Metal Gear Solid 5: Ground Zeroes

Metal Gear Solid 5: Ground Zeroes Features for PS4

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8Out of 10
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Metal Gear Solid 5: Ground Zeroes screenshot
Metal Gear Solid 5: Ground Zeroes screenshot

Before I begin ranting, I’d like the record to show that I actually agree with many of the points Steve raised in his defence of Ground Zeroes. However, for me, Konami’s approach to the promotion of this glorified demo is an epic swindle of the fanbase.

Much like Steve, the demos of Metal Gear Solid and Sons of Liberty hold a special place in my childhood. At the tender age of eight, my hands clutched the demo disc from Official PlayStation Magazine, which included a small sample of the upcoming Metal Gear Solid. I carried this disc to every friend’s house, because no matter where I was, I wanted to make it into the hangar.

Was I too young to play MGS? Of course. Did I have much of a clue about what I was doing, or what the Colonel was saying? Definitely not. But I knew I loved this game. I also now know that I somehow managed to complete the game upon its release, but during a recent playthrough I couldn’t beat Metal Gear Solid, confirming I am not as good as a nine year old at MGS.

Unlike many, I got hold of the MGS2 demo through OPM, and not Zone of the Enders. I was equally enthralled. I took in every nuance the game had to offer, while averting my young eyes from the provocative posters in the lockers I was hidden in as guards swarmed on my position.

I probably spent more time with those two tasters than with half of the games I’ve ever played. Working out the different routes to completion, beating the spotlights to reach the item that lay in the middle of the helipad, making soldiers jiggle to give me their dog tags and feeling a rush of adrenaline when soldiers exclaimed their sighting of Snake are all fond memories.

Yes, the time spent in these demos justified my £5 investment in the magazine, but no, I would not justify paying £40 for any demo, no matter how great the content, and this is where the problem lies.

The concept of the consumer attributing value to a product is fine, but that doesn’t remove all liability from content providers justifying cost with content. Demos cannot exist on their own and demand top-end price points. Halo 3 and Sons of Liberty’s samples in Crackdown and Zone of the Enders were incentives for gamers to invest in new franchises. Those who were dissatisfied with the game could simply spend more time in the demo. It is irrelevant if gamers buy the game for the bundled demo, because it wasn’t the primary promotion, Crackdown and ZoE were. You can’t now remove the new franchise and just sling the demo onto shelves and ask gamers to pay the same amount.

Ground Zeroes would not look out of place as a free listing on the PSN or Xbox Marketplace. It is the opening chapter for Metal Gear Solid V, for all intents and purposes, the equivalent of taking the MGS2 demo and labelling it “Metal Gear Solid 2: La-Li-Lu-Le-Lo”.

The designer for Ground Zeroes has argued that the length of the title is irrelevant, with indie titles such as Dear Esther and Journey offering similarly short experiences, but again, neither of those titles demanded £40 to play. Had Ground Zeroes asked for maybe half of that sum, I wouldn’t be so pissed, but the nerve to ask gamers to double dip is morally ambiguous at best.

Metal Gear Solid 5: Ground Zeroes screenshot

As somebody who has always relied on trade-ins and/or weeks of saving up cash to afford new games, I know how I’d feel if I saw Ground Zeroes on the shelf. I would absolutely believe that it was the “new” Metal Gear Solid, expect a fully-fledged experience, considering the cost, and go straight home and grab as many old games as I could muster, get ripped off on the trade-in value, and buy it. Konami knows this, and the exploitation of the fanbase’s attachment to the series is what annoys me most. They know gamers will pay full-price for Metal Gear Solid, but many will feel ripped off if they knew what they were getting.

This isn’t being advertised as a small sample of MGSV, not to the average consumer anyway. You, reading this, are not an average consumer, you are an informed, passionate gamer. You wouldn’t be reading websites and op-eds if you weren’t. Most people just buy what they see on the shelf, and again, they’ll simply see a brand new, next-gen Metal Gear.

The inclusion of 'Metal Gear Solid V' on the box art of Ground Zeroes only adds to the notion that Konami is swindling fans. Many people won’t acknowledge Ground Zeroes is a stop-gap cash-in, but instead think it a full release, much in the same way that Guns of the Patriots, Sons of Liberty and Peace Walker were.

The nerve of Konami to flog this to people and expect them to pay is absurd. I know there will be many people fooled into picking this game up, bitterly disappointed having completed it before having done much of anything. No matter how fun it is, it’ll sting when the credits roll and you’ve barely got comfortable in your seat, £40 down the pan.

Yes, previous MGS demos have offered multiple routes through them, and replaying them was considered fun, but why would I replay Ground Zeroes? I’d feel forced to go back through it again in order to justify buying the thing in the first place. I’d desperately try and suck every ounce out of the game just to excuse the cost.

I hope gamers vote with their wallets on this one, because this could set a dangerous precedent going forward. If this sells well, we could see other titles do the same, then we’re all in trouble.

