Today a mainstream console video game costs $60. Every console game, no matter what its production cost or amount of content. Every game, except for “Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes.”
Because of its short hours of gameplay, “Ground Zeroes,” a prologue to the upcoming game “Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain,” had a reduced price of $30. And instead of being elated by the fact that game company Konami had priced the game accordingly, many gamers were outraged, feeling like they were being ripped off and forced to pay for a “demo.”
But don’t let that scare you, this game is incredibly fun and far from being considered a demo. It has plenty to offer to any gamer that will give it a chance. Like most games “Ground Zeroes” still has its flaws. But I still find it to be a perfect addition to my “Metal Gear Solid” collection.
The story of “Ground Zeroes” focuses on a younger Big Boss (Snake) in the year 1975 whose mission is to rescue comrades from a US military prison. Like true “MGS” fashion, the story can be confusing at times if you haven’t played previous games, primarily “MGS: Peace Walker.” But luckily there is actually an option on the main menu to read the background story that leads up to the events in the game to help players get a little caught up.
The story itself definitely has a much darker tone and very little humor other than user-error goofs that are made while playing. Yes, that means no entertaining codec conversations and no out-of-the-box hiding places. But seeing as how “Ground Zeroes” is still essentially a spin-off game, the producers can get away with it without scaring people away from buying the next game. I was still able to learn more about the storyline and the cut scenes made for a great teaser of what was to come in “The Phantom Pain,” leaving me thirsty for more.
Getting used to the controls can be a little bumpy at first, as they are slightly tweaked compared to previous “MGS” games and have few tutorials. But for anyone who is seasoned in first-person shooters and stealth games should have no problem getting a handle on controls in a timely fashion.
The graphics are just stunning. There are so many details and the motion capturing of characters’ facial expressions helps with the realistic feel that this game gives. Not many will notice this but the sound effects are also greatly improved, not that they needed it. When Snake is crawling on the ground you can hear his suit grinding against the rocks and dirt. When he opens a gate you hear the clanging and squeaks from the hinges. It can be quite cringe worthy at times, since it is a stealth mission. Every time Snake crawls behind a guard or pushes open a gate I take a deep breath, hoping he won’t get caught.
The amount of hours in the game play is definitely shorter than even the average short video games, which is typically six hours. The first playthrough of “Ground Zeroes” on normal mode can take an average of one to four hours, depending on how experienced the player is. But there are also mini games and Easter eggs throughout the game, as well as the different strategies you can use to complete this mission such as no kills or no weapons. There is definitely some replayability.
Everyone remembers the game “Pong.” It was one of the first home edition video games to be released, a simple tennis-like game that could be played by one or two players by hitting a pixelated white ball with a white rectangular paddle on screen. “Pong” retailed for $98 and was a critical success.
That was in 1975.
So if the big question is if I got my money’s worth for “Ground Zeroes,” I think I absolutely did. People tend to forget that video games did not always offer hours of gameplay and that content before was limited. The only constant in video games has really been the price that has hovered around $50 to $60 for the past few decades.
But a company that has priced their game lower because of having less content is considered to be a corporate sell out? Now, that just doesn’t make sense.
This game was great and you could tell how much heart and effort was put into every little detail. So buy it, rent it, just go and play it. You won’t be disappointed.