Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeros – Gameguide

Ground Zeros is the latest instalment of the Metal Gear Solid series of action/stealth games by Kojima Productions. It is a “prologue” with the main event, The Phantom Pain, touted for release in 2015. I’m sure it will achieve several objectives for Kojima enabling them to improve the next game and generate some income but for the gamer it falls woefully short of the mark. Value for money is appalling with the main mission lasting less than 2 hours and although there are 7 additional Side Ops to unlock they are all based in the same location (a “fictional” US Black Site in Cuba).

The move to an open world setting is a significant change to the MTG franchise and works brilliantly. Freely roaming the base is extremely enjoyable. Although I often found myself sitting and watching for several minutes with no idea what to do next but that is my failing and I’m sure stealth game aficionados will be comfortable enough. The open world allows you to find your own solution to each challenge including the option to go in all guns and rocket launchers blazing in some missions. This freedom and choice does improve the replay value but not enough.

Visually the game is very good although not pushing any boundaries (probably due to it being available on both generations of consoles). The various Ops’ take place at different times of day and in different (pre-scripted) weather conditions that appear to directly affect your ability to move without being spotted. The scripting is incredibly trite; Arnold or Jean-Claude would be quite comfortable but I suppose it’s appropriate for the style of the game. There is some controversy (Insert Link about the material in the game. I don’t see what value rape adds to the narrative, it does create a strong emotional response which may be the point but gamers aren’t going to be playing this for the story so (although MTG fans will want to see how the story of Snake develops).

The controls work well; there is neither anything to worry about or get excited about. It is easy and comfortable to move around and engage or avoid the enemy. I particularly liked the Reflex Mode where you have an opportunity to take down anyone who spots you before they sound the alarm. The game is significantly more immersive than previous MTG games with health and stealth displayed abstractly (no gauges) making the game a little less technical than previous titles but generally all is well. Smart Glass allows you to have your iDroid open showing map and mission information. It’s useful as the game doesn’t pause when you are in the menu but given how easy it is to find a quiet spot to hide not essential. Overall this is a nice little game but is not the place to put your hard earned cash, borrow it, rent it or wait for it to be released on Games for Gold because there are much better ways to spend $70nzd. The game itself is solid with some nice features and as an Xbox Live release it would be brilliant but as full release it falls short. Although to be honest the game was long enough for me.

Reviewed on: XBox One

Rating: R16 Contains violence and offensive language.

Reviewed by: Aaron



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