The Metal Gear franchise has been slumber for a long time now, but Konami, with a renewed focus on its dormant IPs, is finally bringing it back. No, we’re still not getting a new game until Metal Gear Solid Delta: Snake Eater- which technically also isn’t exactly a new game, and doesn’t have a release date yet. While we wait for the MGS3 remake, however, Konami is giving long-suffering Metal Gear fans the opportunity to dive back into many of the series’ older offerings with Metal Gear Solid: Master Collection Vol. 1. Due out not long from now, the collection will bundle multiple older Metal Gear games together in a single package, and ahead of its looming launch, here, we’ll take a look at a few key details that you should know about it.
HD COLLECTION VERSIONS
The first three Metal Gear Solid games are going to be the headlining fixtures of Master Collection Vol. 1, though with all three games, it won’t be their original releases that’ll be included, or even new, dedicated remasters. Instead, Konami is repackaging and including the versions that were released with Metal Gear Solid HD Collection back in 2011. For Metal Gear Solid 2 and 3, that means much of their content from their expanded re-releases, Substance and Subsistence, will be included. For Metal Gear Solid 2, that will mean VR and Alternative missions will be included. For Metal Gear Solid 3, on the other hand, while Subsistence content like its third person camera and the demo theater are included, things such as the Snake vs Monkey minigame and online multiplayer mode are not.
VR MISSIONS/SPECIAL MISSIONS
Konami has clearly made it its mission to pack as much content into MGS Master Collection as possible, which means it’s not just Metal Gear Solid 2 and 3 that will come with bonus content. The original Metal Gear Solid’s VR Missions (or Special Missions, as they were known in Europe) are also going to be part of the package. For those not in the know, these are hundreds of small, bite-sized training exercises that allow you to not only practice your sneaking skills, shooting, and combat, but also often task you with solving murder mysteries, playing as Gray Fox, and more.
METAL GEAR 1 AND 2
Metal Gear Solid 1, 2, and 3 are obviously going to hog most players’ attention when Master Collection Vol. 1 launches, though those looking to roll back the clock even further and revisit even older Metal Gear instalments will be able to do that as well. Konami has confirmed that the original two MSX instalments that started it all – Metal Gear and Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake – will also be included in the collection. As 2D top-down games that released more than three decades ago, they obviously haven’t aged particularly well- though there’s still a certain charm to their simplicity that series veterans in particular will likely enjoy (or so we hope, at least).
But wait- there’s still more content that’ll be included in Metal Gear Solid: Master Collection Vol. 1 that we haven’t yet spoke about. In addition to Metal Gear 1 and 2 and Metal Gear Solid 1, 2, and 3, the Master Collection will also pack in the NES version of the original Metal Gear. This was a completely unique version of the game that was, in fact, so different and so vastly changed from the original that Hideo Kojima ended up publicly denouncing it and declaring it non-canon. Also included is its standalone sequel, Snake’s Revenge, which released for the NES in 1990, and was also declared non-canon by Kojima. On top of all that, the Master Collection will also include a digital soundtrack feature 30 tracks, the Metal Gear Solid and Metal Gear Solid 2 digital graphic novels, and digital versions of screenplay books and master books for all five main games.
Psycho Mantis’ fourth wall breaking scene in the original Metal Gear Solid is one of the most iconic and memorable moments in the entire franchise, and even though he won’t be able to read your PS1 memory card to mention other games that you’ve been playing as he did back in the day, the Master Collection will still let you emulate that moment in quite a unique way. Players will essentially be able to create save data for older Konami titles, even if those games aren’t available on the platform that you’ll be playing Master Collection on, in turn allowing Psycho Mantis to read and mention that data when confronted by Solid Snake. What games you can create data will vary from region to region, but that list includes the likes of Snatcher, Policenauts, and Silent Hill.
FRAME RATE AND RESOLUTION
There’s no game in Metal Gear Solid: Master Collection Vol. 1 that’s younger than two decades old, which means it wouldn’t exactly be unfair to expect high frame rate and resolution targets. Thankfully, on the performance side of things, at least, it looks like the collection won’t disappoint, with Konami having confirmed that it will target 60 FPS on PC, PS5, Xbox Series X/S, PS4, and PS4 Pro. Where resolution is concerned, however, all games will be targeting 1080p instead of 4K. It’s also worth noting that Metal Gear Solid 2 and 3 will be what Konami describes as “up-converted” versions of 2011’s HD Collection, while MGS1 will be an “up-converted” version of the original PS1 release.
SWITCH FRAME RATE AND RESOLUTION
Coming to Metal Gear Solid: Master Collection Vol. 1’s Nintendo Switch version, there’s even more disappointment to be had with the resolution and frame rate. On handheld mode, all games will run at 720p and 30 FPS, while in console mode, they will target 1080p and 30 FPS. Obviously, we’re not expecting 4K resolution on the Nintendo Switch, but why Konami can’t get these multiple decade-old games (which originally ran at 60 FPS, no less) hitting a higher frame rate on the Switch’s hardware is a mystery (and a baffling one, at that).
Digital media’s share of the market continues to grow progressively larger as time goes on, but there’s still no shortage of people who prefer to buy their games physically. And though we’re seeing an increasing number of publishers who’re continuing to de-emphasize physical releases, thankfully, that won’t be the case with Metal Gear Solid: Master Collection Vol. 1. PlayStation, Xbox, and Switch players will be able to buy a boxed version of the collection, though on the Switch, that will once again come with a caveat, in that of the 24.1 GB of total data, only 2.4 GB of it will be front-loaded onto the cartridge. That means you’re going to have to download the rest to be able to actually play.
The Master Collection is clearly going to bundle quite a bit of content together into a single package, but how much is that package going to cost? About what you’d expect. Konami has confirmed that on all platforms, Master Collection Vol. 1 will retail for a price of $59.99. That said, you will also be able to purchase Metal Gear Solid 1, 2, and 3 individually for $19.99 each. Put together, their price will be equal to that of the entire collection, but you will be missing out on Metal Gear 1 and 2 and both NES titles.
As you may have expected, Metal Gear Solid: Master Collection Vol. 1 isn’t going to have very lofty hardware demands, which, of course, is reflected in its PC requirements. On minimum settings, you’ll need either a GeForce GTX 760 or an Intel HD Graphics 4000, along with an i7-3770 and 8 GB of RAM. Meanwhile, on recommended settings, you’ll need a GeForce GTX 980, an i5-7600, and 16 GB of RAM. On either setting, you’ll also need about 9 GB of free storage space.