Both Konami and Hideo Kojima have responded to fan criticism over the length of Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes after it was revealed that the game's main mission can be completed in under two hours - or in just five minutes if you know what you're doing.
In a statement posted on the publisher's official Facebook page, Konami said that it remained confident that the game represented "an overall excellent experience with its expansive gameplay, replay value, as well as its compelling and deep storyline."
Konami also compared the structure of Ground Zeroes and upcoming sequel The Phantom Pain to a TV series, stating that "Ground Zeroes serves as the first act that will bridge the gap between Metal Gear Solid Peacewalker serving as the prologue to the highly anticipated Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain, the second part of the Metal Gear Solid 5 Experience".
Kojima added that "MGSV Ground Zeroes includes the main mission alongside 5 Side Ops. All missions include elements such as 'Trial Records,' where players can compete against each other online. This is not a linear game like the past.
"GZ offers freedom of approach & play style, which we hope players will enjoy over & over without boring. I believe people will be satisfied with the 'Play Time' of GZ and will not stress the 'Clear Time,' which is a standard for linear games".
Criticism over Ground Zeroes' length sparked from a hands-on report from Game Informer published earlier this week, where the author stated that they managed to "[complete] it in just less than two hours. Konami says internal testers can speed run the main mission in around five minutes. How quickly it takes to complete the main mission and explore the camp is up to the player, but the extra missions give the game a little more replayability."
However, Kojima's personal assistant Ayako branded Game Informer's report as a "false article", adding "don't believe them".
As well as discussing the game's length it was also revealed that the game looks "slightly better" on PlayStation 4 than Xbox One, although it isn't yet clear how exactly the two may differ.
A Konami representative told VideoGamer.com yesterday that the publisher would not be commenting on the technical differences.
Metal Gear Solid 5: Ground Zeroes launches on Xbox One, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4 on March 21.
Source: @HIDEO_KOJIMA_EN, @Kaizerkunkuin, facebook.com