Play
Please use a flash video capable browser to watch videos.
00:00:00
Sorry, but you can't access this content!
Please enter your date of birth to view this video

By clicking 'enter', you agree to GameSpot's
Terms of Use and Privacy Policy

Review

Metal Gear Solid 5: Ground Zeroes Review

  • Game release: March 18, 2014
  • Reviewed:
  • X360
  • PS4
  • XONE
Jeremy Jayne on Google+

Kept you waiting, huh?

by

Metal Gear Solid's hallmarks have never been represented better than in Ground Zeroes, the prologue chapter to Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. It combines tense stealth and best-in-class cutscene direction, and these aspects stand above any other game in the series, but naturally, the narrative ultimately concludes sooner than you'd like. It may only take you an hour or two to finish the main objective, but the game doesn't totally end there. In addition to filling in some of the gaps between Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker and the Phantom Pain, Ground Zeroes introduces a new stealth system and an open-world format that's perfect for experimentation. Even though you're prepared for the next chapter, what's the rush? After the credits roll on the main mission and a handful of side activities unlock, the best part of Ground Zeroes is just getting started. With a wealth of secrets to find, and new challenges to master, chasing the endgame will keep you entertained for hours on end.

The story sequences in Ground Zeroes captivate with impressive cinematography, properly showcasing the exploits of the brutal yet heroic Big Boss; a battlefield prodigy who long ago disavowed his allegiance to the US Government and established his own military for hire. Metal Gear has always been recognized for having impressive cutscenes, but they're usually hindered by inconsistent animation and over-the-top voice acting. Thankfully, the opposite is true in Ground Zeroes. Characters move and speak with a natural grace, and even though it's jarring to hear the recognizable Kiefer Sutherland voice Big Boss in place of fan-favorite David Hayter, his delivery is far more realistic and believable. No matter the platform you play it on, you're treated to impressive lighting and masterfully crafted character and environment models that, along with the renewed cast, elevate Ground Zeroes' cutscenes above and beyond those from the past. They may not stick around for long, but they certainly leave a lasting impression.

Your mission begins in a typically dramatic fashion on a dark and stormy night at Camp Omega--a military black site on the coast of Cuba. You need to infiltrate the heavily guarded base to rescue a member of your entourage, and with only a shred of evidence to point you in the right direction, you have to use your powers of observation, eavesdropping, and some light interrogation to succeed.

Big Boss doing what he does best.

With Ground Zeroes’ minimal HUD, a narrow third-person camera angle, and a sprawling base filled with potential threats , sneaking behind enemy lines has rarely felt so tense and immersive. Metal Gear famously stars characters with exceptional sneaking skills, but they also come equipped with fantastical gadgets that make their jobs easier by revealing enemy locations and alert states. Unlike in older games, there's no automated radar to track nearby enemies in Ground Zeroes; the only way to track enemies is to first spot them with your own eyes, and only then, after marking them with your binoculars, can you follow their movements. Knowing where any of the dozens of enemies are yields a small amount of confidence, but it's a minor consolation when every corner you turn may present unpredictable challenges.

Sticking to the shadows, crouch-walking behind objects, or crawling through the grass keeps you out of sight in most cases, but should an enemy catch a glimpse of Big Boss, you have a brief opportunity to redeem yourself when he enters reflex state. This bullet-time-like slow-motion effect gives you a few seconds to disable your spotter with short-range melee attacks or a well-placed shot to the head in order to avoid triggering a base-wide alert. Does it give you an unfair advantage over your enemies? Of course, but like the marking system, it also makes the transition into immersive, open-world stealth a little easier to swallow.

A Snake's eye view of Camp Omega.

Unless you're a naturally gifted expert, it's a given that you'll eventually be spotted. Immediately, alarms blare, and enemies, sometimes in armored vehicles, flock to your last known location. You have two options: face them head-on or flee and wait for them to give up their search. It's not a binary system, however, and even though you may have lost your pursuers, they can remain on high alert for some time. In the past, a handy icon and a countdown timer would help you determine where your enemies were and how long you had to remain in hiding before they gave up. Those features have been removed, so you have to monitor live radio communications to gather the same intel.

