It only feels like yesterday when everyone hated Metal Gear Solid 2’s main protagonist, Raiden, but now he’s returned with a vengeance in Konami and Platinum Games’ high octane, hack and slash collaboration, Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance!
As expected of anything that comes out of Kojima Productions, the stories’ a little out there and let’s face it, even Platinum isn’t great at story telling. They’re just the current kings of the Action and Adventure genre (as they should be, considering the talent and history of each employee).
|Raiden doing what Raiden does best.|
To a certain extent, the story flows well and makes sense however once it gets to a certain point, the story becomes disjointed, stops making any real sense and sadly falls apart. If it was longer and the people you had to face had better character development between the actual fights, with a deep purpose for actually being there, I feel the story would have had a lot more potential, but sadly that isn’t the case here. With such great character designs, it’s a shame the plot isn’t as deep, lengthy or compelling as I feel it should have been, and it's for this very reason that Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance doesn't get an almost perfect score from me.
When it comes down to gameplay, Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance takes a giant leap backwards away from the stealth of previous titles, with a new focus centered entirely on extreme action and combat, keeping to what previous titles such as God of War and Devil May Cry have done but in doing so adding in a better frame rate, a smoother transition of moves and now, the addition to cut your enemies literally to ribbons.
The first of Raiden's abilities is the “Ninja Run” which is effectively a very simplified platforming tool that against all odds, manages to make the game feel a lot more entertaining and works a treat in getting you from point A to point B. Buildings may fall down, chase scenes may initiate and missiles may target/follow you around, but as long as you have Ninja Run activated, you'll quickly outrun missiles, automatically slide under gaps or jump over obstacles, while effortlessly traversing ledges, with little concern for the collapsing environment that surrounds you.
Combat is based around the Parry and Dodge mechanics within the game. When I first played the demo I didn't even know there was a dodge button, but for those of you who still don't know it, all you need to do is press square and x together (PS3) to dodge out of the way and give yourself some split second invincibility in the process. How the Parry system works is whenever an opponent attacks you, if you press the directional stick towards their attack and square (light attack), you can deflect their move back at them. Some enemies can counter you, while you can counter their counter and if timed right, you can follow up with your own attack when their defence has dropped. Each move you perform seamlessly transitions into another for what feels like an almost infinite combo. You can vary all of your combos by mixing them up as you see fit. Some can be performed with the simple press of square (light attack) or triangle (heavy attack); while others need directional button input combined with your attack buttons.
|I'M COMING FOR YOU!!|
Rising's main core mechanic is the new Blade Mode, which is meant to let you slice up anything you so desire. Now, this is mostly true, as you can slice and dice practically anything in sight, apart from the walls and floors of buildings, along with a few other set pieces that are indestructible to prevent you from getting to places you're not meant to go to (level clipping, leaving the game map etc). In order to put it to full use, a charged Blade Mode meter is needed, however an uncharged one will allow for you to perform less effective and weaker slice attacks. For some fights it's essential you use this mechanic, but really as fun as it is to slice an enemy in half and rip their Spinal Chord/Fuel Cells out to refuel your Blade Mode meter, I preferred to use the games actual combat, and as such only used Blade Mode when I needed health or was forced to in order to beat some of the Boss fights within the game.
Each Boss has their own unique fighting style, flair and design, which forces you to learn their attack routines in order for you to gain the upper hand. Bosses vary between speed and power with each fight, while others can be incredibly cheap, infuriating even the most placid gamers amongst you. That being said, every fight is memorable in its own way. Of the opponents you face, few are honourable, others are mindless and overpowered, with the final fight coming across as a massively broken and unbalanced powerhouse. It's for these reasons however that Metal Gear Rising is so challenging at times, and is also why the fights feel so incredibly rewarding once you surpass them. It brings a return of old school difficulty, which personally, I absolutely loved.
Everything above creates a great deal of depth to the combat, and regardless of how many upgrades you can acquire, I can't help but feel Raiden could have done with more combo's for each weapon. This is because most of the weapon upgrades only apply to his High Frequency Blades, leaving me feeling like the extra weapons have been left out in the cold a little.
Stealth is in the game too, but comes across as more of an afterthought or a nod to Snake's adventures of previous Metal Gear titles, and is something that feels boring, unfulfilling and almost pointless. Sure you can sneak up behind a guard, insta-killing him for his Fuel Cell, but it's a mechanic that's easily forgotten about when placed next to the lightning fast, precisely timed, adrenaline pumped combat of the game.
Whenever you kill an enemy of any kind, they usually drop BP, this is you’re in game currency, which in turn is your source for upgrading everything. You can upgrade your Health Bar, Blade Mode/Energy Bar, buy health items, costumes and weapon upgrades in the form of extra damage, better weapon energy consumption and other such upgrades that prevent you from taking as much damage. You can also buy several moves, of which the dodge mechanic is one of.
With the inclusion of VR Missions and a vast amount of unlockables to accompany them, Metal Gear Rising offers a great deal of replayability, especially for those of you who wish to attain every trophy within the game. The challenge is hard and as such, this won't be a game you'll be taking back to the shop so soon.
There are some graphical issues, such as facial animations not syncing properly with voice acting, and some of the animations between lesser characters are a little unrefined. In game textures are mostly what you'd expect, with high levels of detail and this applies for everything in game except for the outer skin of buildings, which could have done with a touch up to make them a little less bland than what they are. Layered effects such as the electrical sparks around Raiden's Blade and feet as he Ninja Run's look ultra slick, as do all of the sparks, flares, explosions and other effects you'll come across via cut-scenes throughout the course of the game.
|Hey man I'm a huge fan, WAIT WHAT ARE YOU DOING!??|
To cap everything off, a game based around Cyborg's needs to look highly impressive, and everything consisting of metal in the game has that down to a tee, with Raiden's suit (along with most other character and enemy designs in the game) being as incredibly glossy and sleek in design as you would hope to expect.
Then we have the sound, which serves its purpose by offering fast paced music that's fitting to each section in the game. Certain tracks are memorable while others are more forgettable, but the music is catchy enough to really get you pumped for each fight and as it's all so upbeat, you automatically, almost instinctively want to fight and react faster, keeping in tune with the rhythm of the track playing. Some songs are slightly rockier, while others are more electro based but each track's exciting enough to carry you through each combat encounter, keeping you satisfied and motivated at all times.
Overall, I feel Raiden has made an impressive return. The graphics are great, gameplay fast, frantic and deep, and Boss fights utterly fantastic to play through. As much of a departure as Rising is from previous Metal Gear titles, it's safe to say that Raiden's back with a (Re)vengeance and I hope he's here to stay, because I for one would love to see a sequel for this brilliant and engaging spin off, that is quite possibly the best action title (as far as gameplay goes) of this generation!
Story = 6/10
Gameplay = 9.5/10
Graphics/ Sound = 9/10
Final We Know Gamers Score = 8.2/10
Had a chance to play the game? Tell us what you thought in the comments section below! Or tweet myself @captaincortez
Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance Review
Reviewed by CaptainCortez
on Mar 25 2013
Reviewed by CaptainCortez
on Mar 25 2013