PS3 Review – Metal Gear Solid HD Collection

The Metal Gear series has come a long ways since its first introduction by Hideo Kojima. Kojima-san’s efforts have created an entire alternate world where his reality blends in almost perfectly with the reality of the history books. The series spans several generations of console and PC gaming, but, thanks to Konami, we can now play three titles from the storied series on this generation of consoles.

The Metal Gear Solid HD Collection takes three games in the series, previously released on older consoles, and brings them to the PS3 and Xbox 360. Remastered audio and video brings the older titles to life in a way that makes them almost brand new. Two MSX titles are also included, but they haven’t been touched up in any way.

The games in the series weren’t originally released in chronological order so the developers were nice enough to lay out the main menu of the collection by year. MGS 3: Snake Eater takes place in 1964 and comes first in the series. MGS: Peace Walker is next and occurs in the 1970’s. The final game on the disc is MGS 2: Sons of Liberty which follows up the original Metal Gear Solid (not included, but available on the PlayStation Network).

MGS 3 and MGS 2 made the transition from older console graphics to HD very nicely. The graphics come across very smooth, with no jagged edges. Character animations look smooth and the sneaking motions, while a little stiff at times, look decent. The remastered audio sounds great. If you are playing in surround sound, the audio is directional and can be used properly to assist in sneaking. If a guy sounds like he’s on your six, then he probably is. Cutscenes are a little rough and aren’t easy on the eyes, but that is to be expected. Controls stick to the original layout for each game.

MGS: Peace Walker was originally released on the PSP and looks the best out of the three games in this collection. The game itself can give you countless hours of playtime and is arguably one of the best PSP games ever released. The HD graphics are smooth, with no jagged edges to be found. The audio sounds great and can be used for sneaking around as with the other two titles. Cutscenes look better than they did with MGS 3, but that’s not saying too much. The best part about Peace Walker being on the PS3 in via this collection is the fact the game isn’t hindered by the PSP’s controls scheme and tiny screen. This is the true Metal Gear Solid game we’ve always wanted Peace Walker to be.

The one title notably missing in this collection is the original Metal Gear Solid PSone title. Konami reported issues when trying to convert it over, and that’s too bad. If they could have added that in, this collection would have brought all of the games in the series to this generation. The classic game is downloadable from the PSN, so you can still play it on your PS3 and PSP, but including it on the disc would have been a better choice.

The Metal Gear Solid HD Collection brings five MGS games to this generation of consoles, with three of them bringing full trophy support and three Platinum trophies. Remastered audio and video makes the games not only easy on the eyes, but quite a bit of old school fun in a new package. The transition into HD isn’t as good as it could have been, but you’re still getting three of the best games in the series — of all-time even — on one disc for one low price. If that doesn’t make an exclamation point appear above your head, I don’t know what will.

If you are a true fan of the Metal Gear Solid series, owning this collection was never in question. If you’re not a fan, maybe you should be. This is a must have for everyone’s PS3 game collection.

PlayStation LifeStyle’s Final Score

+ Three of the best games to ever grace a PlayStation platform on one disc.

+ Finally, Peace Walker without the PSP controls.

– Snake? Snaaaaaaaaaaake! No original PSOne Metal Gear Solid.

9 out of 10