Yes, Metal Gear March is not dead. With ten days left in March, I can fit in the eight final entries of this event. So, now onto the important details.

Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes released this tuesday to very mixed reviews. Everything from 8.5 to 5.5 can be seen in the professional reviews section of Metacritic, so I didn’t know what to think when I booted the game up last night. I’ve played for about an hour, and I can safely say that so far the game is… Not awful.

One of the main controversies surrounding the game is that it’s very short. From the hour I’ve played, I only accomplished the first mission and then spent the rest of the time exploring the island base and rescuing POWs. Unless the game only has two or three missions total, I can’t see length being a huge problem.

What is a huge problem is the enemies, who have received a massive downgrade from the AI of past Metal Gear Solid games. Backup is sparse, and enemies are hilariously easy to avoid.If you run away from them long enough, you’re bound to lose them sooner rather than later. They’re also less aware, I had a guard stare at me for about five seconds before going alert.

Once they’re alert, the game gives you about 5 seconds to aim and execute a quick attack. With this, I’ve only had backup called in twice, even when I was trying to get caught. Mixed in with how eagerly the game hands you weapons and explosives, I took a hint and decided to see what would happen if I went in guns blazing.

It wasn’t even a challenge.

With the starting assault rifle, I mowed down nearly every enemy I came into contact with. The game has regenerating health, so whenever I took heavy damage I could just dip behind cover and quickly recover. If that didn’t make my rampage any easier, the grenades sent every single enemy sky high with explosive damage.

So the game was too easy sneaking, and then it was too easy shooting everything up. I thought it couldn’t get any easier, until I looked through my binoculars and saw I could mark enemies from afar. That’s when I realized my worst fears for the franchise were coming true. It was going the way of Splinter Cell and Hitman to become a generic action game with the most boiled down and casualized stealth imaginable.

After realizing that the stealth and action gameplay was boring and repetitive, I decided to see how the island open world was. Surprisingly, it’s a very nice location. Finding the hidden XOF badges and exploring the base was fun, and the Prisoners of War are nice rewards, if Peace Walker is anything to go by.

The story is darker than I expected so far. The plot is a simple extraction mission, but the way its presented is so bleak and depressing, especially compared to the usual tone of Metal Gear Solid. Kiefer Sutherland does a great job as Big Boss, although I certainly prefer David Hayter in the role.

I’m very worried about what will happen in the rest of Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes. I’m not too worried about the length, but if the gameplay continues to be boring this might be the worst Metal Gear Solid I’ve ever played. I can only hope that even if this game fails, Metal Gear Solid V can repair the damage done.