Blink and you'll miss it?
As the prelude, prologue and tech demo for Metal Gear Solid 5, we weren't exactly expecting an enormous freeform campaign from Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes. However, according to an early hands-on report, Snake's upcoming £20-£30 adventure can be completed in less time than it takes to watch a handful of the original game' cutscenes.
The latest print issue of Game Informer [via Kotaku, who else?], doesn't mince its words when it comes to Ground Zeroes' length.
"Judged just by the core story mission, Ground Zeroes is short," reads the article. "We completed it in just less than two hours."
Oof. Considering that Ground Zeroes costs £29.99 on Xbox One and PS4, this equates to roughly fifteen Pounds per hour. Even the cheapest recent deals only bring it down to around £12/hour, which is roughly the amount you'd expect to pay for an entire PSN/XBLA title. The PS3 and Xbox 360 versions are £10 less expensive, mind.
Now, before you start sharpening your pitchforks in an understandable fit of apoplectic rage, I have to bring three very important facts to your attention.
2: Quality is a kind of value.
3: I speak from experience when I say that, us gaming hacks sometimes have to operate on a very limited time scale and are restricted to short sessions at preview/review events. Depending on the nature and organisation of the event, it's often necessary to crush through the most important content as fast as possible without taking the time to venture off the beaten track and explore the environments more fully. This may -- may -- have skewed the figures significantly.
Just so you know - I'll let you draw your own conclusions.
We'll find out the truth of things soon enough, of course, since Ground Zeroes is slated to release on PS3, PS4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One on March 20th. The last-gen versions will set you back £19.99 as a download or £29.99 at retail, while the current/next/new/you-know-what-I mean-generation edition costs a flat £29.99.
“The advanced capabilities of the FOX Engine have allowed me to tell the new story in a new way," Hideo Kojima explained a few months ago. "There will be a significant difference in what METAL GEAR SOLID V: THE PHANTOM PAIN brings to the series, so we want to ease players into the new open world environment and its potential. As such, METAL GEAR SOLID: GROUND ZEROES has been designed to introduce key elements, allowing them to fully benefit from all that the new game will offer.”
These key elements include regenerating health, X-Ray vision and other tweaks designed to bring the series up to date in the gameplay department. As ever, we'll do our best to inform you whether Ground Zeroes is a solid use of your hard-earned cash.