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Metal Gear Solid

There’s a fine line between genius and insanity, the clichéd old adage reminds us – and Hideo Kojima straddles that line. I’m not entirely certain which side he’s leaning most towards. His narratives are often a convoluted, jumbled cacophony, backed up by ground-breaking, revolutionary gameplay. His latest release, Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes continues to confound.

Firstly, we’ll address the rather large elephant in the room, though it’s easy to miss because it’s hidden under an even larger cardboard box. Yes, you could easily make your way through Ground Zeroes’ main mission in two hours. Terrible at stealth as I am, it was just over 120 minutes from the time I put the disc in to watching the credits roll. It’s really just one mission with many cut scences.

That main mission, the eponymous Ground Zeroes, takes place in the mid 1970’s, a short while after the events of Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker. It follows sneaky espionage master Naked Snake, or Big Boss if you prefer as he makes his way through a US naval base prison buried in the Cuban mountainside as he sets out to free double agent Paz Ortega Andrade and her foiled rescuer Chico from their respective prison cells.

The entirety of the game (or prologue) takes place within that prison, Camp Omega, offering a large, more open ended world for our stealthy hero to sneak about, and it’s a change that works exceptionally well for the Metal Gear series. From the onset, the entirety of the camp is available for you to prowl through under cover of the darkness. beyond the greater scope, gameplay is very much the sort of thing you’d expect from Metal Gear – though there are now so many different ways of tackling the same mission. With a wealth of different paths and options, this is where Ground Zeroes’ value lies. MGS fans will be delighted to replay the mission using different tactics, points of entry and weaponry in pursuit of the ever elusive “S” ranking.

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