Tales From The Backlog – Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes

mgsvgzHaving not played a Metal Gear game since the original NES game, playing Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes was like returning to a place you have never been.

Little memories, almost none, remain of the original game for me now. Hours on end of it were played but most of it has been lost and forgotten as with so many other games. The end was only seen when my brother finished the game and I decided, having seen the ending, there was no more reason to play. Playing MGSV:GZ was at the very least an interesting and welcome departure from the type of games that I normally play.

“Game Style You Suck At”

The subtitle “Tactical Espionage Operations” may as well as read “Game Style You Suck At”. When this game was first released, I remember the bemoanings on the Internet of how at two hours long, the game was too short and therefore was a failure. From my point of view, $20 is still a nice price point for this game. Since I lack the familiarity and understanding or the game’s past, I went into it blind and struggled. Granted, I did get to high levels of frustration trying to sneak around in the game and failing miserably. Even with all my faults and flubs, I still found this to be a worthy title. To give you some perspective, I played the game for almost fours hours and have not even touched the side quests.

The most striking part of the game is not the gameplay, it is the presentation. It began, for me at least, with being able to read some of the background story of the Metal Gear saga leading up to this game. There were even audio files to listen to that added even more to the storyboard. There was a moment of frustration as the opening cinematic dragged on and I nearly reached a point of anger that I still did not yet have the controls but as I slipped into what was being played out, that feeling passed and I almost relented into sadness when the opening was over.

“Dude…that was a weird game”

Few games try blend movie styled story and cinematics, with even fewer being successful, but this game seems to do it in grand style. To say that the cutscenes were breathtaking feels like an understatement. As the scenes rolled by, I could not help but feel that I was watching an anime film. The camera cuts, fast action, and overall style made it look and feel like all the cartoonishness of an anime film was striped out and replaced with fully blown Hollywood effects.

As much as I enjoyed this game, I’m not sure that it sold me on purchasing The Phantom Pain upon its release. Given that I do not  care for and struggle with the stealth game play, I’m not sure I want more of it. Perhaps my best option is to just watch everything on YouTube so that I can enjoy the story and cutscenes without subjecting myself to the torture and frustration. My overall enjoyment of the game is set against my lasting impression and what I said to myself as the credits rolled – “Dude…that was a weird game”.

I kicked myself for not buying this game for $8 when it went on sale so I purchased the game only to have it announced as a PS+ freebie. If you have PS+, you need to play this game.

Bio Card Paul

Paul Novak is a self described Polish ninja toiling away as an IT professional but more into gaming and writing. Physically existing in the west side of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania yet existentially flowing with the ether of the Internet. Found here at What’s Your Tag? and on the Twitter @dudewantshisrug. Game on with Team XBRO!


  1. The original Metal Gear Solid was so difficult I had to print out a 60 page guide from GameFAQs lol.I just did a retrospective review of this game if it interests you!

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