Developer: Platinum Games
Platforms: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
Release Date: February 19th, 2013
Formed by a dream collaboration featuring videogame mastermind, Hideo Kojima and Bayonetta creator, Platinum Games, Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance actively strays away from the Metal Gear series’ trademark stealth approach and instead, dishes up a slice n’ dice-heavy, action-packed title that wastes no time diving sword-wielding wannabes into pure, unadulterated insanity. Whether it’s sprinting down skyscrapers while dodging missiles, splitting towering mechs down the middle or utilizing Blade Mode to precisely hack away at hurled helicopters, Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance showcases a consistent ambush of smile-inducing absurdity that only continues to escalate as you progress through Raiden’s limb-severing journey.
Featuring, arguably, one of the Metal Gear series most convoluted plots to date (even for a spin-off), Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance dives you headfirst into a fast-paced campaign set four years after Metal Gear Solid 4′s magnificently well-told story. After a series of events unfold including the assassination of a civil war-recovering country’s Prime Minister, and the near-death of our cybernetically enhanced protagonist, Raiden – utilizing the help of his employer, PMC Maverick Security – soon finds himself traversing the globe on a blood-thirsty pursuit for the Winds of Destruction. Serving as the central antagonists, this elite, three-member cyborg unit is part of the terrorist-aiding private military company called Desperado Enterprises which plans on warmongering otherwise peaceful countries in order to acquire financial and technological benefits. As the story progresses into more complicated territory, Raiden becomes further thrust into a much larger conflict that involves the kidnapping of homeless children for unimaginably gruesome means, and the unwavering threat of political corruption within America’s own government system. Ultimately, it all makes for an incredible story woven together beautifully thanks to spot-on voice acting and sensational (though oftentimes combat-interrupting) cinematics.
…an incredible story woven together beautifully thanks to spot-on voice acting and sensational (though oftentimes combat-interrupting) cinematics.
Clearly complementing the story’s swift, hard-hitting plot developments, Revengeance’s lean 6 to 8 hour campaign doesn’t hesitate in plunging you into constant conflict with increasingly difficult cyborg adversaries, gargantuan mech battles, and frequent, oftentimes punishing boss fights. While short-lived moments such as reprogramming a Dwarf Gekko to dispatch cyborg enemies provides a sense of variety to the otherwise linear, hack-and-slash-levels, Platinum Games’ action experience clearly sought to trim away all possible filler in hopes of delivering nothing but aggressive swordplay and dismembered limbs in its wake. Surprisingly, steering clear of the traditional Metal Gear formula – including tactical stealth engagements and restricted gunplay – actually works well for Raiden’s chop-tastic spin-off, allowing the mesmerizing flow of Revengeance’s addictive combat to receive the proper attention it so rightfully deserves.
Sometimes the Best Defense is a Good Offense
Since Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance’s entire premise revolves around offensive, blade-based skirmishes, shifting between light and heavy attacks mid-combo must prove to be a fluid, effortless affair in order to truly empower the player. Thankfully, Raiden’s no stranger when it comes to elegantly delivering quick, deadly sword slashes and limb-severing strikes. Whether it’s performing a powerful lift and following it up with a devastating aerial juggle or stunning an unfortunate cyborg soldier in order to further bombard him with relentless katana slices, each combo gracefully flows into the next with unfaltering precision while simultaneously immersing you into the action-packed experience. It probably doesn’t hurt that Raiden’s spectacular, acrobatic maneuvers are relatively trace-inducing as well, incorporating not only the visual flair of traditional swordplay, but also reinventing it with the inclusion of stylish, blade-wielding heel attacks. As we progressed further on in the campaign and acquired even more combat skills via hard-earned currency, brutalizing our increasingly difficult adversaries with vicious hack n’ slash combinations became an immensely satisfying endeavor intensified only by the inclusion of Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance’s most innovative new gameplay mechanic: Blade Mode.
Thankfully, Raiden’s no stranger when it comes to elegantly delivering quick, deadly sword slashes and limb-severing strikes.
A Slice n’ Dice Extravaganza
More than an uninspired, game-selling gimmick, Raiden gains access to Blade Mode’s time-slowing cutting mechanic after slaying enough cyborg assailants. Utilizing this relatively inventive feature, Raiden can perform precision slices in any direction with deadly results; viciously dismembering weakened foes, decapitating robotic canines or even transforming a Metal Gear Ray into hulking scraps of metal are just a few of Blade Mode’s devastating capabilities.
