Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes Is Short. Really Short.

Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes Is Short. Really Short.

The prologue to Metal Gear Solid V comes out next month, and if you’re expecting a nice chunk of Snake’s story to keep you occupied until the full game is done, you should probably know that it’s short. Really short.

Game Informer got their hands on a near-final build of Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes for their March cover story, and they say they beat the game’s main mission (not including side quests or special console-exclusive missions) in less than two hours. Less than two hours!

“Judged just by the core story mission, Ground Zeroes is short,” Game Informer writes in the cover story (only available in the magazine, not online). “We completed it in just less than two hours.”

(For the full preview, check out this month’s Game Informer.)

Ground Zeroes is out on March 18 for Xbox 360, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, and PlayStation 4. It’s designed as a prologue to MGSV — because Hideo Kojima wanted to give people something to play while they wait for the next entry in his stealth-action series — but it isn’t cheap: the last-gen version is $US20 digital and $US30 physical; the current-gen version is $US30 digital and $US40 physical.

Of course, it’s unfair to get judgmental before we actually get our hands on this thing; this could be the best damn two hours of gameplay we’ve ever seen. Stellar experiences like Journey and Gone Home are also really short. But I imagine most people expected a little more from a big-budget production like Ground Zeroes.


  • It’s interesting that they claim it wouldn’t be right to ship with 5 because it sets the scene etc. Well what about Sons of Liberty? The initial cargo ship mission as Snake could also be done in that time but back then it was unthinkable to charge a premium for what can be included at no cost.

  • but it isn’t cheap: the last-gen version is $US20 digital and $US30 physical; the current-gen version is $US30 digital and $US40 physical.

    Obviously these are the US prices, for a physical copy on last gen is $50 and on current gen $90 at EB.

    Even at Ozgameshop last gen is $43 and current gen $53.

    For a game that takes less than two hours to finish the main story, that’s ridiculous.

    Think I’ll wait till it hits the $10-$20 bin.

    • Even then though…. You know at 2hrs in length actual gameplay will be about 32 seconds

    • I suspect you won’t have to wait long. No-one is going to buy a two hour game for $50

  • Wow, that’s harsh!

    Can anyone remember what Dead Rising 2: Case Zero was on Xbox Live when it came out?
    That took about that long but I don’t think it was more than a few bucks.

    Sucks for them, too. I haven’t really enjoyed a Metal Gear game since Solid on the PS1 (yes I know that makes me weird) but I would have given the prologue a chance at a cheaper cost. Now not only will I not get to play what is essentially a demo but I might even feel like I’ve missed a chunk of the story and be even less interested in buying MGS V.

        • So true, one of those games where after you finish the final fight, you sit there in awe of how incredible the whole experience was…

          And then you play MGS4 and realise how shallow THAT game was in comparison.

          • I only ever played Snake Eater on the 3DS and thought the controls were unbearable, even with the circle-pad pro.
            That’s not to say it’s not great though, it’s just not well suited to a handheld.

            I really didn’t like the MGS 2 though on any format, and didn’t really give the series another shot after that until the 3DS came out.

            This was their big chance to get me back on board, and at that price they’ve blown it.

          • That’s not to say it’s not great though, it’s just not well suited to a handheld

            Agree with you on that point. Snake Eater on PS2 is one of my all time favourites, but I just couldn’t get into it on Vita. Controls too fiddly, screen too small.

          • I did like the automatic camo in MGS 4 🙂
            And I was a fan of Drebin and his monkey, but yeah that’s about all.
            Looked nice too I guess.
            But I agree Snake Eater blew it out of the water in just about every other facet, especially the music. I can’t recall a single track from MGS4, but that Snake Eater theme song is in my head forever, especially while it was playing while climbing the long ladder out of the sewer / drainage area.

          • MGS4 had some great parts, Octocamo was great, yeah the monkey was funny and some of the action was ok. But it just felt too over-produced to me. The mindnumbingly long cutscenes were just tedious in the end. A cutscene with a savepoint for instance is just a hilarious concept to me lol. I never got bored once with SnakeEaters cutscenes though, loved every one. And yeah the music from SnakeEater was fantastic. On the 3DS it’s not so good. Chase it down for 360 or PS3, it’s definitely worth the replay.

          • I found the end fight in MGS4 against liquid tobe bbrilliant. They just kept fighting on in a massive beatdown to all the previous metal gear themes.
            The ending was emotional for me as much as the tragic end was in MGS3.

          • That was particularly cool that bit. Like most people, it was pretty much the excessive cutscenes that ruined the experience for me. Hope they’ve learnt for part 5…

    • Case Zero was 400 MSP (~$6).

      Hmm, Kotaku doesn’t seem to accept tilde as a character…

    • I bought Case Zero for full price for 400pts ($5) but back then was about $7 due to the conversion.

      It takes 3 hours though you’d have to play through multiple times to get the best ending.

  • Always knew it would be a glorified tech demo, but still getting cause it’s MGS and getting the achievements will keep me playing longer

  • Maybe it’s only 2 hours of gameplay… but another 15 hours of cutscenes?

    That’d be about standard for a Metal Gear game.

  • I don’t understand the confusion, the article says “We had four hours of exclusive hands-on time with Ground Zeroes, which we used to play through the main mission and experiment with extra modes.”

    It doesn’t say that they finished the main mission just that they used the time to play through it and there is no mention of two hours its four. It could be a fully fledged game thats very long but as all writers they’re keeping it ambiguous so that we keep guessing and as usual the internet fires up its cannons at the first hint of being ripped off.

  • Not even the bad news. Apparently, the article also states the tester dudes at Konami did a speedrun of the game and clocked up a whole 5 minutes. Five. Dismiss as rumour until people get their hands on the issue, if only because this would be really shitty if true.

    • Wait 5 minutes to finish the game…….I don’t want to believe that even if it ends up being true because that’s just bullshit. At this point though I don’t think I can justify forking out the cash for a 2 hour game even if it is MGS, there is just too much other stuff coming out around the same time.

    • It’s the prologue of the game. You can speedrun the Virtuous Mission. MGS3’s prologue, in similar time.

  • I’ll wait for the inevitable Ground Zeros/Phantom Pain bundle…which will probably just be MGSV (ie they’ll bundle it in the vanilla MGSV)

  • I guess it sounds like this is an interactive Movie of somesorts some people pay up to $50 bucks for new release movies so why not this?

  • Buy from EB (price match JB or someone), return it in 7 days, if you like it, preorder Phantom Pain. What’s the issue?

  • Hmm, 2 hrs? I was hoping for more, so much more…

    Being an mgs nut though, i will have to still get it. My guess is it can be replayed in various ways.

  • I’m so for this. I hope in the near future we can have more games with AAA production values that are ~2 hours. I simply don’t understand valuing experiences with a ‘dollars per minute’ mentality. A shorter duration can cut padding, force better storytelling and give more weight to each moment as it justifies being there. Shorter length also reduces risk for developers meaning there is potential for them to try more interesting ideas 🙂

  • This is disappointing. I always thought that Ground Zeroes would be a separate prologue level built within the Phantom Pain’s main game and therefore you’d always purchase them together as a whole.

  • Wait, wasn’t this going to be the giant open world mgs game with hundreds of hours of gameplay etc etc etc? :\

  • The Aussie retail prices have been adjusted. $65 at JB and $70 at EB for PS4/Xbone. Still too expensive for a 2-hour campaign though.

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