A new era of tactical espionage operations begin here.
Developer(s): Kojima Productions
PLAYED ON XBOX ONE
ALSO AVAILABLE ON PS4, PC, PS3 AND X360
A lot of Japanese game franchises these days are more related to childhood memories. Metal Gear Solid isn't much different, save the fact that along with other popular series, it adds a plethora of new features to a game that you want to remain similar to the last outing. A new generation of stealth/action titles are already starting with Ground Zeroes - the prologue story to the upcoming Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. The game follows special forces agent, Big Boss, through a rescue mission in Cuba, circa 1975. His task is to save a private army recruit named Chico, and a Cipher agent named Paz, both held captive within a high-security military base known as "Camp Omega". It runs on the creator, Hideo Kojima's, new FOX Engine, which puts a big emphasis on smooth character movement and neat stealth action. It adds an element of modern-timed action with the best of the series' classic parts. And quite honestly, as short as the main story is, it provides a nice setup to the main show, expected within the next year or so. It also incorporates some groundbreaking vehicle physics and cracking slow-motion headshot kills.
What you want from a stealth game are graphics that can give you clear vision of a target, and decent stealth mechanics in the first place. GZ provides both of those things and more. Some may consider it a tech demo, but imagine a completely unleashed tech demo with 7-8 hours of gameplay - perhaps even more than that. Missions have an unprecedented amount of freedom, meaning that you could free a couple of prisoners and have them extracted via helicopter from several different landing zones (and yes, if you haven't cleared the way, you'll have to deal with enemy fire and your ride going down).
Plus, numerous vehicles are at your disposal to steal and use in the line of fire, including armoured vehicles and military Jeep's; all of which are nicely balanced to be able to take down large groups of enemies, but taking enough damage to lose protection and power if not driven correctly. And to be honest, I wasn't expecting much in terms of gunplay. How wrong was I, huh? All weapons feel like different ways of carefully and strategically popping a round into an enemy's head, or alternatively going on a rampage, with the various paths in which you can take your mission adding to the several layers of elaborate tactics in play, where you plan to extract or kill your targets, and how you're going to get there. In a sense, it's a game with initially small offerings that can easily transpire into something a hell of a lot bigger. This Cuban setting provides a lot of game time hunting for hidden treasures and sleuthing around, trying to find the lost documentations of captives of this high-security prison camp with no end to interrogations.
Because you'll want to spend as much time as possible at Camp Omega (and trust me, you WILL), there are five extra missions to whet your appetite. Both console brands offer a unique mission: Deja Vu for PlayStation, where you can play as classic Snake, and Jamais Vu for XBOX, where you can play as Raiden. They all add a lot of extra stuff to the main story that feels a bit underwhelming and by all means, adds a lot of extra fun.
After running around the game map a hundred times and going for the achievements, it's quite easy to find your way around, but there's a lot there to keep you going. Kojima's FOX Engine provides smooth action sequences and, much like previous games, glorifies its well-orchestrated, well-written cutscenes. If you're going for The Phantom Pain, play this too.
Me Love Cars - Founder of Motopedia, Gameopedia, Battlefield: Bad Company 2 Wiki, Gran Turismo Wiki and TV and Film Wiki. 22:34, March 22, 2014 (UTC)
Hugely enjoyable gameplay.
Great vehicle driving sequences.
Tense (though sometimes clumsy) stealth.
An ambitious way to start the full adventure.
Short main story.
Rarely varying environments.
It may be short at first glance, and even with bonus missions it's a quick one. Still, it's great, it's pretty, and it sets up its successor perfectly.