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Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes: Time isn't the focus, improving your game is

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We all know about the whole time controversy that ensued when GameInformer published their preview of Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes, and that was not the accurate focus that should be given to this game when it comes down to the prologue.

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Examiner.com had the chance to go hands-on with Ground Zeroes for well over seven hours recently, and we found that this game is about competition, perfecting the Metal Gear Solid version of stealth and finding the best ways to complete each mission.

Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes is not just comprised of the main story objectives players will enjoy, but it also sports a handful of varied, entertaining side ops. These bring different dynamics to the game's setting, missions and play styles for people.

While one mission will compliment a player who takes the absolute most caution when exploring the enemy's camp, another will reward a player for being a bit more aggressive in trying to complete a mission's objective.

Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes is about forcing players to challenge themselves, rethinking how they choose to approach each mission and trying to explore the world, which will help them find more efficient ways to complete an objective with the highest score possible.

Our experience with the game's control scheme yields a very conducive setup for expert players of the series, and it should be welcoming to newcomers of the franchise as well. For both veterans and rookies of the series, Ground Zeroes will serve as a very valuable tool to help you hone your stealth skills and prepare you for what is coming in The Phantom Pain.

Ground Zeroes' controls are very intuitive and are simple to pick up as players begin playing. It's important to make sure you completely understand the controls and how each of them work because if you don't know how to aim in the first-person, then you may find it harder to take out enemies from a distance.

From controls to the mental aspects of Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes, this game will force you to think and will not reward mindless, thoughtless play throughs.

While you may get lucky sprinting through a mission and actually completing it, that style of play will almost always get you killed. Besides, that is not the way this game is designed.

Ground Zeroes is all about exploring the best ways to complete missions, and to do this you will need to think about the design of each mission. While you may think a truck just sitting in the open isn't a tool for you to use to infiltrate the base, think again because it could very well be the best avenue of traversal.

As you get on the inside of a base, you may not want to go straight toward completing the objective, you may want to pause and think about how you are going to make your escape. This is a very necessary thing for you to contemplate.

Will the enemies you just passed be in the way of your upcoming escape? If so, take them out and make sure their bodies are not in place for other enemies to find.

Turning off cameras in a building isn't a bad idea either, but beware, going the extra mile to plan an escape may come with its own challenges.

Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes is a very cerebral experience and will force players to think about what they are doing. We found this to be a very intriguing, unexpected aspect of the game.

We found the AI behavior to be ruthless and authentic. This isn't like in Assassin's Creed, where if an enemy spots you, you can run around the corner and hide in the bushes and get away.

Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes' enemy AI will know where you are and will not give up until they've either killed you or you've taken out all of the reinforcements sent your way. To reiterate though, it's not that simple to take out the surrounding enemies because they are effective in their aim and will take you down if you're not a lethal shot.

Cutscenes on both the PS4 and Xbox One are gorgeous, awe-inspiring cinematics for people to behold. They are a really appetizing teaser for what we will see in The Phantom Pain. Kiefer Sutherland may be a bit of an adjustment for the most hardcore Metal Gear Solid fans, but he fits in just fine.

Ground Zeroes' cinematics have been seamlessly integrated into the gameplay, which really makes us hope this is something that will carry over to The Phantom Pain. No loading times really helped us stay immersed in the experience and this is something we really hope to see in all next-gen games moving forward.

We did find the PS4 version of the game to be a bit better experience than what we experienced on the Xbox One. That said, the Xbox One is still a gorgeous experience and you'd expect the PS4 version to be slightly better since the PlayStation is the home console, if you will, for Metal Gear Solid.

Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes is an extremely intriguing introduction to the next-generation of the series, and it will challenge you to really question your own play styles and the way you approach any given mission.

It's a cerebral, mentally-challenging prologue and it will no doubt reward the most dedicated players for the duration of Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes and most likely, The Phantom Pain.

A two-hour experience Ground Zeroes is not, and we easily played the game for seven hours and still had plenty more to do.

Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes is a stellar, quality introduction to the new era of Metal Gear Solid and we can't wait to perfect this game, before The Phantom Pain arrives.

For all of our latest exclusives, previews, reviews and features, follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook. Game On.

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