Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes introduces gamers to the revamped open-world style of Metal Gear Solid gameplay. It touts impressive graphics, a slick new open world, an enhanced engine, and enough flexibility to allow for a variety of playstyles to take hold.
Unfortunately, Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes is also commonly referred to as an extended demo with a $30 price tag. It follows the trend of Gran Turismo in that it has released the first mission with some backstory to the game, but little else. At the completion of the “game” (which took 82 minutes in full stealth mode) it opens up the included map to allow for “side-ops” which are expectedly, side missions.
While the gameplay mechanics are smooth, the cover system is less than ideal. Without the ability to snap into cover, certain corners are a guaranteed red flag for enemies to investigate. While this makes the stealth attempts more difficult, it’s the frustration factor that makes it unpleasant.
The controls make the rest of the gameplay a combination of entertaining and hilarious. While attempting to play the entire mission without firing a single shot I often had to use the fists of fury. A single button press while in proximity to any enemy instantly renders them unconscious, making button mashing a comical experience in bullet avoidance and crowd control.
Fortunately the game itself looks like a beautiful rendition worth of the next generation of graphics. It still retains the grainy feel of classic Metal Gear Solid in addition to the enhanced lighting and textures that make the visual appeal of the game extremely high.
Introducing a handful of predominant characters and a prologue to what can be expected with the launch of the full title in the distance future, Ground Zeroes allows gamers the opportunity to “play” a teaser trailer, in a sense. It’s an unusual hybrid between paid demo, teaser trailer, and prologue gameplay. The backlash may be negative, but fans of the series will relish in the introduction of characters new and old.
With a $30 price tag its difficult to find the appeal towards an introduction for a game that is a year off in the horizon. While the game itself is incredibly well built and fun, this is merely a sample (or as the internet has commonly referred to it as: a paid demo) of what you can expect in 2015.
This review comes with a significant caveat: This review is subjective (as are all reviews) and based on the premise that a short portion of the game is being made available for half the cost of the full game which is expected to launch in 2015. It is a fun experience, and it is a very short experience. If you’re not expected it then you will likely be disappointed and angry, but if you accept it for what it is, the game itself is little more than an amusing teaser.
In the end … I’m just happy I heard Kiefer Sutherland’s voice.
PS: I should note that 13 of the previously mentioned minutes include the duration of the credits, in their entirety.