Upon the reveal of Metal Gear Rising, I was a sceptic and instantly wrote it off. I was angry at Konami for daring to change the formula in the beloved Metal Gear franchise. Once it was made public that Konami had handed the reins of the title over to Platinum Games however, I was instantly excited. Platinum Games have created such gems as Baynonetta and the criminally underrated 3rd Person Shooter, Vanquish. Both titles are critically acclaimed so the hopes were high that the next title in the Metal Gear franchise would also follow suit. What Platinum Games and Konami have achieved with Metal Gear Rising is one of the most exhilarating action games this generation since, well, Bayonetta.
Metal Gear Rising oozes the Platinum charm, with incredible visuals and a game changing new mechanic that makes the jaw drop when you first try it out. Most importantly though, it is a title worthy of the Metal Gear franchise.
Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance takes place in the near future, where cyborg technology has become the norm in modern society. Private Military Companies are employing this technology and have become increasingly disruptive. You play as Raiden, a member of the peace-keeping PMC called Maverick Security and it is your job to control the peace by any means necessary. Fans of the Metal Gear franchise will instantly recognise the protagonist from the previous MGS games, Metal Gear Solid 2 and Metal Gear solid 4. Raiden is a child soldier transformed into a half-man, half-machine cyborg ninja equipped with his signature High-Frequency blade. Love him or hate him from previous games, in Metal Gear Rising he exudes awesomeness! Platinum Games have turned Raiden into a bad ass killing machine and it is amazing. The storyline is actually very interesting. I had expected it to be cheesy and formulaic but the writers have managed to create a touching and sometimes brutal story where nothing is quite as it seems. There were times in the game when I was genuinely surprised at what was happening on my screen and thankfully Raiden and the support characters are very likeable.
Revengeance is a beautiful game which some incredible set pieces and cut scenes. The facial animations are also wonderful with some great lip syncing. The game has you travelling from North Africa to Russia and America so the locations are thankfully varied but I did find the colour palette was a bit bland during some areas. A special however mention goes to Raidens suit which is intricately detailed from head to toe. The music is a blend of rock and techno and is placed perfectly in the game.
The best bit about the presentation is the bosses. Like past Metal Gear titles, special attention is always reserved for the bosses. Every boss in the game is expertly created, each just as brutal as the last and always keeping the players on their toes. For fans of the franchise, there are also an abundance of Easter eggs and enemies from past games to see but I won’t spoil them for you here.
Where Revengeance truly shines is in the gameplay department. Platinum Games are renowned for making games with outstanding gameplay mechanics and this is no exception. Raiden is a ninja and he definitely feels like one. His movements are fluid and dynamic. When the player presses R1 while running, Raiden will automatically interact with the environment creating this seamless movement that is a joy to behold. Raiden will jump over walls, dive under falling debris and slide under fences so fluidly, the player can just focus on the incredible action. This was an excellent choice by Platinum and Konami because it keeps the momentum of the game at 110% the whole time. The cutting mechanic is without a doubt a game changer. A car or door is in your way? no problem just cut it in to pieces. It is this single feature that makes that makes the game so good. When the player has charged up the energy bar, hit L1 and the game will slow down. Once in this mode you can cut an enemy into as many parts as you want. It is a gruesome gameplay mechanic but there’s something quite satisfying about cutting a boss in fifty pieces after your tenth time trying to defeat them! You don’t just chop up cyborgs either; there are helicopters, tanks and even Metal Gear Rays to turn into hamburgers. Raiden is also fully customisable. You gain points every time you kill an enemy and these can be used to tool up Raidens arsenal or armour at the end of each level. The sub weapons you obtain throughout the game are also a joy to use and each have their pros and cons depending on the enemy type. The bosses in this game are very difficult so using the correct sub weapons and boosts is a must in order to defeat each boss. You also receive a companion along the way which makes for some interesting banter but again, I’ll let you find that out for yourself! My one major concern with Revengeance was its length. After beating the game in eight hours (excluding cutscenes and mission retries, remember the game only records your fastest time for your overall play through time) on normal difficulty, I craved for more. I felt that another few hours would have made the game even better but at least the time I had with this game was great.
Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance is a excellent game in pretty much every way. Fans of 3rd person hack and slash games will feel right at home with this title, it has everything a player would want in a game from this genre but also a whole lot more. The cutting mechanic and general pacing of the game are spot on. A Metal Gear Solid nut would appreciate the care Platinum Games took in keeping the style and personality of the game the same as the main franchise. For players who have never played a Metal Gear game before there is no need to worry, the references to previous games are subtle so new players will not be lost trying to follow the plotline.
The length of the game, odd camera angles plus a few glaring bugs prevent Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance from being perfect but it is a game every gamer should try even just to experience using the High Frequency blade in all its glory. Platinum Games deserve a pat on the back, creating a stunning game with a bold new direction in one of the most beloved franchise of all times must not have been easy.