If you haven’t heard by now, Metal Gear Solid’s Master Collection – which includes the first proper outing for MGS3: Snake Eater on PC – is a bit of a mess. Lacking graphics options, suffering from visual limitations and crashes, and generally barebones as a package, the catalogue of the first three Metal Gear Solid titles and their two Metal Gear prequels hasn’t exactly gone down well with players.
Metal Gear Solid makers Konami seem to be wholly aware of the problems, promising that remedies to many of fans’ complaints are in the works, ranging from fixes to various bugs, slowdown issues and subtitle timings through to missing features including the ability to swap between windowed and full-screen modes (!!), change the pixel aspect ratio and add effects such as a scanline filter for that retro CRT feel.
A couple of weeks ago, Konami released their first patch for the collection, fixing a problem with the game running at high speeds. And… that was it.
The latest 1.3.0 patch is a bit more stocky than that, bringing fixes to a number of bugs and errors, but still fails to address players’ biggest complaints with the Master Collection’s lacklustre delivery.
The newest patch includes some improvements to save functionality across the collection, along with – don’t hold your breath – an update to the online manual for each game. Slightly more meaningful are fixes to issues with loading saves in MGS2, resulting in a “damaged file” error; an issue in MGS3 where buttons might be assigned multiple functions; and problems with audio-syncing in some cutscene videos. That’s basically it for the patch’s PC offering, along with some further fixes for console players and a vague note that “some other minor issues” have been corrected. Thanks, Konami.
Needless to say, any sort of improvement is welcome, and it seems like Konami aren’t quite done yet, acknowledging further issues “under investigation” – including problems with cutscenes stopping at random, very specific issues with sea lice and laser pointers not displaying correcting in MGS2 and Naked Snake’s face camo displaying in a lower resolution in Snake Eater.
What isn’t addressed – either in the patches or the current to-do list – are most of the Master Collection’s most egregious problems, including a total lack of proper support for other resolutions or widescreen, the option to play in higher resolutions or framerates (especially for MGS1, which is locked to 25 frames a second in 240p in its PlayStation-emulated PAL version) and inaccurate rendering of the games’ original aspect ratios.
Fortunately, modders have stepped in to do what Konami hasn’t (at least, so far), fixing many of the problems within days of the Master Collection’s launch with support for 4K, ultrawide resolutions, improved textures and more.
Master Collection’s official 1.3.0 patch is live now, with Konami saying that updates on future “improvements and fixes” would be detailed “regularly” going forward. We’ll see how far the improvements go beyond fixing sea lice, I guess.