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Metal Gear Solid: HD Collection Review

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Inconspicious boxes have never looked less boxey

★★★★★

Like going to a museum to view relics from a bygone age, revisiting the classic Metal Gear adventures is a fascinating and inspiring experience that showcases Solid Snake’s role in shaping the evolution of modern videogames. But like viewing an exhibition of rusty antiquities, playing the HD Collection will also make you glad you’re able to step back into the modern world and appreciate just how much we’ve learned from the mistakes of the past.

While all the games included in this HD makeover – Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons Of Liberty, Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater and Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker – are bona fide classics that deserve their place in the pantheon of videogaming, the march of time has not been kind to Solid Snake’s outings, and newbies will be left wondering what all the fuss is about as they wrestle with the clumsy controls and impenetrable plots. And while it’s fun to play through the games in order and see how the tactical espionage action became more refined, even hardened series devotees will be left with a nagging sense of disappointment that more nuanced controls weren’t implemented to make these HD editions more approachable.

Don’t get us wrong: the games included in this package rewrote the rulebook for espionage thrillers, and sired hundreds of stealth-action games that never came close to matching the atmosphere, drama or downright weirdness of a typical Metal Gear outing. But with more great current-generation games to play than you have hours left in your life to enjoy them, it’s hard recommend these vintage Solid Snake adventures when you could be having more fun elsewhere.