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Metal Gear Solid 5 Ground Zeroes GameSniped Review

So, did you guys guess the big surprise? I wondered if the Konami themed post would give it away. We’ve decided to do something a little different from our normal post. Keep in mind that the site thrives around you guys. So, if you like the idea, make sure you tell me in the comment section below. If you hate the idea, please don’t hesitate to tell me that as well. I definitely want to ensure that we’re running the sort of content you guys want to read. With that being said, I’d like to introduce you guys to the first ever GameSniped video game review. I’ve been a long time fan of MGS and Metal Gear (since the first game made its appearance on the NES actually). With all of the buzz surrounding the new FPS mod for the PC port of MGS and the approaching release of the second half, The Phantom Pain, I decided to focus on reviewing last year’s critically acclaimed release. Without delay, I present to you the Metal Gear Solid 5 Ground Zeroes GameSniped Review.

Today’s GameSniped Review focuses on last year’s release of Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes. Konami surrounded the title and its launch date in secrecy for quite a long time. They were trying to build up hype based off of past successes. Did they succeeded per this reviewer’s opinion, or is Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes a misstep for the franchise?

The Plot

Metal Gear Solid 5 Ground Zeroes GameSniped ReviewIn March 1975, the MSF orders Snake (a.k.a. Big Boss) to infiltrate a U.S. black site, Camp Omega, in Cuba. The story takes place just after Peace Walker. This time, Snake must find Cipher. Because of this, he has to rescue Paz Ortega Andrade and Ricardo Valenciano Libre from inside the former refugee camp turned secret prison at Camp Omega. He works alongside Kaz and Huey, against the forces of Skull Face, commander of the XOF.

Initially, Paz is presumed dead. When Chico tries to find her and is in turn detained at Camp Omega, Snake makes it his mission to infiltrate the camp and either find them or verify their deaths. He eventually manages to find and rescue both, only to discover that Paz has had a bomb surgically implanted inside of her. They eventually remove the bomb. Back at Mother Camp, they find themselves under seige from the XOF. They manage to save Miller from Mother Camp and escape of a helicopter called the Morpho One. However, Paz reveals that the XOF planted a second bomb inside her. She flings herself from the helicopter, but still causes it to swerve out of control and crash into an XOF chopper. In the epilogue, we find out the MSF have been all but destroyed. Three characters survived the crash: Snake, Huey, and Miller.

The game also includes four Side Ops, which play out as mini-prequels to this main story line.

The Series

The Metal Gear series was first launched by Konami back in 1987. In the late nineties, Konami and series creator Hideo Kijima branched off in a different direction with the first Metal Gear Solid. The MGS series now reached its fifth game. The games are known for having twisting, convoluted plot lines. MGS 5 is no different. As previously mentioned, Ground Zeroes is the first half of the 5th game. Konami should wrap this series up with the upcoming Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. Both these parts of the fifth episode will be released (and are playable) individually. However, they will also be released together as a single stand-alone work.

The Gameplay Mechanics

In the game, the players guide Snake through the map with the goal of completing certain objectives while (ideally) not being revealed by the enemy. This series is known for completely reinventing its game mechanics with each new iteration. #5 is no exception. This entry now boasts an all-new threat detection system, which features visual clues. Snake’s binoculars can now be accessed through a single hotkey instead of equipping them. Enemies can be marked and located via an iDroid app. This app can be used in-game for better threat detection, on both iOS and Android gadgets. Although the Mother Base is not playable, the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One versions allows players to check out other players’ scores and performances.

The game also features a ‘Reflex Mode.’ When the enemy discovers Snake, he is given a very brief window of opportunity to take out an enemy before he can alert others by sounding the alarm. This mode plays out in slow motion. Ground Zeroes boasts seven missions in total which can be unlocked at various points throughout the game. Once players complete the main mission, the game unlocks four additional Side Ops which I found relatively entertaining. The story takes place before Peace Walker and the Phantom Pain, Ground Zeroes can be seen as a sort of introduction to this series which is likely why they made the main mission relatively easy and short. However, the game offers numerous other additional play modes and challenges.

