"Metal Gear is back. Did Snake Keep You Waiting?"
Metal Gear Solid is finally back with a proper sequel (prequel?) that picks up months after the Playstation Portable's MGS: Peace Walker. This standalone downloadable entry in the MGS series titled Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes takes place on an American "black site" somewhere in Cuba during the 1960s. Snake is on a mission to retrieve a captured Paz and Chico (characters you will be familiar with if you have played MGS: Peace Walker), who are a part of Snake's military organization, Militaires Sans Frontières. Trying to describe the plot of a Metal Gear game is difficult without whiteboard and a couple of hours of explanation, so suffice to say that it is intriguing and draws you in.
Since this is basically a downloadable "episode", the playable area is not enormous, and the game is not very long. I spent a few hours to complete the game due to my need to explore every inch of the island. It is worth it to take your time, though. Ground Zeroes borrows much of the control scheme from Peace Walker, which simplifies and streamlines getting around. Some new, exciting features brought to this new installment is the ability to drive vehicles, a “Reflex Mode” for when you get spotted (time slows down and gives you an opportunity to take out enemies before they fully sound an alarm), and my favorite, marking of enemies, vehicles, and points of interest with the use of the binoculars, so that you are able to keep tabs on them as you make your way around the map. The MGS formula has not been rethought, and that's okay, because it's a fun play.
Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes looks fantastic. Snake's animations and facial detail is impressive. I also really enjoyed how seamlessly cutscenes flow into gameplay and vice versa. Some of the best transitions I've seen. Water effects are gorgeous and there are a lot of them used in this episode.
Probably the biggest change that most fans of the series are divided on is the voice of Snake. David Hayter has voiced Snake from Metal Gear Solid on the first PlayStation all the way to Peace Walker. For this entry, Kiefer Sutherland has stepped into the iconic role, and as far as I can tell, does a great job of voicing the Big Boss. The rest of the MGS voice acting team is back and are fantastic as always. The soundtrack is peppered with musical cues from the 60's and the score is very fitting.
Aside from the main mission, there are other side missions that can be chosen from the main menu, which all take place within the same confines of the Cuban base but with separate objectives. The replay value is surprisingly high and enjoyable. There are many unlockables and hidden pick-ups through the map.
Fans of the Metal Gear Solid series are going to be happy with Ground Zeroes, and it is a great taste for what's coming in The Phantom Pain.
GameDynamo's Score for Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes (X360)
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After beating The Legend of Zelda before he could walk, Truman moved onto bigger and better things, like critiquing video games on the internet and creating cat memes.
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