Is Metal Gear Solid: Master Collection Vol. 1, Worth Playing?
Honest Video Game Reviews received a free copy of this title for review purposes, however our opinions are our own.
While Metal Gear Solid: Master Collection Vol. 1 is a decent collection of iconic games, its outdated portrayal of female characters and dated controls make it difficult to wholeheartedly recommend it, despite the respect that I and many others have for the franchise and its controversial creature.

The Lowdown.

Product Details
Genre: Action
Developer: KONAMI
Publisher: KONAMI
Price: $59.99
Release Date: 24 October 2023
Supported Modes:

Value For Money.

The Metal Gear Solid: Master Collection Vol. 1 offers great value for money and includes five full games: Metal Gear (1987), Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake (1990), Metal Gear Solid (1998), Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty (2001), and  Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater (2004).

In addition to a healthy dose of bonus content, including soundtracks, game guides, graphic novels, regional variations of the original two games, and the curiously named Metal Gear Solid: VR Missions, which has nothing to do with real-world VR and instead allows players to tackle 300 virtual reality training missions, in addition to ogling low-polygon models of the female characters from Metal Gear Solid (1998), ensuring that we do not forget for a moment at just how badly female characters are objectified in every Metal Gear Solid game in which they appear.


The Metal Gear Solid: Master Collection Vol. 1 spans 17 years of releases, and as such, visually, it ranges from 8bit travesties to late-era PS2 titles, which still look fantastic today, and while I can honestly say only Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty (2001), and  Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater (2004) are still decent looking games considering the hardware limitations of the era, the rest of the collection isn’t that impressive, and while I understand the limitations of the original Playstation, there were much better-looking games released for that console than Metal Gear Solid, which frankly looks awful on anything other than the boxy CRT stored in your grandmother’s basement.

Is Metal Gear Solid Master Collection Vol 1 Worth Playing

Hideo Kojima.

It’s been said that there is a fine line between genius and insanity, which is even slighter for creative individuals. No one familiar with Hideo Kojima can deny that he has straddled that line, often stepping to one side or the other very successfully for over 35 years, making him one of the most famous game developers in history.

While no one can doubt that he has been incredibly successful and has released some of the most iconic video games in history, his projects are very much the “game he wants to make”, and sometimes that can result in some rather brilliant, baffling and occasionally disturbing design choices, which are in many ways why he is such an iconic and controversial figure.

While being able to “call up” npc characters at any time for advice (or to save the game is excellent) and swapping controller ports as a game mechanic was frankly genius, other aspects of the Metal Gear Solid franchise, such as constant lengthy cutscenes and gameplay interruptions do little but annoy the player, and the portrayal of female characters is frankly inexcusable considering the gravity in which characters frequently find themselves.

Is Metal Gear Solid Master Collection Vol 1 Worth Playing

Excessive Cutscenes.

The early Metal Gear Solid games are filled to capacity with lengthy cutscenes, and it’s not uncommon for players to be interrupted every few minutes by various calls and cutscenes. Some titles are comprised predominantly of lengthy cutscenes interspaced by short (but well-structured) gameplay segments.

A perfect example of this is the opening level for Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, which is comprised of a lengthy introduction movie, an equally length phone, followed by another success, less than 5 minutes of gameplay, followed by even more cutscenes, forced camera perspectives, and yep, more phone calls, until the feature that I originally found amusing (making calls) quickly became my second least favourite thing about the older games in the franchise, the portrayal of female characters.

Is Metal Gear Solid Master Collection Vol 1 Worth Playing

Portrayal of Female Characters.

The Metal Gear Solid series is notorious for its terrible portrayal of female characters. While visually, nothing in Metal Gear Solid: Master Collection Vol. 1 tops Quiet, the mostly naked voluptuous assassin from Metal Gear Solid V, almost every major female character in Metal Gear Solid: Master Collection Vol. 1 exists to leer at or perv over.

While there are too many instances to list every occurrence of female characters being sexually harassed and objectified in Metal Gear Solid, here are some of our least favourites.

Workplace Sexual Harassment.

Right off the bat, at the start of Metal Gear Solid (1998), we witness Solid Snake sexually harassing not one but two female colleagues, including a rather creepy conversation where we witness him simping over one of his handlers who is just trying to do her job, and being promised that if he returns from the mission, he can strip search his female doctor, something that Snake promises he will remember to do.

While this sounds creepy enough as it is, Snake also starts trying to explain to Dr Naomi and Mei Ling how he has retrieved a package of smokes (cigarettes) from out of his behind; lovely!

