This month Xbox Live offers Gold members for the first time ever a chance to step into the boots of the legendary soldier Big Boss in Hideo Kojima’s Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes. With Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain’s release just barely a month away, Ground Zeroes is a welcome freebie to all MGS fans in anticipation of the big one.
In typical Hideo Kojima fashion the game opens up with a rather poignant cutscene- like in all previous iterations this only serves to hype up the player even more. For those long time players of the series, the game is set decades before the events of MGS4: Guns of the Patriots and a few months before MGS: Peace Walker, Big Boss aka Snake infiltrates a prison camp out in the Caribbean to rescue a girl named Paz. Lengthwise the game is ridiculously short especially for a Metal Gear game, after all Ground Zeroes was made to be a prologue of sorts to the Phantom Pain, but don’t let it’s short length fool you into thinking that this is some sub-standard B level game.
As is a standing tradition for MGS games, the in-game graphics will blow you away – raindrops, armament detail, facial expressions, all are truly next generation, Hideo Kojima has truly outdone himself this time and it does not stop there. With such levels of graphical detail present in the game, shadows truly are your friend in this game as the enemy AI is now even more discerning and critical of their surroundings. Gone are the days when guards have a peripheral vision of a telescope and the spatial awareness of a drunk – the soldiers you fight in this game are battle-hardened elites.
The movement and camera controls are super user-friendly and easy to master. Whenever Snake is near an interactable object or person, an “action prompt” appears to climb, vault, or even to initiate CQC (Close Quarters Combat). This enables players to quickly decide between moves without having the perennial “what button was that to do this again?” problem. The options are all laid out for Snake, it is just up to the player to decide quickly what action is suitable for the situation. Another distinct factor of MGS games is their incredible dedication to sound effects. Now, in Ground Zeroes and on next gen consoles, their tireless pursuit of acoustics is brought to a whole new level. Literally everything makes a sound in some form or the other- rain splashes on puddles, pebbles spill over an outcrop, flags move and tear against the wind; it’s that ultra-realistic. Full sound immersion is only limited by one’s own sound system at home.
Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes is a must-play for any MGS fan, as for players who are new to the series, they surely will not be disappointed with Hideo Kojima’s latest game, especially since it comes free for all Xbox Live Gold members.