Metal Gear Solid 5: Ground Zeroes

Ground Zeroes sees MGS casting away so many of its cinematic pretensions and falling in love with being a video game all over again.

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Watch the first Metal Gear Survive gameplay

Watch the first Metal Gear Survive gameplay

"It's like a nightmare that you can't wake up from!"

Konami revealed the first gameplay footage of Metal Gear Survive today at Tokyo Game Show.

As you can see in the following footage, this four-player co-op spin-off looks a lot like Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain. The graphics and setting appear almost identical, only now there's co-op and zombies.

There's still a fair bit of stealth though as players can slither through the grass and use fulton balloons on wildlife to bait the undead. Sometimes things get more action-focused, such as a section where the players set up a beacon and have to defend it from an onslaught of zombies.

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Last month the Metal Gear Solid fan remake, Shadow Moses Project, was unceremoniously shut down, ostensibly due to legal pressure from Konami. But now the folks behind that, the Fan Legacy Team, have started a new MGS-related project with another person spurned by Konami: the original Solid Snake voice actor David Hayter.

Escape From New York IP-holder wanted to sue Metal Gear Solid

John Carpenter said not to, because Kojima is "a nice guy".

It's no secret that Metal Gear Solid creator Hideo Kojima is a fan of John Carpenter's 1981 Kurt Russell vehicle Escape From New York. I mean, the main character in his beloved stealth series is even named after New York's gruff anti-hero and they even share the same mullet, eyepatch, five o'clock shadow and gruff voice. There's yet another reference to Kurt Russell's character in Metal Gear Solid 2 wherein Snake goes by the alias "Iroquois Plissken". The similarities were so close that the company who owns the rights to the film, CanalPlus, wanted to sue Kojima over it.

Metal Gear stylin': Konami is launching an MGS clothing line

UPDATE 08/05/2015: Konami has unveiled its Metal Gear Solid 1984 collection of clothes via the Insert Coin website.

There are a raft of 22 T-shirts and 40 jumpers and other bits and bobs based on the Metal Gear Solid franchise and, specifically, the upcoming Metal Gear Solid 5. There's a lot of Shadow Moses, Foxhound and Snake gubbins going. The 55 Diamond Dogs 84 jacket, right, looks nice.

Here's a gallery of images. Tempted?

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Face-Off: Metal Gear Solid 5: Ground Zeroes on PC

Digital FoundryFace-Off: Metal Gear Solid 5: Ground Zeroes on PC

A sublime and adaptive PC port from Kojima Productions.

Nine extra months in development, the PC's first Fox Engine title vindicates the wait with visual upgrades over the well-received PS4 and Xbox One versions. There are plenty of added features on paper, from its improved lighting via an increase in deferred lights per scene, enhanced level of detail (LOD) settings, and even higher grade effects and shadows. But to what extent is its 'extra high' preset different to the current-gen releases - and what kind of graphics hardware does it take to run?

With almost every cinematic rendered in-engine, it's no surprise that Ground Zeroes weighs in with a lean 3GB download. Thanks to its laser focus on a single environment, Kojima Productions also manages to achieve an incredible level of polish here, and in line with the console experience there are no glitches, lockups, or untoward stutters during our testing. As a bedrock for what will come in The Phantom Pain, our first impression is one of a very smooth, graceful transition to PC, backed by a bevy of settings for effects, post-processing tricks, textures, screen space ambient occlusion, and lighting.

On the surface, the range of options here feels complete, perhaps barring the absence of a field of view slider. However, it's only through trial and error that the impact of each setting becomes truly apparent - with some curious trade-offs at the highest presets that may not suit everyone. With no .ini file in the Steam directory to tinker at a more granular level, this leaves us at the developer's mercy when it comes to the suggested bars for quality.

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Metal Gear Solid 5: Ground Zeroes gets a Steam release date

Metal Gear Solid 5: Ground Zeroes is coming to PC via Steam on 18th December, Konami has announced.

