Metal Gear Solid HD Collection Review for PS3

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Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater

mgs3 theboss -

Metal Gear Solid 3 presented a much purer and simpler experience than the convoluted mess of the second game, and is by far my favourite entry in the series.

Setting up many of the mechanical frameworks that the series would attempt to recreate in later titles, Metal Gear Solid 3 tells the origins of the Snake that Solid, Liquid and Solidus would eventually be cloned from; I'd explain more, but we'd be here all year. Taking place in 1964, the hysteria and paranoia of the Cold War period is a natural home for the series' storytelling. Lacking the stuffy self-indulgence of 4, when the abundant space offered by the Blu-Ray disc let Kojima's fondness of overwrought cinematics spiral insufferably out of proportion, Metal Gear Solid 3's relatively simple plot contrasts with a set of complicated rules and settings that make it the hardest of the series to actually play.

Snake Eater casts aside the indoor environments of previous Metal Gear games and takes players through a Soviet jungle, giving players a camouflage meter alongside new mechanics such as CQC, stamina and injuries. There's a slower pace here than in previous games, putting the emphasis on blending into the environment and picking your time to strike.

For the first time in the series, then, Snake actually slithers. He also fights a preposterous boss who attacks him with bees, but the game's incredible sniper duel more than makes up for that. Other moments, too, such as a long ghostly walk where you're forced to encounter everyone you've killed, are some of the most memorable experiences I've had with video games.

There's also something about the way Metal Gear Solid 3 is told that makes it so special - often conforming to the same tropes that blight MGS2 and 4, but somehow elevated above them thanks to a deft juxtaposition with some of the series' most intricate and engaging set-pieces. Easily the most poignant and affecting of the series (and, unlike MGS4, this game actually knows when to end), its signature scenes - flower petals mixed with a sweeping score from Harry Gregson-Williams - are never anything less than beautiful.

Metal Gear Solid 3 was a game of soft colours and misty, tropical haze - the extra anti-aliasing complements the game's aesthetic far more than most HD remasters. It is still a gorgeous game, right down to its immaculate details: having the place names pop up in Russian as well as English was always a sharp touch.

The version present here is the Subsistence edition, which corrects one of the original game's biggest faults - the camera - and throws in versions of Metal Gear and Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake. Other bonuses from the edition, such as the Secret Theatre, Boss Survival Mode and the Ape Escape tie-in mini-game Snake vs Monkey, are not included. There's also no Metal Gear Online, though this is no great loss.

It's no surprise, in my opinion, that Metal Gear Solid 4 and Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker went to considerate efforts to emulate Big Boss's original adventure - but neither manage to capture what made Metal Gear Solid 3 so special.

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Rickitis's Avatar

Rickitis

Still waiting for this to go down in price over here, when it does I'll certainly pick it up, I never actually completed MGS 3 and now is the perfect opportunity :)
Posted 20:14 on 27 January 2012
Clockpunk's Avatar

Clockpunk@ squidman

I wouldn't say it is a boring piece at all - a nice retrospective that reflected expectations (from the time) and the resulting experience pretty damn accurately! :D That stylistic approach is always a nice read.
Posted 23:47 on 26 January 2012
squidman's Avatar

squidman@ Clockpunk

Thaaaanks. I was quite happy with the writing on this one when I turned it, actually, even if it is REALLY LONG and probably QUITE BORING.
Posted 22:43 on 26 January 2012
scaz2244's Avatar

scaz2244

i thought i read about this being limited reliease if it is then i will definatly pick it up but if not i can wait
Posted 14:46 on 26 January 2012
Bloodstorm's Avatar

Bloodstorm

Since Game stopped showing the PC games on their website i went with this as MOTM game.

CANNOT WAIT!
Posted 12:34 on 26 January 2012
andyb2610's Avatar

andyb2610

For me the original MGS was the best along with MGS3 so will probably pick up just for 3 as Martin suggests.
Posted 11:23 on 26 January 2012
Clockpunk's Avatar

Clockpunk

Good review, Martin - spot on with the analysis of MGS 3. Experiencing it all again is the main draw for me. That, and £30 for 3 games is a bloody good deal.

MGS2 was such a disappointment, but I shall play through it again, and try to enjoy it, in light of what we now know of the overarching story. It's a shame the skateboarding extra is gone - I would have liked to try that little bit of daftness!

I look forward to finally being able to try out Peace Walker, something I have wanted to play since its release, but have never had the chance.
Posted 11:02 on 26 January 2012
Woffls's Avatar

Woffls

Had the Zavvi Ultimate Edition thing ordered, but £40 for a shirt and some pictures is a bit heavy. I will probably pick this up at some point when I feel like replaying the MGS series, but that won't be any time soon.

I'm sort of glad they didn't throw MGS1 in the mix, because that justifies my spending £32 on Twin Snakes last year :D
Posted 10:48 on 26 January 2012
Wido's Avatar

Wido

Looking more forward to play these games, especially Peace Walker, as I have never played that game before. In theory I shall have three copies of MGS3 Snake Eater by March 9th... MSG3 for PS2, MGS3 for 360 and for the 3DS... Mad? Not at all... All different consoles offering a new experience on one of the 'many' franchise I love.

Top notch read Martin. I will agree with you on MGS2, even if I did started to like Raiden towards the end.
Posted 10:10 on 26 January 2012

Game Stats

Metal Gear Solid HD Collection
9
Out of 10
Metal Gear Solid HD Collection
  • Metal Gear Solid 3 is worth it on its own
  • Plenty of content on the disc
  • Great versions of some iconic games
  • It's a shame some extras were removed
Agree? Disagree? Get Involved!
Release Date: 03/02/2012
Platforms: PS3 , Xbox 360 , PS Vita
Publisher: Konami
Genre: Stealth
Rating: BBFC 15
Site Rank: 3,162 705
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