Before Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain was released, there was an amazing prelude/tech demo that I feel is sort of forgotten. Released on March 18, 2014, Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes was the world’s introduction to the world of MGSV. Though this was mostly a handful of missions based on in one island, it was a good start to the next entry in Metal Gear Solid. While you have probably already read my review of The Phantom Pain, it wouldn’t be Metal Gear if it were done chronologically.
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Ground Zeroes fills in the gap between Peace Walker and TPP(The Phantom Pain). Snake a.k.a. Big Boss is being sent to an island known as Camp Omega to rescue two children named Paz and Chico from XOF forces. They hold important information on a mysterious group known as Cipher. I feel like there’s not a whole lot I could say in a synopsis that wouldn’t either be a spoiler or cause utter confusion. If you’ve read my review on the following release then you know what I mean. There’s a bit to unpack, but the whole package is top-tier.
The gameplay is almost just like its subsequent release, the full-length MGSV: The Phantom Pain, save for a few missing features. With all 7 missions taking place on the same remote island, you would think it would get boring fast. However, that is not the case. You are still given a variety of options for accomplishing each objective, which results in some intense and fun encounters. And with each mission changing different elements of the island and perimeters of success, it stays fresh and fun.
If you haven’t played the full-length game, this will set you on a solid path to understanding the basics. If you have played it, this feels like a cool tech demo of what was to come. When writing these reviews, I found it fun to make comparisons between the two. For example, enemy status symbols above their heads don’t change color based on consciousness. I’ll let you pick the rest out for yourself. It gives a good idea of how much is never solidified in a game’s development.
As with any Kojima game, the graphics and sound design of this game are impressive. Though most of the missions take place at night, there are still details to be taken aback by. Light gleams off of Snake’s gear and sneaking suit with pretty well-executed realism. At times I found it hard to believe this game is 9 years old. The sound design is up to par as well, forcing you to be very mindful of every move you make. Don’t go sprinting into a room thinking you’re in the clear, because once you bump into a box and send it flying toward the wall you may gain some unwanted attention.
When I first encountered this game in 2014, I was stoked for what would follow. Everything I had ever wanted to do in a Metal Gear game was coming to fruition. I could finally drive, fully plan out a mission how I wanted to, and fully become Snake. I had been waiting for this experience since MGS3.
Going back to it today, I still feel mostly the same. It’s an experience that feels like an E3 tech demo at first, then unravels into a 20+ hour experience. It did what it was designed to do: leave the player craving more. From top to bottom, this is worth experiencing. Another solid entry in the Metal Gear franchise. Still, if you can, just get it with the definitive edition of the main game.
- A great introduction to the stakes and mechanics ofMGSV
- Stellar stealth gameplay
- Amazing graphics and sound design
- Superb presentation
- Leaves the player wanting more
- Story can be more confusing to newcomers
- Feels like a monetized E3 demo