The publisher confirmed it will be 4K compatible, so its improved resolution will produce fancy effects like a greater number of light sources.

"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," wrote Martin Robinson in his MGS5: Ground Zeroes review. "As a precursor to Phantom Pain, it suggests that greatness awaits, but even on its own terms Ground Zeroes is something special."

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MGS5: Ground Zeroes sales triple on PS4 over Xbox One

MGS5: Ground Zeroes sales triple on PS4 over Xbox One

And I always thought Snake was so fond of boxes.

Metal Gear Solid 5: Ground Zeroes sold three times as many copies on PS4 than it did on Xbox One, Konami has revealed.

While it didn't go into exact sales figures, Konami's latest financial report noted that its software sales for the quarter ending on 30th June consisted of 12 per cent PS4 software, whereas Xbox One software only made up four per cent. Look closely, however, and you'll see that Ground Zeroes is Konami's only game on these platforms, so it's clear what this is referring to.

Of course, Ground Zeroes launched in mid-March, a couple of weeks before the last quarter ended. Looking at this launch window, Ground Zeroes on PS4 made up eight per cent of Konami's software sales for the year ending 31st March 2014, whereas its Xbox One counterpart made up three per cent of such sales.

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Platform exclusive MGS5: Ground Zeroes content to be made available to all

UPDATE: The platform exclusive content for Metal Gear Solid 5: Ground Zeroes will be made available to all players for free on 1st May, Konami has announced.

That's for PS3, PS4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One.

ORIGINAL STORY 25/04/2014: The platform exclusive content for Metal Gear Solid 5: Ground Zeroes will be made available to all players soon for free, Konami has announced.

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You can keep your refined combat systems, your open-world nonsense and your Kiefer Sutherland - here's to the time when Metal Gear Solid was all just fields. Well, air ducts and exclamation marks.

Face-Off: Metal Gear Solid 5: Ground Zeroes

Digital FoundryFace-Off: Metal Gear Solid 5: Ground Zeroes

A quad-format comparison of the Fox Engine in action.

Transparent as ever, Hideo Kojima's misgivings with Metal Gear Solid 4 proved largely technical in nature, with the scale of its levels and animation blending apparently falling short of his ambitions. Almost six years on, and we have an open-world slice of Metal Gear Solid 5 that seeks to address this - ambitiously hitting not one, but four platforms at once. Helpfully, the 60fps advantage on PS4 and Xbox One has been revealed far in advance by the studio, while Kojima himself declares the PS4 version as being closest to the photo-realistic bar his team is aiming for, thanks to its full 1080p presentation. But is resolution the only benefit in buying Ground Zeroes on Sony's latest platform - and what of the older console releases?

One of the perks of the PS4 version, as revealed earlier via a tweet, is atmospheric simulation - a real-time approach to rendering skies in the Ground Zeroes mission. This allows clouds to move dynamically and impact the sun's lighting, where by contrast the Xbox One release joins PS3 and 360 with purely static skyboxes. It's a difference that only becomes apparent during side-ops missions, where the military base is accessible in broad daylight. Though curiously, the skybox is reinstated during certain set-pieces on PS4 - making this a subtle advantage if you know when and where to look.

The resolution details stand as the most dramatic difference though, with Konami happily making public the specifics of each version ahead of release. From our pixel counts, we can confirm that the PS4 does indeed push out a 1920x1080 framebuffer as promised, while on Xbox One we have just a 1280x720 window with which to work. For a game that embarks on a crusade for open-world stealth action, the lower resolution on Microsoft's platform does affect visibility when lining up long-range shots - just as it does across Battlefield 4's sandbox areas.

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Ground Zeroes shows open worlds how to be open

By getting back to Mother Basics.

By the basic measures that the phrase 'open world' suggests are most important, the battle between the competing playgrounds of inFamous: Second Son and Metal Gear Solid 5: Ground Zeroes ought to be no contest. In one camp we have the entirety of Seattle, recreated so that you can pilot yourself superheroically around it, while the other is literally just a camp - a few tents and admin buildings scattered around on a rock in the sea.

