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Latest Metal Gear is short but sweet

By Eric Jou | China Daily | Updated: 2014-03-29 07:35

 Latest Metal Gear is short but sweet

Snake is back in the latest installment of the hit stealth action game Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes.

Ever since the release of Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, creator Hideo Kojima has been saying that he'll be retiring from the series. Lo, and behold after four main games into the series, Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes is here. A teaser to the full and what once again maybe the last game into the series, Ground Zeroes is an expensive tease of more to come.

Released as a standalone product, Ground Zeroes offers gamers Konami's highly touted graphics engine, Fox Engine. As the prologue/prelude to Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, Ground Zeroes provides a glimpse of the tactical espionage action world of MGSV.

The game is ridiculously short. Compared to the appromixately 20-hour single-player playthroughs of the previous Metal Gear games, players can finish this whole game in about two hours.

However, don't let the paltry single-player story mode fool you. Ground Zeroes is deceptively long and feature packed, even if it plays and feels only like one level of a Metal Gear game. Taking place sometime after Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater and Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker in 1975, lead character Big Boss, also known as Snake, heads to Cuba to investigate a US military base.

Boss has to sneak into the heavily armed base to find his missing comrades. Armed with a tranquilizer gun and a regular machine gun, the Boss is severely outmatched and this is where the Metal Gear Solid's famous gameplay mechanics come into play. Instead of taking the base by force, the Boss must sneak in and crawl around without being seen by the guards. Should the Boss be seen, he must find a way to hide until the guards back off.

Ground Zeroes rewards players who can complete the mission without being seen and without shedding blood. The purpose of the game is to be as sneaky as possible.

Graphically, Ground Zeroes is amazing. Each Metal Gear game has pushed the graphics bar up closer and closer into photorealism and Ground Zeroes doesn't disappoint, even on a last-generation console like the PlayStation 3. The new control system for Ground Zeroes makes the game smooth and fluid. Changing weapons and items in the game is much smoother than before where players had to navigate a menu. The new controls almost feel Assassins Creed-like.

Ground Zeroes, despite its incredibly short run time, is a great tease into what is to come with The Phantom Pain. Is it worth the retail price of $30 ($20 for digital)? Probably not, but the best way to think of it is that Ground Zeroes is the tasty overpriced appetizer to a big meal and the main course is on it's way.


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