Review by ravenom_06
A $30 dollar cliffhanger with solid gameplay
When it first came out that Ground Zeroes will be 2 hours long, I was discouraged. But being a Metal Gear fan, I still bought the game. Ground Zeroes is not totally 2 hours. The game is only 10% complete after finishing the main story which can be beaten in under 20 minutes. Maybe Kojima made this title because Phantom Pain is still a lot of miles away, thinking some fans would get bored waiting, or maybe I'm just being optimistic and the real intention is for cashgrabbing. Anyway, this game still offers a great stealth gameplay and a very complex level design. Regardless of its length, I believe Ground Zeroes is still a title worth buying.
Ground Zeroes takes place after the Peacewalker incident. Our hero Big Boss is tasked to save Chico and Paz from captivity, it wasn't exactly explained how Chico and Paz got to that situation. Ground Zeroes' story is such a cliffhanger, it feels like an appetizer for Phantom Pain. Nothing was explained, and the game only got to one particularly interesting point.
Ground Zeroes is a less linear MGS title in terms of gameplay. The strategic freedom in this Metal Gear title is awesome. The levels are very complex. Despite one mission being only 10-20 minutes long, you can always keep on playing without the game feeling repetitive. You can experiment by using different methods of completing the mission. The game also introduces new gameplay mechanics. One of them is the Reflex system. Whenever you get spotted by enemies, you go into some kind of bullet time; allowing you to neutralize or kill an enemy before the game goes to an alert phase. Unfortunately, the Reflex system is a bit broken. There were lots of times where I thought I aimed a good one at the head, but it didn't hit the enemy. This also happens with normal Aiming. Aiming is imprecise, and I don't blame myself. It is not like in previous Metal Gear games where you can make a good headshot from afar.
Meanwhile, the game's core (which is stealth) is great here. You can really immerse yourself with the game because of the great deal of complexity of the levels. The traditional knocking and cardboard box are no longer present here. If you want to distract enemies you can throw empty magazines. The game also provides good challenge. Enemies can see you from a long distance, unlike in previous MGS games. The controls feel a bit different from the past MGS games, but it's quite easy to grasp and get used to.
The game looks amazing, from the lighting to textures. The lighting looks incredibly realistic and the textures look great even on the PS3. There is also a great variety of characters, meaning you won't see a group of soldiers with the same faces.
One of the controversies about Ground Zeroes is that David Hayter is no longer voicing Snake. He is replaced with Kiefer Sutherland. We aren't really able to distinguish whether Snake's new voice is good, since he wasn't really given much dialogues because of the short story. But from the very few lines I've heard, I don't think he's a worthy replacement.
Overall - 8/10
Despite Ground Zeroes length and completely unsatisfying story, Kojima productions still managed to give great graphics and an immersive gameplay.
+ Immersive stealth gameplay.
+ Great graphics.
- Unsatisfying story; cliffhanger.
- Imprecise aiming
Rating: 4.0 - Great
Product Release: Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes (US, 03/18/14)
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