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Review: Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes

There can only be one Boss… and one Snake…” – The Boss (Metal Gear Solid 3)

The Metal Gear Franchise is probably one of the biggest game franchise’s in the world 50,000 million copies world wide since the initial Metal Gear Solid arrived in 1998. The game has been some rough patches and so has the developers but times change and things can move on. Since it’s first release on the first PlayStation in 1998 the game could only improve, especially when the creator and publisher Hideo Kojima and Konami have had years to think on how to improve their game. Progressing through the ages each game got more and more in-depth travelling across consoles such as; PlayStation, Nintendo and Microsoft’s Xbox which then leads us to our next generation of consoles, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One where Kojima’s next game is set it hit the market by storm.

Developer: Kojima Productions
Publisher: Konami
Reviewed on: PlayStation 4
Also Available On: Playstation 3/Xbox One/Xbox 360
Release Date: Out Now

Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes is a short game that was made in order to show the users what to expect in the upcoming full release of Metal Gear Solid V: Phantom Pain, the game has a huge re-playability value allows the user to have full rein over how they want to complete their objective; from stealth to all guns blazing it gives the user a sense of responsibility and somewhat determination to finish the level in their own unique way. As I mentioned briefly, the game is short. Being that there is only one level, you can imagine how the game could get boring right? No this isn’t the case, different variables come into play when trying to complete the level which we’ll go into a little later.

I’d also like to mention I’m pretty new to the Metal Gear Franchise and this was actually one of the first games I’ve played (Properly) when it comes Metal Gear Solid, so I’m not going to be all in-depth with the twists and turns that occur throughout the franchise’s games as well the history behind it. Although I’ve read a lot about it I’m sure I can’t know everything there is to know, but I’d like to give you as many facts as I can – so bare with me whilst reading this.

Playing as Big Boss; an American Mercenary depicted as a War Hero for the elimination of former ultimate solider and American traitor. Boss’ headquarters being out in the Caribbean sea being called “Mother-Base” created by MFS in 1974 for military operations . The game also takes place in 1975 several months after the events of Peace Walker (According to my research), Big Boss is working for Militaires Sans Frontiéres also known as MSF and has been sent to Cuba on a mission to retrieve Paz and Chico two children with important knowledge, Paz knowing who Cipher is (or are) and this information is curtail to MFS. Big Boss’s mission is to get them safely home without detection of his presence.

Metal Gear Solid V Ground Zeroes Screen 2

A cut-scene then plays showing you some story factors I don’t really want to ruin or spoil but they’re pretty important so I advice anyone who plays to watch them, they do go on a bit I’ll warn you but trust me when I say you wont regret not skipping them when you do finally come to complete this short game.

So now the game begins with Big Boss climbing up the side of cliff eventually pulling himself up onto land, it’s a rough night on the coast of Cuba and waves are crashing. A short radio transmission is passed through which notifies the player on a few game mechanics as well as some tips on how to get through the level. So first of all I walk down to the gate and see 3 goons, one in a tower and two by the gate, I have to admit this took me at least 30 mins of getting caught and either running around the whole base or getting shot by 6 dudes with assault rifles.

By this time I’d got to grips with the controls and actually knew what my weapons were used for and how effective they actually were, this was when I decided I was going to take a more sneaky approach. I started off by taking the guy manning the light on the tower the proceeded to wait for one guy at the gate to walk off, knock the guy that’s left out and run down into a group of tents. In some of my runs, a Jeep would pass by which would also result in me getting gunned down again. Although this was kind of trail and error I wasn’t getting bored of what was happening it was all so intense.

I then progressed onwards towards my objective which I believe to be Paz, I dodge my way through armed guards and those god damn camera’s I always forgot about which then again resulted in Big Boss having no head left. But eventually I found her and the sign of relief when I did was so good! But (yes there’s always a but) I found out I had to man handle her all the way to the shore line which to me seemed impossible only having one hand to shoot and moving slower than a group of snails wading through peanut butter. But I powered through and was determined to complete the game after about 45 minutes of dropping Paz, scoping the area, picking her up and proceeding I actually got to my objective. At which point I remember there’s still another child I have to save!

God damn you Chico! I looked over the whole base trying to find him (Whilst destroying my non-lethal approach by killing about 10 guards after losing patience) I then run to the shoreline only to see another small compound which I  hadn’t explored, low and behold he’s there. surrounded by a barbed fence and about 5 goons. I’m probably certain you could do this in numerous ways but I found there was a watch tower I could climb up and drop in from on the north-west side of the compound. I jump in, waited for the guards to leave in their Jeep and saved his sorry little butt. Before another small cut-scene plays out.

Metal Gear Solid V Ground Zeroes Screen 1

Now what happens when you complete this mission I’m going to keep a secret (even though the trailer probably spoiled it for you already), all I’m going to say is after seeing this cut-scene I read up everything I could of the franchise and will 100% be playing the new game upon release. One of the best filmed cut-scenes I’ve ever seen and probably one of the most entertaining. Thank you Kojima for this excellent demonstration.

After the roller-coaster campaign I noticed there were a few side mission I could complete, these were entertaining and were really put in place for the players to explore more ways to do missions given a different object, for example; one of the side missions is to assassinate 2 of the CO’s in the complex, once again the game allowed for some interesting play choices as well and smart combat.

The game has showed some amazing features throughout playing, the AI were smart they didn’t let me sneak around them so easily like you might see in other stealth games such as; Splitercell. The AI in this Metal Gear Solid used their sense’s well, a simple foot step in the wrong place would gain there attention. I had to think about the unexpected a lot, as I mentioned earlier sometimes when playing a Jeep would drive right next to me out of the blue or another NPC would find his way into my path. Also when I was spotted I found it hard to get away and hard but then also return to the same spot, there would be 3 guys guarding the areas carefully.

Another cool feature is the game runs in real time, if you’re playing it at night then it’ll be night in your game and so forth. After seeing the future prospects of this game it came to my attention that the weather would also be another important factor when it comes to completing your objective. Although I don’t remember seeing as much in this game I know that in the full release this’ll be a feature.

I’ve replayed the Storyline part several times now and have found new ways to complete my mission, I cant express how much re-playability there actually is, how many different approaches you can take. It’s truly amazing from my point of view and as a Student of Game Design, it ticks every box for me.[tabgroup][tab title=”The Good“]Physics and Graphics are superb
Narrative is intense
Diverse gameplay

[/tab][tab title=”The Bad“]Limited to one Level
Minor Bugs
Having to wait until MGS V: Phantom Pain to see more


Official game site
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I love games and I also love writing, combine the two and what do you get? You get an awesome job! My life is surrounded by games, making them, reviewing them and playing them, this is how I like it!


  1. Good review!