Here’s to You…
What’s the value of a video-game? Is it determined by the price versus length of the game? It’s a tough question to be asking as many would see it differently. In my opinion, a game’s value should be determined by the quality and satisfaction it provides. No matter what your judgement of this idea is, if you’re a fan of the Metal Gear Solid series then Ground Zeroes is definitely worth your time. Serving as a prologue to the upcoming Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain which is due some time in the future, Ground Zeroes gives players a taste of what’s to come by offering players an open-world map with a series of missions to complete.
The main mission, straight up was rather short and you might have heard that people have completed it under 10 minutes and it’s true – depending on how you tackle it determines the length of the overall play time. Not having a clue what I was doing plus getting used to the mechanics, it took me a fair 40 minutes to complete the main mission and that wasn’t even going the stealthy way. Going in with a more, stealth attitude on my second play through, I faired out at least an hour of game play so it safe to say it really depends how much players invest into the role of the character.
Kojima has really been pushing the power of the new FOX Engine and while already previously used in Konami’s latest Pro Evolution Soccer, I was struggling to keep my jaw off the ground. Throw your resolution debate out the window as the Xbox One version showed some of the most incredible visuals I’ve seen yet on the console even though it was dubbed the worst version of Ground Zeroes to play. However despite it’s graphical prowess, there was still a few niggling issues like pop in effects and weird physics. Also with some missions set during the day, you could see daytime wasn’t FOX Engine’s biggest advantage as it visually looked average.
Ground Zeroes was a hard tale to follow at first thanks to Kojima’s highly complex and intricate storyline even for someone like myself who’s played a majority of the Metal Gear games. To make things easy, Ground Zeroes/The Phantom Pains sits pre-Solid Snake days and follows Big Boss from the previous Metal Gear Solid: Peacewalker, Portable Ops and Snake Eater games. David Hayter who was the original voice actor for Solid Snake and Big Boss has been replaced by 24 star, Kiefer Sutherland who does an admirable job (in my opinion, don’t neck break me) in Ground Zeroes.
As mentioned previously, the game is all about how you tackle it and Big Boss can go in loud, raining fire onto enemies or go pacifist without killing a single enemy. While the latter is more a traditional method of playing Metal Gear games, the option is there for those wanting loud action. The level presents many replay options but while a challenge at first, many players will be accustomed to the map inside out and the side missions pose no extra challenge.
Ground Zeroes is an incredible taste of what’s to come but many will question the $49.95 AUD price tag and I don’t blame them. I would find it incredibly hard to drop cold hard cash for a map with a few missions and minimal story progression. Fans of the series would find some value with Ground Zeroes as it provides a decent amount of replay options. For others, it’s a tough sell.
Developer: Kojima Productions
Platforms: PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One (Reviewed)
A review copy of the game was provided by the publisher.