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Impressions: Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance

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Developer(s):  Platinum Games/Kojima Productions
Publisher(s):    Konami
Platforms:         PS3, Xbox 360 and PC
Release Date:  US – February 19th 2013, EU – February 22nd 2013[/wpspoiler]

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Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance is a very different type of Metal Gear game, stealth isn’t necessary but then why would you sneak when Raiden is tooled up and ready to wreak havoc on anything that moves?

The Metal Gear trademarks are still here, exclamation marks, an alert mode for when your discovered and a futuristic codec.  Instead of tapping on your ear or turning a switch like old Metal Gear games, the coded here appears in front of you during certain sections, allowing you to walk and investigate the area while talking.  It’s a communication system that harks back to Platinum’s very own Vanquish – a title that was a critical darling but like so many of Platinum’s games failed to light up the sales figures.

Platinum Games have always made their games play great and Rising is no different.  The Blade Mode mechanic is the real star of the show and it’s what sets Rising apart from it’s third person action rivals.

Slicing is controlled with the right stick and while at first it does feel very unnatural soon you’ll have a firm grip of where and when to slice.  It’s a system that’s very important as my time with the game demonstrated.

While it doesn’t quite have the ‘Zan-Datsu’ cut everything mechanic that the cancelled Metal Gear Solid: Rising was set to have, I was still able to cut a lot of items in the world.  Trees, barrels, poles and even metal bridges fall to the bane of Raiden’s sword.  In fact I accidentally cut the bridge while I was walking on it and to my surprise I fell through.

There’s also no regenerating health bar which is a common feature found in games today.  Barring a few health pick ups the only way to keep your health topped up is by cutting enemies in a way that reveals a blue energy that keeps Raiden topped up.  You will certainly lose health as there’s no real way to block, the only defensive system is parry which leaves your opponent open to attack.  It’s the only way to defeat the first boss as well, IF Prototype – LP-84I, or robot dog as I like to call him.

Like the rest of the demo the boss fight was fast, fluid and fun.  I was clearly no match for his pace or speed but countering his attacks at just the right moment to give me an opening to strike was very satisfying.

Along with the Kojima influence Platinum are taking Raiden to even more dark and distraught places which does contradict MGS4’s ending, so it will be interesting to see how it’s handled in the full game.

Despite the heavy focus on action it still has the atmosphere of a Metal Gear game, it doesn’t feel like a half baked sequel or a cash-in on the franchise name.  With an almost brand new cast and storyline that gets away from nanomachines and the Patriots it’s brought a fresh feeling to the Metal Gear universe.

So far from what I’ve played Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance is looking to be one of 2013’s top picks, I for one can’t wait to slice my way into Platinum’s next blockbuster.

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