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I want to hear your thoughts on the Metal Gear Ground Zeroes length controversy.


The Legendary Zoltan
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NO SPOILERS OF ANY KIND PLEASE. STORY, GAMEPLAY, OR OTHERWISE.

Metal Gear Ground Zeroes has been confirmed to be about ninety minutes for the main mission and costs thirty dollars for a physical copy. What are your thoughts on this? Do you think the side missions create valuable enough gameplay or is Kojima robbing us. Are the journalists who defend him correct or just apologists? And for those who have played it, I would love to hear about whether you thought it was worth the price and why.

Thanks everyone.

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As someone who did buy and play it, I have to say that I am not furious about the price and I am still glad it got a boxed release. It does a really good job of showing off the engine and the (VASTLY IMPROVED) mechanics in a meaningful way.

That said, 20 dollars or less would have been a more reasonable price for the one map, albeit a very open-ended one, in which the handful of missions (which are selected from a simple menu) take place. There is certainly a lot of enjoyment to be had in replay given the size and complexity of the base, the large number of weapons and gadgets, and open-ended mechanics if you're into game scenarios that openly encourage player creativity. Playing through the bulk of the content once would probably take 4 hours at most. I've probably put in about 7.

Overall, I think they could have done better in terms of content or price, but they were pretty open about it from the start and it's still nice to get a taste of the Fox Engine this early. I think a lot of the really strong negative reactions, while not unjustified, are pretty reactionary and hyperbolic.

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I bought it digitally for the 360 for £20. For what I have got out of the game (which is over 8 hours of gameplay and counting), yeah I do believe I got my money's worth. Even though DJP hasn't played it I do agree it should be cheaper and the physical copy isn't necessary. However I'd be happy if they either included some more content or provided some money off voucher for The Phantom Pain's release; considering Ground Zeroes is technically a glorified demo. The one thing I am mostly pissed about is the exclusive mission for each console, it's not necessary and having one more extra mission would have helped justify the cost a little more.

But let's look at positives. If you would have paid money for the tanker section of MGS2, you probably would for this (then again I did play the crap out of the MGS2 demo and played the tanker section way more than the Big Shell). It is incredibly fun to play, the stealth and action elements are both excellent (besides the somewhat clumsy cover system from time to time). After finishing each mission I found myself returning to Side Ops more often than the Ground Zeroes mission, a couple of them in particular are great to replay. I recently went back to Splinter Cell Blacklist to compare the game mechanics and I have to say that Ground Zeroes really feels great in comparison and has really psyched me up for The Phantom Pain. Ground Zeroes is also really about gameplay so if you've been keeping tabs on the games story from trailers and such, there isn't a great deal more to discover.

Kojima pretty much confirmed that no extra content will be planned for Ground Zeroes as it would extend the development of The Phantom Pain. Personally I would have loved a few more missions that just had some basic goals akin to the old VR missions, but I can make do for now!

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Although its length is short I'm honestly hoping the Phantom Pain is maybe 5x as long at most.

I recently had the conversation regarding video game length with a film director and I think he made some interesting points. If you think about it, it's really only in the last 5 years or so that story has really been the selling point of some major games. GTA V, Last of Us, Tomb Raider and Arkham City being notable. The problem with some "story driven" games like Zelda: Twilight Princess or many JRPGS is that because it is still more "game" than narrative, you have all this gameplay in between that makes the story seem so much longer than it really is. The longer the story seems to go on, the harder it is to keep your interest. Quite often in older games, I found myself saying "Oh, it's that guy from 15 hours ago. He did something important....I think?" The problem with a lot of story driven games is that they have so much gameplay in between all the major plot points that the "story" goes on for 40+ hours and unless you're really dedicated, you'll lose interest. With so many gaps between the perceived "goal" of the game (to advance the story) you'll probably find some other game long before you reach the story's end.

In my opinion, the game that nailed the whole story-length thing was Batman: Arkham City. It had a strong plot and it didn't take much more than 10 hours to beat. I can remember all of the main plot points quite clearly and because of a length that takes maybe a week or two to beat, I can and have played through it a couple of times now. Similarly to how I can watch a two-hour movie with a good story twice or more, I can play through a game with a good, ten hour story more than once. Plus, Batman has all kinds of open-world side missions and secrets that you can find at your leisure.

Twilight Princess, despite being a great game...I doubt I'll ever play through it again.

There was also an article on this subject a few days ago on IGN that found basically only a third of players actually finish most games story-lines.

Edited by AngelCityOutlaw
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The length really isn't the controversy. If anyone's mad about the length, it just shows that they want more, which is good, because that's going to happen in The Phantom Pain. And Kojima's said that's pretty big.

The problem is the value. There's simply not enough there to warrant the price tag. I won't even bother getting it; I got what I wanted from it simply be forking over $5 and renting it for a few days. If a game's that small, it doesn't warrant a price tag over $15 imo.

Edited by DusK
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The problem with a lot of story driven games is that they have so much gameplay in between all the major plot points that the "story" goes on for 40+ hours and unless you're really dedicated, you'll lose interest. With so many gaps between the perceived "goal" of the game (to advance the story) you'll probably find some other game long before you reach the story's end.

Interesting viewpoint. I think it nails down what, IMO, makes the later Persona games (3 & 4) so fun...they're insanely long games, but since those games' systems are on a day-to-day basis, the game not only spoonfeeds you story and gameplay in small segments, but you have a choice as to whether you want to advance sidestory or grind in dungeons, one in-game day at a time. So it stays interesting and fresh.

As for the OP...I have a viewpoint that doesn't seem to be held by many, namely that I see each game I play as a story or experience, like a book I put on a bookshelf after finishing and will eventually come back to. So length doesn't bother me that much (unless of course you have pacing problems like the aforementioned Zelda game). That said...a game that seems like a glorified demo for an upcoming game should be like $15, like lot of expansions/DLC.

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Although its length is short I'm honestly hoping the Phantom Pain is maybe 5x as long at most.

I recently had the conversation regarding video game length with a film director and I think he made some interesting points. If you think about it, it's really only in the last 5 years or so that story has really been the selling point of some major games. GTA V, Last of Us, Tomb Raider and Arkham City being notable. The problem with some "story driven" games like Zelda: Twilight Princess or many JRPGS is that because it is still more "game" than narrative, you have all this gameplay in between that makes the story seem so much longer than it really is. The longer the story seems to go on, the harder it is to keep your interest. Quite often in older games, I found myself saying "Oh, it's that guy from 15 hours ago. He did something important....I think?" The problem with a lot of story driven games is that they have so much gameplay in between all the major plot points that the "story" goes on for 40+ hours and unless you're really dedicated, you'll lose interest. With so many gaps between the perceived "goal" of the game (to advance the story) you'll probably find some other game long before you reach the story's end.

In my opinion, the game that nailed the whole story-length thing was Batman: Arkham City. It had a strong plot and it didn't take much more than 10 hours to beat. I can remember all of the main plot points quite clearly and because of a length that takes maybe a week or two to beat, I can and have played through it a couple of times now. Similarly to how I can watch a two-hour movie with a good story twice or more, I can play through a game with a good, ten hour story more than once. Plus, Batman has all kinds of open-world side missions and secrets that you can find at your leisure.

Twilight Princess, despite being a great game...I doubt I'll ever play through it again.

There was also an article on this subject a few days ago on IGN that found basically only a third of players actually finish most games story-lines.

I think that's a complex issue and I certainly wouldn't say story-driven games are anywhere near that new. Mainly I think that the length expectations for games and the apparent desire for games to be more like movies are mutually exclusive with regards to a story that really works. The problem isn't really the length, IMO, it's the length in combination with a story that attempts to be paced like a movie, but is generally (at minimum) 2-3 times longer if not much, much more.

I'm less concerned about this with MGS5, mostly because I like most of the story telling techniques Kojima has introduced here, Instead of tons of fluff that stops the game in its tracks to start being a movie for a while (not that it's been completely eliminated). Incorporating the story telling into the game-play works wonders. Collectible tapes that fill in back story, flesh out characters, etc, codec calls that don't require you to stop everything you're doing to crouch and chat for 5-10 minutes, and other meaningful techniques to telling a story like a game instead of just trying to be a movie. A lot of that involves the willingness to let players miss a lot of the content you wanted to put in there in favor of a focused core experience, which is something Kojima has been TERRIBLE at before.

Basically, I think the problem is not that you can't tell a good or well-paced story in a longer game, but rather that having "the most ludicrously big map ever" or "over 200 hours of content" or even just general expectations of 20, 40, or 60 hour games doesn't work well when you are trying to use exactly the same story-telling techniques that a 2 hour movie does.

I think Dishonored is a great recent example of this. It is entirely possible to blaze through that game in 6 hours or less, but I probably spent at least 20 on my first play-through, because there was so much optional detail there if you really cared. That's how it needs to work. Instead of using the game to pad out a movie story, make a compact core experience and then enhance it with the kinds of things game is better suited for. Overheard conversations, diary entries, lore gleaned from various books, environmental details and secrets that tell stories when you're paying attention.

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I haven't played it but here's how I feel based on what I know:

  • Should have been $15 max
  • Should have been digital only, no physical

It DOES feel like they're just using the MGS name to pick up some extra cash, to me.

as a actual mgs fan i can absolutely agree with this.

konami are cashing in on the franchise, they wanted to sell it at that price. from what i know kojima wanted to do as was listed but my sources are flimsy.

it should have been a demo put out to promote 5 at digital download at 10 bucks max.

glad my ps3 died or i would be playing it now.

