Sunday, December 9

Metal Gear Solid V Ground Zeroes Review

Available on: PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox one, PC
Price: PS store, PS3 = £10.99, PS4 = £15.99, Microsoft store, Xbox 360 & Xbox one = £19.99, Steam = £16.99
I played on: PS4
Notes: n/a

Ground Zeroes follows on from Peace Walker with Big Boss running his mercenary group MSF from a tanker out at sea. We find the Boss on a mission to rescue both Chico and Paz from the previous game while the base gets an IEA inspection. The story is very short only lasting a single mission which can be beaten in around an hour the first time. This is the first act of the main game Metal Gear Solid V The Phantom Pain. Instead of releasing it for free and having it included with the full game like the Tanker mission with Metal Gear Solid 2 it’s sold separately. The fact that what had been given out for free on the PS2 is now £10-20 is ridiculous and utterly unfair. This has been said before but it really is worth saying again.

What little gameplay is here is really fun, with sneaking, shooting and really everything feeling both weighty and fluid. This feels like a true next-generation Metal Gear Solid experience and even today it still feels really impressive. The biggest issue is that there is only 1 base to explore with the entire story mission taking place here and all the extra missions just reusing the same map. You will become very bored of this base quickly and this is why this doesn’t work as a separate game.

Graphically Ground Zeroes is astounding and looks more impressive than quite a few animated films I have seen in my time. The rain, the textures of the fabric and well just everything looks almost photo realistic. The opening cutscene is one long single shot and it’s one of the most beautiful and impressive moments of Metal Gear Solid history, well until Snake starts talking.

Big Boss has a different voice actor now with Kiefer Sutherland replacing David Hayter and this is awful. I’m not saying Sutherland is a bad voice actor but he just isn’t Big Boss. I’ve been playing as Solid Snake and Big Boss now since 1999 and I know what they sound like and when I hear Big Boss talk here it just isn’t him. This takes away all of the personality that Hayter had given this wonderful character throughout 3 games and instead turns Big Boss into just another moody white guy.

I would love to say that trashing one of video games most recognizable and beloved characters is the worst thing this game does but sadly it isn’t. The way women are treated in this game is beyond bad and is just plain disgusting. Paz who is a young woman in her mid-twenties is raped, tortured and abused in other ways which the game seems almost gleeful about. If you complete optional objectives you unlock a number of tapes and one of these tapes contains only the audio of Paz being raped. This is gross and has no place in this game at all, the very fact that it’s a reward says far too much. This is the single most revolting and disgusting thing I think this series could have done and even though I love the Metal Gear Solid games I will never forget or forgive this.

While the gameplay is very impressive and it’s really nice to learn more about Big Boss’ past the sickening way this game delights in Paz and Chico’s torture and rape are unforgivable. I really wish this game was better but the honest truth is that it’s an overpriced demo that boils down to nothing more than torture porn. I can’t recommend anyone play this disgusting game and as a massive MGS fan that really hurts me to say but it’s the truth. I wish I had never played it that’s for sure, just stick to the Phantom Pain and give Ground Zeroes a wide birth.

Recommendation Rating: 0 out of 10.

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