We thoroughly test the backward compatibility of Metal Gear Solid HD collection on Xbox One

If there's a franchise screaming for a remastering for the current generation of consoles without a doubt Metal Gear Solid. The original MGS has not been restored since the excellent compilation of Metal Gear Solid HD 2011, and there are no signs that the PlayStation 4 or Xbox One is being re-launched, although discovered a while ago . MGS movies apparently played with the Fox Engine in a Japanese pachinko machine. However, we have good news: the 2011 remastering is now retro-compatible on Xbox One, which is the best way to play these classic games on modern hardware.

However, it is better to moderate your expectations. Like most Xbox 360 titles on Xbox One, the delivery resolution is 720p with 2x MSAA as in the original Bluepoint Games and, except for the inclusion of an additional 16x software anisotropic filter. system in Xbox One X, is the overall representation of all the games in the composition identical to what they had on Xbox 360. Fortunately, the backward compatibility is when it brings improvements to another aspect.

Of course we talked about the show, where Bluepoint tried to move both Metal Gear Solid 2 and its ambitious successor to 60FPS. The task for the developers was considerably easier with MGS2, as the team targeted by Hideo Kojima is already 60Hz when the target was in the original game. The result in the transition to Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 was an almost stable frame rate during most of the action. The initial sequence with Snake on the boat is undoubtedly the most demanding of the whole game, with lots of geometry and rain effects. The consoles of the previous generation both move well, so it is not surprising that Xbox One and Xbox One X do.

But the situation with the MGS2 movies is very different. Whether it's in the hangar or in sections with Raiden on the oily, any order showing a larger area will reduce its performance on the original Xbox 360 hardware. It is practically solved with backward compatibility, but there are still moments in which the problems remain, even in Xbox One X. In a scene that falls sharply to 35FPS on Xbox 360, the new Xbox to 48FPS. It's not unusual to see an improvement in Xbox One X hardware here, as it doesn't look like a GPU-demanding scene, and even though we are limited by the CPU X, It's a 31% improvement over its predecessor. Anyway, while playing, 60FPS is maintained in a more solid way than any other console, and you also get the benefit of 16x anisotropic filter.

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It's more technologically advanced in Metal Gear Solid 3, where Bluepoint Games starts to reach the limits they can achieve in their remastering in previous-generation consoles, and where current consoles make a bigger difference. In the original PS2-Kojima team, the details within the game have been revolving at the expense of the frame rate, from the 60FPS from MGS2 to 30FPS. In fact, the implementation of this decision was quite visionary; While the movies are operated with vertical synchronization (and a frequently pounding performance), the playable parts play at 30FPS with adjustable synchronization, sometimes tearing. Adaptive synchronization, especially against 30FPS, was unusual at the time of PS2, although it is often used in the next generation. In any case, MGS 3 was generally the result of a brilliant technical development, with a team trying to bring PS2 to the limit in its last years of life. For its re-mastery, Bluepoint has set the goal of achieving the same 60FPS MGS2, which is undoubtedly quite ambitious.

And they almost got it. As with the original PlayStation 2 kinematics, it is often not reached, but the game is pretty solid. Ironically, taking into account the roots of the saga, the remastering for Xbox 360 has been working much more smoothly than the version for PlayStation 3, although both suggest a major improvement on the same game on the original hardware.

The advantage is especially evident in the playable parts, although the flow of MGS3 depends very much on the version you played. The default game with its default perspective basically offers 30FPS with a few small falls below the target, accompanied by the flickering of the screen. The existing version released later, with a free camera option, sees how the performance falls between 20FPS and 30FPS, with lots of tear. When optimizing the code in PS2, the game was much more fluid with the fixed perspective.

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For its remastering, Bluepoint not only faced the extra challenge of the free camera, but even the best respect for the implementation in PS2. The truth is that it continues to produce some performance on PS3 and Xbox 360, but when it comes to Xbox One hardware, the frame rate seems to improve, though it doesn't benefit from the extra power of the GPU of Xbox One X hardware. .

And that brings us directly to the situation around the Xbox 360 games improved on Xbox One X: why has the release stopped so suddenly? Six months have passed since Microsoft published the second wave of titles, and since then we have not seen any more, although more retro-compatible titles are released regularly. When a game comes as important as Metal Gear Solid HD collection comes to the Xbox, one is wondering why there are no improvements to Xbox One X.

In the case of this remasterizacin, we were ahead of an Ultra HD offering with resolution 3840×2160, with MSAA providing a perfect image quality. And based on the quality of the 720p remastering made by Bluepoint – not to mention the original of PS2 to native 4K moving through emulation with PCSX2, we can see that art holds the type and that we can see something special. The previous Xbox 360 games improved on Xbox One X also showed that this increase in resolution is often accompanied by improved performance. The idea of ​​playing these classic 4K titles is more than attractive, but it's still out of reach.

In the fourth quarter, when the most important games are published and when manufacturers want to sell more consoles, we hope to re-activate the Xbox 360 games program on Xbox One X. Anyway, the truth is that Xbox One is now the best way to play the titles of the Metal Gear Solid HD collection, how many patches to take advantage of Xbox One X hardware will be the icing be on the cake for users with Ultra HD TVs.

Translation by Josep Maria Sempere.

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