Is Metal Gear Solid Master Collection Vol 1 Worth Playing

Meryl Silverburgh.
Meryl Silverburgh appears to exist purely for the same of being ogled, with players being given multiple chances to catch her in various states of undress and humiliating and voyeuristic positions, including but not limited to walking in her in the bathroom, spying on her from an air vent as she works out in her underwear, forcing her to continue the mission in her panties (by stopping her dressing), Snake commenting on her great butt, and more.
This is in addition to her being captured and stripped to her underwear by bad guys, and according to the original story direction released in Words for Metal Gear, she would also have been stripped entirely naked and inspected for signs of carrying a nuclear weapon in one scene, where the player would be presumably present as Snake.
Female Uniforms.
Almost every female character is seen wearing a uniform that looks more like a naughty Halloween costume than an actual uniform, with characters such as Quiet appearing mostly naked and soviet spy eve wearing a uniform that is unbuttoned down to her belt, revealing her “sexy” black bra and voluptuous figure.

Is Metal Gear Solid Master Collection Vol 1 Worth Playing

While the world is constantly on the verge of disaster, the player often has the popularity to engage in photo shoots with various female characters, with the player often being given the option to pose them in various provocative poses; nowhere is this more offensive than the Beauty and the Beast photoshoots in Metal Gear Solid 2, which not only mock female soldiers with PTSD but also allow players to pose them in various covergirl poses.
This act diminishes what could have been cool female characters with moving and engaging backstories into little more than eye candy for the player to list over.


In Conclusion.
While some may dismiss Metal Gear Solid’s sexualised portrayal of female characters as a non-issue, I feel strongly that making content purely to titillate is wrong, and while there is a time and place for nudity in games, making every female character eye candy is offensive, and for those who are prone to acting on their lust, dangerous.
But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body go into hell. - Matthew 5:28-30

Metal Gear Solid: Master Collection Vol. 1 FAQ

Metal Gear Solid: Master Collection Vol. 1 is a action video game developed and published by KONAMI, it was released on 24 October 2023 and retails for $59.99.

Platform Availability.

Metal Gear Solid: Master Collection Vol. 1 is available on the following platforms: Nintendo Switch, PC, Playstation 4, Playstation 5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X|S.

What Peripherals Are Supported?

The following peripherals are officially supported:

  • Console - Controller.
  • PC - Controller.
  • PC - Mouse and Keyboard.

Is There Any Mature Content?

Metal Gear Solid: Master Collection Vol. 1 is rated PEGI 18+ and contains the following:

  • Bad Language
  • Drug Use
  • Gore
  • Mature Themes
  • Partial Nudity
  • Sexual Content
  • Violence

Final Verdict.

Metal Gear Solid and the various incarnations of Solid Snake are some of the most iconic and well-loved aspects of gaming culture. For many people being able to play games that meant a lot to them in their youth, the Metal Gear Solid: Master Collection Vol, will be a welcome treat.

However, for someone who does not have that element of nostalgia, the Metal Gear Solid: Master Collection Vol. is more of a risky purchase, as while each title is iconic and for its time was revolutionary, except for Metal Gear Solid 3, and to a lesser degree Metal Gear Solid 2, most of the games in the collection are hideously outdated in all ways possible, including, but not limited to camera controls, narrative pacing, gameplay, character controls, combat mechanics,  portrayal of female and ethnic characters, and perhaps most importantly, how enjoyable they are to anyone who isn’t already a long time fan.

While longtime fans of the franchise and Kojima may be happy to spend more time watching partially static, overly verbose cutscenes, As someone who has long been aware of the series,s but has no special love or nostalgia for the older titles, I honestly felt bored, as while the plot isn’t bad, Kojima does love his own writing too much, and characters often waffling on endlessly, when a short but well-written interlude or voice over while gameplay continues would have been much better received than staring at a mostly static screen, as talking heads talk about events and topics that are far from mission-critical, such as Snake smoking, and how exactly he managed to retrieve the cigarettes he has inserted into his own stomach, finding his handler cute, or wanting to strip search a female doctor, while the literal fate of the world was at stake.

Overall not a bad collection of games for fans of the franchise, but for everyone else, I suggest watching some gameplay and waiting for it to be added to a subscription service or a steep discount during a seasonal sale.

Is Metal Gear Solid: Master Collection Vol. 1 Worth Playing In 2024?

Honest Video Game Reviews has given "Metal Gear Solid: Master Collection Vol. 1" a rating of 7/10, indicating that it is a good game, that is well worth playing, and while it may have a few shortcomings, the average gamer will enjoy it.

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