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Published March 23, 2014

Gaming Nomad Rants On Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes

Metal Gear Solid is one of my favorite game franchises with some of the best storytelling and characters in video games. So it greatly saddens and sickens me to see Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes and just how it was handled. Metal Gear Solid 5 is an odd case of a game.

It is to be the final chapter in the long-spanning Metal Gear saga and is the direct sequel to the PSP game Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker. For some reason, Hideo Kojima and his team over at Konami thought it would be a good idea to split the fifth (and supposedly final) installment in the Metal Gear universe into two games: Ground Zeroes and The Phantom Pain.

That is a strange move, but what turns this strange move into a shitty move is charging people $30 for Ground Zeroes. Thirty dollars for a new Metal Gear!? That’s great right? Not full price! Wrong. This game can be beaten within an hour, even less if you know what you’re doing, and barely feels like a Metal Gear game at all. Some people have managed to beat it within 10 minutes. This game is nothing more than a glorified demo and greedy cash grab to prey on the Metal Gear fan base.

Snake is displeased with how his new game was handled.
Snake is displeased with how his new game was handled.

But it’s Metal Gear! It must have an incredible story written by the master mind Kojima, right?!

If you want to pick this game up only for the story, don’t.

The little there is of the story just barely teases you and gives you very little of what to expect to come in The Phantom Pain. You’re better off just watching it on Youtube. Most of what happens has been shown in trailers already. But it’s a next-gen game! Those graphics must sure be impressive! Ground Zeroes has the honor of being the first game I have played on the Playstation 4 (thanks, Grant!) and sadly, it was not an impressive showcase of what the PS4 can do. The character models and lighting effects looked great, but the environments and textures were less than impressive and looked on par with Metal Gear Solid 4 (which came out in 2008).

I did like the new way the cutscenes are handled. Instead of the game stopping and going into a letter box, it continues seamlessly with this documentary style camera that makes you feel like you’re right there with the action on the screen. However, for some reason, we kept experiencing lag during the cutscenes. This an issue with the PS4 version of the game, which is apparently the only version full of bugs. Other versions are fine and I think that is part of the problem: this is a cross gen console game. It is on the PS4, Xbox One, PS3, and Xbox 360.

It was reportedly originally being developed for PS3 and 360 but then they decided to push it onto the next-gen consoles.

RELATED: Gaming Nomad’s Top 5 Games of 2013.

When you do that, the game cannot properly take advantage of next gen hardware and I feel that is what is holding the PS4 and Xbox One back. What’s the point of getting the shiny new console when the games you want get released on the systems you own anyway!?

The combat and new game engine is good but not worth the asking price. Great lighting effects but overall it fails to impress for next-gen.
The combat and new game engine are good but not worth the asking price. Great lighting effects, but overall it fails to impress for next-gen.

This was not a good introduction to the PS4 for me and I’ve once again decided to hold off on getting a PS4 of my own. But Gaming Nomad, it was meant to show off the new game engine! And the new game engine is really good! Yes, the new FOX Engine is really good. The whole game runs at 60 fps and the controls are really smooth and responsive. I really like how Snake handles and interacts with the environment. Kojima said Ground Zeroes was put out to give players new and old a chance to get familiar with the new game engine and open world feel for this next generation of Metal Gear.

Well you know what? THEY COULD HAVE EASILY JUST DONE THAT WITH THE FINAL GAME OR A DOWNLOADABLE DEMO NEAR THE RELEASE OF THE FINAL PRODUCT!!! If this game is just meant to be a demo why is it thirty freaking dollars!? I’d rather play a full Metal Gear game and get used to the new game mechanics by playing it, you know, like all games, rather than buying a $30 demo that barely teases at the actual game and can be beaten in no time at all. By the way, there is currently no release date for The Phantom Pain, so if this game did entice you for the rest of MGS5, you have awhile to wait. This should have just been a demo that you download for $5. That’s about how much it’s worth.

Even then, there are demos and DLC out there with even more content and satisfaction than this ‘game’ and at a cheaper price!

Yes, you can squeeze more time out of Ground Zeroes if you do all the side missions, mess around with the enemies, or try beating it on hard mode but unless you’re the most hardcore of Metal Gear fans, you probably won’t bother.

While it does look good, it could look better for a next-gen game.
While it does look good, it could look better for a next-gen game.

My biggest concern with this whole situation is the trend it could possibly start in the game industry. It could become a standard that big blockbuster games get released in two parts, with the first part being an overpriced little teaser/demo. Imagine if when Halo 5 comes out, they release the first mission as a standalone game for $30+. Then they release the rest of the game later that year for $60. You just spent $90 to get the complete game (Not taking into account the insanely expensive collector’s editions). Hell, I could see Activision releasing Call of Duty games by the mission at $10 a pop. Do not let this happen.

RELATED: Gaming Nomad vs. South Park: The Stick of Truth.

Don’t let other companies in the game industry think that releasing the same game in two halves is a good idea. I do not see why Ground Zeroes couldn’t have been included in The Phantom Pain, even if it had to be released together as a two disc set. The first Metal Gear Solid was two discs and didn’t cost extra. Yes, Kojima has said The Phantom Pain is going to be 200 times larger than Ground Zeroes. Great! I look forward to that, but this is not the way to handle your prologue.

This is not the way to handle a long running and beloved franchise.

DO NOT BUY THIS GAME! DON’T BUY METAL GEAR SOLID V: GROUND ZEROES! Borrow it from a friend, rent it, watch it on Youtube, or wait till it drops below $10. Just don’t buy it. Something tells me that when MGS5: The Phantom Pain releases, there will be some kind of combo deal with Ground Zeroes where you can get them as a bundle. Maybe wait until then but only if it’s at a good price. I look forward to The Phantom Pain and am very interested in seeing where the story goes, but I see no reason to own or play Ground Zeroes and most fans are better off just waiting for the final game as well.

This is the game you should be waiting for.

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  • Jack Campbell

    Gaming Nomad

  • I review various video games, sometimes movies, and other nerdly things. I'm just some guy on the internet but take into consideration my opinion as I am trying to find out if these forms of entertainment are worth your time and money. I'm also the head editor for the gaming section of the site. The primary consoles I cover are Playstation 3, 3DS, and (hopefully soon) Playstation 4. All my articles.

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