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Metal Gear Solid - Master Collection Vol 1 is out, bringing MGS3 to PC for the first time

Bossing it

Naked Snake aims his gun in Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater gameplay from the HD Collection
Image credit: Konami

Snake? Snake?! SNAAAAAAAAA - Oh, there you are, Snake. This is just a quick Codec to let you know that Konami's stealth blockbuster bundle Metal Gear Solid - Master Collection Volume 1 is now available to buy. Did you ever play Metal Gear Solid, Snake? It's this sprawling philosophical epic about war, surveillance, AI, nationalism and anti-heroism, a baroque metafictional saga spanning generations that is also a complex series of videogame design experiments. I know - it's a lot to take in, Snake, but you can sort of boil the series down to the difference between two varieties of wall. There are the ones you hide behind, so as to get the drop on your foes, and there are the ones you break, because they're fourth walls, Snake. Do you see?

Right, that's quite enough of that. Available on Steam or Humble, The Master Collection Vol 1 contains the original Metal Gear and Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake for MSX2, the breakthrough PS1 title Metal Gear Solid and the PS2 sequels, Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty and Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater. You'll also get a bunch of bonus SE gubbins, including the non-Kojima-developed standalone sequel Snake's Revenge for NES, a couple of Metal Gear digital graphics novels and a soundtrack. It'll set you back £50 or $60. Here's a promotional image with more.

The contents of Metal Gear Solid: Master Collection Vol. 1
Image credit: Konami

The standout here is MGS3 - this is the first time it's been released for PC, and it's the HD remaster to boot, so hopefully it'll scrub up nicely on your desk and/or laptop. Konami are also working on a full Metal Gear Solid 3 remake, which you might consider either an incentive to replay the original or an incentive to steer away from it, so as to go into the remake fresh.

If you're thinking of buying, be warned that the Master Collections have their share of technical troubles, some of which have been detailed in advance by Konami (thanks, IGN). The company have yet to patch in windowed and full-screen switching for Metal Gear and Metal Gear 2, and they're working on some bug fixes for the three MGS games. In Metal Gear Solid 2, you can expect slow performance in certain cutscenes, and delayed timing for one particular visual effect (they don't specify). Konami are also still working on fullscreen-windowed mode switching for MGS3, together with fixes for smaller blemishes such as a disconnect between one cutscene and the background music, and some rogue typos in the English, French, Italian, German and Spanish scripts.

Many and ferocious are the battles fought over which Metal Gear Solid is bestest (the first two games tend to get left out of the discussion, because they don't have 3D graphics and as such, are no longer considered to be Real Videogames). Purists will of course favour MGS1, which I adore for being a free-wheeling experiment with 3D spaces and perspectives. Metal Gear Solid 3 is great for people who love survivalism and relatively unfussy (relatively, mind you) storylines: it also has my favourite "villain" of the series in the shape of Big Boss's mentor, the Boss. Sons of Liberty is your go-to for unpleasantly enduring cautionary tales about global politics and digital technology. It also has Raiden in it, who didn't go down well with fans at first, but who would later star in the awesome, Platinum-helmed Revengeance.

And then there's MGS4, which sort of goes to war with the fans by giving them exactly what they want, and MGS5, which is one of the few open world games I've played that makes me actively curious about what I can accomplish with all the tools. It seems likely they'll get the Master Collection treatment too. As Alice0 noted back in May, the "Volume 1" part is a bit of a hint.

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