Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance is one hell of a wild ride. It’s not a long ride, but the time you spend on it is well worth the price of admission. It throws you into the action, and outside of the cutscenes, it never really lets up until it’s over. Platinum Games and Hideo Kojima decided that while it may only be about 5-7 hours per play through, they were going to cram as much into them as they could, and god am I glad they did.
The story is exactly what you would expect from Hideo Kojima with a Platinum Games flair. It has all of your usual Hideo Kojima ramblings about life, power, environment and war as an economy. It’s big, it’s outlandish, and it’s HUGELY over the top, but in this context, it fits the game perfectly. If you’re not a Metal Gear fan, then you will enjoy seeing how the universe changed after the events of MGS4, and how all of that led to the events in Rising. If your not a Metal Gear Solid fan, well then skip to the good stuff and enjoy the rest of the ride. The story is really there for the fans, and as a fan I appreciated that. But I also understand there are those out there who do not, luckily there is a bit here for everyone.
Metal Gear Rising’s combat is fast and furious. They give you a weak and strong attack, which you can chain together to produce combo’s. Combo’s start with just your basic chain, but once you start leveling up your move set, you gain access to bigger and stronger combo moves. Once you do enough of these combo’s and fill your power gauge, you can go into what is essentially “blade time”. Blade time essentially slows everything down and allows you to use the right analog stick to free swing your sword. You can use this time to deal out as much damage as possible as well as use precise blade cutting on a target to do some massive damage. For example: you can remove limbs, heads and sometimes if you’re fighting the right enemy, the left arm for a bonus. Sometimes after you have worn an enemy down or blocked correctly and you trigger blade time a little red box will show up. If you manage to slash within that box you will be rewarded with a “zandatsu” What that basically means is, you will reach in and rip out your enemies guts and use them to recharge your own, it is a bit gruesome, but all of the enemies in the game are cyborgs, so you don’t have to feel bad. Defense also plays a pivotal role in Metal Gear Rising. Instead of giving you a block button, the only way to block in Rising is by pressing the light attack button and pushing in the direction of the enemy. It is a good system, one that is easy enough to be useful, but engaging enough to keep it interesting.
As you progress, the game also allows you to use secondary weapons. These are usually after a boss fight and allow you to have a variation of their own weapon. I personally didn’t find them all that useful, as there is a slight pause when pulling a secondary weapon out, and as such I found it more fluid to play with the default sword. But some of the secondary weapons are kind of fun. The Sai for example, while not overly powerful, allows you to disrupt the enemy A.I, stunning them, which allows you to really go to town on that enemy. So by including them they allow for some changes to the play style and variety. There are also consumable weapons such as grenades, rocket launchers and the like. Again, I personally did not find these all that useful, save for the odd time i shot at a helicopter with a rocket launcher.
Graphically I found Rising to be a beautiful game. The frame rate was very stable, even during crazy boss battles or hectic chases. One of the cooler features in the game is the ability to slow down time and chop stuff up. While doing it, there is a little counter in the corner telling you how many pieces it has ended up in. The camera was, for the most part, very good, although there were a few times that it did get a little crazy. Overall, for this kind of game, the camera was very good. I found the voice work as a whole to be fairly solid as well. Although, I am still not sure if the guy they chose to voice Raiden (Quinton Flynn) was the best choice, as I feel out of all the voice work in the game his could be considered the weakest.
Metal Gear Rising is by no means a long game. I think on my first play though I logged around 6 hours. There is also, in true Metal Gear Solid tradition, VR Missions to unlock, as well as many collectibles and secrets. Also, I do know they are planning on releasing some DLC as well, so that should help bring some people back for another go. For myself personally, I liked the length, nothing about it ever felt like they were adding fluff to make the game longer. But if you are the kind of person who will burn though this in 2 days and then be angry that it’s not longer, well then, this game is clearly not for you. But if you are the person who always wondered what would happen if Platinum Games made a game set in the Metal Gear Solid universe with crazy cyborg ninjas, hacking through cars and don’t mind a shorter playtime. Well then, man, do I have the game for you.
By Dayne “Anjel” Cody