Ignoring the fact that Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes is a thirty dollar game that offers roughly an hour of gameplay (stretched out to, at most, five), this is a pretty brilliant title. Audio files fill in gaps in the mythology of the long-running Metal Gear Solid, and bridge the time between the little-played Peace Walker and the upcoming The Phantom Pain. The fenced-in confines of Camp Omega, which can be infiltrated in a wide variety of ways, offers a compromise between the rather linear operations of the previous Metal Gear games and the freedom of open-world titles. And the various scenarios showcase the power of the new engine, which juggles a variety of atmosphere effects, whether it’s the main campaign’s rain-slicked darkness (precipices included), or the dawn to dusk (vampires not included) settings of the four bonus objectives. The new CQC controls are explained within the first several minutes, though I assume these basic tutorials will have to be retaught when you boot up The Phantom Pain some untold number of months from now.
In any case, you can read the full review over at Slant Magazine: solid gameplay, but a shaky foundation on which to announce yourself as a full-fledged “game.” There’s hardly even enough story here to get you hooked–Skull Face and the XOF are motivated by? Mother Base is attacked by? Etc., etc. Hint: Don’t model yourself off of Lost. If anything–and perhaps this is because Kiefer Sutherland has joined as the new voice of Snake–Ground Zeroes reminds me most of all of the teaser trailers for Live Another Day, which banks more on your nostalgic familiarity of 24 than on anything solid. As I said, there’s a bit more to Ground Zeroes–enough to let you fool around–but the more you want to play it, the less there is to actually play.