Metal Gear Solid Master Collection Vol. 1 PS5 Review "Now a New Generation Can Enjoy Getting Urinated on By a Guard" πŸ“¦❗️

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Metal Gear Solid Master Collection Vol. 1 PS5 Review
Bonfire night, 1998. I’m at a friend’s house for fireworks and, afterward, I watch him playing a new import with a weird name. He’s stuck in a prison cell and his only available weapon appears to be a bottle of ketchup.

I joke: “Why not squirt ketchup on the floor and lie in it so the guard thinks you’re dead?”. It works. A single shard of moonlight pierced the window to illuminate me. Trumpets played, angelic choirs sang. I had discovered Metal Gear Solid.

I spent the following two years vibrating with anticipation for Sons of Liberty, playing the Zone of the Enders demo disc until the Tanker was burnt into my brain. When it finally arrived I played through Raiden’s wild ride in a single sitting, ending up at 5 am watching the credits with a thoroughly mangled brain. Rinse and repeat for Snake Eater.

Metal Gear Solid Master Collection Vol. 1 PS5 Review

Since then I have literally held Hideo Kojima in my arms and as the years pass my appreciation for his wonderful franchise has grown. And so the stage was very much set for last year’s Metal Gear Solid Master Collection Vol. 1, which releases MGS 1-3 from their 7th Gen purgatory. Despite already owning multiple other copies of the games I snapped it up on launch day and eagerly sat down to once again revisit my favourite series.

20 minutes later I was filing my refund request. I don’t need to go over the many, many problems with the Master Collection on its initial release, save to say that the anger was fully justified. But, perhaps unexpectedly given that this is Konami, a series of patches has gradually resolved the biggest issues. So where do we stand in May 2024?

Well, at least on PS5, the Master Collection is currently probably the best way to play these amazing games. I will come to my extremely nerdy and unreasonable gripes in a moment but, if you want to play MGS 1-3, this is a fine way to do it. Much of this quality was already baked in by Bluepoint Games’ sterling remaster work on the 2011 HD Collection, but the included extras take this to the next level.

Metal Gear Solid Master Collection Vol. 1 PS5 Review

For example, a Metal Gear Solid save game editor that allows you to decide which Konami titles Psycho Mantis reads from your memory card is going beyond the call of duty On top of that, there’s the inclusion of the little-loved NES Metal Gear and Snake’s Revenge (which isn’t actually that bad), full scripts for each game, explanatory eBooks, the option to play the Japan-only (but English-voiced) Integral version of MGS1, and even the Digital Graphic Novels.

Even as someone who knows Shadow Moses, the Big Shell, and Tselinoyarsk like the back of my hand, there’s a lot to sink my teeth into. Most of the graphical and audio issues present at release have now been smoothed over, and it’s doubtful anyone could spot the few remaining issues without a side-by-side comparison.

All that said, despite the love poured into this there are still some notable omissions that prevent the Master Collection from being definitive. The Substance skateboarding mode and the ‘Guy Savage’ nightmare in MGS3 seem destined to forever remain on PlayStation 2, likely down to them running in different engines that would require separate porting work. Another sad omission is MGS3’s Snake vs Monkey mode, though if this Sony IP crossover were included it’d have to be exclusive to the PlayStation versions. And resurrecting Subsistence’s Metal Gear Online…? Dare I have even dreamed?

Metal Gear Solid Master Collection Vol. 1 PS5 Review

I’d also have loved to see The Document of Metal Gear Solid 2 and the EU bonus disc The Making of Metal Gear Solid 2 included, perhaps along with the little-seen Metal Gear Saga documentaries.

All the above are pipe dreams to some extent, but they’re at least technically possible. But one key MGS2 and feature has been left it in the dust by the march of time and technology. Both games leaned on the little-used analogue face button functionality of the Dual Shock 2. The Dual Shock 3 carried the tech on, so the HD Collection features it, but sadly the DualSense, Xbox, and Switch controllers have boringly digital face buttons. For the most part, the games work fine without analogue buttons, but there are a lot of edge cases where I genuinely missed the functionality.

Metal Gear Solid Master Collection Vol. 1 PS5 Review


Maybe I shouldn’t look a gift horse in the mouth. There was no guarantee the Metal Gear games were ever going to be re-released and the ongoing patches prove the Master Collection is a labour of love and not a quick n’ dirty cash grab. 

These are three of the finest games ever, all have stood the test of time and now a new generation can enjoy getting urinated on by a guard as your disgusted radio crew demands you take a shower.

So, roll on Vol. 2. If Konami can manage the technical challenge of porting Metal Gear Solid 4 to modern hardware it might finally be time to consider putting my creaky old fat PlayStation 3 out to pasture.

Metal Gear Solid Master Collection Vol. 1 PS5 ReviewMetal Gear Solid Master Collection Vol. 1 PS5 Review

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