WeView: Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes

Cuba, Cuba here I come.

Ground Zeroes seems like a rather confusing game. In fact the entire Metal Gear Solid V situation left me confused for months before Ground Zeroes actually released, with contradictory information about the link between Ground Zeroes and The Phantom Pain appearing seemingly weekly. I know it’s a situation somewhat akin to Gran Turismo 5 Prologue, but Prologue had the advantage that it wasn’t narrative driven.

Confusion aside, the real problem for me is the length. While I’m on board with games of any length, the 90 minutes that Teflon pegs the game’s main mission at in his review does seem overly short. I mean you can lump in the cutscenes, that only seems fair given how much a Metal Gear Solid title relies on them, and add on the side missions, but even then it doesn’t seem like there’s really enough to justify the cost.

On the more positive side of things, Tef was impressed by the variety of ways you can “infiltrate and explore” Camp Omega, saying that the game’s “real joy will come [from] using this area as your personal playground”. He praised the way you’re given “multiple routes and options for getting from one place to another”, avoiding the various patrols and watch towers as you go.

The game’s graphical presentation received praise too, with Tef calling it a “graphical tour de force for the FOX Engine and PS4”. He also highlighted the way that the game’s time of day and weather, elements that shift in the side missions, really effect it’s look, as well as the way they alter how the game plays in these missions. Playing in “blazing sunshine as you go in to plant a series of explosives on some AA guns” obviously has a very different look to “the rainy darkness of the main mission”, and it seems these differences are really reflected in the gameplay.

However, it seems like the game’s length really held it back for Tef, as he only rated it as a 6/10. Here’s what he had to say as he wrapped up his review:

Splitting Ground Zeroes back into a separate release was always going to be contentious. Thankfully, there is a lot more gameplay and depth than the early reports of the main mission’s length suggested and it’s full of potential for exploration, fan service and Kojima’s particular brand of hackneyed allegories.

Unfortunately, there is still too little primary content to justify the £29.99 price tag or even the £19.99 digital pricing for PS3/360, so I can’t recommend this to anyone but a die hard MGS fan.

As per usual, it’s now time to ask you what you thought of this prequel to The Phantom Pain. Would you rather it was included with The Phantom Pain like the oil tanker sequence in Metal Gear Solid 2, or do you think that there’s enough here to justify a stand alone release? Are you getting value for money from the game, or do you think it needed to be a little longer for the money you paid?

If you want to share your opinion all you need to do is drop us a comment below, remembering to tack on a rating using our Buy It, Sale It, Plus It, Avoid It scale so that we can sum up the community’s opinion in Monday’s WeView Verdict.

28 Comments

  1. I want my money back!

    Avoid it!

  2. This was the first MGS I had played since the first one. Honestly I didn’t like it. It’s suppose to be a stealth game, but you could go in all guns blazing and still survive quite easily. Maybe one day I will attempt to play it again, so for me it is a Plus it.

  3. Before I bought the game I knew it was little more than a glorified demo, so I waited until the price dropped to a point I could justify to myself.

    I knew that there were additional side missions, but after a few of them I started to lose interest in going through the same area doing slightly different things.

    I feel that it was released and priced for launch window the new generation of consoles, and would struggle to sell if launched now. I feel it should have been released for free to build interest for The Phantom Pain.

    Plus it

  4. Rented it, played it, sent it back same day. We don’t have a rent it option so PLus it I guess.

    • Is it even possible to rent a game nowadays?

      • Yep. Their is a site called boomerang rentals which works the same way that lovefilm did back in the day.

      • Cheers. Just had a quick look because I’d love a game rental service like this but their customer feedback is quite poor. I think a service like this needs to work well and reading the reviews online, it seems it’s more hassle than it’s worth, which is a shame.

      • Personally I’ve never had any problems with them. I think the reason they have got bad reviews is because a lot of people’s card details were compromised and Boomerang got the blame. They have changed the payment system now and completely updated everything so it should be fine. I would recommend them.

      • Decided to give them a chance. Signed up and ordered a game yesterday afternoon and it arrived this morning. Great service from them so far. Thanks for recommending.

  5. Admittedly I’m not a fan of MGS games which may sway my opinion.
    I was supposedly going to borrow it from a friend for the weekend, but after about 10 minutes, the disc was ejected & handed back to him before he even left my house. From the little time I spent with it, the controls seemed absolutely awful and I could neither fathom or figure out what the hell was going on.

    AVOID IT.

