Replay Value:
Overall Rating:
Online Gameplay:
Not Rated
Kojima Productions
Number Of Players:
Release Date:
March 18, 2014

Many gamers have two pressing questions concerning Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes : 1. Did we really need this prologue/introduction? and 2. Is it really worth the cost of admission? The answers are “probably not” and “depends,” the latter of which requires more explanation. Let’s just say that if you’re a fan of the franchise, it’s highly unlikely you’ll be disappointed with Ground Zeroes , even if it is a little short. Don’t forget that we’re talking about Hideo Kojima and his incredible production team, which typically produces top-tier products.

Nowhere is that more evident than in the visual presentation. The PlayStation 4 version is especially pretty, with brilliant special effects, beautiful animations, and a ton of detail in a compelling, well-designed world. Unsurprisingly, the cut-scenes are wonderfully choreographed and loaded with a variety of artistic virtues. This series excels in the interactive and non-interactive categories, which is why each game feels like a full, dramatic experience. What I’m wondering is whether or not we’ll see significant visual improvements in The Phantom Pain and if so, we’re all in for a very big treat.

Stellar sound accompanies a rich, technologically proficient graphical palette. We get professional voice performances that help to solidify the reality of each character, and the soundtrack is impressive. I almost wish the music was at the forefront of the action a bit more often, but that’s a minor complaint. With crisp, nicely balanced effects and the captivating score, you know you’re playing a Metal Gear Solid game. The ambient audio adds a great deal to the experience as well; this goes double when you’re sneaking about, desperately attempting to avoid detection. What you hear is almost as important as what you see…

Before we get into the gameplay and mechanics, let me remind everyone that this franchise’s claim to fame is the story and characters . The revolutionary stealth gameplay, on full display in the original title back in 1998, is a big part of the MGS legend and mystique. I understand and appreciate that. But the narrative has always been a focal point, which is why I’m simultaneously encouraged and disappointed by the story in Ground Zeroes . On the one hand, those fantastic cut-scenes keep us riveted at all times, and our surroundings are incredibly immersive and engaging. On the other hand, we end up with a lot of questions after seeing the climax.