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COLUMN: Aaron’s Backstage Pass: Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeros PS4 Review

Created: 03/24/2014 3:57 PM KSTP.com
By: Aaron Chalich

I was first introduced to Konami’s “Metal Gear” series way back in 1987 when the original “Metal Gear” was released for the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES).

I still remember the ads for “Metal Gear” in the Nintendo Fun Club Newsletter.  It was a full page ad, and the entire page was covered in weapons and gadgets that you could get in the game to use.  As soon as I saw the ad, I knew I had to get this game. 

So since 1987, I have been a huge fan of Konami’s “Metal Gear” series, and I have played them all.

This past week I got the chance to play a review copy of Konami’s “Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zero for the PS4,” and it is awesome.

You get to play as “Snake” who is voiced by Kiefer Sutherland, which is awesome. 

“Ground Zeros” takes place around 1975 in Cuba and is right after the events of “Peace Walker.”  Your mission is to go into an America military base called “Camp Omega” and rescue a child named “Chico” and an agent named “Paz.” 

I don’t want to spoil too much of the story, but it is pretty exciting and action-packed.

The graphics are awesome, and I guarantee that you will be amazed at how fabulous they look.  The characters look so lifelike and are very detailed.  One of the characters in the game is named Commander Skull Face, and he looks awesome.  He is disfigured and looks repulsive.

The backgrounds, scenery and cut scenes are unbelievable.

Controlling Snake is very easy.  If you pause the game, you can look at the controls, and there is also an option when you first start the game to look at the video manual.  I would highly recommend that you do this, because everything you will need to know to play “Ground Zeroes” is explained very well in the in game manual.

Stealth plays a huge role in “Ground Zeroes,” and you must try and sneak up on guards and enemies.  You must avoid spotlights, and the best way to get around is to stay in the shadows.  If you push the “x” button, you will crouch, and if you hold down the “x” button, you will lie down on your stomach, and you can crawl.  This is also very helpful when you are sneaking around the military camp.

If you do sneak up on a guard, you can push the “R2” button, and you will grab them.  You can then interrogate them, and they will give you information about where ammo is located, you can knock them out or you can kill them.  There are many different choices, and it is fun to experiment with all of them.

If you do get detected or walk into a spot light, you will have a few seconds to try and hide, and the guards will search for you, but if you are well-hidden they will go back to their duties and will stop searching for you. 

Once you are spotted and are face-to-face with a guard you will go into “reflex mode,” which is awesome.   Time will slow down, and you will be able to take a few seconds to aim and shoot the enemy before he hits you.

There are a bunch of different weapons that Snake will be able to use and find in “Ground Zeroes.”  Snake has primary weapons such as rifles and rocket launches, secondary weapons that include handguns and tranquilizer guns.  There are also grenades and smoke bombs he can throw and also items.  These can all be accessed by pushing the directional pad.  One thing that I really thought was nice was that you can switch between weapons very quickly while you are running.  You can also find ammo storage rooms with lots of weapons and items, and you can also pick up weapons that are dropped by soldiers.

One very helpful item that Snake has is his binoculars.  You can look around the camp, and if you discover something interesting, you can push “L1” when it appears on the screen to hear information about the certain spot you are looking at.

You can also bring up a map of the camp, and you can see where enemies are and where your next objective is.  If you interrogate a soldier, and they tell you about something specific it will appear on the map. 

One thing that is very important in “Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes” is the cassette tapes.  You will be able to access the cassette tapes from the start menu.  There are quite a few tapes that you can listen to that are very interesting. There is a pre-mission brief and Intel tape that explains what your mission is and what you need to do.  There are recordings with Paz telling stories, and you can listen to music.

There are tapes that you will find in your mission that will tell more of the story, and they are hidden throughout the game.

The one thing that I was sort of disappointed with was that the game was very short.  It took me a few hours to beat the main story, and there were a few side missions that you could do which were a lot of fun.  However, there are many things that you can go back and look for like XOF patches and cassette tapes, plus you can play the side missions.

The side missions that unlock are really fun and are pretty challenging.  

I really enjoyed Konami’s “Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes” for the PS4 a lot.  The game was a lot of fun and very challenging to play.  The graphics were fabulous and looked great.  If you are a fan of the “Metal Gear” series like I am, I would highly recommend that you check out “Ground Zeroes.”

“Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes is rated “M” for blood and gore, intense violence, sexual violence, and strong language.

Aaron Chalich is a KSTP.com entertainment columnist.


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