Original Post: 3.19.14
My Two Pennies on Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes Gameplay Length
There has always been a debate amongst gamers regarding the length of games. Most reviews today won’t give a approx. length of time it takes to complete a game. I’ve noticed this trend since around 2007. Now that games are more expensive, gamers really want to know if they are getting their money worth. Not to mention that DLC practices also adds to the price of games. The latest game from Hideo Kojima’s team, Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes, has sparked up a widely discussed debate on several websites. Konami was aware of this problem and adjusted the prices prior to the release of Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes. This is my two pennies on this issue.
Replayability is not a word, but Replay Value are two words that means a lot
A lot of gamers tend to forget that hours spent playing games doesn’t always revolve around the main game. A few prime examples would be Battlefield, Call of Duty, Rainbow Six and GTA. I logged a ton of hours into Battlefield: Bad Company 2 and 95% of those hours came from the online multiplayer. A lot of games can be completed rather quickly, but the side missions and other features keep the game alive. Now that MGS: Ground Zeroes main mission has been proven to only being a 10 to 15 minute feature, this has gotten a lot of gamers into heated discussions. I’m speaking actual gameplay, not tutorials and lengthy cutscenes.
Some gamers have also come out to say that the some of side missions can be completed very quickly. I understand that many games can be completed rather quickly, but I’m hoping that MGS: Ground Zeroes won’t start a unsettling trend. We all know how these types of cash cow trends start. All you need is a popular game, fanboys & fangirls across the globe and the game to sell successfully. That’s it! As we’ve seen with other major titles, the fanboys\fangirls will defend a game and the purchase and you’ll never be able to change their mind on the situation. Other companies will notice this trend and attempt to emulate it which will eventually lead to practices similar to DLC and DRM. I have yet to post my blog regarding my thoughts on DLC and DRM, but I will tackle those separately in a future blog post.
Kojima said “jump”, fanboys replied “how high”
Although I’m a huge Metal Gear fan and have been for more than 17 years, I don’t agree with what Kojima and Konami has done. Konami’s sprint to adjust the prices tells it all. The game started to get a lot of negative press and something had to be done. They dropped the price by $10.00 from $39.99 for next gen consoles which is still the more expensive platform[$29.99]. The cheapest were the digital release for last gen consoles [$19.99]. I’ve been seeing gamers complete the main mission in over an hour and that is simply unacceptable. Other are claiming less than a hour. Kojima explained that this prequel was about the gameplay and not the “clear time”. I think of MGS: Ground Zeroes no more than I think of Day 1 DLC. It is just as bad as Day 1 DLC. Adding side missions, a Time Trails and a Leaderboard is simply not enough to justify the price point.
However, the game should still be reviewed on more than just the length. I’m sure a lot of time and money has been put into the game. However, length does play a part in any game reviewed. If any game can get away with something like this, it would definitely be Kojima’s Metal Gear Franchise. It’s going to be hard to justify spending $29.99 + tax on a game you can complete in just over an hour or in less than a hour. $19.99 is a bit high as well. The additional side missions will not be enough. A lot of people are buying the game for the core\main portion of the game which happens to be a prequel full of cutscenes. This prequel appears to simply be a infiltrate and extract mission with a tutorial, some exploring, a stealth and plenty of cutscenes.
While some fans and gamers have labeled of Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes a “glorified demo”. Others have concluded that of MGS V: Ground Zeroes is worth the money, perhaps even more, and that this game is a great prequel. I personally feel Kojima should have offered gamers more gameplay time for the core mission of the game. The game in its current state does appear to be a glorified demo. The only thing that is stopping this game from being a demo is the additional side ops missions, well that and the price point. Konami also added bonuses that can be transferred over to Phantom Pain to help soothe some of the frustrations.
A cornered fox is more dangerous than a jackal!
My concerns are that other companies could attempt to follow this strategy. Instead of releasing the game all at once or simply releasing a demo, why not add some limited DLC, things that can be carried over to the main game, add a few side missions and make it a prequel. There you have it, a game ready to be released. I really hope a ton of gamers accept this practice. I also understand that Kojima Productions\Konami is a business and they need to keep MGS in the spotlight while The Phantom Pain is in development. I still feel that Konami should’ve added a bit more for the fans.
Everyone is entitled to their own opinions so I expect people to respect my opinion as I respect theirs, but the people who constantly talks about how Mario can be completed in 5 minutes needs to just stop. We aren’t comparing a game that released in 1985-86 to a game that just released on March 18th, 2014. Games were modeled different and were extremely limited back then from a hardware perspective. Even if you are comparing the speed runs it’s still not a good comparison. It just appears that people need to find different ways to justify their purchase and this practice. If MGS V: GZ relatively short main game was worth the purchase then that's fine for you, but not every gamer will feel the same. MGS V: Ground Zeroes is scoring very well from the big gaming websites. We will see how well Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes sales and how well it is perceived by the majority of gamers.
Feel free to post your opinions below.
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