With the release of Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain still shrouded in mystery, gamers have been anticipating their first taste of the upcoming game with the launch of its prologue Ground Zeros. Despite worries that the the experience will be too short, the Metal Gear Solid franchise’s first next-gen outing intends to prepare gamers for what is looking to be one of the most ambitious projects in modern gaming.
Sporting a new engine and updated mechanics, Ground Zeroes still looks to be a Metal Gear Solid title through and through. From Snake’s increased mobility to the series’ distinctive enemy alarm tone, Kojima Productions and Konami are no doubt attempting to bridge the gap between new and longtime fans. And that fact is particularly obvious in the structure of the game’s North American launch trailer.
Over the years, gamers have come to accept the weird, and oftentimes downright silly from Hideo Kojima’s projects. Whether the move is intentional or not, Ground Zeroes‘ North American launch trailer seems very much like a trailer for a Hollywood blockbuster (no surprise given the creator’s affection for cinema), complete with in-your-face explosions and larger-than-life title cards. For a series whose roots lie in the shadows, this could very well be seen as not only a bid to draw in a wider audience, but also one of Kojima’s tongue-in-cheek attempts at injecting a feeling of lightness to the otherwise intense series.
Lens flares and over-the-top action aside, there’s no denying that the Fox Engine is being put to good use. The graphics are by far the series’ best and the lighting effects are looking equally strong. For anyone that might have been worried about how The Phantom Pain will turn out, this should help to put their minds at ease. Take into account just how much how much bigger than Ground Zeroes it’s purported to be and it’s clear that Kojima Productions has an impressive engine on their hands.
Judging by the early reviews, Ground Zeroes has been quite a polarizing experience for gamers and critics alike. Even after a a price-cut prior to release, much of the criticism is leveraged on its brief nature. Putting this aside and focusing on the gameplay at hand though, the game looks to be a worthy addition to the venerable series and a great point of reference for what Kojima is capable of achieving with next-gen hardware.
Do you think Ground Zeroes and The Phantom Pain will be able to draw in a new generation of players? Despite the worries about its length, are you excited to get your hands on this prologue?
Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes is available now on the Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS3 and PS4 with Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain rumored to launch in early 2015.
Follow Ryan on Twitter @ThatRyanB.