Konami warns players of “outdated” content in Metal Gear Solid collection

Konami warns players of “outdated” content in Metal Gear Solid collection

Remember when? —

Games will be presented “without alteration” to match “creator’s original vision.”


Someone had better warn that snowsuit-clad guard about the

Enlarge / Someone had better warn that snowsuit-clad guard about the “outdated” content he’s about to walk into…

Konami

Gamers of a certain age may find it hard to accept that the Metal Gear Solid series will celebrate its 25th anniversary next month. And publisher Konami is apparently worried that the game’s age may be starting to show for some modern audiences.

As noted by GamesRadar, the upcoming Metal Gear Solid: Master Collection re-release warns players that the games in the collection contain “expressions and themes which may be considered outdated.” The disclaimer notes that the games are presented “without alteration” to preserve the “historical context” and the “creator’s original vision,” but still urges that “player discretion is advised.”

While the disclaimer doesn’t go into specifics of the “outdated” content in the games, it’s not hard to come up with examples that might hit a little differently in the context of the 2020s (warning: vague spoilers for Metal Gear series plot points until the next heading). Metal Gear Solid 2, in particular, features discussion of some heavy incest themes between a major character and their step-family, for instance. That game also features a scene where a character grabs another by the crotch to confirm their sex.

The series as a whole also contains some frank depictions of torture and more than a few cringe-worthy portrayals of women, including some rather crude discussion of certain characters’, uh, assets. The Metal Gear games also contain some arguably approving portrayals of cigarette smoking, which can be used to calm shaky nerves and reveal otherwise invisible laser traps.

The ESRB description for the Master Collection notes the series’ frequent violence and occasional drug references as well as “suggestive/sexual material” such as “a Snake Beater achievement earned after repeatedly zooming in on a pin-up poster” and a sequence depicting “a nude male character with exposed buttocks.” The game’s “M for Mature” rating includes descriptors for “Violence, Blood and Gore, Sexual Themes, Partial Nudity, and Drug References.”

Whose vision?

Konami’s mention of the “artist’s original vision” also sticks out in the disclaimer, thanks to the famously strained relationship between the publisher and Metal Gear creator Hideo Kojima (who is not named directly in the disclaimer). Kojima, who officially left Konami in 2015, is not involved with the Master Collection re-releases or the upcoming Metal Gear Delta re-release of Metal Gear Solid 3.

“We want to add that the concept for this collection really is to provide the most authentic MGS experience possible, with minor quality of life changes to smooth out a few edges from a different era of game development,” Konami said in a statement provided to IGN. “Konami’s goal is to provide a new generation of players an accessible way to experience MGS while including all the MGS-flavored set dressing and bonus content that the core fans will appreciate.”

Metal Gear Solid: Master Collection Vol.1 (PS5)

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These disclaimers aren’t rare in the world of film and TV, where studios like Disney and Warner Bros. have included warnings about past depictions of racism ahead of re-released versions of classic cartoons. But the concept is less common throughout the short history of the video game industry. The 2013 re-release of the famously controversial and risque Leisure Suit Larry, for instance, didn’t include any content disclaimers beyond the original warning that the game “contains some elements of plot which may not be considered appropriate for some children.”

Still, we have to wonder if more and more classic game re-releases will need to include warnings about the “historical context” of “outdated” content going forward. What other classic games might merit a warning for modern audiences? Let us know in the comments.

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