Metal Gear Solid: Master Collection Vol 1 First Impressions | Pretty Solid

An authentic remaster of gaming masterpieces.

Very few names in the industry have as much weight as Hideo Kojima does when it comes to his work and the influences it has in gaming. The man wouldn’t be a legend if it wasn’t for the legendary Metal Gear series. Despite his falling out with Konami, the company still believes in the IP, and true enough, they’re re-releasing remasters of the critically acclaimed stealth series. After sneaking my way through Tokyo Game Show 2023, here’s my Metal Gear Solid: Master Collection Vol 1 first impressions. 

While the Master Collection Vol. 1 will include Metal Gear Solid, Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, and Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, I was only able to play through 1 out of the 3 remastered titles due to the limited time that was given. Obviously, I went with what is arguably the best in the series, Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater. The other caveat is that the build I played with only had Japanese audio and subtitles so I couldn’t really understand anything that was said other than snippets of what I could remember from the original game. Nevertheless, Snake is back, and (ideally) no one sees him coming. 

The best thing about the Master Collection Vol 1 is possibly its worst feature as well. The remastered games try to keep the experience as authentic as possible which means that it follows a similar control scheme. To a series veteran, this is great. Re-experience a classic the way you remember it feeling all those years ago with the added treat that it has upscaled graphics and increased framerates. For a modern player or someone who hasn’t really touched the old Metal Gear games, it’ll feel clunky, unresponsive, and unintuitive. I spent a few minutes trying to get used to the controls which led to a lot of exclamation points and fail states. 

Konami’s commitment to keep things as original as possible does wonders for the visual look of the game. As I watch Snake jump out of the plane and into the heavy browns and greens of the forest, I’m instantly transported back to the very first time I saw it as a kid and thought that was the coolest character introduction ever. The only thing the developers did was upscale the graphics in a way that they don’t look like potatoes on modern screens while also retaining the easily recognizable aesthetics that Kojima’s team set. 

Everything from the audio, atmosphere, and overall feel of the game is exactly as it was made to be all those years ago. Aside from the buttery smooth framerate, my favorite modern addition is how the game sends out subtle motion feedback through the PS5’s DualSense controller. You’ll know if you’re walking through water, mud, grass, etc. It really adds to the immersion of the whole thing despite not having photorealistic textures. 

If my experience with Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater is anything to go by, it’s that the Master Collection Vol. 1 is a must-have. This is for fans of the original games, fans of stealth titles, and those who want to experience one of the primary reasons why the genre and the gaming industry as a whole are such a big deal.