I can’t think of a better fit for an immersive VR experience than Solid metal gear, a series of video games that so often talks about simulations, the distinction between right and wrong, and literal virtual reality. Now, thanks to an inspired modder who’s a huge fan of the games, you can check out the first three main areas of 1998 Solid metal gear (and a few other fun surprises) in VR yourself.
There “Metal Gear Solid mod“, created by modder Holydh, marries the style and aesthetics of the first MSG adventure with the highly technical and highly realistic physics and advanced virtual body simulation of the popular VR game boneworks. While currently Holydh’s mod only recreates the first three areas of the game, it’s a very powerful proof of concept for how fresh the experience is. Solid metal gear in real virtual reality.
It’s a good fit, too. Games have never been the same since Solid metal gear hit the original PlayStation in 1998. While its groundbreaking stealth gameplay evolved from two previous 2D entries for the MSX 2 computer, Solid metal gear has broadened the series’ narrative and themes just as much. What appeared to be a Hollywood-inspired spy thriller gave way to a winding tale of truth, deception, genetics, advanced technology, and government conspiracies.
Virtual reality happens to be both a staple of its world and its gameplay, with Solid metal gear and its many sequels allowing players to practice in simulated “VR” environments that echo what you experience in the mainline games. These cards offer a concentrated experience of Solid metal gearStealth’s gameplay loop challenges you with time trials set in stylized visual representations of what it might look like “inside” a computer. Virtual reality is also often mentioned in real-life accounts, where it is the subject of debate regarding its effects on a person’s sense of reality.
metal gearit is famous director, Hideo Kojimais also known to frequently playing with player expectations. When promoting Metal Gear Solid Vhe went so far as to hire an actor to play a fake game developer who provided bizarre interviews portraying a fictional game studio. MGSVby the way, then proceeded to make you challenge the very concept of “identity”. If there is a series that aims to make you question reality, it is Solid metal gear.
Enter Holydh’s “Metal Gear Solid Mod” for boneworksa VR game known for its quite sophisticated physics and a very Gate– narrative atmosphere woven throughout its campaign and general presentation. As Solid metal gear, boneworks also plays with VR themes and manipulative-driven experiences beyond your immediate comprehension, as the VR title offers a rich physical palette of gameplay mechanics to let off steam. Solid metal gear‘s Shadow Moses Island, it is thematically resonant in this boneworks‘ its own narrative also gives way to suspicions about what is going on in the environment around you.
After playing with this mod until very late last night, I will tell you that I still have chills from what I experienced. It was surreal to move through the opening cards of Solid metal gear with my own body in first person, with the original graphic presentation almost intact. The environments of the first MSG are etched in my brain from playing it countless times as a youngster. But the obvious novelty of sneaking through vents and corners, getting into shootouts with Genome Troopers, and gazing at the towering Metal Gear Rex (it’s parked in the mod’s “museum” area) has always been underscored in my mind by literal quotes from the games themselves about reality and simulated environments, and where society might go once this technology is sophisticated enough to fool us.
I’m just gonna leave a quote from Eva’s character in 2008 Metal Gear Solid 4: Weapons of the Patriots highlight everything here:
Nowadays, anyone with a computer can undergo combat training. The FPS games that these kids love are distributed by these companies for free. Of course, this is just virtual training. It’s so easy for them to get sucked into these war games. And before they know it, they’re in PMCs with real guns. These kids end up fighting proxy wars that have nothing to do with their own lives. They think it’s cool to fight like that. They think the fight is life. They don’t need a reason to fight. After all, for them, it’s just a game.
Talk with Kotaku, Holydh described the experience of creating a VR mod based on a series that is so often concerned with technology manipulating our sense of reality as “awesome and scary at the same time”. Holydh’s first exposure to Kojima’s stealth series was in the 1998s Solid metal gear, which still remains his favorite entry. “I play games a bit like I read books,” he said, “to just immerse myself in an atmosphere. And virtual reality is just amazing for that.
