Just like Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance’s campaign (“Revengeance” from hereon in), this review will be short and straight to the point. Get this game.
No, that’s not my entire review, but the high intensity narrative that developer Platinum Games has created is a constant bombardment of explosive action, globe trotting adventure, and splendid sword slicing. Alliteration aside, Platinum Games has lovingly crafted a memorable experience and entry in the famed Metal Gear series.
The enigmatic and widely unrecognised hero of Metal Gear Solid 2 and Metal Gear Solid 4, Raiden returns in his first fully featured title. Snake is entirely absent from Raiden’s first solo escapade, and with him the noticeable omission of stupidly long cut scenes and verbose codec expositions. Unlike the previous Metal Gear Solid titles, Revengeance’s story is incredibly easy to follow and serves as a perfect entry point for new fans of the series.
In lieu of the four year long cutscenes present in Guns of the Patriots, Revengeance’s largest issue is its presence of even more shorter cutscenes. Granted, you can skip them and they don’t really add or detract from the overall experience, but the constant jarring transition really detracts from the otherwise fast-paced Ninja Gaiden-esque combat.
The political metaphors and subtle callbacks to real-life events are still present, but in a game that’s more about slicing things up and butchering enemies, it doesn’t feel right. The conversations feel like a burden more than anything, and many of the cameos will go right over your head unless you’re a diehard fan of the series’ and its every nuance.
Unlike previous Metal Gear titles, Revengeance opts for a full frontal assault of moment-to-moment action, and the revolutionary sword play within propels the game from a subpar hack-n-slash to an empowering combat simulator. Raiden moves with the grace of a swan, but lands each blow with the impact and deliberateness of a bulldozer. Choosing between light or heavy attacks never feels seems a trade off, and instead feels like a natural progression, allowing you to tailor your combat to each specific fight.
Arguably the biggest hitch to this new and improved sporadic gameplay is the erratic camera behaviour. With wild combat that almost expects you to dart around (you literally run on missiles at some points) it’s often nigh on impossible to keep tracking of Raiden and his movements. Some of the incredibly fun and challenging bosses take up a lot of screen space and they require almost Jedi-like instincts to keep track of Raiden’s movement, orientation, and impending death.
As you progress through the 5-6 hour long campaign, you’ll amass a fortune of in-game currency that would make even a Nigerian prince jealous. You can use this currency to buy new moves and upgrade existing ones, and once you’ve maxed everything out, Raiden turns into a cyclone of ballet inspired destruction. Of course, none of this even shadows the stunning experience that is Revengeance’s draw card: Blade Mode.
Blade Mode is a fun and almost animalistic gimmick. Once Raiden slays enough brutes, he can fill a bar and briefly entered a timed state of bullet time and slice his sword in literally any direction possible. Gravity and time take a hold again and the thinly sliced pieces fall to the ground, often causing hilarious results. You’re a surgeon of death, if you will. The mode has defensive implications too, allowing Raiden to enter Blade Mode and slice missiles, helicopters, and even bullets out of the air. Despite being exceptionally fun, at times Blade Mode can feel cheap and unfulfilling.
Blade Mode also works in conjunction with the aforementioned currency system. By slicing off specific enemies’ limbs in specific spots you gain bonus currency to unlock even better combos and weapons.
Despite a few minor ticks and gameplay hitches, Revengeance and Platinum Games have set a high pace and held it. The troubles that are present are hardly enough to detail what is otherwise an explosive-paced experience built on the legacy of a renowned franchise. Regardless of how the Metal Gear Solid franchise made you feel, Rising is a must for anyone who appreciates exceptionally well done melee-combat and efficient gameplay.
Check out the cinematic trailer recently released by Konami.
More information @ Konami