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It’s time to squeeze into your sneaking suit and load your tranquilizer gun, because a new Metal Gear Solid game is upon us. Matt Mobley’s got the scoop on Ground Zeroes.

This time, we pick up the saga not too long after Peace Walker, and Snake’s found out that Paz is alive and has been captured in Cuba, along with Chico. It’s up to Snake to find them both on the night before Mother Base is supposed to be inspected.

Let’s get this out of the way right now, Ground Zeroes is about as short as you’ve heard. It’s about two hours long if you’re really stealthy, and maybe an hour if you rush through it (as of this posting, the fastest I’ve seen is ten minutes if you really know what you’re doing and you skip cutscenes). Doesn’t really sound worth the price point, does it? Twenty dollars on last gen systems, thirty on current gen, all for two hours? That may be, but I will not be taking points off for the price or the length. Reason being, I knew about both before hand, and I still bought it. If Kojima had never made us aware of the length of the game, I probably wouldn’t have been very happy, but as it is, he was kind enough to not only let us know, but reduce the price of a physical copy by ten dollars. If those two things are deal breakers for you, I don’t know that anything I’m about to say will change that.

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With that being said, Ground Zeroes is a great game for what it is. It has just as much to offer as an average downloadable title. Not only does it have the main campaign, but it also unlocks four side missions when you’re done, and one more console exclusive mission once you find all the collectibles.

The environment is gorgeous. FOX Engine works hard to bring you the most beautiful Metal Gear game you’ve ever seen, and it’s why you want to get the PS4 version. Not once did I ever have a load time for this game. The cutscenes look great, the gameplay looks great, it all just looks great.

Speaking of gameplay, it doesn’t differ too much from any other Metal Gear. Most similarities come from Peace Walker, such as chaining CQC attacks. The missions are a little more open world, the main mission has an entire base for you to explore if you choose to. The open world gameplay offers up the opportunity to play different ways. Do you want to go in silently, without being seen by anyone or will you go in guns blazing? Will you request a safe rendezvous with the helicopter, or will you use the mounted gun to clear out some enemies while you wait in a more high risk location? The choice is yours, and with many options to choose from and a ranking system that will push you to do better, it’s easy to come back to.

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While Ground Zeroes may be short, it’s still a great addition to the Metal Gear mythos. It’s a great prologue for The Phantom Pain, which is expected early next year. Be warned, however, once it’s done, you’ll start counting down the days desperately yearning for more.

 

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