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Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance Review

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Developer: Platinum Games
Publisher: Konami
Genre: Third-person action/hack 'n' slash 
Release Date: 21.02.2013
Official Site: http://www.konami.jp/mgr/

 

The Metal Gear franchise takes a step into new territory with Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance. Whereas the Metal Gear Solid games have been more focused on stealth and tactics rather than action, Revengeance goes all in with relentless third person hack ‘n’ slash combat that rarely lets up. That’s not to say that Metal Gear Rising doesn’t retain any of the series’ essence, there are plenty of instances where there is no doubt that this is in fact a Metal Gear game. Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance is a fantastic action game, that should please fans and newcomers to the franchise alike.

Set four years after the events of Metal Gear Solid 4, the Sons of the Patriots and the war economy is seemingly a thing of the past. With the Patriots’ control and influence over information and technology gone, cyborg augmentation is now commonplace and is being used by PMC’s (private military companies) across the globe.

Raiden is working for Maverick, a PMC that specializes in security and counter-terrorism ops. During a VIP protection mission in Libya, Raiden and his colleagues are attacked by the self-proclaimed PMC;Desperado Enterprises. They kidnap and kill the VIP, defeating Raiden and leaving him barely alive. A few weeks later Raiden is equipped with a new powerful cyborg body and is going after Desperado.

The story, characters, and setting of Revengeance fits very well with the rest of the Metal Gear lore. Being familiar with the events and characters of the Metal Gear Solid games will certainly make the story more enjoyable, but it is not necessary in order to appreciate it. In true Metal Gear fashion all the main bad guys are larger than life characters that have plenty to say about war and why they fight. Revengeance does a great job of delivering that unique Metal Gear feel, without drawing out the cutscenes for too long and drowning the player in codec conversations.

For the Metal Gear fans that do enjoy the well fleshed out back-story, and like to immerse themselves completely in Metal Gear exposition, there is a lot of codec conversations to listen in on by calling your supporting team. Anyone worried that Revengeance is not a Metal Gear game can rest easy. Platinum games have done a commendable job at crafting a brand new Metal Gear experience that strikes a nice balance between cutcsenes & story, and gameplay.

Speaking of gameplay, Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance delivers some of the best high-octane action of this generation. The swordplay is fast and furious, each fight is thrilling and challenging, and the boss fights are some of the best you’ll find in any Metal Gear game. Each enemy needs a certain approach, and when the game throws multiple enemy types at Raiden at the same time, using the right moves and timing them properly is key to victory. On the easy difficulty, you might be able to get through the game by randomly mashing the attack buttons and hoping for the best, but on normal and above you’ll need to master the parry/block system and utilize Raiden’s skills effectively.

Raiden has a host of different skills and combo’s available to him, and there are plenty of unlockable moves that become available as you progress through the game. Whenever you beat a boss you can purchase their unique weapon for use, and there are several additional weapons that can be unlocked through finding collectables and performing certain tasks within the game. I would have liked for the game to explain some functions a bit better. It took me a while to find the move list, and it’s up to the player to a hang of the intricacies of the parry system.  All the weapons, skills, and upgrades to Raiden’s body carry over to your new game+ as well, and you’ll need several playthroughs in order to see everything that the game has to offer.

What separates Revengeance from your typical hack ‘n’ slash game is the blade mode, and the ability to cut almost anything into hundreds of tiny pieces. When you enter blade mode, and Raiden’s fuel cells are fully charged, the game goes into slow motion and you can freely slice and dice enemies and objects into shreds. Besides being immensely bloody and satisfying, chopping up enemy cyborgs and unmanned gears serves a purpose; Raiden can replenish his health and fuel cells by cutting enemies in the right places and performing a “Zan-Datsu” kill, where he grabs his foes exposed spine. It’s an incredibly fun mechanic that really hits the spot.

Metal Gear Rising’s story mode is a little on the short side, but there’s additional content that will keep you playing. Like all Metal Gear games, there is an overwhelming amount of easter-eggs and quirky references to discover. The campaign is so much fun that you’ll likely want to run through it more than once. There’s no multiplayer mode, which is good because it would likely feel tacked on and out of place, however, there is a challenge mode in the form of VR-missions in true Metal Gear fashion.

Revengeance looks and sounds really good. The graphics and animations are slick and smooth, and it is amazing how many individual pieces of a chopped up enemy or object can be shown on the screen at the same time. The art direction is instantly recognizable as Metal Gear, and character models and designs are cool. Some of the environments look a bit bland, but it’s nothing that detracts from the experience. The soundtrack is a mix between epic movie’esque compositions and hard hitting electro-infused metal, which really drives the intense action and melodramatic story forward.

Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance is one of the best action games I’ve played in recent years. At first I was skeptic that the Metal Gear universe would transfer well into a hack ‘n’ slash action game, but Platinum Games came through, and then some. They have now firmly established themselves as one of the leading developers of the genre. Raiden’s journey is an intriguing one that raises many interesting questions on the subject of war and human nature, and I dare say that he gives the legendary Solid Snake a run for his money. More than worthy of the Metal Gear name; Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance is a game that no one should pass up, Metal Gear fan or no.      

We liked The fast and thrilling gameplay, challenging, cool art direction & awesome campaign

We disliked Campaign a bit on the short side & some moves/mechanics ill-explained

 

Ingólfur Ólafsson

Managing Editor.

 

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