Something quite typical of this time of the year is that most games are released during this season. This is going to be the case of Metal Gear Solid HD Collection, a high-definition compilation that features Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater and Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker. Additionally, Snake Eater includes two extra games which are ports of MSX2 versions: Metal Gear and Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake.
Unfortunately, the original Metal Gear Solid, which was released for the PlayStation, will not be included in the package and this is a shame as that game was simply amazing and it would have been a nice complement to the other iterations. I don’t know how difficult it can be for a developer to implement the HD treatment in old PlayStation games, but I bet it’s not that easy. In any way, all those people who want to experience the original Metal Gear Solid can buy that game on PlayStation Network.
Apart from these details, Konami has officially confirmed a released date: November 8, 2011 for North America and February 3, 2012 for Europe. The collection is coming out for both Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 systems and this will be the first time that some of these games come out for a console other than the PlayStation.
Now, let’s refer to the first two games in the series that helped establish the franchise as we know it:
The first Metal Gear was a stealth action game created by Hideo Kojima in 1987 and developed and published by Konami. The title was exclusively released for the MSX2 in Japan and some parts of Europe and later on a modified port was produced for the Nintendo Entertainment System. Metal Gear is really well known for being one of the first stealth games ever released and for influencing other titles in the genre. The main plot follows Solid Snake, a soldier who belongs to a group of Special Forces that is trying to infiltrate in an enemy base called Outer Heaven. There, Solid Snake encounters Metal Gear, a tank that can launch nuclear missiles.
This is one of those titles that seemed way ahead of its time. Although the game ran on an 8-bit engine, the graphics looked great, the story was simply amazing, gameplay incorporated some interesting elements and character development was overly convoluted (something that eventually became a trademark in the series.) Metal Gear was so successful that it received two sequels: one for the NES and another (a proper one we could say) for the MSX2.
Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake came out three years later than its prequel and was also exclusively released for the MSX2. It’s worth pointing out that this game didn’t have an official English version until it was released as a bonus in Metal Gear Solid 3: Subsistence for the PlayStation 2 in 2006. The story revolves around Solid Snake, who needs to infiltrate in a secret facility in Zanzibarland to rescue a scientist and destroy a new and improved version of the Metal Gear. The game has been praised as it was one of the first games to deal with mature topics such as the nature of war. Characters were rich, the story was masterfully told, gameplay was engrossing and it’s still considered one of the best 8-bit games ever released.
Although the HD versions of the modern games are the reason why most people will buy the collection, the fact that it includes the first two games in the franchise is just superb. I’m really looking forward to it.