  6. I found the general getting around the base so tedious. Tranq a guard and endless others come to investigate. Shoot a camera and endless drones again come to investigate. Think you’ve cleared an area and more guards spawn there. It’s like one of those late PS2 era games by some developer you’ve never heard of.

    The worst game of this generation so far.

    After really enjoying Hitman Absolution & Splinter Cell Blacklist this is like the black sheep of the stealth family.

    Yes, you’ve guessed it, AVOID!

  7. I really liked the game, but it only took me 50 minutes. Not counting the cutscenes. So I played it several times. I think the only problem is how short it is, the gameplay is outstanding. I love how on my second playthrough a certain truck wasn’t moving like it did the first time, and it turned out to be because I’d knocked out the driver in an earlier fight, thinking he was just another guard. I think there’s a great depth to it that’s not to be found in other games. But you’ll probably need Phantom Pain to experience it fully.

    I say pick it up in a sale.

  8. Short version: AVOID IT unless you want it just for the bare bones plot.

    Long version: MGS:GZ. What can i say about it? It’s fantastic and the open world gameplay is a wonderful addition to the franchise, but i feel that GZ failed to give us what Kojima wanted it to do. Which was to get us ready for The Phantom Pain. Sure, you can steal an APC and a jeep along with a truck but apart from that, it’s just another Metal Gear game that requires stealth. Or you can just use the traditional feck this approach aka Big Rambo approach and this time, it’s viable. In the past, going in guns blazing would be tricky and not advised. But here? You can pretty much play it as an action game. Gunplay is decent but it feels wrong to use the violent approach in a MGS game. Graphics on the PS3 are excellent and very realistic. But MGS is not a game that uses graphics as a selling point.

    Instead, it’s the plot and what the hell happened? Instead of MGS using excellent story telling with unique boss battles, Ground Zeroes offers……

    NOTHING.

    I’m not kidding, it’s literally one mission where you go in, retrieve Chico and Paz then get out. It’s sole purpose is to set up The Phantom pain and this should not be a game. It should have been included with the Phantom Pain. Most players will complete it in under an hour/1.5 hours. The rest of the content is pure filler. Again, why is this a damn game? It’s MGS5’s Virtous Mission only, they cut it out of MGS 5 and sold it either due to shut us up or Konami really needed the cash at the time.

    Now, i should mention that Hayter was sacked as Big Boss and i was very annoyed when that happened. Hayter is both Naked Snake and Solid/Old Snake. But Sunderland does a surperb job. However, Hideo Kojima made a massive mistake by not having Hayter voice Big Boss for Ground Zeroes due to GZ literally taking place a few days later. 9 years would feel more natural for change of voice actors but i’m being a bit nitpicky.

    Overall, AVOID IT if you are looking to get into the Metal Gear franchise(Start with the HD collection or MGS 1), AVOID IT if you expect it to be a fully fledged Metal Gear(It’s a Mini Gear game), AVOID IT if you want it for the plot and gameplay. SALE IT if you want it for the plot or to get used to the controls and prepare yourself for The Phantom Pain. AVOID IT if you don’t want to pay for what is a glorifed demo. This should have never been released. It’s a fantastic game but too short. The ending for Metal Gear Solid 4 is longer then all the content in Ground Zeroes combined. I’m not kidding.

    But if Ground Zeroes is just 0.1% of what The Phantom Pain will be capable of, it will be a day one purchase for me. Followed by a series of “Oh shitaki mushrooms! How did i cock that up!?” and “Haha! I’m in a tank!”

  9. I think I picked this up for about £7.00 preowned quite a while ago. Which, even having heard people say that it was ridiculously short, felt like a okay price.

    Having then gone onto play the game I still manage to feel as though there is nowhere near enough content. I think I beat my first playthrough in about half an hour, a really fun half an hour mind you, but then the game just stops with fairly unpleasant cutscene and a big teaser for Phantom Pain.

    I know that you can go back and do different missions on the same map, but they;re not different enough from the main mission to really take into account that much.

    The game plays really well, and looks stunning, I just wish there was a lot more to it.

    I can’t really recommend buying it at full price, and for the cost on a sale you could still get a more hours of gameplay from many other games. The core game is good fun though, so I would say Plus It

  10. I know some have said to plus it (mainly due to the lack of a rent it option), but I am going to feel pretty ripped off if this does appear on plus. Mainly as the inclusion of this would mean the exclusion of an actual game with some actual content.

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