The need to pay attention to your in-ear radio--which can sound off at any time--and the removal of automated radar systems set Ground Zeroes apart from the rest of the series. Nothing is simply handed to you, and Ground Zeroes is a far more tense and rewarding experience for it. Even though marking enemies and having reflex at your disposal are helpful, you have to work to use them to your advantage. If you want to immerse yourself in the game even further, you can disable marking and reflex altogether for the ultimate challenge.

After the credits roll and a handful of side missions unlock, the best part of Ground Zeroes is just getting started.

How well you manage to complete your objectives determines the ranking you earn at the end of a mission, and everything, from the number of times you're spotted to the number of casualties you cause along the way, has an effect on your score and the rewards you earn. Such rewards include weapon drops at the start of missions and in-mission trials that can significantly alter your trajectory during repeat playthroughs.

Rankings aside, you don't need to sneak in the shadows if you don't want to, and with an entire military base's worth of toys at your disposal, sometimes it's fun to stand tall and announce your presence. Armed with C4 and RPGs, you're fully prepared to blow up vehicles, destroy watchtowers, and charge in, guns blazing, when the mood strikes you. Though you're encouraged to play into the game's stealthy trappings by your co-commander, there are plenty of ways to actively disrupt Camp Omega, and some side missions are designed with this sentiment in mind. In one, you're challenged to assassinate notorious war criminals, and another sees you firing explosives out of a helicopter to protect the extraction of a comrade.

Camp Omega is rife with explosive opportunities.

This dichotomy between stealth- and action-oriented gameplay lends itself to fear, tension, and excitement. One moment you can hear a pin drop, and the next, you're bolting across a chaotic military base with bullets whizzing by your head and desperation clouding your focus. If this were a more linear experience, perhaps the allure of this contrast would wear thin, but there are so many ways to tackle individual missions, be it the path you take or the weaponry you choose, that there's almost never a shortage of new tactics to explore. When your only playground is a military base, it's easy to find new ways to entertain yourself in Ground Zeroes.

Unfortunately, if you hope to be entertained by an equal helping of Metal Gear's typically perplexing and intriguing narrative, you'll most certainly be disappointed. There's some fat to savor here, hints of what's to come in the next chapter of Metal Gear Solid V, but once you've digested the cutscenes that bookend the main mission, it's a pure gameplay-driven experience from then on out. Though it's unusual for everything to take place in a single location, there's so much to do and see, and whether you take a stealthy or head-on approach, infiltrating Camp Omega is a thrilling experience that shouldn't be missed.

The Good
Challenging and engrossing stealth mechanics
Extremely replayable
Realistic voice acting, dialogue, and animations
The Bad
Story raises more questions than it answers
8
Great
About GameSpot's Reviews

About the Author

/ Staff

Peter has finished nearly every game in the Metal Gear Solid series, and spent over 15 hours playing Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes, divided between the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Xbox 360 versions of the game.

Discussion

1005 comments
watchdogsrules
watchdogsrules

this looks like a great game,dont know why nobody really talked about it or why it wasn't even in stores

prodigest
prodigest

so how long is this game? Does it take place entirely in the army base? The review makes it look like it's an DLC or expansion pack

Virtual_Erkan
Virtual_Erkan

It is a great Kojima game. I hate it how people complain about its length. Start learning to play the game in every mode. Just finishing the campaign doesn't mean the game is over. Try other missions, challenges, difficulties etc. The game will take a whopping 30 hours or so. I have done that for Peace Walker on PSP and the game took 70 hours to 100%. Plus MGS games has a lot of secret that surprises you a lot. For $30 don't miss this game.

ninboxstation
ninboxstation

after the opening (+ music) of MGSGZ, it's very clear, ...Kojima sees himself as the (japanese) gaming version of Quentin Tarantino, ..which he is NOT...

ninboxstation
ninboxstation

this it the problem, when they get "fanboys" of franchises to review games.. they either OVER hype or OVER bash it....

ninboxstation
ninboxstation

 Ok, just HOW THE F@CK COULD THIS GET A HIGHER SCORE THAN THIEF???


and just how THE DOUBLE-F@CK COULD it get 20 POINTS MORE than Thief??? 

again incompetent reviewers!!!

after finishing with 100% stealth and playing with "0  (big) Alerts" (but with plenty of "suspicions raised"), it noway deserves (such much) more than Thief..., even if it were "longer"...

at least on hard (again 100% stealth and trying "0 suspicions raised" & "0 kills"), it really is starting to feel cool.. (even if the AI is too inhuman sharp...), but the overall flow/pace still doesn't compare to Thief on Master... (neither does it's atmposphere, neither does it's "search/explore" feelin, ect ect...)


for Phatom Pain, the "hard" setting had better be available from the START.. (or I'll get it "used" too, and hell NOT preorder it...)


by the way, why even wast cash on Sutherlands voice, if the rest of the voices are still low budget??...

jagcivtec
jagcivtec

The camera is TERRIBLE!!!????.  


