Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes is a 3rd person stealth action-adventure game designed by Hideo Kojima and developed by KOJIMA PRODUCTIONS. The game was written & directed by Hideo Kojima himself and published by KONAMI. It's the 8th installment of the series and a prologue to The Phantom Pain.
It was released on March 18, 2014 for PS4 & Xbox One and December 18, 2014 for PC. Surprisingly, the game was also released for PS3 & Xbox 360, which seems almost graphically identical to the current generation console versions.
Ground Zeroes story begins after the events of Peace Walker. The year is 1975, Snake continued to lead MSF together with Miller, growing mother base into a sizable mercenary operation. A year later, they received information about Paz who was assumed dead has survived and being captured at Camp Omega in Cuba along with one of MSF's youngest recruits Chico. Snake's mission is to rescue them both to prevent leaking information about Metal Gear ZEKE.
Soon after he returned to mother base, he found that it was sieged by a mysterious secret organization called XOF led by their enigmatic leader Skull-Face. Snake successfully rescued Miller from that attack but during their escape, they realized that Paz had two bombs inside her body. She jumped off the helicopter to save Snake and his crew. But, there were only a few split seconds left to detonate the bombs which caused the helicopter to crash eventually.
The story mode is only about 30 minutes long. But the game has an additional 4-5 hours of side-ops missions, with a few in-game items & playable characters such as Classic Polygonal Snake from the original Metal Gear Solid and Raiden from Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance. Overall, the game has an amazing story.
The gameplay of Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes is extremely well polished. You can either kill every single enemy to proceed to the next event or you can just shoot them in the face with a tranquilizer to put them into sleep, which obviously gives you more hero points.
The game enters Reflex mode when the enemies spot you. It's a slow-motion mode that allows you to knock your enemies down quickly and quietly.
Unlike previous Metal Gear games, there's no automatic way to tag your enemies. You have to see them with your own eyes to mark them into the radar. Also, you have to gather enemy intel to find enemy bases and their locations.
The game is all about stealth and strategies.
Is this game worth buying? Yes, absolutely. Especially since it's only $19.99 on Steam. But still, I'll recommend you to wait for steam sales, if you're new to the series.
Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes is a small fragment of The Phantom Pain with an amazing storyline, which only the true fans will understand the necessity of this game. I don't see it as a separate game, I see it as a part of The Phantom Pain, as a part of the series. It's not a demo, it's more than that. You have to play this in order to understand the storyline of The Phantom Pain.