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People bought Zone of The Enders, another full priced $50 game on the PS2, for a Metal Gear Solid 2 DEMO. If we translate that into 2014 money dollars, it would've been around $72 for, again, an at most 25 minute long DEMO.

as a actual mgs fan i can absolutely agree with this.

konami are cashing in on the franchise, they wanted to sell it at that price. from what i know kojima wanted to do as was listed but my sources are flimsy.

Well that sounds like a reasonable course of actio-

...glad my ps3 died or i would be playing it now.

:whatevaa:

Edited by Malaki-LEGEND.sys
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Yeah, but Zone of the Enders is a full game that takes several hours to completes. It's not JUST a demo, so if they REALLY bought it JUST for the MGS2 demo, they chose to do that. Now, if you want the demo, you have no choice but to pay for it.

I want you to reread that sentence and tell me what the problem with it is.

You're saying that the people who just wanted to play the Metal Gear Solid 2 demo chose to buy Zone of The Enders(which by the way, even reviewers on IGN made jokes about ZOE being just an expensive MGS2 demo case way back when). Then you go on to say that if you want the [Ground Zeros]"demo", you have no choice but to pay for it.

...Just like the people who wanted the MGS2 demo had no choice but to fork over $50 to buy a game they didn't even care about just to play the MGS2 demo. Yet buy it they did, and much like the scenario Brushfire pointed out regarding Ground Zeros, the exact same thing happened with Zone of The Enders. Hell, I remember Gamestop reselling the bloody demo used!

People are complaining that there are mostly lengthy cutscenes and the actual gameplay amounts to very little. Guess what? That's a Hideo Kojima game.

I'm not saying I agree with it. I think it's absurd to charge that much for a game that barely lasts anything, but what I AM saying is that there's a precedent of MGS fans straight up saying "we put our fanboyism above our sense of value/reality and will pay many money dollars for a neutered experience." Konami banked on Kojima's series' name alone being able to sell at any price, and it worked. If anything, the fans have themselves to blame. I think at the time, a lot of people were on their parents' dime, so they didn't necessarily care about the value proposition back in 2001(or 2002 I forget), but now that we're all wearing the adult pants, things seem to be different.

Edited by Malaki-LEGEND.sys
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When you beat the main story, you look at the percent completed and it's only at like 9%. That means you nave literally 10 times the content that you haven't done yet. Let's do some simple math. 90 minutes = 9% completed. 100% means 1000 minutes of game to play. I don't see a problem at all with the length. If anything, with 1000 minutes of gameplay, it seems like they should charge more.

Also, all the unlockables and references they make are just brilliant. So much stuff to do and well worth the money.

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I just thought I'd drop in and say I cleared the game 100% with about 18-19 hours game time. I wanted to stop around 90% but when you get that far you think you might as well do the rest. Perhaps I played it a bit too much but that's Metal Gear for you, it was a lot of fun to play. And if I'm honest, I'm actually starting to really warm up to the idea of Keifer Sutherland playing Snake...I can feel that a much more emotional story is coming and a performance that demands that. Still I hope for the Solid Snake moment near the end of Phantom Pain that reintroduces Hayter, Kojima you gotta please you fans man!

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I want you to reread that sentence and tell me what the problem with it is.

Damn. You're right, Malaki. My sentence didn't make sense. I agree with all of your points. I guess what I wanted to say is that despite people's intentions to pay just for the MGS2 demo and despite Gamestop selling the demos, what Konami did back then wasn't wrong because they weren't just slapping a price-tag on a demo. They wanted it to be an incentive to buy a brand new IP. That just seems like good business to me. In my case, I totally wanted Zone of the Enders and considered the demo a bonus. But I think this is different. I don't think it's just because we're adults now. ZOE was not a rip-off. This likely is. (I say likely because I haven't played it.)

I don't want to do the wrong thing. I totally want it and since I am a completionist who loves simply roaming around open worlds, I am certain that it would be worth my money. On the other hand, I don't want to encourage Kojima to make more of these miniature games. ARRGH!

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People bought Zone of The Enders, another full priced $50 game on the PS2, for a Metal Gear Solid 2 DEMO. If we translate that into 2014 money dollars, it would've been around $72 for, again, an at most 25 minute long DEMO.

Well that sounds like a reasonable course of actio-

:whatevaa:

yeeeah im a sucker for the series, it works in my favour that i am unable to play it due to the lack of a console, i know logically that its a rip off but my heart tells me i want it, and normally the heart wins over my head with me. :P

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My brother and I felt like we got the 30 bucks out of it. Yet I know this is probably not the case for most people. While yes, the main mission is about an hour or two long, there are extra side missions, and a TON of little things you can miss if you just run through the game. I kinda like how short it is sometimes, being more of a pick up and play type instead of a long-gaming session. So the moral of the story is if you love MGS get it, if not don't.

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