Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance review.
Kojima Productions and Platinum Games have joined forces to bring you a game unlike any other Metal Gear you’ve seen before. This fast-paced heavy action game still has the stealth elements for all intents and purposes, so die hard Metal Gear Solid fans will still enjoy this game, but they should probably go into it with an open mind. In regards to combat, Devil May Cry and Bayonetta fans should be in their element.
For those unfamiliar with these styles of games, Revengeance very kindly offers up a tutorial for you to get used to the new combat and gameplay styles of the game. In here, you will learn the rudimentary combat basics and Ninja Run: hold down the RT button when moving and Raiden will engage in a streamline run, replacing button timings and jumps with automatic slides, jumps, and other Parkour elements, leaving you to sit back, relax and enjoy the ride. As well as regular combat, Ninja Run also offers up more combat options to add to the mix, giving you extra potential combos.
Once you get to grips with the basics, it’s time to start the game. For those who want a little background, Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance is set four years after the events of Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots, and follows the story of Raiden, a cyborg ninja who was a main character in Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, and who is part of a peace-keeping, anti-terrorist Private Military Company known as Maverick Security Consulting. For those who haven’t even played the demo, I’ll try to be as brief as possible. For those who have, I’ll leave the rest of the game as a mystery so I don’t spoil it for you.
The beginning of Revengeance takes you into a cut scene where you’re sitting in a limo with the Prime Minister of Africa, where I’d like to take a moment to point out that the visuals and graphics are incredible, and it’s obvious quite a bit of attention has been paid to the detail of these characters and their environments. Back to the story, your car and armoured tank escort is soon ambushed by other cyborg ninjas from a terrorist PMC known as Desperado Enforcement, where the warmonger leader will soon introduce himself and his aim to bring war back to Africa, and then kidnap the African Prime Minister.
Before the actual kidnapping, you’ll get your first taste of real combat when facing his every day cyborg cronies, where you can re-explore all of your combat and combo options you [should have] experienced in the tutorial. Primarily in the style of hack and slash with elements of stealth, you’ll get to enjoy the very graphic deaths of your enemies, with a whole lot of blood, gore, and various limbs getting sliced apart before your very eyes. Whilst you [should have] experienced the counter attack/parry move within the tutorial, or rather lack thereof, it becomes more apparent the further on you go into the game. Other combat moves do more than make up for this slight flaw, inspired by Raiden’s jujitsu training which does actually focus on attacking rather than parrying, but sometimes a proper stand-your-ground block is missed. However, you’ll find that if there is an obstacle your Ninja Run can’t overcome, chances are you’ll be able to slash it out of your way with your sword.
After the kidnapping, you’ll encounter your first semi-boss fight with a Metal Gear, a ginormous robot beastie the size of a building; a very daunting first boss, but here’s where the new combat style of Revengeance really shines. A worthy thing to mention when encountering a boss, no matter how difficult they may be, is the music; hacking a giant robot to pieces to the squeal of a guitar solo is something I didn’t realise I was missing out on. Another worthy mention would be Blade Mode, which is essentially a free slice mode; time slows down around you and gives you a free for all on hacking up your enemy into as many pieces as possible before time reverts back to normal. You are given the option of horizontal to vertical slices, and can deliver dozens of these vicious slashes within the Blade Mode [non-defined] time limit. This Mode is absolutely crucial in boss fights, as it delivers an amazing amount of damage in a super short period of time. Quick time events are also introduced through this first boss fight, with each button press leading up to a massive finishing move, as well as combat rankings following the Metal Gear’s defeat. This ranking judges your overall combat from the start to this point in the game, from the combos to the kills you performed, and how many times you died to give you an overall letter ranking of your performance so far. You’ll receive these combat performance reviews at the end of chapters/after you’ve defeated a boss.
Following on in your chase of the warmonger and the kidnapped Prime Minister, you catch up to them on top of a moving train, where the Prime Minister is chained up and about to meet his maker. Unable to stop the warmonger from killing the Prime Minister just a few feet away from him, Raiden is then pulled into battle with the Desperado cyborg ninja Samuel Rodrigues. Sam accuses Raiden of using his sword as just a tool instead of allowing it to reach its full potential, and in turn proceeds to almost hack Raiden to death with his own, where he loses his left arm and left eye to Sam before being saved in the nick of time.
This leads us into the next part of the tale, where we meet the new and improved Raiden boasting a powerful new cyborg body, bringing him on par with the likes of Sam. Raiden goes to Sukhumi, Abkhazia’s capital on a mission to stop the military coup that Desperado Enterprises is leading, with the intent of settling the score with the terrorist PMC once and for all. Here you’ll get to fully show off your new suit and its capabilities, complete with a low down on how it works from your friend the Doktor, who is responsible for your new body. You can always keep in touch with your colleagues over at Maverick HQ with your visual interface system, meaning you will always stay in the loop.
Back to the new suit, you’ll learn that you need to keep it constantly powered in order to maintain it, by seizing nano-repair units from your foes and also from absorbing their MCFC electrolytes, found in their fluids. An agreement with the Doktor also gives you the option to upgrade and service your new body by providing him with the left hands of all the terrorist enemies you slaughter, where their combat data is stored on holographic memory. Cue your arrival to Abkhazia, and here I won’t elaborate anymore with the storyline. No spoilers. I will, however, mention once again that these cinematic visuals are incredible; it’s genuinely a delight to watch and to play.
Seeing as I don’t want to give anything away with the storyline, the simplest way of describing the game would be that you are an anti-terrorist unit up against terrorist enemies. Of course, it’s a lot more complicated than that; there are obviously moral, political and ethical conflicts that crop up as well as general boss fights. The immersiveness of the story makes you feel as if you are actually struggling for justice and peace in a world where everyone wants you to fail at your mission. It’s difficult, and it’s intriguing, and your enemies are very easy to hate.
Combat-wise, the wide variety of moves you can use to make up epic combos is unreal. You have almost limitless options on the different modes, hacks and slashes you can use on your suspecting or unsuspecting enemies. The game is heavily action-oriented, not to mention fast-paced and hectic, with an abundance of ferocious tactics and slicing mechanics sure to have you dominating the cyborg ninja world. The stealth and cinematics in Revengeance show that, overall, the game stays true to its Metal Gear roots, yet is still an action game first and foremost. The action is exciting, the bosses are unpredictable and unforgettable, and you definitely want to explore all of the combat and weapon possibilities available to you.