The MGS Master Collection is now available on PC in 4K – and it’s almost as good as the console version
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The MGS Master Collection is now available on PC in 4K – and it’s almost as good as the console version

Thanks to heroic modders, some games from Konami’s disastrous bundle are now playable on PC

The release of Metal Gear Solid: Master Collection Vol 1, with its catchy title, has faced major problems. On the PS5 and Xbox Series X, the games are only in 1080p resolution, and all games in the collection on the Nintendo Switch run at a slow 30 frames per second. The PC version also has its own issues, which we won’t get into.

Let’s dive into the problematic PC edition of the game. When it was released last week, the PC version was in a terrible state. I criticized this shameless money-making attempt over the weekend, and it wasn’t enjoyable, considering that this is my all-time favorite video game series.

The collection includes five games: NES’ 1987 Metal Gear, its MSX2 sequel Metal Gear 2, the legendary Metal Gear Solid from the PS1, and the PS2 titles MGS 2: Sons of Liberty and MGS 3: Snake Eater. Surprisingly, there are no customizable graphics settings for any of these games on PC. To make matters worse, they are all locked at a low 720p resolution by default, and there’s no way to change the in-game resolution.

Metal Gear Solid

Make no mistake: if you’re enjoying the collection on a top-tier gaming monitor or a high-quality OLED TV, a resolution of just 1280 x 720 is far from satisfactory. These shockingly low-resolution ‘remasters’ by default are a real eyesore and greatly disappoint my discerning eyes.

Fortunately, the PC modding community has come to the rescue, providing a partial solution. With the help of a couple of small files, you can now enjoy MGS 2 and MGS 3 on your PC in 4K resolution, or any custom resolution you prefer, thanks to a clever, though slightly unfinished, patch.

The process to get these older stealth games running in Ultra HD on your computer is quite simple. Just download the “dsd11” file and the “MGS Resolution Patch” (thanks to PC Gamer), unzip both files and then place them in the installation folder of each respective game.

And there you have it! These classic stealth games, which are old enough to enjoy a drink legally, and Snake probably needs one after the past week, will now run in 4K resolution when you launch them on your PC.

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Snake my day

Playing these games at the resolutions they should have launched with on PC, Xbox Series X, and PS5 revitalizes the experience. Metal Gear Solid 2, in particular, still holds up well thanks to its clean art style that has stood the test of time.

The only minor issue when playing MGS2 at 4K is an occasional visual bug where a small, faint rectangular box appears at the top left of the screen during cutscenes. It seems related to certain visual effects in the code being tied to the game’s original 720p state. While it can be distracting, the allure of 4K Solid Snake action is worth the occasional graphical hiccup.

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To make the PC experience even better, I’d recommend checking out a couple of HD texture patches that the Nexus Mods community has uploaded in the past week. These patches significantly improve texture resolutions in MGS 2 and MGS 3. While Snake Eater still has some blurry textures, these community-made enhancements add the finishing touch to the modded experience that has truly saved the Master Collection from disaster.

MGS Collection

And yes, that is a weirdly mixed food analogy. 

If I ever see rashers of pork anywhere near a Bakewell tart, I’ll spew harder than when you make Naked Snake eat a Cobalt Blue Tarantula in MGS 3.

Liberty for all

It’s commendable that dedicated Metal Gear modders have swiftly enhanced Snake’s two classic PS2 adventures on PC. However, this doesn’t excuse the sorry state in which Konami initially released this collection. It’s disappointing that it took the voluntary efforts of passionate gamers to rectify the problems left by professional developers. Whether due to time constraints or budget limitations, it’s unacceptable to deliver such a subpar product.

As mentioned earlier, while the situation has improved on PC, there’s still a substantial amount of work needed on consoles to bring Snake’s collection up to the standards that MGS fans rightfully deserve. At the very least, Konami should release a 4K patch for the PS5 and Xbox Series X versions of the Master Collection, although it’s unlikely they will do so.

I believe the Nintendo Switch OLED would provide an excellent platform to enjoy these stealth classics, especially given the quality of its wonderful screen. However, the capped 30 fps performance is subpar.

And in case you were curious, it’s worth noting that MGS 2 and MGS 3 are still experiencing significant issues on the Steam Deck. These games won’t load unless you’re willing to tinker with audio files in the portable PC’s Desktop mode, which is far from an ideal situation.

Metal Gear Games Collection

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As of the current moment, Metal Gear Solid 1 in the collection is still limited to 720p on PC, so Snake’s redemption arc isn’t complete just yet. Let’s hope that modders swiftly address this issue and that Snake’s original espionage adventure will soon be available to play in 4K as well. Additionally, proper widescreen support on consoles would be a very welcome improvement.

I don’t want to leave on a negative note either. I’m primarily relieved that the coding expertise of some incredibly talented Metal Gear enthusiasts has come to Snake’s rescue. Thanks to their selfless efforts, two of my favorite games have become significantly more enjoyable to play on a top-tier gaming PC, all within just a week after the Master Collection’s lackluster release.

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