While particularly pleasing when utilized for offensive-based tactics, Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance’s Blade Mode also has impressive defensive and strategical implications as well. Perhaps one of the time-slowing mechanic’s most important functions grants Raiden the ability to perform health-replenishing Zandatsu maneuvers after slicing open an enemy’s core. By guiding your blade directly across the highlighted critical spot, Raiden receives the opportunity to rip out
the particular adversary’s life-source and crush it, which in return, immediately restores both his health and fuel cell gauges. During the course of the campaign, utilizing Blade Mode also protects Raiden from incoming projectiles – such as missiles, tanks and helicopters, allows him to cut otherwise impenetrable armor and mech weaponry to ribbons, and even plays a vital role in Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance’s in-game currency system as well. Utilizing precision strikes, you have the ability to detach specialized cyborg enemies’ left hands from their bodies and obtain even more BP (Battle Points) that can be used towards purchasing health or fuel cell augmentations, new skills and abilities, or even unique uniforms for Raiden to wear.
These Battle Points can even purchase upgrades for Raiden’s various secondary weapons – ranging from a slow, scissor-like machete to a stun-inducing sai, which are acquired after killing particularly challenging bosses. Selecting one of these alternative weapons occupies one of the two attack buttons usually designated to Raiden’s High-Frequency Blade, which wouldn’t necessarily pose a problem if switching between both weapons didn’t noticeably interrupt the flow of combat. Whereas Raiden’s katana performed smooth transitions between light and heavy attacks that helped achieve visually stunning hack n’ slash combinations, secondary weapons seemed, in most cases, to fail in terms of properly working in tandem with the primary sword’s vicious slashes. The one exception we found, however, was Mistral’s staff which complemented the katana’s fast-paced slices with crowd-clearing, long-range strikes that easily increased the chances of ranking up impressive, enemy-annihilating combos.
…secondary weapons seemed, in most cases, to fail in terms of properly working in tandem with the primary sword’s vicious slashes.
While most of Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance’s gameplay consistently focuses on gung ho offensive approaches to combat, the defensive maneuvers that are at your disposal oftentimes feel slightly flawed and unfulfilling. You see, Raiden may only parry enemy attacks and hope to set up damage-heavy counterattacks – as opposed to Dante’s (Devil May Cry) satisfying quick-dodge ability, which ended up becoming a significant issue during the later chapters of the campaign. As heavily-armored foes and increasingly difficult boss encounters became more commonplace during the course of the action-packed experience, the opportunities to successfully parry and counterattack seemed staggeringly limited, and oftentimes we resorted to Ninja Run (Raiden’s dash ability) in order to survive the brutality of our enemies’ fast strikes and otherwise unblockable attacks.
Unfortunately, troublesome camera angles during close-quarter combat scenarios only further hurt the inclusion of a directional-based parrying system. Since much of Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance’s gameplay revolves around fast-paced action and unpredictable enemy attack patterns, it’s essential that you don’t lose track of Raiden in the thick of battle. However, oftentimes with numerous sword-wielding adversaries or colossal bosses occupying the majority of the on-screen territory, we found ourselves desperately trying to survive the onslaught of our out-of-the-frame enemies’ merciless, slice-and-dice tactics.
…troublesome camera angles during close-quarter combat scenarios only further hurt the inclusion of a directional-based parrying system.
While not necessarily as potentially game-breaking as awkward camera angles, the interrupting “stop and select” method attached to equipping sub-weapons and items – which can range from RPGs and various grenade types (EMP grenades, Red Phosphorous grenades) to gauge-replenishing repair nanopaste and electrolyte packs – also proved to be an inconvenient task in the middle of a frantic skirmish. Adding to the list of rather problematic issues, Revengeance also fails to explain the game’s features thoroughly – such as utilizing the right analog stick to precisely direct your slices in Blade Mode. Oftentimes, we found ourselves diving into the VR missions we found via exploring the campaign’s seven levels, and running through the tutorials to learn and hone the skills necessary to further progress through the rest of the campaign.
While Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance may not exhibit the same epic storytelling that has become iconic in the Metal Gear series nor demonstrate the essentials necessary to properly face-off against hack n’ slash juggernauts like Devil May Cry and Bayonetta, Raiden’s over-the-top journey easily serves as an addictive, melee-orientated alternative to the stealth-focused gameplay featured in the Metal Gear franchise’s past installments. Though Platinum Games’ attempt at a fast-paced action debut set deep within the engrossing universe of Metal Gear falls short of being a truly flawless experience, the delicate care put into crafting this ridiculously enjoyable spin-off reigns supreme amongst Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance’s minor blemishes.
BOG’s Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance Review Score
|8.0||Why so high?
Innovative Blade Mode mechanic, addictive combat, intense boss battles, short, but satisfying campaign
|Why so low?
Awkward camera angles, combo-interrupting secondary weapons, parrying system displays some flaws, gameplay mechanics could have been explained better