For those who don't know, when Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain was announced, I did multiple blogs on here regarding speculation on how the game was unraveling to be. I'll be honest to say though, I was skeptical whether or not to review Ground Zeroes but, why not? Though, I will warn you, I will be discussing my thoughts regarding spoilers but, they will be marked in another section.
Ground Zeroes takes place shortly after the events of Peace Walker however, it also acts as a prologue to the upcoming Phantom Pain. In a similar manner to the Tanker Mission in Sons of Liberty. Paz is held for interrogation at Camp Omega that's on the southern tip of Cuba. So happens, Chico is captive nearby Paz's location since he went on a rescue mission in an attempt to save her. It's Big Boss' duty to solely infiltrate Camp Omega and reunite Paz and Chico together.
I'll be honest here, when Kiefer Sutherland was first announced as Big Boss, I was very disheartened. Especially since I thought for sure that the different voice actor would be a ruse. I still hope David Hayter will have a cameo in Phantom Pain but, you know what?
Now that I've played Ground Zeroes, I honestly Sutherland sounds very natural as Big Boss. He unfortunately doesn't have many lines but, I'm looking forward to hearing him more. There was already a Jack Bauer reference in Ground Zeroes as well!
Ever since Ground Zeroes was first announced, I've been very intrigued by Skull Face who many predicted to be Hot Coldman due to the similar outfit. However, (SPOILER ALERT) it seems unlikely since a cassette tape revealed that Skull Face is Hungarian. He seems to know Big Boss from the past so I believe he's a new character. Though, I wonder if Skull knew him during the Korean or Vietnam War? I mean, in the beginning of the main mission you can even hear two guards mention the Green Berets.
I'll be honest to say, while I'm intrigued by his enigma, I was extremely pissed off at Skull Face for something he did that will be elaborated in the Audio Tapes section of this review. Though, I will warn you that it will contain spoilers if you haven't beat or played Ground Zeroes yet.
Metal Gear has changed. It's not about cardboard boxes or rations anymore. It's about recharging health. Joke aside, I am sure we will see cardboard boxes in Phantom Pain as for rations, I don't think so since there's no need anymore? If you get shot, the screen will be splattered in blood. To be quite honest, I miss the life gauge.
I feel embarrassed to admit this as a Metal Gear fan but, I usually start off on Easy Mode for my first playthrough? Which sadly isn't in Ground Zeroes. You automatically start on Normal and can unlock Hard. Even on Normal, for my first few playthroughs, I struggled a lot.
The A.I. has a larger view cone and they even interact with one another. It's actually pretty cool since you can also eavesdrop on their conversations. But, it's annoying because there's so much soldiers. If you skip a cutscene, the soldiers won't be at the location that they originally were patrolling since it's real time.
There also is automatic save checkpoints? I'll be honest to say, I'm displease on how there's only a few. I prefer having the option to save manually. I've been trying to collect the XOF patches and keep getting eight out of nine? Well, the last two times, I've gotten the ninth and completed the main mission, it gets lost.
My favorite part of the gameplay however, would be driving! I absolutely am a terrible driver but, it's so much fun running over the enemies and getting into explosions! It sucks though because eventually, the guards catch up and will try to shoot your vehicle.
I'm gonna be honest here and just flat out say it, so far I personally don't notice much of a difference between last and current gen's graphics. Maybe that's because this game was built for both generations but, I don't know. It looks somewhat better than Metal Gear Solid 4 but, the hair texture could of been improved.
I think it kinda looks weird when zoomed in? But, that six pack! He be working out.
It's also silly how Big Boss flails his arms when he jumps. I mean, is he a mime acting as a cheerleader or a bird? It just looks so weird seeing manly Big Boss flailing like a fangirl. Is he still excited on how he saw Kaz in a speedo during Peace Walker?
Honestly, I barely could hear the background music. Maybe it's my television but, I thought it sound very muffled in the rain. I have played the side ops but, I really don't play attention to songs in Metal Gear unless if it's in an emotional cutscene.
I do however, like Alert Status Theme:
Sounds very Hans Zimmer-like? It reminds me of Introduce a Little Anarchy from The Dark Knight.
