Release Date: 2/16/2013Publisher: KonamiPlatform: PS3Genre: Action Adventure
In Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, we take on the role of Raiden for the second time in the Metal Gear story, this time as his latest incarnation: the cyber ninja, as seen in the previous game Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of The Patriots. Revengeance marks a giant change in the beloved series, as we depart from stealth mechanics (for the most part) and jump into a more hands-on “slice and dice” way of playing that resembles Devil May Cry more than it does its predecessors.
The story takes us at least three years beyond Metal Gear Solid 4. Raiden, called Mr. Lightning Bolt by his current employer, is part of a private security company employed by the local government, that has been stabilizing a region in Africa. However, just as the peaceful city around you begins to take shape the Prime Minister is attacked and you’re thrust into the game mechanics of running, dodging, slicing and dicing everything from cyborg soldiers to Metal Gear leftovers from the war.
This is not the Metal Gear you know and love, though it does take place in the now familiar Metal Gear universe. As the story progresses, you make your way through to trying to take down a company of mercenaries with a plan to destabilize the region and, in the words of one of its early spokespersons, “give War a chance.” I’d also like to add that while it is technically a John Lennon quote (“Give Peace a chance”), turning it around is a bit arrogant and made me want to smack the guy who said it and possibly the one writing the dialogue.
The game mechanics have less in common with Metal Gear than one would hope and with the hack and slash and button mashing that results, Devil May Cry is looking like a possible alternative to this game, even though the story’s genre is completely different. With the fan base for MGS being as devout as they are, I don’t know how many will welcome this change, let alone embrace it.
While I usually don’t like the button mashing slice and dice (unless it comes with demons, vampires and/or sarcastic comments), I did my best to give Revengeance its due.
The battle mechanics are well thought out and the controls are mostly intuitive, though there is a Blade Mode that is not and requires quite a bit of practice to get the hang of. Blade Mode allows you to focus only on your sword, forgoing movement in exchange for exactitude in aim with your sword by using the left stick to aim your field of vision and the right to slice at precise angles. Alternately, you can use the X and Y buttons (on Xbox 360) to slice horizontally or vertically instead of using the right stick.
The game also allows for Customization, which is new to the Metal Gear games. You can learn new skills, upgrade your weapons and extend your life and energy meters. You also pick up new weapons from certain boss battles and those are upgradable as well.
The boss battles are insane and I don’t just mean from a difficulty standpoint. One of the earlier bosses has 8 arms and a small army of three-armed robots all coming at you simultaneously. Keeping track of them all, dodging the main boss and trying to see where you are all at the same time becomes beyond challenging when you’re still getting used to the controls.
I don’t have a single complaint on the graphics, they are simply spectacular. Every single character is sharp and crisp, the levels are detailed and the environments rich and full. Raiden has changed little since our run in with him in MGS4, though his armor is more intricate and he has upgraded several things. The robotic enemies are as detailed as ever and don’t get me started on how awesome the Metal Gears look, even when they’re trying to kill you.
One pleasant surprise for me when I played was the background music. While Metal Gear has always had interesting music for its credits, story clips and such, I was pleased to hear some very nice rock and techno music during normal gameplay and in some mini-boss battles as well. They were excellent choices and kept the feel of the game intact, even as they added that extra bit of awesome to what might otherwise have been a tedious button-mashing battle (at least, to me).
“To Replay or not to Replay?” That is the question. And it is not an easy one to answer. If you want the next snippet of story for the Metal Gear universe, but end up disliking the new style of gameplay, you may end up not playing it again. If you find yourself enamored of the ability to slice and dice people as the cyborg ninja Raiden in the universe of Metal Gear we all know and love, then you may have found a good game to replay on days when you need to cut through robots with an electrified sword to de-stress. As for myself, I honestly haven’t been able to make up my mind yet.
As I said earlier, this is not the Metal Gear we grew to know and love. Whether we keep it in our collection, trade it in or don’t buy it at all is, for once, a murky and very personal choice.
Story: 8 / 10Gameplay: 7 / 10Graphics: 10 / 10Music: 8 / 10Replayability: 6 / 10