Konami announced the Metal Gear Solid HD Collection days before E3 2011. The pack will include Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater and Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker. This HD remastering collection will be the first time Peace Walker is playable on the PlayStation 3. However, there is one essential game missing from this list: the original Metal Gear Solid. Now that the dust of E3 has settled, Kojima Productions has shed some light to Eurogamer on why they chose not to include the original MGS in the package.
“Obviously, we wanted to include Metal Gear Solid and make it a complete collection,” said Kojima Productions creative producer Yoshikazu Matsuhana.
“However, as you know, Metal Gear Solid 1 was for the PSone. It has a very, very low polygon count. While at the time the game was something new and refreshing, just bringing it as is into HD probably wouldn’t have that much meaning to us.
“We’re doing two and three with a certain work flow where the goal is to take that game, preserve it and introduce it to a new generation. We can’t really take that approach with Metal Gear Solid 1 because it’s very dated at this point.”
So instead of just updating the resolution of the PSone classic — which, let’s be honest, wouldn’t really improve the graphics at all — Kojima Productions is looking into doing a fully-fledged remake, complete with updated gameplay and tweaked story beats. Matsuhana says it would be different enough to be considered a re-imagining instead of a remastering.
“If we were going to do Metal Gear Solid 1 we’d want to take more time with it. Not just up-res the textures, not just make things look pretty and polished, but go back and tweak some of the gameplay, tweak the story to update things and do it properly,” explained Matsuhana. “Not just a re-master but a re-imagining almost.”
Let us not forget that this was practically done back in 2004 when Konami released Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes on the Nintendo Gamecube. The game was an updated take on the original MGS story, full of cutscenes making excessive use of bullet time. However, it’s worth noting that Twin Snakes was not handled by Kojima Productions, but was instead developed by Silicon Knights. Maybe this latest MGS re-imagining is Kojima Productions’ way of reclaiming their baby, sprucing it up, and delivering it to the world the way they originally envisioned.
While it’s sad that the original title will not be included in the MGS Collection for the sake of completeness, you’ve got to understand Kojima Productions’ mindset on this one. Hopefully they can find some time to work on this re-imagining and properly reintroduce the original Metal Gear Solid to a whole new generation of gamers. The masterpiece deserves it.