Konami provided full details on Metal Gear Solid 5: Ground Zeroes today. Zeroes is intended as a prologue chapter to the events of Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain.
Ground Zeroes is set after the PSP adventure MGS: Peace Walker. Big Boss, the leader of mercenary group Militaires Sans Frontières, heads to a Cuban prison camp on a covert op. He has to rescue Chico and Paz, two characters that Snake encountered in Peace Walker. The story will lead directly into the plot of Phantom Pain, which begins with Boss waking up in a hospital.
In addition to setting up Phantom Pain's story, Ground Zeroes will also introduce players to the new gameplay mechanics in that game. Phantom Pain deviates sharply from the mostly linear design of previous games, instead allowing players to explore massive open-world environments filled with side missions. The usual Metal Gear Solid choice between stealth or brute force is still present as well. This new sandbox experience is powered by the brand-new FOX Engine developed by Kojima Productions.
“The advanced capabilities of the FOX Engine have allowed me to tell the new story in a new way," Metal Gear creator Hideo Kojima said today. "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. As such, Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes has been designed to introduce key elements, allowing them to fully benefit from all that the new game will offer."
Two benefits of the new technology are the day/night cycle and dynamic weather. Players can use night or poor weather to their advantage in their sneaking missions. The flipside is that their job will be tougher during the daytime.
Ground Zeroes will be available in Spring 2014 on the Xbox One, PS4, Xbox 360 and PS3. The digital versions for Xbox One and PS4 cost $29.99, as do boxed copies of the 360 and PS3 editions. Interestingly, the digital versions for current-gen consoles will only cost $19.99.