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Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes Preview

This week, ShopTo sneaked around the Konami HQ in Windsor and managed to stealthily get some hands on time with Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes on Playstation 4. Ground Zeroes forms the first part of the whole MGS V package with the main, meaty chunk, The Phantom Pain, expected some time within the next year.

By now, you’ve probably heard a few horror stories surrounding the general length of Kojima’s latest budget prologue, and rightly so. The main story mission can be completed within 2 hours relatively easily. Many players will race through it considerably quicker than that on Normal difficulty. It’s all about the way you play and chose to approach the game. I spent just over 100 minutes on my first playthrough, seeings the sights, baiting unsuspecting guards and making my own way through it at a steady, relaxed pace.

Relax! Those two hours are just the tip of the iceberg, after completion of the Ground Zeroes mission, you’ll unlock four side missions set within the same world as the GZ. These range from retrieving important intel, securing a high profile VIP and removing them via helicopter extraction and other stealth based missions. These ‘Side Ops’ are very akin to Peace Walker’s style of short, highly replayable missions and can be completed in roughly twenty or so minutes. Missing out on these means missing out on pretty important snippets that I’d certainly consider vital to the main Metal Gear Solid V plot as each Side Op contains little audio easter eggs that unleash some backstory on one of the game’s lead antagonists.

Ground Zeroes is set within the fictional Cuban detention facility Camp Omega, it’s as close as you’ll get to Guantanamo Bay without it actually being it. Big Boss has been sent into rescue two characters that will be completely familiar to returning players, Paz and Chico. Details past that are pretty thin, you’ll have to infiltrate the camp, eavesdrop or perhaps violently interrogate guards to uncover new information and then attempt to extract the targets via helicopter.

There’s been some considerable changes since the last Metal Gear Solid title hit consoles. Boss/Snake no longer relies on those dusty, old war rations, health is now regenerative and due to the more open nature of the title, enemies AI has been considerably improved. In the daylight Side Ops enemies will spot you from over 60 metres away with ease, in the damp, dour conditions of the Ground Zeroes mission, the evening English style rain becomes a close ally and goes a long way to mask your movements. Keeping with the AI improvements, guards will spot your footprints in the mud, see blood marks on the ground and scan the area even if you’ve expertly hidden your unsuspecting foe.

I can’t talk about the other platforms, but venturing into Kojima’s first bash at the next generation on the Playstation 4 was a joy. Graphically, Ground Zeroes is beyond competent; Boss’s hair ruffles in the wind, the rain glistens as it runs down his face, sneaking suit and remarkably shiny butt. Sure, having Kiefer Sutherland taking over the reigns from David Hayter is initially a little jarring, you’ll soon come around. It’s a very Jack Bauer performance and while Kiefer doesn’t say too much, what he did was certainly effective. One note being that I would have preferred more than just “SPIT IT OUT” for every single guard information interrogation/information jiggle shakedown, that became quite tedious after four hours.

The other main talking point on message boards around the internet is that Hideo Kojima isn’t holding back on Metal Gear Solid V’s adult nature. There hasn’t been many games in the past that have pushed the boundaries of actual graphic content found within them, sure the world of gaming is filled with guns, violence terrible language and murder, but what Kojima touches on in Ground Zeroes is one of the most disturbing things I’ve witnessed in gaming. It’ll be interesting to see what sort of backlash will come from fans and the media later this month, but one thing is for sure - it’s rated 18 for a reason.

Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes hits Playstation 4, Xbox One, Playstation 3 and Xbox 360 on March 21 and is available to preorder from ShopTo today. We will have a review for you soon.

Edited On 06 Mar, 2014

( 8 )
Im Going Space's avatar
Im Going Space 5 years ago
Got a few ideas of what you're talking about there with the graphic content. here's hoping it isn't censored like the cartoon anal probing in south park. really can't wait for this game. it's been too long since the last MGS.
Colin (News Writer)'s avatar
Colin (News Writer) 5 years ago
Im Going Space - I...don't think you do :D There's been many theories around...but I have seen anyone guess correctly yet!
Anonymous user's avatar
Daniel 5 years ago
I Dont get why people are making a big fuss about the length of the main campaign, I have played every MGS more the once to try the harder difficulties, people never stop whining! do me a favour shopTo and send me mine early! cheers ;D
AJR-Legend's avatar
AJR-Legend 5 years ago
Good read Joe! Really looking forward to this
lazyboyblue's avatar
lazyboyblue 5 years ago
Nice preview. Is it wrong to Be looking forward to this and Titanfall more than I was for my actual xb1 and ps4 deliveries?
Im Going Space's avatar
Im Going Space 5 years ago
fair enough colin, either way, knowing kojima, it'll be good either way
Anonymous user's avatar
Nathan 5 years ago
how do i pre-order this game? its not showing up in my basket
TheRide's avatar
TheRide 5 years ago
cannot wait for this big time :)

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