Konami says to expect slowdown in some Metal Gear Solid cutscenes, but a patch is coming post-launch

 MGS2's Raiden.
MGS2's Raiden.

Metal Gear Solid: Master Collection is out on Tuesday, finally bringing the best Metal Gear game—MGS3—to PC for the first time. As I wrote in my preview back in August, I'm still disappointed by how barebones the ports of these great games are. While Konami's going above and beyond with its included bonus materials and different regional versions of the games, their work on the underlying emulation—like running the games at higher resolutions and framerates—leaves a lot to be desired. Speaking to IGN, Konami has also now confirmed several issues that haven't been fixed in time for the launch.

While some of Konami's statements to IGN are pretty vague, we can sum up a few of the problems that attentive players will catch this week:

  • Slowdown in Metal Gear Solid 2 "in certain cutscenes," and less severe slowdown in MGS1 & MGS3

  • A delay on "a certain visual effect" triggering

  • Subtitle typos in the EU game versions

  • Mistimed subtitles in the NES games (Metal Gear and Snake's Revenge)

Konami didn't specify whether to expect the slowdown on all platforms or not—when I previewed the games on Switch they experienced significant performance issues, but I'd expect a modern PC to be able to handle emulating these games much more capably.

The above will all be fixed in a post-release patch, though when we don't know. For a moment I was excited to see that Konami plans to add "a CRT scanline filter and the ability to change the pixel aspect ratio," but according to its statement to IGN, those features seem to only be planned for the two NES games. I've reached out to Konami for clarification and will update this article if I receive a reply.

That'd be a real disappointment if similar visual filter options weren't made available for Metal Gear Solid 1, which, notably in this collection, is being rendered at its native resolution (320x240) and then upscaled to 1080p. I think this is a poor choice for playing the game on modern displays—players should have the choice between the original resolution with CRT filters or a native 4K render of the game.

PS1 games running at 4K are a very different aesthetic experience, but personally I think Metal Gear Solid holds up extremely well at high resolutions and it's a shame to be limited to the 240p shown above. MGS also really benefits from the geometry correction that current emulators can do—the PS1 was notorious for its wobbly, flickery 3D.

Without paying attention to those kinds of details, Konami hasn't made anything close to the definitive version of MGS1 with this release—it's just made a version of the game that's easy to buy. I'm particularly glad to see MGS3 on PC, and the port will be "good enough" for most players thanks to the existing HD remaster Konami is working off of. But one of the best games of all time deserved more than "good enough." Here's hoping we see more updates post-launch giving the games a bit of TLC.