Metal Gear-creator Hideo Kojima says the re-playability and "freedom of approach" will make up Ground Zeroes short length.
Konami and franchise guru Hideo Kojima have made no secret of the fact that Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes will be on the shorter end of the spectrum. Kojima himself has, in the past, described it as essentially being "a tutorial" for Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. That being the case, many gamers were stil a bit taken aback when it was revealed recently that Ground Zeroes can apparently be beaten in under two hours.
This news has, not surprisingly, led to some criticism from fans who feel that the game won't be worth the price of admission. The complaints, in turn, have led members of Ground Zeroes' development team to rise up and defend it. Designer Jordan Amaro, for instance, compared Ground Zeroes to Journey and Dear Esther, calling them "masterpieces" in spite of their brevity. "This [issue surrounding the game's length has been trumped-up," he said.
Perhaps more notably, Hideo Kojima himself recently took to Twitter to offer his own explanation for the game's length and why it's actually longer than it may seem. "[Ground Zeroes] includes the main mission alongside 5 Side Ops," he said. "All missions include elements such as 'Trial Records' where players can compete against each other online." He then added that "this is not a linear game like the past" and that it will "[offer] freedom of approach & play style which we hope players will enjoy over & over without boring." He closed by saying that he believes "people will be satisfied" with Ground Zeroes's length when they actually get to play it.
For what it's worth, I don't completely disagree with Kojima. Replay value, whether it's based in "freedom of approach" or even just varied difficulty settings can be significantly stretch a game's play time out. Even so, it's still kind of hard to believe the developers expect us to pay as much as $40 for a game that, when you get down to it, is still just two hours long.