Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes

Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes is a third-person stealth action game where you play as an exceptionally skilled soldier known as “Snake”/”Big Boss.” Your mission is to sneak into a military base to rescue a couple of people. Ground Zeroes is also a prelude to the much larger Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain.

Pros

Very nice graphics. Everything looks excellent.

The audio is also excellent. It certainly helps since you need to listen in on conversations and figure out enemy movements by ear.

The map is completely open, similar to HITMAN. Where you go and how you go about completing your missions, is up to you. I don’t remember Metal Gear Solid 2 being open like this.

Cutscenes blend seamlessly with the playing sections and really boosts the atmosphere of the game. Some cutscenes are quite lengthy, but they can be paused, or skipped entirely to get straight into the action.

The AI is excellent. It makes for a difficult game, but not to the point that the enemies have super powers.

There is some on-rails shooting. It sure makes for a good break from all the sneaking around. The only bad thing is, you still lose points for kills.

Completed missions can be replayed. So, if you want to try for a higher score or complete other objectives, you can.

Cons

My favourite action in Metal Gear Solid 2, hiding in boxes, is disappointingly missing from Ground Zeroes.

New players to the world of Metal Gear Solid may find it difficult to learn how to play Ground Zeroes. There are hints on how to play, but there are also things that are not explained. The old fashioned learn the keys and experiment procedure is required to figure out everything. Alternatively, play The Phantom Pain first to learn everything, then return to Ground Zeroes.

It only took me 2 hours to finish the one and only story mission. That is very short considering that I was just bumbling around at the start. Not a surprise though, since Ground Zeroes is only a prologue game.

Other Points

The plot is presented with background reading material, cutscenes, general dialogue and cassette tape recordings. There is a lot to digest and can get confusing at times. Confusing, but interesting, just like Metal Gear Solid 2.

There are side missions that take place on the same map, much like how HITMAN works. Not sure if this makes Ground Zeroes worth buying without The Phantom Pain, but it is still good fun.

Also similar to HITMAN, Ground Zeroes is a points game. You will lose points if you alert the enemy or kill non-targets. Of course, if you don’t care for points, the game does allow you to have fun and just go on a rampage.

The game uses automatic checkpoint saves and there is only one save slot. You can only return to the most recent save slot if you die or want to reload. The checkpoints are at set spots and each time you go to those spots, it saves.

Biases

The only other MGS game I have played is Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty. I liked MGS 2 a lot.

HITMAN(2) was the most recent stealth game that I enjoyed before Ground Zeroes. HITMAN kept popping into my head while I was playing Ground Zeroes.

I got Ground Zeroes as part of Metal Gear Solid V: The Definitive Experience. I got through the story mission of Ground Zeroes before starting The Phantom Pain, but then went back and forths for a while, before leaving Ground Zeroes.

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