Published on November 8th, 2012 | by Tyler Lee0
Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance Demo Hand-on
Back in 2001, Konami released Zone of the Enders on the PS2. While a fun and unique game, many people bought ZOE for another reason. Konami had a playable demo of Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, a highly anticipated sequel, available to those who bought Zone of the Enders. With the release of Zone of the Enders HD Collection, it seems that Konami is content to have history repeat itself, as gamers who purchase the Zone of the Enders HD Collection will be able to install and play a demo for the upcoming Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance. At its core, the demo shows off some very fun mechanics, along with a few concerns that are hopefully addressed.
The demo takes place very close to the beginning Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance. A little backstory is given: several years after Metal Gear Solid 4, Raiden, after a failed protection mission that puts him at death’s door, suits up in his new cyborg body and heads out to assassinate the bad guys and do battle with other cyborg ninjas. While, as a Metal Gear game, Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance’s story is far deeper than that, and a few interactions and cutscenes delve further into the story, this demo has the plot take a back seat to what Platinum Games and Konami really want to sell you on: the gameplay, specifically the combat.
First and foremost, the Blade Mode mechanics is at the front of the show for Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance. The opening optional tutorial allows you to try out this method of combat free from harm, without any pesky enemies trying to kill you. You can also play a bit of Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance – Fruit Ninja, if you like (only joking…..kind of). Using Blade Mode turned out to be simple enough; holding down the L1 button throws you into bullet time and gives you a close over the shoulder view of what’s in front of you. From there, you use the left stick to adjust your aim, and the right stick to adjust the angle of the cut you are about to make. When you are ready release the right stick to watch Raiden slice through enemies like a hot knife through butter. You get to see their limbs and pieces fly off in slow motion. If preformed at the right time, you are given a target on the body to try to slice through, which will lead to the ability to execute a finishing move. While the enemies aren’t moving, this mechanics is easy as pie to use. However, when the real game of Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance starts, it becomes much more difficult.
When fighting against cyborgs, Blade Mode will need to be put on hold until you have properly beaten your foes to a pulp. The combat devolves into button mashing the light and heavy attack buttons, leading to some very colorful, quick, and acrobatic combos. The animations are so fluid and the combos are so fun that it still works well. As mentioned above, when enough damage is done to your opponents you can finish them off with a bloody finisher and tear out their innards to give you more health. This is where Blade Mode comes back into play. Sadly, the timing and the mechanics of Blade Mode are so iffy that it will prove difficult to pull off. It will take a lot of practice to get the timing down, since waiting too long will cause the enemies to resume their attack at normal speed.
Outside of Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance’s combat, I found that Blade Mode can be used for a bit of entertainment elsewhere. Some environments are able to hacked up using Blade Mode, such are trees, pillars to bridges and stair cases. There is a chandelier in one of the areas that is almost too tempting to pass up, along with a few others. Sadly, while a lot of the environment is destructible, some things that you would think would be destructible are not, such as random telephone poles, other kinds of pillars, etc. It is very inconsistent. Also, I found that the things that are destructible disappear after a few seconds of being chopped to bits with your sword. This is disappointing since the carnage you wreak fades away, and makes it seem less real somehow. Granted, this could have been done for the demo’s sake and might be different in the full game, but it is still discouraging.
Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance’s gameplay, however, doesn’t rely solely on the implementation of Blade Mode. While Blade Mode is the main feature, there is a bit more to the combat. Stealth kills are available if you sneak up on opponents. Not surprising, since this is a Metal Gear game, but Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance’s stealth kills are slightly flashier than any of its predecessors. These kills can range from a simple sword through the back, to a fancy acrobatic flip/stab from above.
It should surprise no one that, though this combat and gameplay prove fun, they are not without their flaws. A lack of targeting, while not damaging in this short demo, may prove detrimental to the full game. Without a lock on option, the fast paced, wide ranged, acrobatic combat can get away from you. Several times I would be laying into an enemy with slick, fast combos, but since I couldn’t lock on, some of my later hits would simply smack the air, giving them time to recover. This also poses a problem when fighting giant mechs with smaller cyborgs attacking you. You need to focus on the mech, but you can’t target him, so he gets away from you, you lose track of him, and he clocks you unexpectedly for a bit more damage than you would have liked.
It is also prudent to note that while, like previous Metal Gear titles, stealth is available in Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance (sneaking by enemies, hiding until their alertness goes down, etc.) that is not the primary focus. While playing the demo, it was all too easy to be spotted by the enemy, as most of my path was out in the open. I was not provided many hiding spots, and the game itself throws fights on you whether you like it or not. With this type of gameplay, that isn’t necessarily a bad thing, just something for Metal Gear fans to take into account.
Despite Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance’s flaws, the boss fights, or rather, the one boss fight you get to experience at the end, is where this demo shines and shines brightly. The mechanics, the button mashing, parrying, even the slightly questionable Blade Mode all come together and make for a very intense and rewarding one-on-one fight with another powerful cyborg. It was hard to recall anything that annoyed me about the game when I was clashing with the boss, a cyborg wolf with a chainsaw tail.
The demo for Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance itself is not without its problems, however. Several times, I found that the demo would freeze and I would have to restart the whole thing over again, which became very frustrating. I also found that if you happen to swing your sword at a bridge or a set of stairs toward the beginning of the game, you’ll have to restart since that is the only way of getting to your objective. You would think that if some things aren’t destroyable, it would be critical paths for progression. This is where the disappearing debris becomes a real problem. Thankfully there weren’t that many places for this to happen in the demo, but who knows in the actual game.
It’s safe to say that this demo of Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance has a lot of fun inside. It has its minor annoyances, and some things that will need to be fixed before the actual game releases, but all-in-all, it was a fun time. Hopefully there is more to it, as button mashing, no matter how flashy, will get old if played for extended periods of time, and the Blade Mode will not be able to hold Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance up by itself.