While Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain doesn’t have a solid release date, its standalone-prequel, titled Ground Zeroes, is due out next month, and serves to show player the open-world nature of the game, along with then newly developed Fox Engine.
However, amid all the pre-release hype, a Game Informer preview (via Kotaku) reveals that “judged just by the core story mission, Ground Zeroes is short. We completed it in just less than two hours.” Granted, the entire demo clocks in at around four hours or so, but there has been some criticism from the press and fans alike, considering the game retails anywhere from $20-40; last-gen versions (Xbox 360 and PS3) will run you $20 for a digital download and $30 for a retail copy, while PS4 and Xbox One copies will cost $30 digitally, and $40 for a physical disc.
According to Kojima: “MGSV Ground Zeroes includes the main mission alongside 5 Side Ops. All missions include elements such as “Trial Records,” where players can compete against each other online. This is not a linear game like the past. GZ offers freedom of approach & play style, which we hope players will enjoy over & over without boring. I believe people will be satisfied with the “Play Time” of GZ and will not stress the “Clear Time,” which is a standard for linear games.”
Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes is set to release on March 18 in North America, and March 20 in Europe.