I've played Ground Zeroes several times this year, so it's still very fresh in my mind. Before I talk about the game, however, I want to discuss the controversy that surrounded the game. Now, it's not controversial in the same way that Metal Gear Solid 2 was, not by a long shot. No one was complaining about the character you played as, or lengthy cutscenes, or tedious mechanics.
They also complained about Kiefer Sutherland doing the voice of Big Boss, but that's understandable.
No, people complained about the length of the game. Despite knowing that this was not a full-price game and that Kojima himself said this game is meant to be a prologue to The Phantom Pain, the internet (in typical internet fashion) raised all kinds of complaints at the fact that the game was being sold for $30-$40 (depending on which version you purchased) and could be completed in under an hour. It was such a hot topic that we even did an episode about it on the Error Machine Podcast.
In theory, that sounds like a horrible deal. Yes, you can beat the main story of the game in under an hour (and some people are good enough to beat it in less than half that time), but you also have several unlockable missions, including secret ones. But what people overlooked in the amount of replay value the game has. You're given a fairly substantial area, the size of which is comparable to an area in MGS3 or MGS4, and are given free reign to do what you wish.
This game is all about exploring. If you take your time and search through all the nooks and crannies, you'll find that there's a lot more content packed into the game than what readily meets the eye. Most buildings can be unlocked and searched, and you have more interrogation options than you did in MGS4, which brings me to the controls. To put it simply, the controls have never felt better or more intuitive for a Metal Gear Solid game than they do in Ground Zeroes. MGS4 made great strides in improving the controls and making it feel more like a modern day shooter, and Ground Zeroes takes it even further.
No longer are the shoulder buttons used to cycle through weapons and inventory. You now carry four weapons at a time, conveniently mapped to the directional pad on the controller. Since this game is a prologue, it's safe to assume that there aren't nearly as many options as The Phantom Pain will ultimately have.
There aren't any bosses or huge cinematic moments, but there's a cool little story here. Ground Zeroes is a sequel to Peace Walker, which is still the only MGS game that I can't bring myself to play again. I genuinely disliked it and never finished it. Honestly, I feel I'm better off just reading the story synopsis online to bring me up to speed. But that little story I alluded to is enough to make me want more.
Yes, it is kind of ridiculous to pay the amount of money Konami expected for what amounts to an extended demo, but now you can find the game fairly cheap, and is absolutely worth playing for any Metal Gear Solid fan.
That'll do it for the blogs for Metal Gear Solid month. I hope you guys enjoyed reading and watching as much as I enjoyed writing and playing.
Now let's get pumped for Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain.