Right from the initial reveal of Revengeance, the Metal Gear fan base has been divided in their feelings towards this bold direction of the franchise. One of the biggest gripes skeptics have is with the focus shift from stealth to action. “Tactical Espionage Action” is the Metal Gear Solid tagline, and it seems that with Revengeance, only action remains. What people need to keep in mind though, is that this is not a Metal Gear Solid game. This is Metal Gear Rising. Such a minute detail may not seem like a big deal to most people, but it does denote that this is in fact a new series within the franchise, and a new series will naturally introduce new elements into the Metal Gear universe. It also means that not all Metal Gear Solid fans will like it, and people that weren’t big on Metal Gear Solid might find this new series to be more up their alley.
The second big issue that a lot of gamers have with Revengeance is the protagonist: Raiden. When I first finished the tanker level in Metal Gear Solid 2, and found out that I wasn’t going to be playing as Snake for the remainder of the game, I was disappointed. Instead of the seasoned war veteran and super spy that we all know and love, we got a skinny-ass whiny dude that looked like a girl. Raiden never was a popular character, and I would have loved to play as Snake for the entirety of MGS 2, but MGS 2 still stands tall as one of my favorite games on the PS2. This goes to show that games can still be really good, and a lot of fun, even if the protagonist isn’t all that likeable. And let’s not forget that the Metal Gear Rising Raiden is the badass cyborg ninja we caught a glimpse of in MGS 4, not the pussy in MGS 2.
Okay so these are reasons why I’m not so skeptic towards Revengeance as many Metal Gear fans seem to be, rather than reasons why I think it will be good. However, I think that it’s important to approach Revengeance with a different attitude than you would a typical Metal Gear Solid game. Having said that, there are a number of reasons why I think Raiden’s new adventure is going to be one heck of a ride.
The main reason would have to be the developer; Platinum Games. Vanquish and Bayonetta are hands-down among the best third-person action games of this generation. Both games had a very unique style, sported tight controls, varied enemies, creative level-design and were a ton of fun. If you like third-person action, whether it be cover based shooters or over the top hack ‘n’ slash, and haven’t played these games, you absolutely should check out these games ASAP! I had known about Metal Gear Rising for a good while before I had a chance to play Vanquish, and just recently Bayonetta, and let me tell you: any doubts I had about the gameplay in Revengeance were instantly thrown out of the window. What’s really got me hyped is that Revengeance is looking to be a marriage between the two, mixing the tech and abilities of the exoskeleton suit in Vanquish, with the tight melee combat of Bayonetta, set in the Metal Gear universe. It just sounds freaking awesome.
Okay so I’ve got somewhat of a hard-on for the developer, but there’s of course a demo out, so what about that? I didn’t really like it after my first go. The camera felt a bit awkward, I didn’t really get the hang of the parry/block system, and blade mode was cool and all, but didn’t quite jive with me. This put me off at first, so I gave it another go, but I still didn’t get into it. I let it be for a few days and then went back for a couple more runs, and suddenly I started feeling it. I got used to the camera, the boss at the end taught me how to really use the parry system, and blade mode started to feel a lot more natural (especially after I realized that you can do a set of fast swipes, rather than fidgeting and trying to hit the sweet spot with a single swipe). Now I’ve worked up a hunger for more, and I can’t wait to see what other weapons, moves, enemies, upgrades and other good stuff awaits in the full game.
The story and setting are now the only parts of the game that I’m not a 100% sold on quite yet. Vanquish and Bayonetta both lacked engaging storylines, had a goofy cast of characters, and the writing and dialogue was real heavy on the cheese. They did however serve their purpose to set up levels and gameplay scenarios that were a blast to play, so I won’t be too disappointed if the story turns out to be weak, as long as it drives the action forward. Besides, when you really think about it, the Metal Gear games are really story driven and are not shy to venture into silly territory (Liquid’s severed arm being a plot device, really?). I mean, by the end of MGS 4 there were so many loose ends being tied up, and way too many crazy characters to keep track of that you just kind of rolled with it. I think that’s exactly what you’ll need to with Revengeance, just roll with it, and have fun while doing so. Judging from the Boss trailer, we’ll get plenty of unique and engaging boss-fights that are a staple of Metal Gear games (and Platinum Games know how to make epic boss fights). My biggest worry is that the Metal Gear universe is rooted in the real world and therefore we won’t be seeing as much off-the-wall levels as in previous titles from Platinum Games, but I’m confident they’ll offer plenty of interesting settings and scenarios.
Whether you like it or not; Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance is coming. There are going to be haters, but as a huge Metal Gear fan I’m going to play Revengeance with an open mind and without preconceptions. There’s bound to be plenty of easter-eggs and nods to the MGS series to put a smile on any Metal Gear fan’s face, and come on: Gray Fox skin? Hell yes! Go play Vanquish and Bayonetta, and give the demo a couple more tries if you didn’t like it at first. If you’re absolutely sure that Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance is not for you, that’s fine too. Just stop complaining that it’s not Metal Gear Solid, because it’s not. In any case I’m pumped to slice and dice my way through whatever Kojima and Platinum Games throws at me!