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Metal Gear Solid HD Collection Review


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#1
Parkerdip

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Overview

The Metal Gear Solid HD Collection is a collection of three great classics which defined the stealh action genre but with updated visuals to high definition and full trophy support for each game. The first game in the collection is Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty originally released in 2001 which includes the Substance version of the game. Also there is Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater originally released in 2004 which has probably one of the greatest stories in gaming. Finally there is Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker originally released in 2010 for the PSP offers a different experience from other Metal Gear games. And if that's not enough you can also play the original Metal Gear and Metal Gear 2 games as they were. The amount of content in this collection is incredible for the price and it's awesome to be able to relive these classic games.

Gameplay

If you have played these classic games before you will know the gameplay of Metal Gear Solid games are similar in that the emphasis is to make it through the game without being spotted by the enemy. However you also get access to a range of lethal weapons just in case of complications. Each game in the series brought new creative additions to the series in how you can get by the game.

Metal Gear Solid 2 was the first game to be released on the PS2 and was a major update from the original Metal Gear Solid for PS1. One update is that you can now go into first person view to accurately target enemies body parts like heads. Also the AI are much more advanced in this game than the original, for example if the enemy spots a dead body then they will call for reinforcements to investigate the area. This will encourage players to hide dead or unconscious bodies from sight such as placing them inside lockers. There are many ways to get round an enemy, you can be tactical and lure them by knocking on a wall, you could knock them out by using the tranquilliser or just go killing (not recommended). Metal Gear Solid 2 has a fun experience that you can play again and again.

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Metal Gear Solid 3 released three years later and adding many major new gameplay additions. The main addition was having to hunt for food in the jungle by capturing or killing animals like snakes following the title 'Snake Eater'. The food does not heal your life gauge but there is a new 'stamina gauge' underneath the life gauge which overtime it will start depleting and you must eat your food to keep it up. The stamina gauge is a major gameplay feature because as it goes down, Snake will start to shake and not be able to aim accurately and if it completely empties then he will be knocked out. It also affects life recovery as in MGS3 life heals overtime and the regeneration speed is dependant on how much stamina you have. Another feature related to life is that Snake can get critically wounded by things like gun shot wounds or burns. This will lower Snake's overall life until you get it treated by disinfecting and patching up the wounds. It is a really cool feature that makes the game more tactical and discourages the guns blazing approach. I find it can get quite annoying in some boss fights how whenever you get hit you are forced to go into the menu to treat it though. Another update to gameplay is the ability to camouflage you with the surrounding area. This is done by choosing a camouflage that has the highest index value the area you are in. For example if you are in a lush jungle area then choose the camouflage that corresponds with that to achieve the highest index which is displayed as a percentage. The higher the percentage the harder it is for the enemy to spot you. The overall gameplay in Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater is amazingly fun to play and is an enjoyable experience.

Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker released on the PSP and had a different style of gameplay to all other MGS games while keeping the core mechanics of stealth the same. It uses some features from MGS3 such as camouflage while adding many new features. One major addition is 'Mother Base' which is like the hub of your army that you are building. When you recruit new soldiers by either fulton recovering them in missions or volunteers you can assign them to a team to make your army stronger. There's the combat team which you can use instead of Big Boss for many missions and send them off in Outer Ops for battles. The Research and Development team are used to develop new weapons and items and upgrade them for the combat team to use. The mess hall team is used to keep food supply high to keep team morale up. The medical team is used to treat wounded soldiers effectively and the intel team can be used with the R&D for some weapons and items. It is a fun gameplay element trying to upgrade all your stuff and having the best available and it feels rewarding. Peace Walker is a very fun experience and for a PSP game it is huge and those that didn't get it for PSP can now enjoy it.

Another thing worth mentioning overall is Boss fights. Metal Gear Solid games have been well known for massive boss fights and all three of these have that. MGS2 has some creative ones like Fatman in which you have to disarm bombs and them shoot him in the head. MGS3 has probably the best with the very memorable 'The End' battle which was long and gruelling sniper duel. MGS PW has the most massive bosses in which some are 20x the size of Snake and they are in the form of AI weapons which are also really creative that have many different functions especially Peace Walker battle.

