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Metal Gear Solid 5: Ground Zeroes lands in spring 2014

Metal Gear Solid 5: Ground Zeroes, the prologue to the next installment in Hideo Kojima's action stealth game, Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain, will be released in spring 2014, Konami revealed today.

The Ground Zeroes prologue will include a "concentrated story mode" that sets up the events and introduces players to the new gameplay elements that will appear in the The Phantom Pain. Set in Cuba, it will follow protagonist Big Boss as he infiltrates a prison camp during a rescue mission. Big Boss will be able to call in help when he's behind enemy lines, highlighting features new to the Metal Gear universe set to be released in Metal Gear Solid 5.

Ground Zeroes will be available on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 at retail for $29.99 or as a $19.99 download. PlayStation 4 and Xbox One versions will be available as $29.99 downloads.

Ground Zeroes' open-world follow-up, The Phantom Pain, will be released at a later, unconfirmed date on the same platforms.

"The advanced capabilities of the Fox Engine are allowing me to express the story of Metal Gear Solid in a new way," said Kojima Productions head and Metal Gear creator Hideo Kojima. "There will be a significant difference in what Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain brings to the series, so we want to ease players into the new open world environment and its potential, allowing them to fully benefit from all that the new game offers. As such, Metal Gear Solid 5: Ground Zeroes has been designed to introduce key elements, while setting up the events of Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain."

For more on Kojima's multi-generational tactical espionage action game, you can check out a trio of trailers, which feature Kiefer Sutherland as Big Boss. To learn more about the new mechanics that The Phantom Pain will introduce players to, you can watch video footage from Sony's pre-TGS 2013 showcase, narrated by Kojima. You can also check out Polygon's eye-on impressions from a recent visit to Kojima Productions' Los Angeles office.