The nuts and bolts of this mod itself are made with the original code, but Holydh describes the work as relying on the efforts of avid modders and digital archaeologists who combed through the original game to bring it to life. to these environments like never before. This work dates back more than a decade, Holydh said. “I’m like the little guy on the giant’s shoulder. … I met [fellow Metal Gear Solid modder Vapor_Cephalopod] and I embarked on the actual creation of my mod a little over a year ago. But I only started to work on it seriously at the end of last year. He added that modding has become an “awesome hobby” that he works on almost every day.
The choice to recreate spaces from Solid metal gear is a bit scary considering that the game’s immediate sequel, Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Libertyreveals that the events of the first game were sampled and simulated to help form its main character. MGS2 protagonist Raiden states that he more or less “played” through the events of MSG as part of his VR combat training. MGS2 referencing the actual game you may have played yourself as a possible simulation is just one of its many fourth-wall-breaking moments. Playing this VR recreation of Shadow Moses Island then looks suspiciously like something that would exist in the fiction of the series itself.
Take a walk in Solid metal gearShadow Moses in virtual reality feels deeply connected to the revelations of Solid Metal Gear 2, and this did not escape Holydh. The mod is mostly a passion project for him that allows him and others to get into one of the most famous gaming environments, but he often thinks about the “meta” of his work. In a way, its VR mod is like a glue that binds the first game to the second.
“I think about it from time to time,” he said. “I’m sort of coming full circle.”
Despite all the brain travel this mod inspires, it’s still not a complete game. You need boneworks itself, and you’ll have to go through a bit of a mod installation maze to get it all working. That’s why, in addition to adding more playable areas, Holydh hopes to repackage their mod as a standalone experience. In the current state of the project, however, a little patience will be needed to make everything work.
Once everything is sorted, you spawn in the very room where Solid Snake fought Psycho Mantis. Here you can choose between warping at the start of the classic campaign or entering a “museum” displaying various recreated assets from the game, including Metal Gear Rex and numerous character models and items. There’s even a recreation of the game’s opening underwater area, which is normally only viewable through a cutscene. Being able to get up close and personal with these classic characters and environments is a joy.
Once you’ve made a visit, selecting “Campaign” triggers the room’s secret door, which in the main game led you to the confrontation with Sniper Wolf. Here it warps you to the game’s opening level, where Snake first landed on Shadow Moses.
For now, the only playable areas are the crates/elevator opening area, the outdoor helipad, and the two-level indoor tank hangar. You can use elevators, find guns and ammo around maps, sneak past cameras and guards, and engage in gunfights with a SOCOM gun, suppressed to sneak around, or unmuzzled for a complete volume and chaos.
Goofy enemy AI, as well as the difficulty of navigating certain spaces (I’m probably going to have nightmares now of falling to my death from ladders connected to Metal Gear Rex), keep it boneworks “Metal Gear Solid mod” to feel like a complete game. There is, however, a fun discovery of the environments. It’s been hard to get every time, but can you hit enemies on the head to stun them, or maybe even choke them? I’m not sure about the latter. Between the attention to detail and the narrative resonance of this fun experience with real games, it feels like an authentic metal gear live.
Here I am, standing in spaces that aren’t real, even though my brain feels like they have some kind of reality. How can I not think of Snake’s comment to Raiden that VR can mess with your sense of reality? How can I not think of the countless times metal gear games wondered why i find simulated gun fights, violence and death fun? Is it because I like all murders? That is why?
While this mod certainly doesn’t have the answer to those questions, it does lead me into the burrows of puzzles and meta perspectives for which Solid metal gear is well liked. The last entry in the main series came seven years agoand his future is uncertain at best. I had given up hope of ever being able to experience those classic puzzles the series likes to shoot again, but this VR mod got me there in a way that I don’t think an official game newer can actually do. For all the speeches of “metaverse” and the ways we try to make sense of digital worlds and objectsthe boneworks “Metal Gear Solid mod” shows that such a thing is possible, if not a bit terrifying.