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User Comments

IrritatedAF's Avatar


Hmm, "true fan" here. Gameplay was okay. Length was on the short end. Ultimately deleted because Kiefer Sutherland.
Posted 09:52 on 03 June 2015
bighillsy's Avatar


I will be picking up this game for Xbox one because I want to and gamestop UK are doing it for 20 pound, Its just another game and I love the mgs series
Posted 07:50 on 18 March 2014
WilliamJames's Avatar


Boy, people who play this game with a stopwatch and sprint through the whole thing are going to be so disappoint.

This article sets a dangerous precedent going forward, for bull***** on the internet.
Posted 21:19 on 05 March 2014
flying_fox's Avatar


So much fail in this article.

"neither of those titles demanded £40 to play. Had Ground Zeroes asked for maybe half of that sum, I wouldn’t be so pissed" --> It's already half that sum. Downloadable for 19,99 on PS3/360. It's your problem if you want better frame rate.

"You can’t now remove the new franchise and just sling the demo onto shelves and ask gamers to pay the same amount." --> Wanna bet? Every single person I know who bought ZOE kept the demo and sold the game right away. Many people would have paid $60 for that demo. FYI, at the same time, Konami was selling the trailer of MGS2 in Japan. Yes, selling it, like hot cakes, for something like $15.

"Most people just buy what they see on the shelf, and again, they’ll simply see a brand new, next-gen Metal Gear." --> That's debatable. At the very least, if the marketing is still unclear, the price tag will be suspicious enough for them to ask questions.

"If this sells well, we could see other titles do the same, then we’re all in trouble." --> This is completely unfounded. Did GT prologue set a precedent? No. Besides, which other franchise can pull the same thing with the same confidence? Not many.

As a conclusion: I hope you kept some arguments for the time when Metal Gear Online 3 gets released separately from The Phantom Pain. :) Did you know MGO2 was released separately from MGS4 in Japan? Konami is definitely not new to this, you're being naive and you're actually disrespectful of the many fans who will buy GZ and have their money's worth.
Posted 11:09 on 05 March 2014
Godokunodan's Avatar


Anybody crying about paying $40 for this prologue game is a loser and a bum. By bum I don't mean the British definition of a backside, I mean you're a homeless alcoholic . You need to go back to college and get an education ,so you can get a better job. $40 is nothing. I spend $40 on lunch alone in New York City. If I were to bribe a Konami employee to let me have a preview version of MGS5 , the starting bribe would be $5,000. And you losers are having a period over $40 . And stop crying about the length of the prologue game . Its 2 hours only if you do perfect stealth and don't get spotted. MGS4 can be completed in 5 hours if you rush through with no detections. The Last of Us Left Behind is SUPPOSEDLY a 2hr game, but it took me 6 to 8 hours to finish it. Not only that but Ground Zeroes includes a MULTIPLAYER MODE, infinite replay value . $40 is fair. Get a job. Anyone complaining about this is just a v- rag and not a true MG fan.
Posted 07:30 on 05 March 2014
alphafour's Avatar

alphafour@ MonkeyBoyGoku

I agree with you on who this game is for... but... I disagree with you on who this game is for.

You're totally right in suggesting that it's only the hardcore MGS fans who will like this and see the 'true value' but at the end of the day, when it's sitting shelves in GAME and someone buys it thinking it's a full-blown new MGS (which it isn't let's be honest) game they will be burned after realising it only takes 2 hours to finish the main story.

No other MGS game can be finished in anywhere near two hours and arguably the cutscenes and storytelling are part of what makes MGS MGS.

This game is being marketed as Metal Gear Solid 5: Ground Zeroes. If it were being marketed as Metal Gear Solid Prologue.. or Metal Gear Solid taster... sure we can have a discussion but it isn't is it?

That, and the price, are the main issues with this game. I have every faith that it will be a good game but the way it will probably be presented in the shops (forget websites like these they are irrelevant in the grand scheme of things) and the price at which it is sold just puts me off.
Posted 00:39 on 15 February 2014
dfsfsdfd's Avatar


erm is not a demo is a game . is not 2 hrs long only if u run all ay through the game miss side misions and skip the cut screen. and 2 ! is only £28/£21 on amazon for ps4 and ps3 !
Posted 11:31 on 13 February 2014
MonkeyBoyGoku's Avatar


