Metal Gear Solid: Master Collection Vol. 1 – All the games, everything you need to know

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Image: Nintendo Life

During the June 2023 Nintendo Direct, it was confirmed that Metal Gear Solid: Master Collection Vol. 1 will launch on Switch later this year.

It marks the first time Konami’s flagship franchise has been on a Nintendo system since Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater 3D on 3DS in 2012. Not only that, but it’s also the first time the main Metal Gear Solid trilogy has been released. has been available in any nintendo system; at least in its ‘original’ form.

That means there are probably plenty of Nintendo gamers who have never experienced Hideo Kojima’s masterpiece of a series, so that’s where we come in.

Now, before you break a sweat at the thought of running into some spoilers here, don’t worry, dear reader; We have kept this guide as spoiler-free as possible. If you’ve never played through the Metal Gear franchise before, you’ll definitely want to go in as blind as possible!

This guide will give you everything you need to know about the upcoming collection, including its release date, what order to play the games in, and more.

When does it come out exactly?

The good news is that you don’t have also Long time to wait until Metal Gear Solid: Master Collection vol. 1 launches as it will land on Switch on October 24, 2023.

What games are included?

There is a total of Seven games included in the full set at launch. Let’s take a look at each game in a little more detail…

metal gear

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Image: Konami

The original Metal Gear was released in 1987 for the MSX2 and chronicles Solid Snake’s first mission as he infiltrates the heavily fortified state known as Outer Heaven.

Metal Gear proved to be a pioneer in the stealth genre, introducing alert states that would significantly alter the way the enemy behaves should Snake be discovered. It also featured Codec’s now iconic sequences during which Snake kept in touch with his commanding officer, Big Boss.

Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake

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Image: Konami

Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake takes place in 1999, three years after the original game. This time Solid Snake is tasked with infiltrating Zanzibar Land and rescuing Czechoslovakian biologist Dr. Kio Marv. He’s been aided in his mission by franchise favorite Roy Campbell, along with McDonnell ‘Master’ Miller.

Enemy AI was significantly improved for the sequel, allowing enemies to traverse multiple screens with improved viewing angles. Careful!

solid metal gear

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Image: Konami

While certainly not the first entry in the franchise, Metal Gear Solid is certainly the entry to really put it on the map. The game, released in 1998 for the PlayStation, established Hideo Kojima as one of the most creative minds in the gaming industry. Taking place on the iconic Shadow Moses Island, Solid Snake is tasked with rescuing DARPA chief Donald Anderson and ArmsTech president Kenneth Baker as he works to neutralize a nuclear threat posed by the renegade group known as FOXHOUND. .

Metal Gear Solid introduced 3D environments and cinematic cutscenes to the series, enhancing the storytelling to downright ridiculous levels and immortalizing the game as one of the best ever made.

Metal Gear Solid 2: Children of Liberty

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Image: Konami

The direct sequel to Metal Gear Solid was released exclusively for the PlayStation 2 in 2001 and vastly improved gameplay to take advantage of more powerful hardware. First-person viewpoints were added along with the ability to stop guards, dispose of their bodies, and hide in lockers.

The story sees Snake infiltrate a tanker truck crossing the Hudson River, where he is tasked with locating and proving the existence of a new Metal Gear. Now, many of us know that Sons of Liberty pulls the rug out from under players early on, but for the sake of the few who may not have played it before, we’ll refrain from going into any more detail here.

Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater

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Image: Konami

Snake Eater takes players back to the 1960s, where we take on the role of Naked Snake as he carries out two main missions: the Virtuous Mission and Operation Snake Eater. The game demonstrates a significant reorganization of the usual gameplay, introducing the need to customize your camouflage to blend in with different environments, as well as repairing specific injuries and eating wildlife found in the jungle, including… you guessed it, snakes.

Originally released for PlayStation 2 in 2004, the game was also well received on 3DS, adding a lovely 3D effect to visuals along with the ability to crouch and walk at the same time. A full remake is also being planned for PS5 and Xbox Series X/S called Metal Gear Solid Delta: Snake Eater.