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Singleplayer

As you most likely know already Metal Gear Solid games are heavily focused on their singleplayer with lots of cutscenes where some are very lengthy but are also very good and have many twists and turns that keeps you watching wanting to know what happens next.

Metal Gear Solid 2 is set between the years in 2007 and 2009. It starts on a tanker where you play Solid Snake who has a task of finding intel on the new Metal Gear which is being stored there. Ofcourse many people will have already played it and know the story but won't be spoiled for people that have yet to play it. The tanker chapter is only the beginning of the game and should take a max of 2 hours to complete. After that you start the Plant chapter which enters a new protagonist to the series known as Raiden which takes place on a creative environment called The Big Shell. There are many twists and turns in this bizarre story that is slightly over the top but very entertaining and the story is long and will take a long time to complete properly. MGS2 HD also includes the Substance version that has many added bonuses such as Boss survivals, Snake Tales and the many VR missions which will increase re-playability massively.

Metal Gear Solid 3 has probably the most touching story of the lot. It is set in 1964 during the cold war in which you play as Naked Snake in which you learn how he became known as Big Boss. It is basically a prequel to the entire series chronology. The story involves two missions. First there is the Virtuous Mission which is like the prequel in which you have to rescue a scientist called Sokolov and then there's the main story called Operation Snake Eater in which the two major tasks is to destroy the Shagohod and kill The Boss which is the emotional side as The Boss was your mentor.That's all I will say about the story of this game but it was very touching and is in my opinion the best story of the MGS series.

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Metal Gear Solid Peace Walker was set 10 years later in 1974 and the story tells you how Big Boss formed Outer Heaven. The story takes a more mission based approach in that you go through many Ops that follow the story of you trying to stop all these massive AI weapons mainly Peace Walker from launching a nuke. The cutscenes take the form of a comic style which is interesting but I prefer real time custscenes. As well as doing Main Ops there is also Extra Ops which are many side missions that can be simply sneaking past guards and fulton recovering them to battling heavily armoured vehicles. It was my first time playing through Peace Walker and I was impressed.

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Multiplayer

The only Metal Gear Solid game of the collection that has multiplayer is Peace Walker. This contains a co-op feature in which you can play missions with friends to help get that S rank on all Main Ops and Extra Ops. It may seem that you have to play with friends to get S rank on some of the levels, mainly boss fights because some are extremely tough to do solo but can be done. Co-op usually makes games more enjoyable playing with friends than solo and this is no exception that taking down Peace Walker with your friends is a really enjoyable experience but may feel less rewarding having to have help to get S rank than doing it on your own.

Another feature to multiplayer is trading that you can trade your soldiers with other people in the online community to try and get better soldiers. This feature I barely used as I preferred to get high ranking soldiers by myself.

Metal Gear Solid 3 did have a multiplayer feature back on PS2 but in them days online wasn't popular as wireless wasn't available so now it is a shame they didn't bring that feature to the PS3 as the community could have been quite large.


Presentation

The Metal Gear Solid HD Collection comprises three classic games giving them the HD treatment and looks fantastic compared to other HD Collections. This goes to show just how good MGS2 and MGS3 looked back on PS2. I'll say that these games visually look like an early PS3 release game than PS2. The best visuals of the three games is definitely Metal Gear Solid 3 and the worst is Peace Walker but that's to be expected since it was originally on PSP it still looks good. Metal Gear Solid 2 is somewhere in the middle on graphics.

It is also worth noting in presentation that it is really good how it takes a matter of seconds to get into the game select menu when the games are presented as a timeline of the chronology of the series. With Metal Gear Solid 3 at far left, Peace Walker in the middle and Metal Gear Solid 2 at far right. Then when you select it you get the theme music of each game in the background with some information on the game. Also in each menu there is a new option to take you back to the game select menu if you want to play a different one without quitting the game.

Overall Bluepoint Games did a really good job at bringing these games into the current generation as it is really well done and probably the best graphics for a HD remake.