My favorite song from Ground Zeroes however would be the beautifully remastered, Heaven's Divide:
You have a Walkman in Ground Zeroes so you can change the music anytime. I think you gotta unlock some but, you start off with a few songs from Peace Walker.
If you haven't beat Ground Zeroes, I strongly advise you to disregard this section. It contains major spoilers. Like, Revolver Ocelot shaking his booty in front of Big Boss who gets a nose bleed from the glorious sight that would forever be implanted in his mind. I mean, who wouldn't pay to see that?
Why did you click this? Go and beat Ground Zeroes already! Oh, you have? Then keep on reading!
Okay, I knew about this the week before Ground Zeroes came out and was extremely upset. I mean, personally, I find this a lot more shocking than the lackluster ending that Kojima was hyping up.
Skull Face forces Chico, a sweet thirteen year old boy to rape the woman he greatly admires and has a crush on...Paz. Now, I have to clarify, despite her cutesy appearance in Peace Walker, she actually lied about her age. She claimed to be a sixteen year old peace-loving student but, she's really a twenty-five year old woman as revealed in the audio tapes from Peace Walker. I am stating this because I always see people refer to her as a teenager when she's not.
So, a thirteen year old boy was forced to rape his dear friend who's a grown woman...Honestly, I feel like Kojima just did this for the sake of being controversial. I will not post videos containing the audio tapes on here because it's rather gruesome but, it's even more sad because she gets tortured after getting raped.
If you've seen the Red Band trailer for Phantom Pain, you basically have the ending spoiled. Paz has most of her organs removed to fit a bomb in her stomach. Even without the bomb, she would of died within a day. Anyways, Skull Face implants another bomb inside of her. During an audio tape, you can hear a wet sound as he opens her up...He also states that the bomb will be in a place that no one would dare to look...Take that as you will.
I understand that rape happens in life but, I just feel like this was completely unnecessary. Especially with the second bomb. Though, I understand that Kojima is trying to be more edgy. Personally, there's one good thing that came out of these audio tapes and the ending in which I will state in the section below.
Again, if you plan on or currently playing Ground Zeroes, I'd disregard this section...Unless if you maybe want to speculate on who has the finer booty: Solid Snake or Big Boss. Ah, who am I kidding! It's definitely Solid Snake. Especially in Sons of Liberty. My husbando!
Now, that one good thing I mentioned to come out of the audio tapes and ending? Do you think it's possible for Chico to be Decoy Octopus? I mean, Chico is seen alive at the end of Ground Zeroes. I doubt he'll ever be the same sweet boy we once knew. After all, he was forced to rape the woman he loved.
There's also the possibility that he could be Ishmael. Perhaps Sutherland's voiceover was just to throw people off? Though, I rather have Ishmael as a figment of Big Boss' imagination.
Anyways, I really am hoping that Chico is Decoy Octopus. We have Quiet who resembles Sniper Wolf, Code Talker who's similar to Vulcan Raven, a young Psycho Mantis has been seen and there's Eli who's hopefully Liquid Snake. I mean, the arrogant stature, blonde hair, shirt wide open, the jackal teeth necklace and a biblical name? I'd honestly be pissed off if it wasn't Liquid Snake.
What do you think will happen in Phantom Pain? Are you looking forward to anything?
If you're new to the series and interested in Phantom Pain, you should pick this up just to get adjusted to the gameplay mechanics. If you are new to the series and want to delve into its history, I would not recommend starting out with Ground Zeroes. I'd implore you to start out with either the first or third installment in the Solid series.
That said, I'd rate this at a 7/10. While Ground Zeroes is the prologue to Phantom Pain, I find it very misleading and greedy of Konami to exclude a warning stating that it's not a full game. This is very confusing to the new fans and anybody who believes that Ground Zeroes is actually Metal Gear Solid V.
You can certainly get a lot out of Ground Zeroes but, it's basically an expensive demo. People have been complaining by the lack of gameplay regarding the main mission. I was very skeptical on this but, there's a lot of ways to play the main mission. Everybody's experience will be different.
Congratulations! You have managed to read this whole review....Unless if you cheated that is! Anyways, here is your reward: