This 2023 marks the nine years since the release of Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes, a 2014 game by Hideo Kojima that caused a lot of controversy and negative reviews. Curiously, the complaints received were not related to the quality of the product or the story, but to the duration, since this game is barely enough to be completed in of the hourssomething that would not be important if it were not for the launch price of 30 dollars, something that bothered the fans of the saga at that time.
Kojima took advantage of the anniversary to go out and defend the creative decisions that led to the release of such a short game, making one point clear from the first instance: It was intended to be an experiment. The creator of Metal Gear Solid explains that Ground Zeroes was a first project to create a story in an episodic format, as was the case with other stories at the time, but over time the idea was discarded, leaving only a great next release, The Phantom Pain, which lasts almost a hundred hours and that at its launch it had a value of 60 dollars, double the price for 98 more hours of history.
“9 years since its release! Ground Zeroes was originally planned as a prologue to Metal Gear Solid V, a major introduction to Snake’s (the player’s) revenge in the main story, and the theme of revenge // Since PS4 had been released in late 2013, it was released to test the PS4 x Fox Engine x Open World and as a way to introduce the new Metal Gear and get feedback for the full game. // It was my doing to cast Ground Zeroes. The development of a game lasts between 4 and 5 years. Times change during production. So I thought about an episodic format, like a series, where each episode is produced and distributed. It was intended to be an experiment,” Hideo Kojima mentions in his Twitter thread.
These changes leave Ground Zeroes as the brief predecessor that serves as a prologue that provides context for what is being told in the story of The Phantom Pain and why Snake is seeking revenge. Unfortunately, this was Kojima’s last work at Konami before the company decided to break relations with the Japanese director, a decision that would end in the creation of Kojima Productions, where Death Stranding was born, and the cancellation of Silent Hills, a project that would have involved to Guillermo del Torobut that will no longer see the light.
What would the Metal Gear Solid V story have been like if it was finally told in episodes? Would this story have a final episode that would satisfy all the fans? Could an episodic story save Hideo Kojima and Konami’s relationship? Unfortunately, these questions will not have an answer at this point and all that remains is to enjoy the published games that currently cost much less: on Steam, Ground Zeroes costs less than 10,000 Chilean pesos and The Phantom Pain costs 23,000 pesos, without considering that the pack of all the content is 25 thousand pesos, perfect to enjoy hours of history and fun.
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