The Metal Gear Solid franchise has been one of my favorites since I first played it on the original Playstation, so getting to review Metal Gear Solid V was something I had a lot of fun doing. The first thing you should know about Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes is that it is a prologue to the upcoming Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, which is why it is relatively short.
The main storyline took me almost two hours to finish, which threw me for a loop before I realized it just a taste of what is coming up in The Phantom Pain, which is scheduled to be released early next year. Ground Zeroes is a prequel to the other Metal Gear Solid games on Playstation and Xbox, so you get to play as Big Boss, the soldier whose genes were extracted to create Solid Snake, Liquid Snake, and Solidus Snake, characters that people who have played the other games in the franchise are familiar with.
Your mission is to infiltrate Camp Omega in Cuba to save Paz, a double agent being held there. One of the first things I noticed was that the game doesn’t have the long cut scenes or boss fights that other Metal Gear Solid games are known for; it is very straight to the point, which is quite refreshing because some of the cut scenes in other Metal Gear Solid games are very long and can get annoying.
It is very detailed and more challenging than a lot of other games in the genre, the computer AI is very impressive, especially during the day, because the guards have 20/20 vision and can easily spot you or your shadow if you aren’t careful when moving around. Luckily you have a few things you can use to counter them, like a pair of binoculars you can use to track the enemy soldier’s movements. You can also use your environment to your advantage by utilizing shadows and objects to sneak around. If you don’t feel like sneaking around, you can always take your chances with your guns blazing.
There is a new mode that allows you to regenerate your health called reflex mode, it briefly slows down time when you are spotted, allowing you to quickly kill the guard that spotted you. Since stealth is the preferred mode of play in Metal Gear Solid, you earn points and unlockable items based on your ability to finish the game with no kills and no detection. After completing the game quest, you will unlock five more side missions that serve as a prequel to the main mission you just completed. There are also a number of different ways you can execute the missions, which gives more hours of gameplay.
Despite the length, this is a visually impressive game that holds its own against any of the other games in the franchise. It is a lot of fun to play, and leaves you eagerly anticipating the next addition to the franchise.