Konami was likely hoping for us not to spot this yet, but their attempt at stealthily preparing a new PC release of Metal Gear Solid and Metal Gear Solid 2: Substance has been scuppered by them popping up on the Taiwanese game ratings board website. Games cropping up on here is one of the more common ways for new game releases to get revealed ahead of their officially planned announcement, as the Taiwanese game rating board are particularly efficient when it comes to processing and publishing rating information about games, to the extent that they sometimes pre-empt the planned announcements. We don’t have much in the way of details about what these releases will entail, or when they are going to be available, but we know that sooner or later they are coming.
The Metal Gear Solid games, and various other entries in the long-running series, have always prioritized releasing on consoles. Whether that was the very first Metal Gear, released in 1987 for the MSX, all the way up to Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots for the PlayStation 3, they’ve launched first on console, with any PC versions being relegated to an afterthought. Not until Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes and Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, did the game series launch concurrently on PC and consoles.
There are a variety of factors for why this has been the case, with one key aspect being the game’s Japanese roots. Whilst Japan has always been a big gaming market, and home to some of the most prolific game developers in the world, they’ve never had a particularly strong culture of PC gaming. There’s no single reason for this, but some of the factors are aspects like very small residences in their city centers, leading to the popularity of smaller and even handheld consoles over high-end gaming rigs. They’ve also always had offerings from Japanese gaming giants like Nintendo and Sony that are highly tuned to players’ preferences and tastes, whereas historically gaming on a Windows-based PC has tended more towards North American and European tastes.
When the original Metal Gear Solid was released for the original PlayStation, it was a huge hit and is considered by many to be one of the most iconic games on the system. Since then, developer Hideo Kojima and Konami formed a strong bond with Sony over this game. It’s unclear whether this took the form of an explicit contract, or just longrunning personal and professional connections, but every subsequent Metal Gear Solid prioritized the PlayStation platform to some extent, with often ports to other systems coming out later.
Strictly speaking, both Metal Gear Solid and Metal Gear Solid 2: Substance did get a PC release in some form back in the day. The PC version of Metal Gear Solid released a couple of years after the PlayStation version in the year 2000. It was a bare minimum effort port at the time, with a few bugs and glitches, and no major changes to take advantage of the more powerful PC hardware, and it was only ever released physically, predating the rise of digital distribution. Similarly Metal Gear Solid 2: Substance was a fairly basic port of the PS2 game to PC, with some technical shortcomings, and lacking any kind of meaningful enhancement for PC.
Hopefully bringing both of these brilliant games back to the PC in 2020 is a chance for a proper definitive release of these games. If Konami has put the effort into treating these classic games with the care and attention they deserve, we could be in for a treat.
Several of the Metal Gear Solid games are already available for PC. Here are the Metal Gear Solid games you can pick up on PC today:
As far as we can tell, this is the last true entry in the Metal Gear Solid series that we’re going to get. Series creator Hideo Kojima has parted ways with developer Konami (and now helms his own studio, that released Death Stranding not that long ago), and it’s hard to imagine the series continuing into a Metal Gear Solid 6 without him at the helm, especially given that many other key staff on the series have also parted ways with Konami now.
That makes MGS5 the series swansong, and for me, it does as many things well as it messes up on. The open-world highly systemic and varied stealth mechanics finally realized the potential the series had always hinted at, with many different approaches supported, and the game lets you approach missions with your preferred style. On the negatives, you can really feel that the game was rushed to release, especially towards the end of the game, where the story largely falls apart, and they start repeating missions with minor tweaks. What is there is highly enjoyable, but it’s a shame to think of what could have been with a bit more time in the oven.
You can pick up Metal Gear Solid V as either The Definitive Experience, which includes both the prologue “Ground Zeroes” and the main game “The Phantom Pain”, or you can pick them up separately.
This is what happened after Hideo Kojima left Konami, and they wanted to put out another game in the series, without having to worry about continuing the story. Survive is an appropriately named survival game, set in the world of Metal Gear Solid V, and reusing a lot of elements from that game.
Rather than playing as any of the series iconic characters, you play as a custom created character, and rather than a blend of stealth and tactical action, it’s all about crafting and taking on mindless zombie-like characters. It’s a fairly calculated and cynical project from the very premise, but that doesn’t mean it’s entirely unenjoyable to play.
Now, this is how you make a spin-off. Set after Metal Gear Solid 4 in the timeline, this game centers around the cyborg ninja Raiden. We saw him kicking all kinds of ass in Metal Gear Solid 4, with some fantastic action sequences in cutscenes, but in Revengeance, you get to actually play as him.
Developed by the masters of stylistic action, Platinum Games, this is a hyper-violent ballet, all about slicing dudes up into little tiny pieces and using your blade with precision to take on increasingly huge enemies.
It’s a stone-cold classic and a bold, different direction for the Metal Gear games, but still has the tone and feel of Metal Gear running through its cybernetic veins.
If you’re keen to play Metal Gear Solid on PC in the meantime, you could try tracking down the original PC version, but you might find that you have a better experience with emulating the PS1 version of the game.
Similarly, the original PC version of Metal Gear Solid 2 is not going to offer a particularly great experience these days, and if you want to play MGS2 right now, emulation is going to be your best option. PCSX2 is the best option available for emulating PS2 games.
We’ve got out fingers crossed these new ports will surface sometime soon, and that they are the comprehensively put together rereleases that these iconic games deserve.