Konami recently released the Metal Gear spin-off Metal Gear Survive, the first Metal Gear game released after the heartbreaking and tear-jerking breakup between Konami and the ever brilliant Hideo Kojima. You can read our review here.

After playing Survive for a decent amount of hours I started to grow a desire to play the “Authentic” Metal Gear games. The time had finally come to finish the other Metal Gear games currently in my massive backlog, Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes and Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. I did start these games at the time of release but never found the time or the right motivation to finish these. Ground Zeroes is the perfect starting point for my adventure. It’s short and easy to finish.

Ground Zeroes (Metaru Gia Soriddo Faibu Guraundo Zerozu) is Kojima Productions’ prologue to Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. It basically functions as a glorified demo and was originally set to be released alongside The Phantom Pain but an extended development time resulted in director Hideo Kojima splitting the project in two parts so that players already could get their hands on a short preview of Metal Gear Solid V.

The game is set in 1975, a few months after the events of Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker, the story follows Snake/Big Boss as he infiltrates an American black site in Cuba called Camp Omega, attempting to rescue Cipher agent Paz Ortega Andrade and former child soldier Ricardo “Chico” Valenciano Libre.

The Good:

The gameplay mechanics are top-notch and are a massive improvement on previous titles in the series. The new third-person action shooter gameplay approach Kojima Productions implemented makes fighting your enemy head-on a lot easier and for the first time ever actually manageable. It’s even possible to dive in guns blazing and balls-out. You are ill-advised to do so. However, should you be foolish enough to take this daring and reckless approach it is nice to know that the controls are smooth and solid while wreaking havoc.

Luckily the game also offers the signature stealth espionage action you have come to love and cherish. Ground Zeroes gives Snake some new and improved tools to play with. His binoculars makes it possible to mark enemies, making sure they are visible even behind cover. The improved gameplay mechanics and smoother controls have made it a lot easier to shoot guards using tranquilizer rounds. Just make sure to dispose of the bodies before they are spotted. Upon being detected the “Reflex Mode” is triggered and you will have a split second to eliminate the threat and remain undetected. The threat detection system has been revamped and crawling around a base has never been so smooth.

Having the option to complete a mission taking a multitude of varied approaches is highly enjoyable and adds to the game’s replay value. Ground Zeroes offers a welcome change of pace for those not liking or being adequate at sneaking and stealth segments. Like me. This is the kind of innovation and progress you should come to expect from the famed Metal Gear series. Everything looks gorgeous and runs smooth on the new Fox Engine.

The Bad:

The game’s story is short and originally served as a teaser for what’s to come in The Phantom Pain. I knew the game was short before I decided to continue my adventure. However, I was still surprised to find out that the game was almost finished when I decided to pick up where I left it. Luckily there are a few “Side Ops” and “Extra Ops” to finish in order to add a bit of replay value.

All of the action takes place in Camp Omega. A change of scenery would have been a nice addition to this short, yet powerful experience. The map only changes from night time to day time and the weather changes in some missions. The overall design of Camp Omega is beyond good and looks gorgeous, it just gets boring after a while.

Should you play Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes?

Ground Zeroes is an amazing short teaser of what we can expect from Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. I can imagine that at the time of release this prologue was treated as the next best thing and replaying it multiple times kept you busy until The Phantom Pain would finally be released. I wish I had finished it back then. Keep in mind that The Phantom Pain is already available and your money is better spend there. Ground Zeroes is a must have if you’re planning to complete your collection or want to play the prologue to The Phantom Pain. Ground Zeroes is also included in Metal Gear Solid V: The Definitive Experience.

About author

Kevin "Method" van Dongen

Ain't no thing like me, except me. I am the biggest half behind this website and love to write about my deep love for fighting games, (J)RPG's and Destiny. Really do not like Call of Duty and absolutely love pizza.