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Games : Worth a Look
Ranking:
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Release Date: March 18th, 2014 Movie Release Year: 2014

Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes

Overview -

In recent years, one of the words that has been attached to the lexicon of 'Metal Gear'/'Metal Gear Solid' marketing is "saga." And though it often seems to refer to all or part of the 'Metal Gear' universe, the saga that Hideo Kojima initiated in the lead-up to 'Metal Gear Solid V' will continue on for some time. Kojima created an alternate identity and fake studio in route to revealing not one, but two console titles under the 'Metal Gear Solid V' moniker. With the open world 'Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain' still under development, it is left to the prologue like 'Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes' to guide fans of 'Metal Gear Solid 1-4' and 'Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker' into a new chapter in the life of Big Boss and the latest take on the series' "tactical espionage" style of gameplay. The game is underpinned by Konami's new Fox Engine, and PS4 owners can't help but want to see the game in action. Yet the aperitif nature of 'Ground Zeroes' has left many would-be owners raw and reticent to buy-in before the release of 'The Phantom Pain.' Because of this or in spite of it, the 'Metal Gear' saga continues.

OVERALL:
Worth a Look
Rating Breakdown
VIDEO
AUDIO
Tech Specs & Release Details
Video Resolution/Codec:
1080p
Audio Formats:
LPCM 5.1
Release Date:
March 18th, 2014

Video Review

Ranking:

Even if the beginning of the game has been on YouTube for several months, it still looks incredible. And that look carries onto the gameplay to a high degree. Having Big Boss call in choppers or run over enemy soldiers in a Jeep in 1080p under a dazzling combination of lights and rain gets the game the high video score.

It helps that the game ran silky smooth on the PS4. My main mission playthrough featured 17 restarts, as I choose checkpoint over detection every time (and stumbled at first to adjust to yet another 'Metal Gear' control scheme.) The game loaded these restarts so fast that the mandatory need to press 'X' to leave the quick loading screen makes complete sense. Otherwise, the game might load too fast, throwing players. The restart points are usually far enough away to be quickly disorienting.

Still, some obvious things hold it back. The daytime scenes reveal many a row of uniform buildings. It can be easy to find detail like clutter trying to appear gracefully, but still easy to observe dropping in and out. There is a lot of model instancing. Some characters, like Snake, look excellent while others just look last-gen.

Audio Review

Ranking:

The audio might be the best in the series as the open environment can make passing trucks, radio calls, or the sizzle of a cassette sound very substantive even after a dozen times. The mic pickup on the binoculars makes for fun eavesdropping. The sounds of the base though, don't vary all that much.

The voice acting is deliberate, with most voices and characters being reprised. Kiefer Sutherland's Snake has some trouble nailing the gruff when angry tone, but otherwise serves the role well.

For a very short time, I enjoyed 'Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes' as I would any new, exciting, and impressive 'Metal Gear' title. I couldn't help but be fascinated by some of the turns assigned to 'Peace Walker' characters, and that is the game's fundamental issue. The game comes across as premium priced fan service. The PS4 version is doubtlessly better than the PS3 version, but the jump in price from $20 to $30 makes the pretty, fun, and short game only suitable for hardcore fans. Cut the price in half and clean up some of the locked features, and the game's rating would be much higher even without adding more content.

Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes