Assess Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes By Its Content, Not Its Completion Time

In the past few days, the Internet has been ablaze with debate over an article in the recent Game Informer magazine that stated two of their staff members had managed to beat Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes in less than two hours. The overwhelming sentiment is that the length of the game is too short and not worth the price being asked. I can’t help but disagree.

There is an assortment of reasons why I reject the notion that the length of the game automatically makes it worth less than Konami is asking for it. First and foremost for me is the fact that the time they put into beating the game is not equal to the amount of time someone might put into the game over its lifetime.  Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes is set in an open environment with the player being tasked with rescuing 2 prisoners from within the camp. While it may have taken the staff members of Game Informer less than 2 hours to complete this task, there was still more to do in the game. In addition to the two primary prisoners that you must rescue, there are other prisoners in the compound that can be rescued, which will provide content for the player. There are also several different ways to approach the task of rescuing the prisoners, which provides a great deal of replay value to the game. Hideo Kojima also stated on Twitter this week that there are five extra missions that can be played to provide the player with different experiences beyond the core game. All of that considered, the core game may be short, but there is plenty of content to the game and different ways to approach it, which provide the game with more value than what people are seeing in the completion time.

Metal Gear Solid Ground Zeroes

While we’re evaluating how much time one might be able to put into this game, it is also wise to look at the price that is being asked for it. In the case of Metal Gear solid V: Ground Zeroes, Konami has set the price range at $20-$40. This means that the game at the lower end, with the downloadable version for Playstation 3 and Xbox 360, will be on par with similar sized games. Konami is also placing a $10 premium on the physical copy of the game, which makes sense considering the added packaging, shipping and retail mark up costs. So these versions are very comparable to similar sized games of the previous generation.

The only questionable move I see is placing an additional $10 premium on the current generation versions, causing them to be $30 for the downloadable version for Xbox One and Playstation 4, and $40 for the physical version. However, it hasn’t been a secret that the current gen consoles have been the main focus for Kojima and his staff. With the extra effort put toward these versions, it is disappointing, but not surprising to see them ask for more. Regardless, options are available that can provide a smaller price to those who feel the game does not provide enough content for a $40 purchase.


The choice of whether Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes is right for you comes down to the value you place upon the entirety of the experience, not just the time that it may take for a single play through. For myself, I see a lot of value in the game in terms of the many different approaches that are possible. I can fully see myself having competitions with friends to see who can complete the game the fastest, who can score the most kills in a single play through, or who can complete the game without triggering an alert. Combine that with what appears to be an interesting story, and I see the game as being worth the price.

I am also aware that there are many out there who, even after assessing the game in its entirety, will still decide it is not worth the price, and that is fine too. Games should be assessed by the entirety of their content, not just the amount of time they consume. To me, that was the sentiment being expressed by the Kojima Productions designer, Jordan Amaro earlier this week. If you find yourself in this scenario, then wait for a price drop or rent the game.  In the end it is up to you to take the action that is best for you as a consumer, but part of that action should be rationally evaluating all information available.

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  1. tgruver

    The way I see it is I’m only paying $5 more than Journey for roughly the same amount of time just for it being MGS, and I’m fine with that. The maximum price is always the scary one that people parade around, but going digital on last-gen can knock it down to a very affordable $20 like you point out Chris. The only concern I have is whether or not my hype will be maintained for a year plus, or whenever they can ship all of MGS V. Journey was well-valued for its experience, but it was also a stand-alone one that you got what you saw. Ground Zeroes is part of a much bigger game and I’m more skeptical as to whether or not the full package is just going to get released around the corner.

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