Recently, I had the opportunity to attend a media screening for Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, a brand new entry in the MGS franchise, and brought to you by two iconic teams at Kojima Productions and PlatinumGames. Through some great hands-on experience, I can say it’s a great addition to the MGS line-up. Why, you ask? Find out after the jump.
The game is set four years after the events of Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots, and it’s star Raiden is the central focus once again. I’m not sure what the entire plot entails, but Metal Gear Wiki states, “Raiden is protecting a VIP, when they are attacked by a cyborg organization led by the Cyborg Ninja Samuel Rodriguez, that leaves Raiden with a broken body, completely defeated. Raiden is reconstructed by his PMC, and his search for Samuel and the company he’s working for, Desperado Enforcement LLC, drives him into a story of vengeance and revenge.”
First and foremost, MGR:R looks fantastic, which is to be expected coming this late in the current-gen system life-cycle. It’s a beautifully rendered world, complete with lush environments and crisp animations. Raiden hacks and slashes with great looking motions and effects.
There is a new system called ‘Blade Mode’ that allows players to take precision control of Raiden’s high-frequency katana blade and hack through specific parts of enemies. This proved to be one of my most entertaining experiences playing the game. Jumping in the air and entering blade mode to cut the wings off of a plane hovering overhead, sending it crashing to the ground felt amazing, and watching the edges of what I had just cut sizzle and turn bright orange was a treat. You can precision-slash your way through most enemies, after getting their health down a bit. Lining up 2 soldiers and slicing through them one after the other, then watching their bodies slide apart was indeed an experience that felt completely new to me, and was a memorable one as well.
The game did have a few issues though. As with all MGS games, the difficulty here is phenomenal. Even on easy, I was getting destroyed by bosses. Add to that the fact that the camera was often extremely confusing, switching perspectives from left to right with no warning – which proved detrimental when fighting the chainsaw-wielding L4-8Qi, an early boss fight where you spend most of your time running in circles dodging its attacks. Often I would run away only to have the camera turn around on me and end up in a corner getting chainsaw’d. It proved to be quite frustrating. The ‘blade mode’ needs to be triggered using a shoulder button, and I found that running towards an enemy and triggering it often left you still pushing forward on the analog stick, resulting in you madly slashing at the sky above you while your foe beats on you from down below.
The tutorial briefly explained blade mode, but nothing else. You’re thrown into the game and apparently expected to learn the controls on the fly. It was about 15 deaths into a boss fight that we figured out we had healing elixirs, and that we could use them in battle.
Even with those few flaws in mind, MGR:R is a great looking, fun game to play. Yes, it’s difficult, but if you’re a MGS fan you already knew it was going to be. So dig in, cut through some bridges or lamp posts and have a slashingly (just made that up now) good time with Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance when it hits stores on February 18, 2013!
Special thanks to Maricel and the team at National Public Relations for their always above and beyond hospitality, and for putting on a great event!