Metal Gear Solid V prequel Ground Zeroes is getting closer to release, and up until now people still don't seem to have quite been sure what to think of it.
Reports that the game's main story is two hours long didn't help matters -- reports that Kojima swiftly followed up with a spot of damage control, noting that the "clear time" and total "play time" for Ground Zeroes would, in fact, be two vastly different figures.
Judging by early thoughts emanating from a Japanese press event -- handily collated by DualShockers -- it seems that this might not have just been spin; while it did indeed appear to be possible to beat the "main" mission in 90-120 minutes, most seemed very keen to jump right back in and explore the game further, either through a replay of the main mission or delving into the "side" content.
Perhaps most interesting was a tweet from Sam Smith, staff writer for the UK's Play Magazine. As part of the limited impressions he was allowed to tweet from the event, Smith noted that after "finishing" the game -- which took him 90 minutes -- his completion percentage was at just 9%. "I think that tells you all you need to know," he said.
Smith also noted that the game had taken a step back from the series' notoriously cutscene-heavy nature. Instead, much of the exposition, it seems, is delivered through audio tapes that you can continue to listen to without pausing the game. This is seemingly just one way the game keeps things pacy and interesting, without the series' trademark long periods of putting the controller down.
Other attendees at the event specifically praised the PS4 version over the Xbox One edition, noting that it looked significantly better and ran at a smoother frame rate. Kojima himself has noted a preference for the PS4 version, so it looks as if that will be the version to get if you have the option.
Others still heaped praise on the game's solid, believable AI and the multitude of ways you could approach each situation. Full-stealth playthroughs are possible, and the controls are reportedly a lot better than those seen in Metal Gear Solid 4.
Preview events often tend to have a rather more positive tone than a final review of a finished game, so those still unconvinced by what Ground Zeroes is set to offer will probably still wish to wait for the final verdict. But the enthusiasm of those in attendance seemed genuine, so it will be interesting to see how well-received the finished product is when it finally releases on March 18.
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