‘PlayStation 4’

Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes Review

Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes Featured

Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes Boxart

Developer: Kojima Productions
Publisher: Konami
Platform: PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One

Metal Gear is a longstanding franchise which gains a larger audience with each and every release. By this point, fans have been aching for Metal Gear Solid V but that’s still a ways away. As a way to tease fans (and make some extra money along the way) Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes launched. This, apparently, is just a sampling of the “next generation” gameplay and visuals. Oh, and it also introduces a bit of the storyline which will pick up again once V comes out.

As someone who at one point considered themselves an avid Metal Gear Solid fan, my experience with Ground Zeroes was immediately disappointing. Oh, no doubt it looks astonishing (mostly). Yes, there is excellent music. Controls also handle with ease and precision. But none of that could compel me to have much interest in anything that was going on. Fans like to praise Hideo Kojima’s wacky, twisting narrative sensibilities but at some point it just seems unintentional parody.

It was all thanks to a (since removed) interview with Metal Gear Solid 2 translator Agness Kaku that these thoughts first entered my mind, but now with Ground Zeroes I can clearly see what she meant. Kojima has an obvious love for Hollywood action films and, by effect, our government affairs. Injected in these action-genre sensibilities are his own concepts but these concepts no longer appeal to me. For example, early on you meet a character named Skull Face. And guess what? His face is horrifically burned and white – just like a skull! Maybe for some this seems completely awesome but at some point the mishmash of wannabe serious military narrative and ridiculous flourishes become too much.

Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes Featured

This is only further compounded by the fact that (spoilers?) the introductory chapter takes us to a fictional section of Guantanamo Bay. Is it possible to have Metal Gear silliness in such a serious location? Maybe, but it would take incredible skill. I do not feel that is demonstrated in Ground Zeroes. Snake mutters about how he “kept you waiting” but this was not the game I was waiting for. Thankfully, it took only an hour and 45 minutes to finish. Apparently it was only at 7% completion but there was no drive left to attempt to unlock more.

At one point I would have made the ideal candidate to review a Metal Gear Solid game, but that time has apparently passed. Those who know and love everything that Kojima does will likely enjoy this too, even though some of the more obvious wackiness has been toned down. Snake may have a new voice actor but this game still follows down the gameplay path that Metal Gear Solid 4 brought about. With that said, it was not fun for me to play at all, which makes it impossible for me to recommend.

Score: 2

2 out of 5 alpacas

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