It has been years since the chronicles of Solid Snake were wrangled together in a single collection. While Konami is on a roll with collections, the publisher recently decided to bring together some of Snake's greatest adventures with Metal Gear Solid: Master Collection Vol. 1. However, unlike last year's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Cowabunga Collection, this compilation is not being handled by Digital Eclipse, but rather is being handled mostly in house by Konami. While that means this collection won't have the multitude of extras that the TMNT compilation offered, there are still a few eye-opening inclusions featured in this MGS anthology.
Shacknews recently had an opportunity to venture to Konami's American headquarters in Los Angeles to try out Metal Gear Solid: Master Collection Vol. 1. The first thing to note is that our hands-on was with the Nintendo Switch version. For this specific build, the collection's various titles were on the Switch's Home menu a la carte. It's unknown whether this will be the presentation for the final product.
As for the games themselves, those familiar with the Metal Gear Solid HD Collection from the Xbox 360/PlayStation 3 generation should have an idea of what to expect. Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty and Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, in particular, are the Bluepoint adaptations from that compilation, so don't expect anything specifically new in that area. MGS3 fans who are specifically looking for anything new for this title will likely want to keep waiting for the recently-announced Snake Eater remake. However, that's not to say this is simply a bare-bones collection.
Those interested in the earlier era of Snake will find some special treats in the Master Collection. The original Metal Gear Solid is available from the original PlayStation era and still mostly holds up, though some of the stealth mechanics do feel primitive by today's standards. What's especially interesting about MGS is that the game will include the VR Missions, which was a standalone expansion for the original PlayStation. The VR/Special Missions help round out the full MGS package allowing Konami to release the full package.
Snake's stealth career goes farther back than the PlayStation era. His NES journey is also available to play. Faithful emulations of the original Metal Gear, Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake, and Snake's Revenge are included in the collection, warts and all. It wasn't always a pleasant journey through the Metal Gear series, as evidenced by the NES titles, which had their share of issues. However, as historical curiosities, they're a fun inclusion to this bundle.
As noted, Konami is flying mostly solo for Metal Gear Solid: Master Collection Vol. 1, opting to rely on the publisher's internal team rather than on a partner studio like the aforementioned Digital Eclipse. However, while the number of bonus features is low in comparison with the average Digital Eclipse project, there are still some cool extras to be found. Specifically, full Screenplay Books for every title (yes, even the NES Metal Gears) are available to browse through. While Hideo Kojima is not involved with this project, it's still neat to see his vision play out over a series of screenplays. The story plays out even further with the Metal Gear Solid digital graphic novels, which tell the story of the first two MGS games through fully-voiced and dynamically animated panels.
Don't go into Metal Gear Solid: Master Collection Vol. 1 expecting a breakthrough compilation. Quality-of-life features, such as the ability to rewind mid-game, weren't seen in our time with the collection, and, as noted, there aren't as many extras as one might want from one of gaming history's landmark franchises. Still, this is shaping up to be a decent collection for anybody looking for the first three MGS games in a single place, along with a few fun extras and Snake's 8-bit past. Look for Metal Gear Solid: Master Collection Vol. 1 to come to PC, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S, and Nintendo Switch on Tuesday, October 24. While the full compilation will retail for $59.99 USD, standalone versions of the first three MGS games will also be available digitally a la carte.
These impressions are based on an early Nintendo Switch version of the game played on-site from the Konami U.S. headquarters in Hawthorne, CA. It may not be representative of the final product. Meals were provided by Konami.
Ozzie Mejia posted a new article, Metal Gear Solid: Master Collection Vol. 1 hopes to follow in TMNT's footsteps
This could mention the laughable 720p resolution to let sink how really bare bones this is