Hideo Kojima is a game-making god. He is the godfather of the stealth genre and has produced some of the most breathtaking gaming cinematics which can be experienced.
Granted many find his works very tedious and allowing yourself to be enveloped in one of the Metal Gear games has been described as a rather laborious task, mostly due to the somewhat overly-extended cut scenes (the longest single scene being 108 minutes), and the ever so over-the-top convoluted storylines. However, any fan of the franchise will tell you that those are the exact reasons that we loyally play anything Metal Gear over and over and over again.
Being a huge Kojima fan [Ed: I couldn’t tell] I was ready to give this game a 412 out of 10 rating even before I’d played it. However, since the game’s announcement I started researching and my optimism was instantly replaced by an overwhelming sense of dread.
Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance is based on Raiden, the protagonist from Metal Gear Solid 2. The game was forged in the bowels of the Platinum Games’ Osaka Studio, who also developed Bayonetta and Vanquish, and whilst those were decent games they were not mind-blowing, neither were they paradigm shifting like all of the previous MGS titles have been.
And of course there is the ever present elephant in the room, that this is a Metal Gear game where zero stealth is required. How could they possibly bastardise my beloved franchise and turn it into a glorified hack and slash title that has been produced for the masses?
My faith had wavered and I doubted the best in the business. Kojima silently pulled Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance and had it not been for Platinum Games it might never have seen the light of day. Platinum Games reworked Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance almost from scratch. Kojima at the time was so busy working on Metal Gear Solid: Peace walker that he gave them creative license. Platinum Games promptly dropped the stealth element and were creatively driven on delivering a game that gave the fans the Raiden that they had seen in a Metal Gear Solid 4 cutscene.
Action, action, action
Not only have Platinum Games delivered a game that lives up to this promise, I believe this game truly has surpassed it. Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance is an action game that is truly unique yet at the same time you are struck with this undeniable feeling of déjà vu .
It is the supermodel love child of God of War and the Kojima lineage. Within the first 5 minutes of gameplay it is apparent that this game is all about the katana; sure you have other weapons and they are essential to take down a few bosses, but they are a side show to the main event.
There are 9 different weapons to unlock, six of which are main weapons. These can be gained by completing a range of tasks, such as killing a boss through to collecting all the left arms which the Doktor requires.
You are given three ways to slice up enemies: there are the light attacks (which can easily turn into spam attacks); heavy attacks (which can also be spammed together but are nowhere near as fluid or swift as the light attacks); and finally you can hold down L1 and go into slice-and-dice mode in which you unleash your katana in any way you see fit and accurately slice through your enemies.
I did find the heavy attacks rather useless; while they do deliver slightly harder hits the damage dealt does not compensate for the speed which is lost. The artful way in which you can slice an enemy into bits and pieces is what makes this game so unique; surprisingly this element never becomes boring.
Platinum Games really found a balance which is rather invigorating. Whilst slicing your enemy with the modifier button is easy, it is at times rather challenging as the controls go a wee bit haywire. This “free slicing blade mode” is also used to slice your cybernetic enemies open in a special way and retrieve their power supplies; you immediately absorb the energy and up goes your health meter.
Cutting edge design
Visually Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance is right up there with all of the previous titles. It is simply stunning. Whilst it is nowhere near as pretty Metal Gear Solid Ground Zeroes (you can clearly see this with some of the environment textures which are a bit plain and under-detailed), the overall polish in the cutscenes and combat animations is truly spectacular.
The Audio is right up there with the visuals; sure you have the cheesy dialogue but it comes from the voicing talent of Quinton Joseph Flynn who voiced Raiden on his previous MGS outings. Then there is the presence of the mind-blowing heavy metal soundtrack that accompanies as you slice through almost everything on screen – it somehow creates a certain level of gaming epicness that I have not experienced before.
The storyline in Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance does what every Metal Gear story has done and will hopefully continue to do – it draws you in and if you free your mind and look past the dialogue that is beyond cheesy at times you will be immersed in some of the most engaging scenes in gaming, with a twisty, gyrating plot that would put an M. Knight Shamalambalam movie to shame.
Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance has you follow Raiden from his inception as a normal superman in a suit, through to becoming a cyborg, and then taking revenge on those who caused this change. Play more than an hour and you will soon discover that his quest for revenge is overturned by an overwhelming obsession for defending the weak and unleashing hell on those who take them on.
From a Dr. Doktor (who would put James Bond’s Q to shame in the gadgets department), through to human organ trafficking politicians, Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance’s story truly has everything that an action-craving fan would love. If it only wasn’t for a camera that really gets it confused at times this game would be near perfection.
As I am only allowed (under the sanctions of the Overly Abused Words Act implemented by James in 2012) to use the word Awesome in Metal Gear Reviews, I am going to tell you that if you are an action nut that this game is simply AWESOME and must be played!Forum discussion