welcome but inconsistent.  Sons of Liberty looks nice and crisp but this is a direct conversion and some of the effects (like the rain on the tanker) no longer impress as they once did.  The models are all as they were too, Bluepoint haven’t touched the fidelity beyond the resolution, but this isn’t necessarily as negative as you might think – the games haven’t aged that badly even though they’re clearly last gen.

And so to whether or not this is worth your money.  The confliction, as you’d expect, is still there – the games are undoubtably brilliant, but then you’ve probably already got them and beaten them multiple times if you’re a fan of the series.  If not, the lack of the first Metal Gear Solid will probably pass you by unnoticed, the three games in the package suitably enough value.

[boxout]For the rest of us, whilst this isn’t quite the tender reconditioning of a triple of classics we might have hoped it would have been, you simply can’t escape the fact that there’s an extraordinary amount of game here, and these are rightly considered to be classics across the industry.  They work fine, they play fine (once you’ve adjusted from what you’re used to) and look good enough.

But all that isn’t really the point of such a collection.  You have to try to disregard the notion that these games are being sold to you again, rather that they’re here and better than ever before, and thus judge them as they stand right now, if that’s your will.  With that in mind, these are brilliant slices of entertainment, and – if they come packaged again a generation down the line in 4K – they’ll still be just as good.


  • Three of the best games from the last few years
  • Sublime story-telling if you have time to invest
  • Great value for money, shouldn’t cost more than £30


  • Little has been done beyond boosting the resolution and framerate
  • No stereoscopic 3D, which would have been a nice touch
  • Controls haven’t aged well, especially in MGS 2

Hardcore Metal Gear Solid fans will either have this ordered or imported already, the eager customer base a ready market.  Everyone else can rest easy in the knowledge that this is a solid package containing plenty of gameplay that’ll last you much longer than most of the fluff that peppers the store shelves these days.  Conflicts aside, I can’t help but think that everyone should have this collection, but maybe that’s just me.

Score: 9/10


  1. All stunning games. Metal Gear Solid..the greatest gaming series ever. Buying this tom even tho I own all the originals. Reviewed excellently as always TSA….

  2. I bought the super duper edition from Zavvi. MGS HD Collection, MGS download code and MGS4 with artbook, art cards and a t-shirt.

    Edition got pulled, not art cards, no code, no MGS4 and I still pay £70 for the frankly not worth it “limited edition”. A special steelbook case? Piss off! What a joke.

    • Ouch!!

      Sorry to hear that mate – Surely there is a case for not being sold something as advertised though??

      • They changed the edition about 3 months ago lol and if you ordered the PS3 version they did chuck in
        MGS4 platinum version

      • Yep, Zavvi emailed people that had it on preorder advising of the change, although I’ve collected mine this morning and no MGS4 so contacting customer services to see what can be done. Also pretty sure the Art Book wasnt in the original package, and has replaced the art cards and its a pretty substantial art book.

  3. I dont know if i should buy it or not ive watched my dad complete 1 and i completed the 2nd and i really want to play the third. If only there was a way i could play it on my PC :/

    • oh just read it should come out on VITA sold!

  4. had this imported last year love it.

  5. Snake Eater was the only MGS game that I didn’t get into. I think this’ll have to go on my Lovefilm list for the future as I really do love the series.

  6. Deciding between PS3 and Vita versions.

    • Vita, it will inevitably be more exciting just because it’s portable! Know what I mean?

  7. Saw it today in Game… I was thinkiing of it but got SCV instead… Good I did, defo a Vita game for me.

  8. Can’t bring myself to MGS2, just feels too aged.

    Have a Plat on Peace Walker though, excellent game. Shame the default server option is “local only”, was a pain when there were only US/JP ones.

    • U have a plat? Some of those trophies look much harder than the other two games due to the multiplayer side of things, and the amount u have to collect in the game. How long did this take u?

      • 92 hours.

      • Iv’e just been playing through the main story but haven’t actually got very near the end on the psp and ps3 versions, but i’ve heard of people spending hundreds of hours playing PW.What is it that actually takes up this amount of time?

      • *SPOILER*

        There’s actually two successive ends, the yellow one and the red one you get with a bit of effort, the most time-consuming thing was probably S-ranking the vehicle missions. There’s just shitloads of those.

      • I’ve spent 100+ hours on PW on my PSP but i’ve not come even close to S-ranking all the stuff. It’s mostly just fun playing online. Also you’ll get stuck a bit at times trying to unlock some missions.

      • Also you’ll probably have trouble getting some drops that require much luck, like the Rathalos Wing or the mech parts.

      • So there two different endings? Bit like mgs1? I was hoping i could blast through it like with the others but ive read in many places its a very deep experience. Heard a lot about collecting all these bits and bobs. Im guessing this is to complete the MG Zeke?

  9. I really think Peace Walker gets overlooked when people talk about crappy controls and visuals, the gem’s right there but people avoid it because of the PS2 stuff?

    • It is sad it’ll be overlooked then, though I never read people hating on the controls or even visuals. I don’t think its bad though, its easily one of the best for the PSP regarding graphics and the button layout is great to get use to. Just needs time

      • I think the PSP is overlooked as a console. I suppose it has been a bit underwhelming, but I’ve still really enjoyed having one. I agree about Peace Walker being one of the best, I think by its nature as a heart and soul Kojima game it was destined to be up there with the best, but it probably won’t get the sales because Metal Gear now feels like a bit of a niche series.

      • It’s fantastic. I only bought a PSPgo to play MGS games and Ghost of Sparta.

  10. MGS 3 is my favourite of the series, but I’ll be getting this for peace walker.

Comments are now closed for this post.