Shortly after the news broke that the Metal Gear Solid Master Collection is heading to the Nintendo Switch, we also learned that the collection was coming to PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, and even PC. However, the ensemble’s Steam page has gently chilled the excitement: The games will not support mouse and keyboard input.
Set to release on October 24, 2023, the Metal Gear Solid Master Collection revisits what for many is a golden era of Metal Gear games. Featuring 1998’s Metal Gear Solid, 2001’s Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, and 2004’s Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, as well as the original Metal Gear games that appeared on retro consoles, it’s a healthy collection of legendary titles. While some of these games have been on PC in the past, Metal Gear Solid 3, notably lived only on the PlayStation 2 and Nintendo 3DS before the HD Collection brought the game to PS3, Xbox 360, and PS Vita—and never PC The Metal Gear games are legendary, known for their memorable characters, engaging storylines, and innovative stealth gameplay, so a modern re-release of this trilogy is certainly overdue, but a lack of expanded input has many fans worried about the overall quality of the ports.
Not long after the Metal Gear Solid Master Collection’s Steam page went up on June 21, fans spotted a notice stating that the games require controllers.
That page went dark for a little while, but when it returned, it came bearing the same warning: No keyboard support for you WASD warriors.
If you’ve played any of the classic Metal Gear Games, then you know a gamepad is by and large the best way to play these. Analog movement in particular on Sons of Liberty and Snake Eater, is pretty essential to the cautious, stealthy gameplay. But as many on social media are pointing out, it could be a sign of other cut corners.
“I will not be surprised if they will just put an emulator and console version of the game in a package and call it a day,” reads one comment on Reddit.
While some have also wondered if this input restriction is to facilitate a classic boss battle in the original MGS where the player must switch controller ports on the original PSX to win, others have pointed out that modern consoles like PS5 and even Nintendo Switch don’t have the same input switching functionality as the original PlayStation. The same is true for the lack of analog buttons that were used on the PS2 to raise and lower a weapon based on the pressure of your thumb: Those features were added to the Xbox 360 versions of MGS2 and 3 with d-pad combinations.
But what’s perhaps most strange is that previous PC ports of Metal Gear Solid and Sons of Liberty offered keyboard support.
Back in 2020, 1998 Metal Gear Solid and Sons of Liberty re-released on PC via GOG. While the second game was eventually pulled from the store due to licensing issues, these versions supported mouse and keyboard. I just fired up the MGS on my PC and was able to run around the opening level with arrow keys, and pull up inventory with other keys as well. Perfectly playable. Reportedly, Metal Gear Solid 2 was also playable via keyboard before it was delisted.
Kotaku has reached out to Konami for comment.
The GOG PC versions of the game were far from perfect, as they were resurrected versions of the old, flawed PC ports released in the 2000s. But it’s kind of odd to see those versions of Metal Gear supporting keyboard input, but allegedly not the upcoming ports.
And while it might be a little early to totally dismiss these newest ports in the Master Collection, a lack of new, quality of life features like flexible input support doesn’t bode well.