Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes was released this past week, Tuesday, March 18. Ground Zeroes acts as a prologue to the main story of the fifth Metal Gear Solid game, the Phantom Pain. Utilizing the new FOX engine, Mr. Kojima and team produced one of the most graphically superior games ever done. The realism is almost too real. The character models and actions throughout the course of the game is phenomenal, putting the player even further into the game-play of Metal Gear Solid. Now that is all fine and dandy, there is alot of good and bad things the team did with Ground Zeroes.
Ground Zeroes brings a new style of sneaking for a MGS game. The amazing graphics, added with smart AI and fluent player controls makes the game feel real and less of a game being manipulated by a controller. Because of this, it puts the player further into the story of Ground Zeroes, and the emotions a real secret agent like Snake might be feeling during the mission start appearing in yourself as you progress through the story. With nothing but the icon of your weapon, you feel “naked” as ever and makes it that much more realistic, but feels almost dangerous as well.
The open world, or base of Ground Zeroes gives you many different approaches of sneaking through the private military base. With good starter weapons and gadgets allow the player to pick their type of game style, whether they want to sneak silently or go guns blazing, Snake is well equipped for such styles.
The smarter AI make the Ground Zeroes game very difficult even on the easiest difficulty, “normal.” Added sight, or vision and other intelligence’s make every enemy very dangerous and over estimating will always lead to the players downfall. When being spotted, the entire base is on alert, with nearly every enemy patrol tracking you down, and makes it even harder to get away and hide, and can determine the success or failure of the mission.
The extra missions allow the player to explore the Ground Zeroes base more in depth, finding more weapons, gadgets and easter eggs. Also allowing them to play the Ground Zeroes base using different tactics and different mission objectives makes it more interesting to play.
Cut scenes are at a minimal, very brief, but are never boring, even when not some action scene. The scenes also flow with the game-play and there isn’t a pause or black screen to switch from game-play to cut scene like past Metal Gears. Dialogue and voice acting are brilliant and top notch, very believable, on the case of Kiefer Sutherland, thats a different story. One thing that bothers me about Ground Zeroes is that at the beginning when they introduce the player to Snake, they only give him the name “Snake.” Not Naked Snake, not Big Boss. Didn’t Snake declare to MSF in Peace Walker, “from this moment on call me Big Boss.” Why are they back to calling him Snake again? And since 1998 Snake being voice acted by David Hayter, it does not feel right at all for Kiefer to take over the voice of Snake. Kiefer’s a good actor, but the short lines he does have, and the in-game voice acting when interrogating a guard or getting hurt, or grunting, whatever, it sounds really fake and “video gamey.” Which leads us to the problems with Ground Zeroes.
Ground Zeroes is too short. IGN has already reported that the fastest time recorded of beating the main mission of the game is about 10 minutes. Even the prologue to Sons of Liberty, the tanker mission with Solid Snake was a lot longer, and arguably harder. The Ground Zeroes chapter offers a great way of getting used to the new controls implemented into the game and the new, more superior AI, and offers an easy task, search and rescue Chico and Paz. But this would only make sense to do this if the Phantom Pain chapter was included with it. With just Ground Zeroes standing alone, making the only part of the game easy, makes no sense at all. I felt ripped off, paying $30 dollars for a “demo.” After beating the Ground Zeroes chapter in under a hour and watching the final scene, I can’t believe that ended it the way they did.
However, the side missions allow for harder, and more time consuming playthroughs, but nothing more. And Ground Zeroes may be open world, but its not very large at all. It takes about a minute to sprint from one side of the map to the other, I was expecting a larger scale. Not all buildings are even accessible, so the exploring is to a minimal and doing that counters the concept of “open-worldness,” because players can just avoid areas, knowing that the entire section has no significance at all, which is sadly the majority of the Ground Zeroes world.
Extra missions are also a nice touch, allowing players to get “more for their money” but even past this, I still feel ripped off for paying so much for a demo, even $20 dollars for a digital copy is way too much. And on top of that, the extra missions are nothing to extraordinary at all, in fact, if the team would have put all the side missions into the ground zeroes chapter, it would of played off more nicely.
Minor complaints like customization is to a none. Players can use the inventory Snake generically has to fit their game style, but its basic and the only customization feature of the game is whether you want a silencer or flashlight attachment on your weapon. Sure you could also take of reflex mode and target tracking, but besides that, theres nothing more. Plus, there is only a total of about 5-8 weapons plus grenades in the game. Game-play will get dry, boring, and old after a few good hours to put into it.
With the final product of Ground Zeroes, it just makes me believe they wanted to take in a lot of money, quick with this game, because it isn’t even the whole thing, and even though we knew this ahead of time, I don’t think we could have thought it would come out the way it did. I’m sad to say this, but overall, I am disappointed with Ground Zeroes, it was a mistake. If Kojima would have released this as a demo, or a $5-10 dollar download, I would have been happy with what I got, but this was very SHORT.
If you’re a big time Metal Gear fan, I recommend getting it, but only a digital copy, because of the $10 dollars off and the nostalgia you will experience from playing Ground Zeroes. But it isn’t necessary to buy this at all, just watch a walk-through of the demo and you’ll be satisfied as much as you can with what they dished out in Ground Zeroes. If they added more customization, a longer main story, and more unique side missions, plus a bigger open-world, that the player could also explore every bit of the map, unlike how it is now, then the game would have been a whole lot better.