Published on February 19th, 2013 | by Tyler Lee0
Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance Review
There’s a new head ninja in gaming and his name is Raiden. I remember not too long ago when the modern Ninja Gaiden series was the end all, beat all for hacking and slashing your enemies ninja style; the go to game to satisfy your ultra-violent ninja action cravings. Platinum Games and Konami have changed all that now with their new title Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, a fast paced, violent, flashy thrill ride though the Metal Gear universe from a slightly different point of view. Many have had their doubts about Revengeance, and it is true that it is very different from any other Metal Gear title. However, Platinum Games and Konami developed a very well balanced game with a smooth and easy to learn control scheme and mechanics.
As mentioned above, Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance is indeed set in the Metal Gear universe we’ve come to know and love, but it is seen through a very different window. Taking place sometime after Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots the player controls the oft scorned Raiden from Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty. However, gamers should be able to see Raiden in a much different light this time around. His voice acting may not have gotten any better, but the character is certainly more than he was last time we took control. He is now a highly advanced cybernetic ninja, a fast and cold killing machine that translates perfectly into the gameplay, especially with the nearly completely destructible environment. The stealth it is put on the back burner for an extremely fast and over the top combat system.
Now, if you’re looking for the same kind of story telling found in the Metal Gear Solid series then you may want to look elsewhere. The story is much simpler than your basic Metal Gear game. In Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, you are cyborg ninja Raiden and you need to stop the bad guys from making an army of evil cyborgs and killing lots of people. The story briefly tosses around the argument of whether or not combating violence with more violence is right but it doesn’t go any farther than that.
While the story may be a bit lackluster, the combat is anything but. In simplest terms, it is visceral, exhilarating, and easy to use. Movement is fluid and smooth, especially with the implementation of Ninja Run which allows you to run very quickly while jumping and sliding over and under obstacles. You can even hack and slash while in Ninja Run to dice up your foes or deflect bullets. You also gain new weapons as you progress to use to compliment your blade, making for even more flashy and devastating combos. You can also upgrade your weapons and Raiden himself by purchasing upgrades with BP points you earn through your progression in story mode. It’s pretty basic, but the upgrades can not only make you more destructive, but can also up your arsenal of skills at your disposal, which is always fun.
The main proponent of Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, when it comes to the gameplay, is without a doubt Blade Mode. While it takes a little getting used to, once you get the hang of it, becomes a very deadly weapon. When prompted, usually by a slight slowdown on your opponent’s part after a successful parry or attack, you can slow down time and cut your foe to pieces.
In Blade Mode, you control the direction of the cut with one analogue stick and you slice with the other. On most enemies, you can slice at the right moment and are able to steal health from them in a cool but brutal short cinematic kill, always involving your opponent being in several pieces, much like the rest of the combat and much like the environment itself.
The combat in normal battles are quite fun, but the combat during boss fights is some of the most intense, fast paced, and visually appealing combat I’ve ever experienced. It is really where the game shines. Each boss fight is a near flawlessly balanced combination of brutal, fast paced hack n’slash, well timed defense and parries, and just enough in-game cinematics to move the action in a very flashy direction without pulling the player from the fight.
The gameplay is not without its faults, as is usually the case. The combat could almost be considered perfect if not for a few distinct flaws. First of all, the camera tends to be a bit wonky. While it isn’t unruly, it sometimes feels like the camera wants to show you a different view then what you want. It becomes especially frustrating during parts of the combat.
The other downside to the combat is that the combos are so fast and forceful that once in the middle of one, it’s hard to stop, leaving you vulnerable to a counter attack that could cost dearly especially in a boss battle. Most of the time I would be surrounded by enemies hacking and slashing away when I would get too deep into a combo and wouldn’t be able to stop when an enemy behind me begins their attack. Luckily, there is a defensive/offensive (sounds contradictory, I know) technique that allows you to slash an enemy while jumping backwards putting distance between you and them.
Aside from the story mode, there isn’t a lot of stuff to keep you occupied. You can play VR missions to get the hang of the game or to challenge yourself with completing the missions faster. Replay value isn’t going to be that high with gamers, but the time you will spend within the story will be very rewarding thanks to the excellently aggressive and brutal combat system that Platinum Games and Konami have implemented. The game looks great from an animation and a gameplay perspective and the occasional frustrating flaw won’t be enough to ruin your enjoyment as you cut dozens of foes into pieces or become embroiled in a very intense and visually superb boss battle.
*Editor’s note: A copy of Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance was provided by PR.
Summary: It may have a bump or two along the road, but Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance is a great ride with some very well balanced and brutal combat.