On the surface, Metal Gear Solid HD Collection sounds like a great concept, three classic games for the price of one. BUt it’s that little word in the middle that will trip some people up. Classic. As in old. Sure, these classic games have been given a graphical overhaul, but they never really step into the next-gen shoes. They still feel very dated. If you’re not a fan of the series, you’re not going to have nostalgia on your side and you’re going to be looking at these games from the cold hard standpoint of what you’re used to with the latest battlefield or Call of Duty game.
I was never a Metal Gear Solid fan, but I didn’t approach the games with a Call of Duty expectation. Even so, I was still shocked as to how bad the first game, Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, was. Graphically it was depressingly bland and control wise it was even worse. Camera controls seemed to be broke so with this third person sneak and don’t get caught game, you were always ending up in spots where you couldn’t see what you were doing. Sure you could press a button to enter first person mode, but for some reason all you could do is look around and shoot. Your character wasn’t able to move around whilst in this mode.
Then there were all the cut scenes and helpfully hints that broke up the action and made it into a bit of a stop go game. This just wasn’t going to cut it with today’s breed of gamer.
Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater was better. Camera controls seemed a little more friendly, but the cuts scenes and hints still bugged, and they play areas were so small that you were continually loading the next area.
Finally there is Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker, still a dated looking game, still with far too many cut scenes getting in the way of the game, but a much more playable game by today’s standards.
If you think back to the restrictions of the time, it’s easy to see what Metal Gear Solid garnered such a following. The upgraded graphics don;t really do enough to keep the modern gamer happy, we’re used to shiny eye candy and unless there is some nostalgic connection, most players are going to find it really hard to get over just how dated everything looks. The inclusion of XBox achievements certainly makes for a nice touch, but in the end, if you’re not a fan from the past, or a curious gamer anting to see how thing used to be, you’re probably going to be disappointed with Metal Gear Solid HD Collection.