June 16, 2021

Xbox One X

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Metal Gear Solid HD back-compat for Xbox One is the best way to play

2 min read
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If there’s one game franchise crying out for the full current-gen remastering treatment, it’s Metal Gear Solid. The classic MGS titles have remain untouched since 2011’s excellent Metal Gear Solid HD collection, with no sign of any Xbox One or PlayStation 4 re-releases – despite the emergence of MGS cutscenes apparently running on the Fox Engine on a Japan-only pachinko machine, of all places. However, there is some good news: the 2011 remaster is now backwards compatible on Xbox One, and as things stand, this is easily the best way to play these brilliant games on modern hardware.

Expectations do need to be managed, however. In common with all standard Xbox 360 titles running on Xbox One, rendering resolution remains at the same 720p with 2x MSAA as Bluepoint’s original remaster, and aside from additional 16x anisotropic filtering added at the system software level on Xbox One X, the overall presentation on all of the titles in the package is identical to their Xbox 360 counterparts. However, running on backwards compatibility takes a key advantage of the remasters and improves on it still further.

Of course, I’m talking about performance, where Bluepoint Games’ original work attempts to run both MGS2 and its much more challenging sequel at a locked 60fps. The task facing the developer was significantly more straightforward with MGS2 in that Kojima’s team targeted 60Hz gameplay for the original PlayStation 2 release. The end result is that the transition to Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 resulted in a mostly locked frame-rate during the majority of the action. The opening tanker area with Snake is arguably the biggest stress-test you’ll find in the game, with lots of geometry and rain effects. The last-gen system handle this well, and so there’s no surprise that Xbox One and X both follow suit.

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