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07th Apr 2014

Review: Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes

The best stealth-em-up around is back and makes its debut on the next-gen consoles


The best stealth-em-up around is back and makes its debut on the next-gen consoles

Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes is but a taster for the final project that renowned director Hideo Kojima has in store for us later on down the line in Phantom Pain and it does a great job of whetting the appetite.

It opens with a beautifully rendered cinematic cut that gives you some background to why you’re at an American military base in Cuba called Camp Omega where they’re keeping the prisoners (cough, cough Guantánamo Bay, cough) and then, as you might expect, you’re stuck in enemy territory and you’d better get stealthy, quick.

If you’re familiar with the back story of Metal Gear and have been playing the last few religiously, then you won’t need much catching up or info on the characters, but there’s plenty of that contained in the cassettes and the “files” that Snake has on him. This game is set in 1975, in between Peace Walker and the upcoming Phantom Pain so that you have an idea of the timeline, and although there’s plenty of reading and listening in the context they provide for you, this game is truly meticulous in its design, so we think you can probably spare that little bit of time to give yourself a full picture of the world you’re inhabiting.

Apart from anything else, Kiefer Sutherland voices Snake in this particular edition, while Tara Strong takes on the role Paz, one of the most famous voice actors around – you might know her better as Harley Quinn from the Batman: Arkham series, so it’s a pleasure to listen to two pros of that calibre.

Anyway, back to the story and the gameplay…

This version of the game provides open-world stealth (something that will be carried on in Phantom Pain), which presents its own challenges clearly, but there’s also more of an opportunity to make amends if you do happen to get spotted and the enemy is alerted to your presence. It’s not easy (you can’t just start running away) but it’s definitely not too hard either, which can be a frustration when stealth is involved. You do have a chance to fight your way out, and you’re not too harshly punished for it either. Unless you start shooting an AK-47 all over the shop, of course.

metal gear pic 1

In terms of how many hours of gaming you’ll get out of this…well not many, there are no two ways around that. There was even an IGN gamer who managed to get through it in around 10 minutes, but sure that’s no craic now is it? However, that’s the point, this isn’t a full game and it gives you a small sample of what the full, open-world project will look like when it’s finished and released, and from what we’ve seen so far we’re impressed.

Of course, for JOE, this franchise has been a pretty big part of our gaming history, so we were always going to like it. With the few small changes that have been made to gameplay, it’s made it even more enjoyable, and, we couldn’t finish the review without mentioning how great this game looks. It’s not stretching or testing the new consoles yet, but by the time Phantom Pain is out we’re sure we’ll be marvelling at its majestic beauty.

If you’re an MGS fan, then this is an absolute must-have, but if you’ve missed the boat on the last few and your next-gen console needs some love in the form of a fresh new game, then this is also the perfect place to start. It’s even on sale from our mates at Littlewoods, so you’ll get the best price going too, or a whole host of other gaming titles too. Our only criticism, if we have one, is that there weren’t nearly enough cardboard boxes.


metal gear box


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