Metal Gear Solid VR is now available to play thanks to a Boneworks mod, using Unreal Engine 5 to bring Hideo Kojima’s Playstation classic to new life, and possibly the biggest stealth game ever for Oculus Quest 2. With plans to launch.
The icy, crumbling-concrete frontier of Shadow Moses — a kind of giant tomb for Cold War superpowers — is, perhaps, the most evocative of any videogame, especially when viewed through Oculus Quest 2’s VR lens. . The Metal Gear solid aesthetic is instantly recognizable, with those gun-metal grays, fades, digital greens and warping PS1 textures that are still completely iconic after nearly 25 years.
For an entire generation of gamers, Metal Gear Solid was their first “proper” game, featuring fully realized characters, an intense story, and themes that reflected real life. Everything was so rich – from the dialogue, the plot and the surroundings – it felt like you could reach out and touch the world of Metal Gear Solid. And now, thanks to a new mod for the insanely bloody FPS Boneworks, you practically can.
Titled Metal Gear Solid Mod, it is a 1:1 scale recreation of the first three areas of MGS: the dock, the heliport, and the tank hangar. Complete with guards, security cameras and laser tripwires, these sections include – if you like – the “game” version of the mod. But there’s also a special museum section, which includes a variety of assets from throughout Metal Gear Solid, including character models and environmental art that you can explore and admire however you wish.
The actual mod is the work of Hollidh, who made this as his first modding project. However, many of the assets come from fellow modder Vapor Cephalopod, who translated Metal Gear Solid’s original visual work into Unreal Engine 5. Speaking to Gaming Strat, Vapor describes the basic processes that will eventually enable Metal Gear Solid VR:
“I pulled out all the original models, lighting, animation, and even audio from the original PS1 game,” he explains. “When I started I had to convert every model, one at a time, into something usable. But in about a year, the reverse engineering group developed tools to more easily remove the models that made everything faster. I am also using these original models to create new high quality models that are as close to photoreal as my skills will take to them.
“So far the focus has been getting all the original assets with prototypes in the Unreal Engine. We have the complete map with doors and elevators working in third person and VR to be explored end-to-end. But I still have all I am in the process of working out the original animation and cutscene camera movement.”
With the foundation laid by Vapor, Holidh has been able to expand the Unreal version of MGS into its current virtual reality mode. Many assets have been reused from the UE5 version, but there is still a lot of extra work involved to make the game work in both Boneworks and VR.
“This vapor is the result of the incredible work provided by the cephalopod and reverse engineering team,” Hollidh says. “I used 85, 90% of the assets as they were, and tweaked or recreated 10 to 15% of them when I needed to improve them for VR use. However, I don’t like the way things are being handled at Boneworks. The game doesn’t officially support mods, so we have to use a lot of tricks to get our functions to work properly. I really want my mods to work in Unity I’m doing some testing to port it.”
As well as competing with Boneworks, Hollid has also faced difficulties with regards to Metal Gear Solid’s audio and effects. The PC version of the game, released in 2000, has lower quality sound files than its Playstation counterpart, but extracting audio from the PS1 also presents considerable challenges of its own.
“It’s possible to extract audio from the PS1 version,” Hollidh explains, “but the way the PS1 handles the audio makes the task really difficult. It doesn’t play audio files. They’re like MIDI files that the console takes over.” and plays different instrument tracks. The codec dialogue and a lot of NPC and boss lines are easily removable, but I’m still missing a lot of SFX. The weapon SFX in my mod, for example, are from the PC version that I’ve cleaned as much as possible, but if you listen carefully, the audio is still in very bad shape. I want to improve the audio quality, but haven’t found the right recipe for it yet.”
Still, the creation of Metal Gear Solid in VR has led to Hollid making some interesting discoveries about the original game, particularly about one of the stealth-’em-up’s most remembered bosses. .
“The first three levels are available,” he explains, “including all floors of the tank hangar, with NPCs and cameras that trigger NPC aggro, rifle cameras on the B2 floor, and lots of nice things like laser zones that trigger gas. Features include. Traps. But there’s also a museum with lots of assets. I suggest you go and see the actual size of the Vulcan Raven. I’ve never seen him that big when playing on PS1.”
While Metal Gear Solid isn’t the only Playstation-era game being remastered in VR, with a mod recently bringing Final Fantasy VII Remake to Oculus Quest 2, Hollidh explains that the project is currently a More than a “hobby”, but continues to work on its core works, as well as potentially making Metal Gear Solid VR compatible with Oculus Quest 2.
“I’ve made a lot of progress these past months, but it will still take some time before I can actually show anything publicly. I’m still working on the base mechanics. Low poly and ‘pixel art’ ‘ Thanks for the look, I think I should be able to play it natively on Quest 2. But I can’t promise anything. I’ll see how far I get.”
You can download Metal Gear Solid VR now nexus mode, to run through Boneworks. If reading about the original MGS got you all nostalgic, you might want to try some PC classics that are still worth playing. We also have details on the Oculus Quest 3 release date and Meta’s Project Cambria release date, which may come sooner rather than later.Get latest news and articles related to gaming only at Gaming Strat.