It's been almost six years since Solid Snake last graced a console game, with only the PSP exclusive spin-off Peace Walker to keep fans happy - and even that was in 2010. It's fair to say that Metal Gear enthusiasts are overdue their next taste of Hideo Kojima's mercurial genius, and it arrives this week in the form of Metal Gear Soild V: Ground Zeroes.
This isn't a full game release, but rather a mid-priced prologue to the main event that will be Metal Gear Soild V: The Phantom Pain. In Ground Zeroes, you'll catch up with Snake's storyline and lay the groundwork for The Phantom Pain, all while infiltrating a military prison and exploring Kojima's new openworld game design.
"The very best thing about Ground Zeroes is how the series has cast away so many of its cinematic pretensions and fallen in love with being a video game all over again," says Eurogamer's 9/10 review. "As a precursor to Phantom Pain, it suggests that greatness awaits, but even on its own terms Ground Zeroes is something special."
Concerns over the length of Ground Zeroes are addressed by IGN, which delivers an 8/10 verdict while praising the game's replayability, which means you can still discover new things after multiple playthroughs. "Metal Gear Soild V: Ground Zeroes is a short but challenging game, and those willing to cast aside conventional expectations will find a lot more here than first glance might suggest," says the review. "Ground Zeroes represents a new, more sophisticated era for Metal Gear."
"Yes, this espionage appetiser is over sharpish," says Official PlayStation Magazine's 8/10 review. "But for the time it lasts, the Phantom Pain's prologue is better than the majority of full-length games on PS4."