Metal Gear Solid HD

Metal Gear Solid: HD Collection is the best value HD remake available

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Konami Metal Gear Solid HD
  • Expert Rating

    4.50 / 5

Pros

  • Three brilliant games on one disc, and they play as well as ever

Cons

  • The HD doesn't look as good as it sounds

Bottom Line

Anyone who already has played these games to death won't get much more out of them. For anyone new to the series, or anyone who hasn't had the opportunity to play the games before, go out and get this disc now. It's essential.

Would you buy this?

Metal Gear Solid: HD Collection is without a shadow of a doubt the best value of these HD make-overs that are in vogue right now. The three games within the collection all hold up remarkably well, and while we would have appreciated some more work put in to the visual side of the update, that’s a very small criticism to make.

The games, especially Metal Gear Solid 2, show their age despite the upscaled visuals. Environments tend to be quite flat and plastic, and the polygon counts are lower than in the blockbusters of today. They still look nice, thanks to a strong aesthetic cohesion through the environments, but it’s a common problem amongst the HD remakes – these games were simply not designed with high definition in mind.

That said, you’re not likely to buy the MGS games for their visuals. What you’re looking for is the stealth gameplay, and it does indeed hold up as well today as it ever has. Indeed, with the developers and publishers out there so hell bent on giving us cookie cutter action FPSers without a hint of subtlety, it’s refreshing to go back to a style of game where you don’t want to kill everything that moves.

The main aim for these games is to sneak around, tackling objectives without being seen, much less raising an alarm. All three games in the collection have a different twist on that basic formula, but the sense of consistency between the games is surprisingly strong.

You’ll have basic weapons at your disposal, but they’re invariably a last resort. Finding long grass (or, comically, boxes) to hide in is the best way to go move around, and levels are typically structured in a non-linear manner to help facilitate the sense that you get to be strategic about how you go about this game.

Remember non-linear levels? Yep, Metal Gear Solid games most definitely do not filter you through tight corridors between action sequences, and mindless this game is most definitely not. Instead, watching enemy routes, carefully planning your own movements and careful utilisation of the environment is the name of the game.

Which isn’t to say the game lacks for action. It’s subtle, but running through the undergrowth of a dense forest or through a hijacked ship when detection (and death) is literally around the corner provides a tense kind of thrills, where nothing short of perfection is required for success. Combined with a control system that is simply perfect in execution, all three games in this collection are, just as the marketing would have you believe, 'tactical stealth action' games.

It might be hard to argue that this collection is a must have for people who have already played the original games through to completion. There just isn’t enough added to the games with this HD coat of paint. What is undeniable is that these are three spectacular games, and if you haven’t had the opportunity to play them before, they’re absolutely essential this time.

Struggling for Christmas presents this year? Check out our Christmas Gift Guide for some top tech suggestions and more.

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