It worked great in Peacewalker, wider, further away from the character, with transparency when needed.  


This time it follows way to close blocking a big part of the screen and don't mention when in corridors, the camera gives bad, very bad angles or just closes in so much where the whole screen is blocked.


They need to fix this for the Phantom pain!!!!!!! Other than that I love it.

ninjapug
ninjapug

The credits are longer than the game itself.

Dredcrumb9
Dredcrumb9

The gameplay of MGSV is phenomenal, the only thing that has me concerned so far is that all of the humor seems to have been stripped from the narrative. The MGS story lines have always blended the perfect mix of humor, with epic action, history, drama, suspense, and horror/sci fi.  MGS5 seems to be focusing too much on drama, and being dark and edgy(a lame Chris Nolan batman movie vibe), with none of the humor present in past games. Snake no longer has that awesome and intense sound to his voice when explaining things, the only emotion we can sense from Sutherland is anger when he starts yelling. Aside from when angrily yelling, the MGSV Big Boss sounds tired and boring(unlike the MGS3 Big Boss who has a legendary voice). The thing I have always loved about MGS games is that they touch on every human emotion, while MGSV seems to touch ONLY on dark emotions. I hope I am wrong.

rickphoenixxx
rickphoenixxx

And WoW that's a huge con there, did Hideo type that in to make it seem like an actual review? And also take two points off your initial 10 for the same reason? Raises questions indeed... like 1.How this demo got a retail release in stores and 2.Why no one has the balls to give this "game" the score it deserves- N/A out of 10.

Just replay the old Metal Gear games, and then wait to pick up phantom pain.....but make sure it's not another demo of MGS5 this could become a fad.

rickphoenixxx
rickphoenixxx

 Is the new normal charging people almost retail price for demos now? If EA or Capcom did this the wave of hatred would never end. It's disgusting people actually defend this practice, just because it's a loved series like Metal Gear. Value HAS to be factored into a review, and this has almost none for what you pay so it should get a less than average review correct? Logic reporting in.

 It is laughable the most OBVIOUS thing was not mentioned in the review- the fact that the main campaign Is barely an hour including cutscenes, and that's if you're a horrible gamer. The best speedrun clocks in at 6 minutes completion and that is shocking. BUT YES there is replay value, in doing the same basic thing over and over again. Another Demo with unlimited replay value is Burnout Paradise, heck you can drive around forever....doesn't not make it still a demo though.

So Infamous SS(an actual great game with a good length) got an 8 too, for reference. Resident Evil 6(an average to lil below average game with also a good length) got a 4, again for reference. So how on earth is this an 8 for a glorified demo any possible calculation?  I'm sure the phantom Pain will be amazing and all that, lets just hope it isn't split into two or three games.

IndoorActivist
IndoorActivist

What is the big deal with the £20 price tag? I remember paying £40 for zone of the enders just for the Tanker demo to MGS2.  

The demo will allow you to learn all the new aspects and apply them to the phantom pain as well as allow you some super stealth action that is wholly lacking these days.


No one makes demos like uncle Kojima.

fappingsnake
fappingsnake

Why is everybody so negative about the price ? and keeps saying this is a demo ???

This is a PREQUEL of the game PHANTOM PAIN , and its bigger than you think .

I've played this for more then 13 hours, and stil have plenty to do ( trials, challenges etc )

The info you find in this game, wil help you understand the MGS a little better, and also in PHANTOM PAIN.

It raises also alot of questions , but hey, its Kojima ;)

I love the game 100 % and its much longer then Second son .

Only the voice of Kieffer Sutherland is terrible ! , but then again, this is a clone ! not the Hayter Snake .

And I know almost for sure, That Solid snake ( clone 2 ) is making his appearance in Phantom pain .

solid_snaaaaake
solid_snaaaaake

I really want this game as I'm a big MGS fan but I feel as though this is worth a £10 price rather than a £25 price. Perhaps that would be the price if it was on the PS3 & XB360...

