Ground Zeroes, a stand-alone prologue, will set the stage for The Phantom Pain.

Metal Gear Solid 5: Ground Zeroes, the first entry in the two-game MGS 5 saga, will hit stores next spring, publisher Konami announced today. Ground Zeroes will be a shorter stand-alone game that serves as the prologue to The Phantom Pain.

In Ground Zeroes, a rescue mission sending Naked Snake (AKA Big Boss) into a Cuban prison camp goes bad, forcing Snake to operate alone behind enemy lines. According to Konami, The Phantom Pain will pick up the story from the end of Ground Zeroes.

At the same time, the announcement finally closes the book on the confusing story surrounding the relationship between the two games: Ground Zeroes was revealed first, followed by a trailer for The Phantom Pain, which Konami initially claimed was an entirely new project from a fake developer Moby Dick Studios. After Konami dropped the charade and confirmed that The Phantom Pain was, in fact, Metal Gear Solid 5, many assumed that Ground Zeroes was just a code name, prompting Konami to clarify that Ground Zeroes and The Phantom Pain are two separate games.

Given the game’s smaller size, Ground Zeroes will retail for $30, sold digitally on Xbox One and PS4 for $30, and will cost $20 digitally on PS3 and Xbox 360.

Both Ground Zeroes and The Phantom Pain will be released on PS4, Xbox One, PS3 and Xbox 360.

Sources: Joystiq, Gamespot

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