Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes Released

Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes is out as of March 18th! I take a look at the game and the ongoing debate over its value.

It's here! Today marks the release of Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes in North America, with Japanese and European editions planning to be released on March 20th.

To say I am excited for Metal Gear's jump to the next-gen would be an understatement, but I know there are still many misconceptions about what exactly the game is, how much it costs, and what value you are going to get by purchasing the game. So here's a brief summary of what's in the game, as well as a rundown of the title's significance in the overarching Metal Gear Solid narrative.

Ground Zeroes is the prologue to Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. 

The title is meant to give gamers an early look at the final game as development time took longer than anticipated, according to Hideo Kojima.

It will run you $30 for a physical copy or a next-gen digital copy, with PS3 and Xbox 360 digital copies priced at $20. It is an action-adventure stealth game that breaks the Metal Gear Solid mold by letting you choose your plan of attack within the freedom of an open world.

The gameplay looks incredible and seems to be a definitive step forward for both Metal Gear Solid and gaming in general; however, there has been controversy over the demo-like aspect of the game. It can be completed in roughly two hours, and some gamers are turned off by having to pay for something so insubstantial.

Big Boss, master of disguise

War has changed

Metal Gear Solid V is set after MGS3 and is a direct sequel to MGS Peace Walker. It stars Big Boss in his exploits with the Militaires Sans Frontières in Central America.

Ground Zeroes only contains a few missions and will presumably set up Big Boss's final conflict in The Phantom Pain. For non MGS-heads, this game is significant as it ties together the prequel games starring Big Boss to the "modern day" games, starring Solid Snake, where Big Boss goes from hero to villain. You could look at it as Metal Gear Solid's Revenge of the Sith moment.

It should be noted that Ground Zeroes does not contain a platinum trophy, as Sony won't allow a game that is not full priced to have one. Which is strange, considering games such as the HD Collections are not full priced yet contain multiple(!) platinum trophies. There is also a cool companion app for Ground Zeroes that you can use as almost a second screen, and is able to show the map as well as listen to in-game audio files and build your base.

I think that this game is definitely worth the price of the PS3 and 360 digital copy, though I don't think the $30 physical copy is justified.

Early reviews praise the gameplay, voice acting, and graphics, but all list the short play time as a serious drawback. For two hours of gameplay, which probably won't have any plot significance once the full Metal Gear Solid V comes out, I would rather save the money and put it towards that game instead--which is sure to be damn near flawless (I'm not biased at all!). So what do you think? Are you going to pick it up or wait for the final version? Let us know in the comments!

- Alex

Published Mar. 18th 2014
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