Thursday, 20 March 2014

Review: MGS V: Ground zeroes

Snake?..... Snake?....... SNAKKKEEE!!!!

Calm down Otocon Snakes not dead. Look he's over there with his feet up. You see, he finished his mission in just an hour and now he's kicking back with his bitches and a smoke.

Ground zeroes is short on story. There, that's out there now, yes its a bloody short main mission. But that's not the whole story here.

Lots have criticised Konami's decision to release this installment of metal gear as played for content. Some have even labeled it a glorified demo. In some respects I'm inclined to agree. The main mission in ground zeroes, rescue two hostages, is simple and short, very very short. There's no getting away from that. What ground zeroes does to counter this though, is give the player a number of incentives to, effectively, replay the same content. You see, everything about ground zeroes is wonderful. The gameplay is rich, the story is gripping and the graphics are arguably the best on next gen systems. Trouble is, as good as all those things are, grounds zeroes just doesn't give you much of them. So the trick is to get the player to replay the same wonderful content over and over again. This, Kojima productions has done by introducing side ops and collectibles.
Collectibles come in the form of xof badges, scattered around camp omega ( you need them all to unlock a platform exclusive mission) and audio tapes. Audio tapes are used to flesh out a story that, for a kojima game, is incredibly short on cutscenes.
The side ops mission I felt were satisfyingly varied. Some were set at night. Others during the day. Some required stealth whilst overseas encouraged balls out gunplay. Overall, withe side missions, I've managed to squeeze nearly eight hrs out of the game.

Another bone of contention in the gaming community has been the decision to replace long serving voice actor David Hayter with Hollywood star Kiefer Sutherland. I can happily confirm Kiefer does an excellent job voicing the iconic character of big boss. His performance is very understated but the voice still fits Snake really well.

Xbox v PlayStation
I haven't had the opportunity to test old gen versus current gen but I can tell you that, of the new gen systems, it is the Ps4 the edges the contest slightly over the still impressive Xbox one version. Both versions were very close, but texture were occasionally blurred on the Microsoft system and the overall image on ps4 just appeared much sharper.

Sound wise, the audio engineers at konami have done a good job but I think they missed a trick by not having the games many audio logs play via ps4s controller speaker, like shadow fall.

So summing up, great graphics mix well with stellar gameplay here to make a great metal gear solid experience. Whether or not its a game or a demo will come down to how much value you will place on side missions and collectibles. If its purely the story you are after though, then I recommend either renting the game or watching someone else play the main mission on campaign.

Verdict

Graphics 9.5
Gameplay 9
Sound 7
Story 5
Value 3

Overall 7