VideoMetal Gear Solid 5: Ground Zeroes live stream today

Watch us play (and complete!) the game live from 5pm GMT.

Metal Gear Solid 5: Ground Zeroes is due out in Europe later this week and our glowing review went live this morning, arguing that while it's only a small game, it's wonderfully formed. But perhaps you want to see more of it for yourself? If you do, be sure to check out Ian Higton's live stream today from 5pm GMT.

Metal Gear Solid 5: Ground Zeroes review

By the time of Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots, Kojima Productions' series - often thrilling, sometimes tiring but never anything less than fascinating - had twisted itself into a dead end. In the creaking fatigue of the ageing Snake, a battle-weary individualist at odds with wars fought by faceless corporations and their automatons, it was hard not to see some of creator Hideo Kojima himself; a man with a singular vision lost in the broad, mundane chaos of contemporary games development, slowly tiring of the very thing that had forged his own legend.

Peace Walker, the PSP entry that followed some two years later, stripped back the excess, partly through necessity upon finding itself on a portable platform, partly to inject new life into the series. Those excisions helped remind players that, for all the narrative bloat that had blighted Guns of the Patriots, beyond the cut-scenes and heavy-handed exposition Metal Gear Solid remained a video game - and an often exceptional one at that.

Ground Zeroes, a sequel of sorts to Peace Walker and a prologue to the full-fat Metal Gear Solid 5: Phantom Pain, goes even further. It's a short, concentrated burst of the newly introduced open-world gameplay systems, and it suggests that Metal Gear Solid 5, across its two instalments, could be the most significant evolution in the series since it gained its Solid suffix. There are questions about how short exactly the experience is, and how that sits with Ground Zeroes' not insignificant price tag - but forget all that. Like the Ennio Morricone and Joan Baez anthem Ground Zeroes heavily leans on, it's a punchy, proud and stirring experience. You can't put a price on class like this.

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Video: Metal Gear Solid 5: Ground Zeroes preview

VideoVideo: Metal Gear Solid 5: Ground Zeroes preview

See Snake's shiny bottom in motion, plus more all-new gameplay.

Cripes, to think we're only a week away from the release of an all-new Metal Gear. Except, perhaps, we're not - there's still some debate about whether Metal Gear Solid 5: Ground Zeroes is a fully-fledged game, or a very expensive demo for the more fully-featured Phantom Pain. Either way it's worth playing, if Jeffrey's impressions from last week are anything to go by. There'll be a full review up early next week.

Whatever you think about its length and amount of content, Ground Zeroes certainly looks - and plays - the part. You can have a closer look at it in action courtesy of Ian's preview video, which features Snake in all his slightly damp, slithering glory.

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War has changed. But has Hideo Kojima?

Let the legend come back to life.

The Metal Gear series is 25 while its creator, Hideo Kojima, is now 50. Spending half of your life devoted to a single series takes commitment, and indeed Kojima has frequently expressed a desire over the past decade to part with the franchise that made his name. And yet, he keeps coming back. Again and again. After a while, you have to ask why.

MGS: Ground Zeroes can be completed in under two hours

UPDATE: Kojima responds, says "clear time" doesn't indicate "play time."

UPDATE 06/02/2014 2.20AM: Metal Gear Solid creator Hideo Kojima has responded to GameInformer's report that Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes is less than two hours long. The enigmatic developer took to Twitter to explain that Ground Zeroes' non-linear design means it contains a lot more depth than its more structured forebears and simply making a beeline for the credits is missing much of what makes Ground Zeroes special.

Eurogamer readers' most anticipated games of 2014

Your top 10 choices for the year ahead.

We've had our say already, and typically we were probably well wide of the mark, so it's now your turn to let us know what games you're looking forward to over the next 12 months. Thanks to all who voted (but no thanks to whoever suggested Pong, and to the handful of people who put forward Half-Life 3, well... I'm sorry). The top 10 are presented in reverse order below - and it was incredibly tight out at the front, with the top result beating out the runner-up by only a couple of votes. We've also included some of your comments, although since the submission form was anonymous we can't say exactly who made which point. Sorry about that - if you feel particularly proprietorial about one of your insights that we've highlighted, tell the world in the comments. Onward!