Replay Value

The Metal Gear Solid HD Collection has a massive amount of content in which you could spend over 100 hours with this disc. The three game story lines could take 30 hours each and they all give you reason to go back and play the story again and again to make this collection last for ages. Back on the PS2 I remember playing through the games again and again just to relive the classic stories and it is a great luxury to be able to do it again. It was my first time playing through Peace Walker however as I never owned it for PSP and for a handheld it actually has the most potential for replay value because of the amount of Main Ops and Extra Ops missions and you are encouraged to replay them to try and get the S rank. Metal Gear Solid 2 has a ton of content too with the Substance version that contains around 500 VR missions and a load of other added bonuses. Metal Gear Solid 3 has a lot of replay value too because of playing through the game again to unlock all the camouflages. Also the inclusion of trophy support gives you a reason to get even more out of the game than you would before.

Conclusion

In conclusion the Metal Gear Solid HD Collection is something which you should definitely buy whether you have played these games before and want to relive the classics or if you missed out on them when they were originally released then now is the perfect time to play them. The amount of content for the price is amazing and it shouldn't be missed!

Scores

Gameplay: 10/10
Definitely got the best gameplay for the genre and is so fun that you can keep playing.

Singleplayer: 10/10
The stories in these games have so many twists and turns that you have no idea what's going to happen.

Multiplayer: 8/10
Peace Walker co-op is a fun way to play missions but less rewarding than trying solo.

Presentation: 9.5/10
Probably the best graphics that a HD Remake has ever seen. Looks like an early PS3 release.

Replay Value: 10/10
You can play these games over and over again and there's so much content that you could clock over 100 hours on this collection.


Overall: 9.5/10




#2
DynamiteTiger

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What a great review Parker. :thumbsup: I'd love to see you do more of these. :)

#3
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I agree with the brilliance of this series/collection - Two things I would have liked to see though:

- A replacement; imo it would have made more sense to put a HD port of Twin Snakes on instead of Peace Walker. This would have given you a better grasp of the story if you played it 3, twin snakes, 2. And so on.

- Change the controls. Always hated the awkward aiming motions on 3 and 2; if they'd have made all of the controls like Peace Walker or Guns of the Patriots it would have worked better imo.

So yeh, different control scheme (one of the only things that make the games weird to play), and change the release. I'd have done it as MGS Collection Vol 1 - Twin Snakes (or 1)/Sons of Liberty/Snake Eater. Then MGS Collection Vol 2 - AC!D, Peace Walker, Portable Ops, Online - Maybe even a download for 4 :D

:D

#4
Parkerdip

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What a great review Parker. :thumbsup: I'd love to see you do more of these. :)


Thanks man :) I was thinking of doing more if my first one was good enough because I was attempting to make it as professional as I can.


I agree with the brilliance of this series/collection - Two things I would have liked to see though:

- A replacement; imo it would have made more sense to put a HD port of Twin Snakes on instead of Peace Walker. This would have given you a better grasp of the story if you played it 3, twin snakes, 2. And so on.

- Change the controls. Always hated the awkward aiming motions on 3 and 2; if they'd have made all of the controls like Peace Walker or Guns of the Patriots it would have worked better imo.

So yeh, different control scheme (one of the only things that make the games weird to play), and change the release. I'd have done it as MGS Collection Vol 1 - Twin Snakes (or 1)/Sons of Liberty/Snake Eater. Then MGS Collection Vol 2 - AC!D, Peace Walker, Portable Ops, Online - Maybe even a download for 4 :D

:D


I do agree that Twin Snakes would have been good so we could play the whole series but I think that port would be impossible because I think Nintendo owns the rights to Twin Snakes.

#5
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But then even a PSN download of the PS1 version would be epic.
I loved how on MGS3 you could play the old Metal Gears too lol

#6
Parkerdip

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But then even a PSN download of the PS1 version would be epic.
I loved how on MGS3 you could play the old Metal Gears too lol


Well you can actually buy it on the PSN Store but it would be nice if they did the same as the original Metal Gears. And it was interesting having a look at the very retro 8-bit Metal Gear games :P

#7
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Yeh, I meant a code for it or something; luckily I have it on PS1 disc though :D