The much-anticipated arrival of Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater on PC last month fell somewhat flat. Its release, alongside Metal Gear Solid 1 and 2, and the two original Metal Gear games in the Master Collection, left many fans disenchanted, complaining about the basic graphics options and locked resolution. While the general reception might have been a somber "oof", committed modders have since risen to the challenge and polished the collection, while Konami seemingly was not interested in investing further time in the project.
The lack of in-depth PC graphics options was a major issue. The games were locked to a 720p resolution, which in the case of Metal Gear Solid 1, was further emulated at a painfully PS1-era resolution of 240p, and a 50Hz frequency when playing its PAL version - this left it looking akin to a relic from the past. Additionally, incorrect aspect ratios during gameplay and cutscenes were merely adding insult to injury. The situation was disappointing, to say the least.
However, a beacon of hope emerged in the form of the modding community. They took it upon themselves to improve what was a disappointing release. The mod pack, affectionately dubbed the MGSHDFix; brings together an assortment of enhancements by modders named Lyall, emoose, ShizCalev, and yoyossef. The modders successfully introduced support for custom resolutions, ultrawide support, and the ability to resize the HUD and cutscenes to a more amenable 16:9 ratio in MGS2 and MGS3. Although these changes are in their experimental stages, they represent a marked improvement from the initial release.
They provided gamers with the option of playing either in borderless mode or a window, an upgrade from the exclusive fullscreen they were previously confined to. Adjustments were made to the aspect ratio in the gameplay and cutscenes of Sons of Liberty and Snake Eater's so that it would more closely mirror those of the original games. Improvements to the graphics were also made, with accommodations made for larger textures and adjustable anisotropic filtering. Although, it is fair to note that the expanded textures currently only apply to the Metal Gear games and MGS3.
The modders even took the time to include minor quality-of-life options. These include the ability to skip the intro logos for MGS2 and 3, fine-tuning mouse sensitivity, or even ridding the screen of the mouse cursor entirely. Nearly all enhancements can be applied to MGS3, with some also able to be utilized in MGS2 and the original Metal Gear games.
Regrettably, Metal Gear Solid 1 remains tethered to the original lack-luster performance and visuals due to its PlayStation emulation. Konami has announced their plans to resolve some of these challenges, including the lack of visual options, various bugs, and the occasional delay during cutscenes. Although, to date, they have only released a patch tending to the game running at high speeds.
While it remains to be seen whether all the issues will be addressed before Volume 2 is unreeled, it is clear that dedicated modders will be there to fill any gaps Konami leaves. Their effort in taking a beloved game collection that was released in a brutal state and polishing it to provide fans a better experience indicates a commitment that should be celebrated. Modders are indeed a blessing for the gaming community.
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