Developers' Most Anticipated Games of 2014

Titanfall! Destiny! The Witcher 3! The Last Guardian (hopefully)!

2014 is upon us, and it promises riches and glory unlike any year before it. With their launches under their belts, the next generation of consoles will, hopefully, show us what they're made of. Virtual reality headsets may make their mark on the mainstream. And with a raft of crowdfunded games due out over the next 12 months, 2014 should tell us whether all that money we pumped into promising projects on Kickstarter was worth it.

Xbox Metal Gear Solid 5: Ground Zeroes has exclusive Raiden mission

Xbox Metal Gear Solid 5: Ground Zeroes has exclusive Raiden mission

UPDATE: UK release date and pricing confirmed.

UPDATE: Metal Gear Solid 5: Ground Zeroes launches in Europe on 20th March 2014, Konami has announced.

The prequel to Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain will be sold in shops on current generation systems for 29.99 or as a download for 19.99. Digital versions for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One cost 29.99.

ORIGINAL STORY: The PlayStation versions of Metal Gear Solid 5: Ground Zeroes have exclusive content. Now, so do the Xbox versions.

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Metal Gear Solid 5: Ground Zeroes teases "exclusive Xbox content"

Metal Gear Solid 5: Ground Zeroes teases "exclusive Xbox content"

Hopefully it's more than a skin from 1998.

Metal Gear Solid 5: Ground Zeroes is set to have "exclusive Xbox content," according to a new trailer for the Xbox One.

It's unclear what this new content will entail or if it's for both the Xbox 360 and Xbox One, or just the Xbox One. We've requested comment on this from Microsoft and are currently awaiting reply.

Chances are it won't be anything too substantial, give that the game's tease for a PlayStation-exclusive ended up being the "Deja Vu Mission" in which you can play as a lo-fi version of Solid Snake based on his avatar from the original PlayStation One Metal Gear Solid. Any guesses what the Microsoft equivalent of this will be? Perhaps a Raiden skin based on his MGS2 appearance?

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Metal Gear Solid 5: Ground Zeroes announces PlayStation-exclusive "Deja Vu Mission"

Metal Gear Solid creator Hideo Kojima announced the PlayStation-exclusive "Deja Vu Mission" for Metal Gear Solid 5: Ground Zeroes at Sony's PS4 launch event.

This PlayStation-exclusive bonus allows players to play as Classic Snake, a lo-fi avatar of Solid Snake based on his appearance in the first MGS from 1998. That game's DARPA chief, Donald Anderson, is also briefly shown in a similarly low-polygon model.

Metal Gear Solid 5: Ground Zeroes is due next spring on PS4, PS3, Xbox One and Xbox 360.

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Kojima inadvertently teases PlayStation-exclusive content for MGS: Ground Zeroes

Metal Gear Solid creator Hideo Kojima has inadvertently teased PlayStation-exclusive content for Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes, the prologue to MGS5: The Phantom Pain.

In Kojima's tweet of the game's poster one can barely make out a plaque in the corner detailing some of the prologue's selling points (larger version available here, via NeoGAF). These include: "Multiple missions with central story and side-ops missions," that the game "takes place in 1975 after Peacewalker and nine years before The Phantom Pain," and most excitingly, it contains "exclusive content for PlayStation platform."

Unfortunately there's no telling exactly what this content will be. We've requested comment from Konami, but given how this info came out, we're not holding our breath on much clarification. Last time a multi-platform MGS game received PlayStation-exclusive content, it involved Snake hunting the Ape Escape simians in a separate challenge mode in Metal Gear Solid 3 - granted that game was exclusive to PS2 when it launched. It was only the later 3DS version of the game that added Yoshi toys to the campaign.

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