The verdict

85 points out of 100

Metal Gear SolidIt looks like all of the buildup worked out Konami. Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes is a very solid game. I’m really not just saying that. Most major gaming outlets swooned over the release of this game. Its ratings currently stand at 9 out of 10 on Steam, 4 out of 5 on MetaCritic (impressive!) and 4.8 out of 5 on AllKeyShop. I do have to dock a few points for game play time. Yes, I realize the game offers bonuses. Yes, I realize that this game is only half (or less) of the Metal Gear Solid V release. But, I was able to beat the main campaign for Ground Zeroes in less than two hours. Most games cost right around the $40 to $60 mark. At $20 brand new, I expected this game to last at least a solid four hours! Instead, we get a two hour, glorified tech demo of the game engine being used for The Phantom Pain. So, MGS V (0.5) does not represent good value for your money.

With that being said, what is on offer here is absolutely incredible. This game offers stunningly beautiful graphics and excellent replay-ability. The fact that the engine was powerful enough for PC modders to turn it into a FPS is a testament to Kajima and Konami. If anything, the short playing time makes me feel even more agitated about getting my hands on the proper MGSV. I loved the direction that Konami went in improving gameplay mechanics. In my opinion, this game marks as big of a change in the series as the leap from MGS 2 to MGS 3. Every time they change these series, you wonder how you ‘managed’ to play the prior game. The changes feel so natural and commonsense. Additionally, the game is filled to the brim with all sorts of numerous secrets that play time inevitably reveals or unlocks. If you’re a fan of the series, do yourself a favor and purchase the game. Those less accustomed to the Metal Gear universe might want to sit this one out and save their money for the proper release of the full fifth game (which should include Ground Zeros).

Ground Zeros represents an interesting concept. This format of premium, long demos may one day become the norm in the future. Instead of downloading a stripped down demo which only lasts 30 minutes or watching a game trailer, gamers may pay reduced prices for 2 or 3 hour ‘prologs’ to the complete version of a game. I suppose time will tell. But, HK and Konami usually have their fingers on the pulse of the gaming industry and can tell you which direction things will go in. I only wished the main campaign had been a bit longer or the price a bit lower.

If you are interested in playing this game, you purchase it in the following formats:

Collectors, don’t think I forgot about you guys with this review! Just because I care, I decided to dig up these sweet bonus eBay auctions. Enjoy!

4 Comments

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  1. I loved the review I look forward to more. I know how time consuming they can be to write them and I appreciate it.

    Just a heads up, I could be wrong but this game was made to not only show off the new game play mechanics and engine but it is a game to bridge the story gap between metal gear solid peace walker on the PSP and MGS 5 Phantom Pain. I do not believe this will be a part of Phanton pain if you wait to get it in the future. That is how I believe they advertised it however. $20 dollars is not bad at all, surprisingly for the PS3 and 360 it was $29.99 at release and they were going to release the PS4 and Xbox One at $39.99. But they ended up getting a lot of hate from the gaming community because they were trying to make a additional ten bucks per sale when they just bumped up the graphics. Eventually they came to there senses and released it at $29.99 🙂

    • I suppose you’re right. I just felt a tad bit upset with their pricing when it was first released. But, the new FPS mod for PC has me really excited for the new release. And, fwiw, I really enjoyed what was there to play in Ground Zeroes.

      Anyways, thank you for the support, Tadpole! I’m glad you liked the review. I’ll do more in the future. And, thank you for reading the site. Your support means a lot to me.

  2. This website sucks. You’ve given up a long time ago and you showed it. Put it out to pasture already. It’s nothing but advertising and the occasional post, which most of them suck these days. Give away the website to someone who can properly take care of it.

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