‘Metal Gear Solid VR Missions’
About a year after ‘Metal Gear Solid’ shook the gaming world on the original PlayStation, Konami released a title in the United States known as ‘Metal Gear Solid VR Missions.’ With over 300 missions placing Snake in a digital realm involving sneaking and the mastering of different weapons, as well as unique challenges like solving mysteries, the game was a proper ‘Metal Gear’ experience without any of the story or hour-long cutscenes: Just core gameplay.
As essential as ‘Metal Gear Solid’s’ story is, just experiencing the fun and challenge of stealthy exploration and weapons training was an engaging and highly re-playable experience. It also served, quite literally, as a sort of training so one could perfect their sneaking skills for the more difficult modes in the full ‘Metal Gear Solid.’
In 2002, Konami continued the tradition by rereleasing the sequel to the first game as ‘Metal Gear Solid 2: Substance.’ This extended title not only included some different stories set in various areas of the original release of the game, but also had a massive amount of VR missions, all playable with either Snake or Raiden. As it did before, the VR missions helped extend the gameplay, provide fun and interesting challenges while allowing the player to perfect their skills in the game.
The follow up to ‘Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater,’ titled ‘Subsistence,’ did not come with a VR mode; while this may have been to match the theme of the game’s relatively low-tech setting in the 1960s, the title did introduce ‘Metal Gear Online’ for the first time. VR missions wouldn’t see a faithful return until ‘Metal Gear Rising: Revengance’ with it’s un-lockable 20 missions: Serving more as ‘bonus’ levels as opposed to the focused tactical training and challenges ‘VR Missions’ and ‘Substance’ offered.
‘Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes’ is perhaps closest to the tradition of VR missions with its short main mission and handful of extra “ops.” Regardless, the series is still missing the option to just focus on the addictive and challenging core gameplay. Even if ‘Ground Zeroes’ came with less than 100 VR missions with various challenges and weapons training, the replay value of the game would’ve been significantly greater: There might have been less controversy over the game’s very short length as well if this was packaged in.
In today’s very trophy/achievement world of gaming, ‘VR missions’ would sit right at home with gamers every where trying to max out their scores through countless levels.