Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes developed by Kojima Productions and produced by Konami is like a demo tape to your favourite band. It gives you a sneak peek of the new substance and finishing it leaves you wanting more. Ground Zeroes gives players a taste of the new story, graphics, gameplay using the brand new Fox Engine and voice acting and motion capture and acts as the prologue of the upcoming entry Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes sees the return of Big Boss aka Snake, who was last seen in the PlayStation Portable classic Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker. After the events of Peace Walker, Paz claims to have information on a person calling the shots known only as Cipher, however Paz has been captured and imprisoned along with Chico who is a child soldier of the Militaires San Frontieres of which Snake is part of. Snake is sent by Kazuhira ‘Kaz’ Miller and Huey Emmerich to Camp Omega to extract Paz and Chico under the belief that they could possibly give out information on MSF to the enemy. Now the Metal Gear Solid series is renowned for its second to none Hollywood style acting and Ground Zeroes is no exception. The story is excellently portrayed and runs at a perfect pace and Keifer Sutherland does a phenomenal job of playing Snake, I must say I was apprehensive about the absence of veteran voice actor of Snake, David Hayter but I was pleasantly surprised.
Snake now has an on-the-fly wall hugging technique instead of holding a button down like previous games. This makes stalking enemies and checking around corners a whole lot easier and it looks fantastic too. Snake can now sprint to get out of tight situations which can also be done whilst carrying prisoners and bodies and for the first time in the series, Snake can commandeer vehicles. Like I said earlier about Ground Zeroes being like a demo tape, the entire game can be completed in less than an hour as rescuing Paz and Chico is the only objectives in the main story but Ground Zeroes contains more missions to play through called Side Ops. The Side Ops contains missions requiring players to identify a double agent who holds a vital cassette tape, take out two members of a sniper team and take out air defences as well as a console specific secret op. On the PlayStation, its Déjà vu which requires Snake to recreate scenes from the first Metal Gear Solid game and on the Xbox, its Jamais Vu, which puts players in control of Raiden who must take out otherworldly threats known as Body Snatchers. Playing as Raiden though is disappointing as he controls exactly the same as Snake albeit a lighting fast sprinting ability and no you can’t use his trademark lightning sword. Ground Zeroes looks breath-taking on PS4 and Xbox One, textures, weather effects, lighting and anti-aliasing looks sublime which enhance the atmosphere of the game. It even goes as detailed as puddles on the floor and the water effects are fantastically real. Motion capture is also brilliantly executed; Sutherlands Snake looks just as badass as ever and the new baddie, Skull Face, looks menacing with his scar ridden face and his cowboy hat. Paz and Chico are convincing POW’s who emits a sense of innocence reminding players that they are just kids. Down sides though, enemies at a distance sometimes just appear and some background items such as boxes and barrels at times mysteriously disappear but these little hiccups don’t hinder the overall experience whatsoever.
Snakes return is a fantastic one, Ground Zeroes is a short lived but memorable experience thanks to its outstanding gameplay and graphics. Memorable characters like Paz, Chico, Skull Face and Miller are brilliantly portrayed and kudos to Keifer Sutherland for successfully filling some hefty boots in the gaming industry. Give us The Phantom Pain now! We can’t wait any longer!
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Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes
Developer: Kojima Productions
Release Date: 21st March 2014
Story – 5/5
Graphics – 5/5
Gameplay – 5/5
Overall – 5/5