Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes is set in 1975, one year after Peace Walker, where Paz Ortega was missing and considered presumed de ad.
Snake’s backstory in graphic novel-style format with text, and you’re tasked with heading to Camp Omega, on Cuban soil, to find her – as she has information on someone or something known as “Cipher” – as well as Chico, a former child soldier, who was captured by Skull Face, the commander of a paramilitary force in control of Camp Omega.
While the full experience will give you new ways to sneak about or get from A to B, eg. via plane, helicopter or motorbike, the short gameplay time for Ground Zeroes means you won’t get to experience the full gamut of traversial options (if traversial is a word), but it sets the scene for what’s to come later this year in The Phantom Pain. Also, note that while this title was originally meant to be put out at the same time as Phantom Pain, the ongoing development time meant that director Hideo Kojima felt it was better to put this part out early so gamers could check the gameplay out sooner.
MGS V also allows you to take the story in any chosen direction but selecting missions in any order, but in Ground Zeroes, there are two. Certain elements will change depending on the choices you make, but for now, these will be limited.
Metal Gear Solid V Ground Zeroes – Part 1: Rescuing Chico (720p HD)
On completion of the main campaign, which takes around 2 hours to whip through, there are 4 “side ops” missions to take part in as well as a further one, the details of which are disclosed to you once you’ve progressed through everything else. There’s also a slightly lengthy intro sequence and a very lengthy epilogue.
I generally just go for the single-player campaigns in any game, so the lack of multiplayer didn’t bother me, but I also had a go of one of the side ops, where I had to track down and bump off two major baddies. Needless to say, I didn’t manage it. By the time I got anywhere, through sneaking about, they’d already done one. I did enjoy putting guards to sleep, then picking them up and setting them down next to an explosive barrel and then… yes, you guessed it.
Graphically, the game does look good,, but as everything has to be dark for you to get about unseen (for as often as you can), this title doesn’t really show off what the PS3 can do. Also, in the daytime where the following issue is obvious, the draw distance is crazy short at times, as parts of the landscape are being completed literally a stone’s throw from where you are, as you make your way forward. Audio-wise, gunfire, belting rain and klaxons are used perfectly around the Dolby Digital 5.1 soundscape.
Metal Gear Solid V Ground Zeroes – Part 2: Rescuing Paz (720p HD)
I really enjoyed Ground Zeroes, as it shows what we have to look forward with in Phantom Pain, but bear in mind the gameplay is short. And as I’m not massively familiar with the MGS titles, it took me a bit of getting used to the controls, and it’s all too easy to fire off a shot when you think you’re quietly using your binoculars, thus alerting all the guards and getting yourself in a bit of trub.
The full game manual is also available from the main menu.
Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes is out now on PS3, PS4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One, and Phantom Pain is out later this year.
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Metal Gear Solid V Ground Zeroes – Part 3: Epilogue and Credits (720p HD)
- Publisher: Konami
- Players: 1
- HDTV options: 720p/1080i/1080p
- Languages: English
- Subtitles: English
Director: Hideo Kojima
Producers: Kenichiro Imaizumi and Hideo Kojima
Writers: Hidenari Inamura, Hideo Kojima and Shuyo Murata
Music: Ludvig Forssell and Harry Gregson-Williams
Snake/Classic Snake/Raiden/Medic: Kiefer Sutherland
Kazuhira Miller/Roy Campbell/Vulcan Raven: Robin Atkin Downes
Paz: Tara Strong
Chico: Antony Del Rio
Skull Face: James Horan
Huey: Christopher Randolph
Soldier/Extras: Philip Anthony-Rodriguez
Soldier/Extras: Crispin Freeman
Soldier/Extras: Joel Johnston
Soldier/Extras: Matt Mercer
Undercover Agent: Roger Rose
Soldier/Extras: Dave Hill
Hideo: Hideo Kojima
iDroid: Donna Burke
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.