The way I see it Brett is this, a games length shouldn't matter for it to be a good game. What would make this better is if the Phantom Pain is of a similar pricing structure, maybe $40 across the board or some incentive pricing structure if you purchased Ground Zeros. The game is optional, you can skip it if you want and still have a very good idea of the Phantom Pain's story without it. You also miss the point that $40 is the maximum price for the game, and there are cheaper alternatives. I could compare apples to oranges and say games like CoD offer nothing new when it comes to the "main multiplayer game" but I won't get into that. You argue about replayability when that's what most people want in a game. If I play it once and theres no point in playing it again I feel my $60 is a waste of money, the main story could be 8 hours and that would make me feel like I wasted money. The good thing about Metal Gear games is the replayability. MGS1, my first MGS game was amazingly replayable and it was no more than 5 hours with cutscenes. Taking your time you could explore and make the game last over 8-10 hours, then there's the whole alternative endings, I can't tell you how many times I replayed that game. Taking your time this game could be 3 hours main op, I'd play it two or three times, so 6-12 hours, that's not even counting all the side Ops, plenty of extra fun to have. I expect many people will buy a digital copy for PS3 $20 and if you feel it's overpriced that's probably the version you should buy too. This game is not for new players, this game is not for those who don't care about the story, this game is not for those who just care about running and gunning games. This game is for fans of the game and the story it has to tell. At the end of the day today it's not about length it's about quality, I'd rather have two hours of quality entertainment than 20 hours of boredom. All that being said this game is only $10 more expensive than it ought to be, which isn't the biggest of deals. None of us know how the game will turn out since none of us have played it. We have already heard what the game is about but depending on how it plays out and the quality it brings to the table will determine whether it is a good buy or not. Finally nobody is saying that this is the full Metal Gear Solid 5, this game is 1/200th of Peace Walker "Kojima said MGSV size is 200 time greater than Ground Zeros Camp Omega" To say this game is a cash-in is like saying every book made into a movie is just a cash in. This game isn't being marketed toward your average gamer, it's being marketed specifically to MGS fans. Brett you're still young, I'd call your article a cash in but that would be mean.
Posted 14:17 on 12 February 2014
IronMit's Avatar


I value 2 hours of originality higher then I value 20 hours of the same cut and paste cover shooting, radar watching, ubisoft trope filled virus, incrementally upgraded sequel.

At £25 I will get this. A simple search confirms I can get it for this much.

However I do agree many people will be mislead into buying this thinking it's a full game. The vast majority don't follow gaming journalism.

The price will likely drop faster then the typical Square Enix title
Posted 21:57 on 10 February 2014
lionheart7's Avatar


I will start by saying I like mgs5s look so far. The game looks really good. To say its just a dlc I don't feel is justice. Kojima said this is yes a smaller sample of world size as phantom pain will be open world and choice. This game is a mix between the old linear MGS and the new open world to get fans used to it.kojima said in a interview that he feared fans would hate phantom pain if they were thrown into an open world enviroment not prepared.

I don't feel he is trying to swindle people and as further proof as to why I don't think he is. The game is retailing for 40 US dollars not 60 or 80. I don't know what the pricing overseas is for it but every online source has said 40 us. Still its a bit much for 2 hour story but the game will have a wide side mission selection.
Posted 19:07 on 10 February 2014
m4j0r_g33k's Avatar


Where are you people looking to get the price of £40 ?

even if some places are selling it for £40, that is not a bad price for a next gen game (not a demo) that offers a fair amount of replay value.
Posted 19:04 on 10 February 2014


I really was a hughe MGS Fan once, but there are so much News about GZ/PP that sound bad for me that I'm really not all that interested anymore.

All the Metal Gear Games out now work pretty good as finished Storyline, so I really don't need that new Stuff.
Posted 16:25 on 10 February 2014
Clockpunk's Avatar


£12 digital download would have been the optimal form of release I think.

In discussion of the length, I have seen multiple references to Capcom's Dead Rising 2 chapters (Case Zero and Case West). A self-contained section providing a sampling (paid demo) of gameplay (tech engine) advances - sounding familiar thus far...

However, 400 msp ($5) and 800 ($10) respectively, with the latter providing an entirely new and different environment, weapons, combos, and a whole plethora of additional content beyond those found in the core game, is where the comparison ends (and is revealed to be a clumsy one).

For all the flak Capcom gets (usually deserved), the Cases was a great model - and a shame it hasn't been adopted by other publishers. It could certainly have benefitted ground Zeroes.
Posted 15:26 on 10 February 2014
aidey6's Avatar


At least Polphony made it clear and sold their Prologue at half price, also Naughty Dog are selling their DLC are reasonable price.

This is blatant fleecing of their core market. I hope the preview game does *****e !!
Posted 13:55 on 10 February 2014
tvr77's Avatar


I think it all depends on the individual and what they consider to be completion of a game. My nephew shoots through his games like lightning only ever doing the main missions and then tries to say he has cracked the game, i'm always nagging him to slow it down and make it last, explore, do the side missions, upgrade you character etc etc but he never listens he can't help himself, so to him Ground Zeroes would be a total waste of cash and he should steer clear. But to gamers like myself who like to squeeze every drop out of there games by doing everything possible Ground Zeroes won't be so bad but even with all that in mind id still agree that a full price of £40 is wayyy to much.
Id even suggest that it does not even need a full release, digital only at £15 would have been perfect for this one.
Posted 11:02 on 10 February 2014

Game Stats

Release Date: 21/03/2014
Developer: Kojima Productions
Publisher: Konami
Genre: Unknown
Rating: TBC
Site Rank: 498 12
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