The Phantom Pain is coming our way but for the time being Hideo Kojima and team have released Ground Zeroes in an effort to wet the pallet prior to the full fury of Metal Gear Solid V. A moistening that cost as much as a starter at a TV-chef’s restaurant. The gameplay is similar to that of Metal Gear Solid IV with an overall ‘smoothing’ that makes it play a little easier. This game also focuses on less of the extended cut-scene absorption asides from one at the start and one at the end; the game however is merely a taster of what Metal Gear Solid is offering in it’s upcoming game. The big debate however is on the price related to the shortness. The initial asking price is nigh upon ludicrous when told the main story-line is only an hour or two at most (I myself managed to complete it in 69 minutes on normal with no detections, perhaps one at the end) and though I had seen the ending (not understanding it as it was the closing seconds) it still caught me off guard that the story was over so soon. This is effectively DLC but released before the mother-game, pre-LC if you will (that WILL become a phrase); if it was DLC released after there would be outrage at the price, just look at the backlash The Creative Assembly are getting with Rome 2 and EA with everything they release ever. However if one actually completes the main story they will notice a little icon that says how far through the game you are, mine for example said 11%… main stories are usually 50% so 11% means there is A LOT of additional content and replay-ability value. The side missions may not be canon or strictly speaking a ‘Metal Gear game’ in terms of gameplay but it’s still an offering of content that people are overlooking. Ground Zeroes is effectively a delayed release of one of those games that is made purely for the release of something that exploits the main mechanics, be it graphics, gameplay, interactiveness: Look at Link’s Crossbow Training tied in with the Wii Zapper, or any launch day title. It’s made to exploit the consoles new mechanics and should be seen as such, with the addition of a good canon storyline that ties into the main game.
The game is short, that’s unavoidable now matter how much you try to dress it up with additional content. At the end of the day it’s short but it does display the great extents to which The Phantom Pain is going to cover and surpass be it graphics, the open-world settings, new story, combat mechanics, anything. It’s an extended advertisement at a slightly too high asking price. The replay-ability and your desire to do better are what drives the one to two hour storyline into something so much wider
Verdict 4/5 Stars