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Opinion | Metal Gear Solid 4 turns 12 this month. Here are 3 reasons why it deserves a remaster

Metal Gear Solid 4 turns 12 this month. Here are 3 reasons why it deserves a remaster (Image source: Wired)
Metal Gear Solid 4 turns 12 this month. Here are 3 reasons why it deserves a remaster (Image source: Wired)
Kojima's final years at Konami were turbulent to say the least, but his legacy should be preserved. Solid Snake's swan song title has yet to be re-released on any other platform even after over a decade in the market.
Allen Ngo,
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Solid Snake's globe-trotting adventures spanned multiple console generations before coming to a satisfying end in Metal Gear Solid 4. The landmark title was so anticipated and highly acclaimed that it single-handedly boosted sales of the PS3 worldwide when it launched all the way back in June of 2008. In retrospect, MGS4 definitely had its fair share of pacing issues, but it remains a unique gaming experience to this day due to Kojima's auteur approach to gameplay and storytelling.

After so many years, MGS4 should be enjoyed by several generations of gamers and not just on the single platform that it originally launched on. Here's why we think now would be a good time to reintroduce the title.

1. It's The Only Mainline Metal Gear Solid Title To Have No Re-releases

The original Metal Gear Solid was made available for Playstation and PC with a full-on remake for Gamecube in 2004. Its two direct sequels, Metal Gear Solid 2 and Metal Gear Solid 3, would eventually make their way to the PS3 and XBox 360 several years later after launching exclusively on the Playstation 2. Meanwhile, Metal Gear Solid V would have a near-simultaneous cross-gen launch on both Microsoft and Sony platforms. Metal Gear Solid 4 continues to be the odd one out as the only way to play it officially is on a PS3.

The least Sony or Konami could do is to make MGS4 available on the PS Now streaming service where MGSV is already playable.

(June 1, 2020 correction: The title is on PS Now for PS4 users to play, but it's arguable to call it a proper re-release).

2. It Could Absolutely Use A Performance Boost

Life wasn't easy for early PS3 exclusives and MGS4 was no exception. Not only would the game run at a native resolution lower than 720p, but it would run with an unlocked frame rate as well from 20 FPS in open areas up to 60 FPS in tight corridors. Performance would be all over the place depending on the environment and number of enemies onscreen. It doesn't take a frame rate analysis from Digital Foundry to see how badly the title is in need of a modern uplift.

Frame rates would dip noticeably even during the first hour of the game (Image source: Digital Foundry)
Frame rates would dip noticeably even during the first hour of the game (Image source: Digital Foundry)

3. It Would Almost Certainly Make Konami A Lot Of Money

Konami isn't what it used to be. The company seemingly cares more about Pachinko machines than actual console games these days where risks and investments are arguably higher. Even from this perspective, however, investing in remasters or re-releases has become a safer bet now more than ever for publishers. Game companies have been banking on nostalgia quite heavily this generation ranging from Spyro to full-on re-imagining of original titles. A conservative approach with updated frame rates and resolution options a la Vanquish would be enough to get MGS fans excited.

Bonus Reason: The Mandatory Installation Was Ridiculous At Launch

When Devil May Cry 4 launched for the PS3 and XBox 360, PS3 owners were met with a mandatory 20-minute HDD install before they could even begin playing the game. MGS4 had a similar approach, but installation times would be divided up into 5 to 10-minute chunks between each act instead. A proper remaster could certainly do away with these multiple installation screens altogether for a smoother experience. Imagine playing Uncharted 4 and waiting 5 to 10 minutes between each major section — gamers would be up in arms by today's standards.

MGS4 would have multiple installation screens throughout the campaign. The antiquated approach could be revamped completely in a remaster
MGS4 would have multiple installation screens throughout the campaign. The antiquated approach could be revamped completely in a remaster
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Allen Ngo
Allen Ngo - Lead Editor U.S. - 4672 articles published on Notebookcheck since 2011
After graduating with a B.S. in environmental hydrodynamics from the University of California, I studied reactor physics to become licensed by the U.S. NRC to operate nuclear reactors. There's a striking level of appreciation you gain for everyday consumer electronics after working with modern nuclear reactivity systems astonishingly powered by computers from the 80s. When I'm not managing day-to-day activities and US review articles on Notebookcheck, you can catch me following the eSports scene and the latest gaming news.
contact me via: @AllenNgoNBC
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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2020 05 > Metal Gear Solid 4 turns 12 this month. Here are 3 reasons why it deserves a remaster
Allen Ngo, 2020-06- 1 (Update: 2020-06- 2)