Who would have thought that less than six months after a new console release we have a new Metal Gear Solid game. Well it's happening - sort of. You see Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes is a prologue to Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain and as such is a much shorter game then normal. In fact, apparently if you rush through the games main campaign it's possible to get to the end in a few hours, HOWEVER, as Hideo Kojima, the legendary creator of the franchise, stated the title lasts a lot longer with all the side missions and modes. In any case, we're pretty excited about this release.
Set in 1975 after the events in Peace Walker you assume control of the legendary Snake (a.k.a. Big Boss), players are charged with the infiltration of Camp Omega where both Paz and Chico are held. The hostages hold key information concerning Snake and his private military organisation that Snake and his ally Kaz Miller must prevent from being exposed. Ground Zeroes charts the rescue and the subsequent fallout that leads into the beginning of the The Phantom Pain.
Ground Zeroes is a small, prequel title, to MGS5: The Phantom Pain.
Of course any new Metal Gear Solid title is pretty exciting, but there are a few extra reasons to look forward to this release. The primary one of these is that the gameplay is a lot more open-world then previous games with the developers promising more freedom in choosing how to complete the missions. Go in all guns blazing, or use Snake's stealthy skills to complete the missions. Indeed the environmental conditions will play an integral role in the game - if it's night, or raining/foggy Snake will be able to hide easier from enemy sight then a clear sunny day.
Snake takes aim at an enemy ahead.
It seems that both the PS4 and XBox One will be receiving exclusive content. The PlayStation 4 will receive a new mission called "Déjà Vu" which will allow you to play as classic Snake which looks like the old PSOne character model.
We should also point out that this is a single player experience, there will not be any multiplayer modes included with Ground Zeroes. We're unsure if there will be any other online components such as online rankings or post-release DLC but it's quite possible.
Playing the PS4 exclusive Déjà Vu mission.
One big question we have about this release is the price in Australia. At $AU69.95 it's quite high given it will be released in America for $29.99 (in fact, Konami just dropped the price by $10 this week)- or about $AU40 if you add on Taxes and conversion etc - so we're paying a bit of a premium here like most titles. (NOTE: We now have unconfirmed reports of an Australian price drop to $AU49.95 which would remove much of the issue - and the need for this paragraph!).
As you can see from the surrounding screenshots, Ground Zeroes looks like being a visual stunner on the PS4. Using the new FOX Engine (well it was also used in Konami's Pro Evolution Soccer 2014 as well) the game not only has some of the most realistic looking character models and environments but also allows for variable weather, changing time of day and improved lighting.
Snake is ready for more stealthy action.
Only a couple of days ago Kojima confirmed some details about the visuals in the game, and if you're a PlayStation 4 owner it seems you have the system of choice when it comes to performance. While current gen (PS3/Xbox 360) versions run 720p they will only be 30fps. The XBox One version sees the frame rate boosted to 60fps but somewhat shockingly still only runs at 720p before being upscaled to 1080p. PlayStation 4 owners - you're getting a full 1080p experience at 60fps - and the visual jump over the XBox One version is quite apparent.
Have to say we're pretty excited about this release. Sure, the runtime is going to be pretty short, but if the game has plenty to discover and a high replay value as Kojima suggests, then it's going to be one to check out while we patiently wait for Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain due, well, it’s some time away.
So you want to see what this game is like? Well Konami have provided a 12-minute walkthrough of a Daytime Mission from MGS5: Ground Zeroes with Producer commentary. It's definately worth a look but of course contains spoilers for that mission...