‘Metal Gear Solid V’ Review Roundup: Critics Hit Ground Zero

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Metal Gear Solid 5

You can trace the roots of the Metal Gear franchise all the way back to 1987, but the series we know today didn’t really kick off until Metal Gear Solid hit the original PlayStation in 1998. That game was considered revolutionary at the time, and its three main sequels have widely been considered masterpieces of the form. That’s a lot of history for a game to live up to. How does the fifth main installment stack up?

To kick things off, Metacritic has tallied up scads of published reviews and awarded the game a 75 out of 100. That’s not bad for an average game, but it’s fairly low for a series that normally lands safely in the 90s on the site. So what’s going on?

Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes is different from its predecessors in a number of ways. Lots of changes have been made to the standard stealth gameplay, but the biggest difference is that Ground Zeroes isn’t a full game at all. Instead, it’s a prologue chapter to Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, which is set to release next year. As such, Ground Zeroes costs half as much as most new games and is significantly shorter, ringing in at about two hours for a single play-through.

However, those issues didn’t bother Peter Brown in his GameSpot review. He says that, “After the credits roll on the main mission and a handful of side activities unlock, the best part of Ground Zeroes is just getting started. With a wealth of secrets to find, and new challenges to master, chasing the endgame will keep you entertained for hours on end.” Kotaku wasn’t quite so charitable on this point in their review, calling it “short and narratively unsatisfying.”

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