Uangry
Uangry

Kojima is a smart man. He rips off his fans without them knowing it. Bravo!

Camoth2
Camoth2

Watching the video and trying to listen to what the guy is saying. Is he talking really, really fast or am I too hungover?

OrdannonsX
OrdannonsX

You guys don't like any of the official reviews, do you? xD

jayjay444
jayjay444

A demo gets 8/10? lmao this review screams BS, seriously I got a loan of this game of my mate and it took 72 minutes to complete!!!!!! this is nothing more than a demo and recommend if you want to play this rent it this is day light robbery at it's best. 

Karmazyn
Karmazyn

This "game" would be called demo two years ago, now its a release priced @ 25 pounds. As much as I love MGS series I am not going to buy this at this price. No one should. Anyone who buy this will encourage developers to break their games into components and sell like a full release. No thank you. I am looking forward to Phantom Pain with this as an payable DLC though. It should cost 5 pounds in 2015. I am patient.

Jfrench14
Jfrench14

I find it funny that the negative point is probably exactly what Kojima was going for

Zevvion
Zevvion

Typical. Everyone going nuts about length again.


I get it. Some of you value length over quality and whatever. I get it. I sometimes value length as well. But some games are better when they are short. Others can be just fine when short. 


Price is never a one on one match with length or duration. It can be a factor, but the highest priority should always be quality. Maybe I am a little older than the average person here, but the amount of games I played that weren't that great and were so long made me really realize I'd much rather spend fewer hours on something much greater.

mufcbarlow1
mufcbarlow1

At first I was outraged Hayter was being replaced as Snake/Big Boss. But now, I can't imagine it being any other way. David Hayter has always played the Hero of Snake/Big Boss - From Mgs1 through to peace walker, Snake has always been a hero. In MGS5 Big Boss is going down a darker path. A path that Hayter's snake doesn't belong. Big boss is changing, he's transforming, his personality is changing, he now needs distinction from Solid Snake. Hayter was used in MGS3 and Peace walker because a young Big Boss was SO much like Solid snake, it was a stage in his life when he was as much like Solid Snake as he was ever going to be.


When Solid Snake returns in a future MGS game (whatever the time period) I'm 100% certain he will be voiced by Hayter. I've no doubt about that. Having played Ground Zeroes, the new voice for a transforming Big Boss felt like it was meant to be. Master Stroke from Kojima. 

consumer1st
consumer1st

$30 demo gets the same score as hearthstone? Seems legit.

jepsen1977
jepsen1977

Wow, what a disgrace this review is! It's a one hour demo and just to keep it real the retail store price here in Denmark is 51 USD/278kr. 50 bucks for a one hour game that is sanctioned by Gamespot with an 8 our of 10. Thief got a 6 out of 10 and that was a 25 hour experience. Yes, length does not equal quality but this is insane. This is what happens when reviewers have completely forgotten what it's like to actually pay for your games. 


The gap between gamers and game journalists are the size of the Grand Canyon these days. These guys are supposed to represent us and yet, this garbage review is what we are getting? I joined GS 10 years ago but the old GS is dead and has been taken over by hipsters who doesn't know shit about games. So sad - RIP GS!

BiggChonies882
BiggChonies882

The game is pure magic. And it's accessible to people new to the series. Konami just made millions of new fans as well as making a good chunk of change. Currently orders for MGS: Legacy Collection are through the roof.


You may decide to whine about the price but Ground Zeroes is a can't miss experience if you love gaming. Kojima and crew have made gold standard games for decades and they seem to be really committed to making MGSV the best in the series. Which is saying something. 

02050muh
02050muh

Okay here is my theory of why Hideo Kojima decide to use kiefer sutherland as Big Boss. I think there is going to be one big damn twist in Phantom Pain. 

