By WYATT MADDEN
Hideo Kojima produces some of the best block-buster titles that are enticingly satisfying, providing players with excellent game-play and are highly developed multi-layered stories dealing with politics and government conspiracies.
Each game by Kojima is expertly crafted and offers more to the players than just “one time” experiences. Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes (MGSV: GZ) is no exception to the trend.
MGSV: GZ is the prequel, better yet a paid demo, to the upcoming Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain (MGSV: PP), estimated to be released in 2015.
Taking place one year after the events of 2010 game: Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker (MGS:PW), MGSV:GZ plays off the backstory of the original game. Those who have played the previous titles would have some knowledge as to what was going on. But newcomers are left guessing.
The game takes place on the southern tip of Cuba on Omega, a US Naval Base. The base is the only location in the game and at times it seems too small and isolated from the rest of Cuba. Separated into areas such as an abandoned prison, some heli-pads and a huge naval facility, MGSV: GZ’s has a rich landscape worth exploring. Even with the lacking of another area to explore, MGSV: GZ delivers a memorable experience that will have players coming back, at least until MGSV: PP is released.
MGS games focus on stealth as the core game-play. MGSV: GZ’s takes it to another level by being the first in the series with open-world elements, removing any sign of linear game-play, creating endless possibilities in the game. If you want to go in “guns-blazing,” you can. However, you get penalized with a lower score and you won’t receive any locked items.
The overall presentation is amazing. Water droplets bounce off of heavily armored military suits. Flashlights from enemies, searching for the player, shine in the distance creating a sense of horror as you crawl throughout the campaign’s rainy night.
One of MGSV: GZ’s greatest achievements is the updated artificial intelligence of the enemies. On the more difficult levels enemies sport an eerie 20/20 vision, reacting to the slightest of movements. Crawling through bushes has never been so difficult, or exciting.
Many new game-play features allow MGS: GZ’s to be accessible to casual gamers. In the instance that an enemy spots the player, the game slows down (bullet-time) allowing the player the chance to neutralize the threat, stopping other nearby enemies from knowing the player’s position. This small feature made remarkable changes in the way the player can take down an enemy.
There are five extra missions named Side Ops and Extra Ops. These missions range from searching the naval base, collecting intel, capturing refugees or collecting enemies of the U.S. Some of these missions miss the main point of the game (stealth) and didn’t really give any incentive to play them again.
For $29.99, the package of MGSV: GZ feels like a true MGS game, but leaves the player wanting more. Keep in mind the game is a demo to show how MGSV: PP will incorporate different game-play elements. This makes the wait for MGSV: PP more excruciating for fans of the series.
For the present, all MGS fans have is MGSV: GZ. It’s satisfying for now, but MGSV: GZ will easily be overlooked when MGSV: PP is released.