In this final feature leading up to the release of Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes we will take a look at some of the many rumors and misconceptions for Ground Zeroes. These will range from topics such as the game's length and if you will be able to hid bodies in lockers. This will hopefully help some of you out there feel a little better about purchasing the game since there has been a lot of questions since the Game Informer article.
First up is the elephant in the room and that is how long it will take players to finish playing Ground Zeroes. Most people heard it will take under two hours to play the game, but in reality that is only the length it seems to take most players to beat the main Ground Zeroes mission. There are four side ops and an exclusive mission on each console. While play time will vary for most players the average time it takes to play through all of these missions is around 6-8 hours your first playthrough.
Just to give that a bit of a comparison to previous Metal Gear games, it takes around the same time to complete Metal Gear Solid and Metal Gear Rising your first playthrough as well. While some people may have had an issue with both of these game's lengths they were both full price games and the counter argument for them was that each game had multiple reasons to replay them over again. Whether it be on a new difficulty setting, to find all collectibles/secrets, or in Ground Zeroes case to try to complete a mission in a completely new way. Ground Zeroes has all of these reasons and more with it's brand new take on open mission structure design. This gives players hundreds of different methods to completing the same objective, so that replaying a mission won't feel like your doing the same thing you did last time.
Online leaderboards and speedrunning through the game's missions are also a new aspect for the Metal Gear Solid games. In fact Kojima Production's staff members have even been able to complete the main mission in around 5 minutes. That should show just how flexible the amount of time you spend with this game is. Also with the side ops you will unlock tons of extras such as cassette tapes for you to learn more back story in the Metal Gear Solid V story. So if you go into Ground Zeroes wanting to see everything the game has to offer than you easily have 12+ hours of content ahead of you.
The next issue many players have had with the game is that they think of it as more of a demo for The Phantom Pain. When in reality Ground Zeroes is a prologue setting up the story for The Phantom Pain. This mission has not been confirmed to appear in The Phantom Pain and even if a version of it will be, the release date for The Phantom Pain is currently slated for Q4 2015 and Q1 2016. At least with Ground Zeroes players will have a way to whet their appetite with the game's release so far off. In case anyone is wondering why The Phantom Pain is going to take so long that is because Kojima has said that the game will be "hundreds" of times bigger than Ground Zeroes.
That leads us to our next issue people have been having with Ground Zeroes and that is it's map size. When you look at a map of Camp Omega it doesn't seem that large, but what makes it interesting is just how many different places their are to see. Camp Omega is more than just a prison camp, it has indoor environments to explore, and even the roads around the military base that are quite extensive. A game wouldn't be able to give the player so much freedom as in Ground Zeroes if it were as small as some people are thinking and what it lacks in size it makes up for in the amount of detail in every area of the world.
Lastly, I will use this last section to just talk about some of the missing or different mechanics fans of the series are use to and why they have changed for Ground Zeroes. The biggest omissions from Ground Zeroes are the lack of the cardboard box and rations. This is because of the newer and darker tone Kojima wants to take the series in. This however doesn't mean that they will not be in The Phantom Pain and Kojima has said that he hopes to implement them in a better way when the final game releases.
Smoking Tobacco products such as Big Boss' signature cigar will not be an option while playing the game, but will appear in cutscenes in Ground Zeroes. Not having an option to smoke the cigar is admittedly an odd omission, but so is the fact that you can no longer hide bodies in lockers or bins. The lack of the hiding bodies feature may just come from the lack of lockers in Camp Omega, but that will be hard to tell until the actual game is releases. The final missing piece fans of Peace Walker might miss is going back to Mother Base to build up your forces. While some form of base management will be done on the companion iDroid app, the prisoners you rescue from Camp Omega will have to wait for The Phantom Pain before they aid Big Boss.
Hopefully this feature helped some of you learn a thing or two about Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes and in the process get you excited for the first entry in the new generation of Metal Gear Solid. As always let us know what you thing of this topic in the comments below as well if you are still unsure about Ground Zeroes and why. The final piece of this Metal Gear Solid content leading up to Ground Zeroes will be in a special podcast releasing here tomorrow and of course be sure to come back to Gaming Union sometime later this week for our full review of Ground Zeroes.