Metal Gear (NES)

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Image: Konami

Metal Gear for the NES is a significantly altered port of the MSX game completed without the input of the franchise’s creator, Hideo Kojima. Reportedly created against a strict three-month deadline from Konami, the game made significant changes from the original, including the complete absence of an actual Metal Gear boss fight.

Naturally, Kojima has previously expressed his dislike for the NES version due to his lack of input. We’re pretty sure he won’t be too happy about the game’s inclusion in the Switch collection!

The Serpent’s Revenge

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Image: Konami

Speaking of making games without Kojima’s involvement, Snake’s Revenge is actually the first sequel to Metal Gear, though it’s not even remotely considered canon these days. It was created after the NES version of Metal Gear sold well upon its release, but interestingly, after Kojima found out about the game’s production, he requested permission to make his own sequel, Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake. Permission was granted almost immediately.

The game’s inclusion in the Switch collection marks its first official release since 1990. Again, we’re not convinced that Kojima himself is thrilled, but here we go.

In what order should I play the Metal Gear games?

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Image: Konami

If you want to experience the entire franchise, including the MSX games, you have two main options available: release order and chronological order. Let’s take a look at the release order first (we’ve opted not to include the NES version of Metal Gear and Snake’s Revenge as neither are considered canon):

  • Metal Gear – 1987
  • Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake – 1990
  • Solid Metal Gear – 1998
  • Metal Gear Solid 2: Children of Liberty – 2001
  • Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater – 2004

The chronological order isn’t drastically different, but it does mean playing what many consider to be the best game first:

  • Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater – 1964
  • Metal Gear – 1995
  • Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake – 1999
  • Solid Metal Gear – 2005
  • Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty – 2007/2009

Can I buy any of the games separately?

If you can. But only three of them.

If you’re not looking to purchase the entire collection, or if you’re not ready to commit to the entire series, you can pick up Metal Gear Solid, Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, and Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater separately in digital form.

What additional features are included?

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Image: Konami

As we mentioned, the NES version of Metal Gear and its sequel, Snake’s Revenge, are included in this collection as bonus content, but that’s not all.

Fans will also enjoy digital comics from both. solid metal gear (written by Kris Orisko) and Metal Gear Solid 2: Children of Liberty (written by Alex Garner), with illustrations by Ashley Wood. Digital scripts and master books will also be included, showcasing things like key quotes, scripts, briefing files, and strategy guides.

Finally, a digital soundtrack will be included with a total of 20 tracks that can be enjoyed through an in-game sound player. Pre-orders of the collection will also receive the following bonus tracks:

– THE BEST IS YET TO COME (Master Collection ver.)
– I CAN’T SAY GOODBYE TO YESTERDAY (Master Collection ver.)
– SNAKE EATER (Master Collection ver.)

All in all, it’s a reasonably complete package!

Is Hideo Kojima involved?

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Image: PlayStation

Oh no.

Hideo Kojima and Konami went through a very public split during the later stages of development on Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. He now runs his own independent studio called Kojima Productions and is currently working on a sequel to the critically acclaimed Death Stranding.

Not only that, but he’s also working with Xbox Game Studios on an exclusive title and is deep in pre-production on a Death Stranding film adaptation.

Needless to say, it looks like Kojima is done with the Metal Gear franchise, and indeed Konami.

Will there be a physical edition?

Yes, there will be a physical edition of Metal Gear Solid: Master Collection Vol. 1, but it will come with a pretty significant caveat.

According to Konami, the cartridge will be front-loading at 2.4GB, whatever that means. The total download size required for the collection, however, is a colossal 29.5 GB with an additional 30 GB required for additional videos. Basically, if you don’t have a sizable SD card, then you’ll need one.

This is how Konami describes the download requirements:

  • Physical version: 29.5GB (* Front load on 2.4 GB cartridge)
    • Metal Gear Solid – Master Collection Version: 10.2GB
      • excluding MG and MG2: 8.8 GB
      • including MG and MG2: 10.2 GB (Metal Gear and Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake: 1.4 GB)
    • Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty – Master Collection Version: 8.0 GB
    • Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater – Master Collection Version: 12.2 GB
    • Additional content: 1.0 GB + 30 GB for additional videos

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