Metal Gear Solid HD Collection Review for Xbox 360

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Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker

Metal Gear Solid HD Collection screenshot

Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker is Hideo Kojima trying to cross a generational gap. Metal Gear Solid 4 was Sony's high-profile exclusive title for the PlayStation 3, but its icky convoluted mess was hardly a good entry point for series beginners -

Where was everyone? Western kids were screaming profanities down the microphone thanks to Call of Duty, but Japanese children were hitting their gaming maturity with Capcom's phenomenally successful Monster Hunter series on the PSP. Metal Gear: Peace Walker decided it would very much like a piece of that action, thank you very much - it even went to the effort of including some special Monster Hunter levels.

This is a pick-up-and-play Metal Gear designed for a handheld, giving you over 100 (though many are optional) quick bursts of content. There's a heavy RPG-flavour, as you recruit enemy soldiers and POW's into your militia gang and then grind yourself some better weapons and equipment. If you've got a PSP save file kicking around, it can also be imported into this PS3 version.

Controls have been scaled back from previous Metal Gear Solid games, thanks to the PSP's limited selection of inputs, ridding Snake of many of his abilities but ensuring its environments have been designed to compensate. Dual stick support has, however, been introduced in this HD collection.

Metal Gear Solid 3's immaculate sense of direction and authorship are completely gone, however, and in their stead are a plot and context that can politely be described as utter bobbins. The gut-wrenching final twist, awarded if you manage to progress through the entire glut of optional content, completely undoes the game.

Much of Peace Walker has been designed to be played co-operatively, and many Western gamers will likely find this HD Collection (and its online options) their first genuine opportunity to do so. Nowhere is this emphasis on the co-operative more apparent than in the game's boss fights, which are little more than routine wars of attrition as you all stand in a clump and fire off streams of rockets until the target keels over.

The game looks surprisingly good when upscaled on a console, but its blocky polygons are still somewhat lacking when compared to the wonderful job done on Metal Gear Solid 3. Still, it's a testament to the quality of the original work that a handheld title holds up this well under HD scrutiny.


Conclusion

Bluepoint Games has done an admirable job collating one of gaming's most unique, important and frustrating franchises. Metal Gear Solid has always been a complicated beast; a series with a pressing anti-war sentiment that seems to simultaneously revel in bombastic action flicks, set in a world where the cheeky upskirt camera shot is the only thing more important than an elaborate interrogation of the human condition. Kojima's oeuvre is as bold as it is hokey, and for all its faults this is an engaging universe that is never dull except for when it is.

Version Tested: PlayStation 3

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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

Technical Specs
9
Out of 10
Metal Gear Solid HD Collection
  • Great versions of some iconic games
  • Metal Gear Solid 3 is worth it on its own
  • Plenty of content on the disc
  • It's a shame some extras were removed
Agree? Disagree? Get Involved!
Release Date: 03/02/2012
Platforms: Xbox 360 , PS3 , PS Vita
Publisher: Konami
Genre: Stealth
Rating: BBFC 15
Site Rank: 783 16
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