Review – Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance

By: Louis Edwards

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The next installment in Hideo Kojima’s Metal Gear series is set to be unleashed across multiple platforms. For the first time, Xbox owners will be able to experience Kojimasan’s stories firsthand as they slice their way through Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance. Did Kojimasan and Platinum Games create a title worthy of the name Metal Gear, or did they just phone this one in?

Read on to find out.

The Metal Gear franchise has had a long and storied history on PlayStation consoles. With help from Platinum Games, Kojima Productions has brought this franchise to the next level by creating a multi-platform title. For the first time a Metal Gear game has been released for a console that doesn’t have the Sony name on it. Welcome to the world of Metal Gear Xbox owners.

Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance follows our hero Raiden, a former Liberian child soldier with a violent history. Raiden’s parents were murdered when he was young and he was raised by the man that killed them, another well known name in the MG world, Solidus Snake. Solidus taught him to love the blade even more than the gun, and demonstrated its usefulness by slitting the throat of a soldier in front of the young Raiden. After being fed food laced with gunpowder and toluene, and being trained by watching Hollywood action movies, Raiden and his child soldier army went on to fight in the Liberian Civil War. His exploits during the war were both legendary and lethal and earned him the nickname “Jack the Ripper”. After the war, Raiden was taken to the U.S. and injected with nano-machines to enhance his brain and to help him forget his past. His memories did fade, but deep down his past will always be with him.

Raiden

Raiden

Fast forward to three years after the collapse of the Patriot system in Metal Gear Solid 4 and the world is in utter chaos. Cyborg enhancements for humans have become commonplace and cyborg crimes and terrorism are running rampant. The world is in desperate need of order and control. The Private Military Companies (PMC’s) have since disbanded and now rogue groups are vying for power through the use of what was once only militarily used cybernetic technologies. As a member of the peace keeping company Maverick Security, Raiden lives to protect and save lives, but as the world slowly falls into a world of moral and ethical decay coupled with endless violence, he is forced to deal with his demons from his past the only way he knows how. He must use his half machine cyborg ninja body and his high-frequency katana blade to cut to the chase.

As with most games in the Metal Gear franchise, the story line is complex and deep. The franchise has been around for a long time and there’s an entire encyclopedia of knowledge available online. Knowing the full history behind the series is by no means a necessary prerequisite, but knowing a little about Raiden’s violent history might help you to better understand him as a character. The character is well defined and complex, and to know him is to understand the internal strife he has and how he struggles with his own past mentally. He is truly a man in conflict and his storyline bears that out well.

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The gameplay for MGRR is clearly not the same as other Metal Gear games. Where MGS could be played almost entirely in stealth, MGRR focuses mainly on action and combat. There are a few areas where the famous MG box comes in handy (there’s also a fifty five gallon drum) but it’s not really required since you could just take out the bad guys in the way and proceed on. You’ll also be forced into combat many times over, and an invisible wall will be placed in front of you requiring you to eliminate all enemies before you can move on.

This is a third person action title and most of your weapons are of the melee type. You start out with only Raiden’s katana but eventually you’ll unlock the Pole-arm, which is a staff type weapon that is also high-frequency and acts more like a whip at times than a staff. There’s also an unlockable Tactical Sai that is great for CQB, but the staff will bring you better comfort. There are some scissor blades that do some serious damage, but are really too slow and awkward to give them much benefit. There’s also several types of grenades, an RPG and a SAM, but those have very little use except for the occasional helicopter that comes in to annoy you.

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Each weapon and your cyborg body is upgradeable. As you take out the many bad guys you’ll encounter, you’ll earn Battle Points which can then be used to purchase upgrades for your weapons and body. Raiden can also chop through almost anything in the environments and this can net him even more BP, but the bulk of that BP will come from slicing and dicing the bad guys. By entering blade mode (L1 on the PS3) a small box will appear on the body of a bad guy. If you can slice through that successfully, and press the quicktime button (Circle for the PS3) you can rip out their energy spine and replenish Raiden’s health and energy, plus gets some extra BP as well. While in blade mode, keep an eye out for the arms of soldiers that are highlighted. These arms can be sliced off and data can then be gathered from that arm once you pick it up. There are also boxes spread out around the world that can net you BP and health pick-ups. By pressing up on the D-Pad you can enter Augment view which will highlight any enemies around as well as any of these boxes lying around.

Can I get have that arm? Please?

Can I get have that arm? Please?

Combat will have you hacking and slashing through quite a few bad guys, with a decent number of unique opponents. Playing on easy is clearly too easy, but playing on hard your first time through will bring you a lot of death and disappointment. Normal is probably where most gamers should begin, and once you’ve completed the game you can start a new game with all of your upgrades. This makes the Hard difficulty a little more bearable.The camera angles can be a pain at times, and you’ll find yourself dashing around using your Ninja run while moving your camera around looking for that man or machine that’s trying to kill you. It takes practice, but we were able to master it pretty well. The final boss would have been damn near impossible without mastering the camera, so keep that in mind.

Boss battles were a little disappointing. One of the great things about past MG games has always been epic boss battles. The build up to each MG boss battle in the past also contributed to the overall feel of the game and they missed the target here. The boss characters just didn’t feel as developed as those of the past, with some being no more than a mention until you faced off against them. With little to no build-up to the battle, it made the battles just fell like a minor road bump in the story line and not the epic battle we were expecting.

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Also spread out across the world you’ll come across laptops that hold Virtual Missions. These missions are accessed from the main menu (also from the Select menu) and are training missions in a virtual world. the virtual worlds are basically worlds with no detail but the extra training practice will come in handy once you’ve started playing on the hardest of hard modes called Revengeance Mode.

The graphics for MGRR are very polished, with exceptional detail on the environments, as well as on Raiden and all of the bad guys. To say the game looks good would be an understatement. While some boss’ characters might be forgettable, they still looked great. The sounds of the game are as sharp as the graphics. The soundtrack will be one that people will want to download. The music fits the gameplay and the environments well. The tempo picks up where it needs to and goes quiet at the right times.

Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance isn’t your run of the mill Metal Gear game. It is a step away from the stealth and espionage that comes to mind when someone thinks Metal Gear. For some die hard MG fans, this will take away from the overall series, but for most gamers, it just might be a welcome change.

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Our biggest complaint for this title has to be chapter length. Early on, chapters felt pretty long, with quite a bit to do and quite a few enemies to take out. After a while, the chapters started getting shorter and shorter. Playing on Normal took us around 5 hours to complete the game, and that included watching all of the cut scenes. We didn’t find all of the VR missions and we didn’t sever all of the arms containing data, so there is some replayability there.

Raiden is a well created character, with flaws that are human, and body parts that aren’t. We found the game to not only be enjoyable, but replayable as well.

8

 

The Final Verdict

ProsCons

  • Brand new style of gameplay
  • Precision sword fighting at its finest
  • Well written story

  • Story shorter than most titles in the series
  • Chapters start out long but get much shorter as the game progresses

Verdict A welcome change to Kojimasan's world of Metal Gear
Rating
80%

 

  • https://www.facebook.com/848204576 Victor Velasco

    Cool review! :D

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