Are you ready for the “Metal Gear Solid V” experience—in two parts?
Konami and Kojima Productions finally clarified exactly what Hideo Kojima meant when he said “Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes” would lead into “Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain” by officially announcing that “Ground Zeroes” will be its own standalone game and release in spring of 2014. This is a bit of a change from earlier this year, when “The Phantom Pain” seemed to be the title we’d be seeing next and “Ground Zeroes” would be… well, we’re not quite sure what we thought it would be. “The Phantom Pain” was even shown off as the next game in the series at E3.
Nevertheless, “Ground Zeroes” is described by Konami as bringing “all of the hallmarks of the renowned franchise in a concentrated story mode that guides players into the new gameplay mechanics against the backdrop of the expansive Metal Gear Solid universe.”
It also showcases the Fox Engine, and apparently that changes up the gameplay enough that it necessitates the story being split into two parts. Actually, let’s just hear Kojima explain that himself.
“The advanced capabilities of the Fox Engine are allowing me to express the story of Metal Gear Solid in a new way,” Kojima said in a press release. “There will be a significant difference in what ‘Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain’ brings to the series, so we want to ease players into the new open world environment and its potential, allowing them to fully benefit from all that the new game offers. As such, ‘Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes’ has been designed to introduce key elements, while setting up the events of ‘Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain.'”
In other words, you’re not ready for “The Phantom Pain” just yet. But you will be after “Ground Zeroes.”
Now for the best part: you won’t have to pay for two full price games. “Ground Zeroes” is coming next spring to PS3 and Xbox 360 for $29.99 or $19.99 for digital downloads, and to PS4 and Xbox One for $29.99. No word yet on “The Phantom Pain.” Cynicism demands thinking it will be a full, regularly priced game, but we can always hope.