If you haven't noticed, Liquid can be seen in the trailer, my guess is we are going to see and hear a much younger Solid(Old) Snake that runs parallel to Metal Gear in The Pantom Pain which is voice over by none other than David hayter himself !!!!!!!


u guys know how kojima like to screw us fans, right??!!

sergeshd123
sergeshd123

@prodigest ok, I got your point. just because it short doesn't mean it should be treated like an EP or DLC

fredyellowone
fredyellowone

@ninboxstation Comparing this game to Thief is like comparing Pokemons with Transformers.  That also tells a lot about you. 

rickphoenixxx
rickphoenixxx

@fappingsnake Because it IS a demo. Can be beaten in 6 minutes, look it up. You can replay ANY game what a crappy argument. Hideo gets no pass, Hideo gets no pass.  

ninboxstation
ninboxstation

@Zevvion going's nuts about it's "score"... (doesn't matter if it takes 15min or 15h, it's either way overrated ..or Thief is way underrated...)

NTM23
NTM23

@Zevvion  My problem is that people are calling the game shit just because of the length. I mean, really? Honestly I think the lack of content is its biggest problem, and one of the only problems, while there are many pros. I stopped defending whether the game was worth purchasing at its price though. For me personally, I thought it was worth it and I didn't regret it, I still play it, but I actually wouldn't want to pay for more games made similarly, because it does lack content. It's somewhat contradictory, but still.

Hoski0999
Hoski0999

@consumer1st  Have you played it? Probably not, its not a demo, plenty of content in there, way to go with the crowd though.

Hoski0999
Hoski0999

@jepsen1977  umm... its longer then an hour, you obviously haven't played the game. I've put 8 hours and only 50% complete with the content thats in there. the main story line is very short i'll give you that, but worth 30 bucks.

consumer1st
consumer1st

@jepsen1977 Whuut? gamespot=games journalists? This entire site is AAA billboard. It's laden with bimbos pumping dribble like 'top 5 reasons you should buy the Hype of "insert game that's not even out yet."'

NTM23
NTM23

@02050muh  Maybe... Though it didn't give me a lot of hope when they used Sutherland's voice over Hayter's when they redid the voice for Snake in a flashback, in the Deja Vu mission. That kind of disappointed me, and even with the very little voice work that was redone, told me that Kiefer is playing a very different Snake than the ones Hayter did. Just the tone is different. I think Sutherland is doing a good job, and I've already gotten over the jarring feel of not being able to match the face with the voice when I hear and see him talk. Though I think whenever I just see an image of Big Boss, even in Ground Zeroes or Phantom Pain, I'll think of Hayter's voice.

faizanhd
faizanhd

@SilenceSD

Oh please. Side missions are not worth SH*T when all your doing is running around in the same small base for 8 F*CKING hours. Don't try to defend this garbage.

Karmazyn
Karmazyn

@IndoorActivist @Karmazyn  yes sir I will wait whole year, it is not only about 15 pound saving, its about what I believe in, and I do believe that releasing 1 hour demo as a chargeable retail product is wrong. I love Mgs series, I have all games on ps3, PS vita in that universe. I bought them as they offered terrific value for money. Ground zero is not a good value so I will wait, its not like I am missing anything.

l0ne_wanderer
l0ne_wanderer

@NTM23 @Zevvion  Me too. Didn't regret buying the game. Although I wouldn't want to see games marketed like this in the future. 

Karmazyn
Karmazyn

@Hoski0999 @consumer1st you can finish this game in 6 minutes, if you are trying to explore this mini open world you can do this in 74 minutes. Yup it is a demo.

rickphoenixxx
rickphoenixxx

@theprismhead @faizanhd@SilenceSD It's a multiplayer shooter with endless replay value that's its design, many shooters in history have been multiplayer only this is not a new thing. Def NOT a demo like this, since there is no real replay value here. but I agree it should have not got a 9 due it it not having a side campaign. Both games are high in overall quality for their respective genres, only this one masquerades as an actual retail release Metal gear game when it can be beaten in a 6 minute speedrun.

s1nk0
s1nk0

@faizanhd @SilenceSD  You obviously have not played the side ops. Yes, they are all on the same small map, but have different gamemodes and objectives. I bet you didn't know one of them wasn't a sneaking mission.

Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes More Info

First Release on Mar 18, 2014
  • PlayStation 3
  • PlayStation 4
  • + 2 more
  • Xbox 360
  • Xbox One
Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes is the stand-alone prologue to Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain.
7.7
Average User RatingOut of 321 User Ratings
Please Sign In to rate Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes
Developed by:
Kojima Productions
Published by:
Konami
Genres:
Action, 3D, Open-World, Adventure
Content is generally suitable for ages 17 and up. May contain intense violence, blood and gore, sexual content and/or strong language.
Mature
All Platforms