Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance is the second game to have you in control of Raiden, the protagonist from Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, this time without the aid of Snake. Does Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance stand at all as a spinoff or should Raiden never rise?
Taking place 4 years after the events of Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots you play as the once often ridiculed: Raiden (Jack the Ripper). Who went from a blonde-haired beautiful young boy to a badass ninja-cyborg with scandalous gray hair. It is surprising how much of a change Raiden went so that fans went from absolutely hating the guy to absolutely loving him. But I digress.
The story in Revengeance is – like other Metal Gear titles – convoluted, confusing and probably more interesting than it turns out to be. Raiden discovers that there are orphan children that are pretty much going through when he went through as a child and he’s trying to rescue them and put a stop to it. The lil’ orphans’ brains are being sold all over the world and as silly as that sentence was to write is exactly what it is. All at the same time he’s seeking revenge and/or vengeance against the ones that beat the crap out him at the beginning of the game when he was acting security for a Prime Minister. So yeah, there’s a lot going on and you probably won’t care because of how thrilling the ride is.
The combat is really the best part of Rising. Every enemy you encounter will put a smile on your face as you get ready to cause mayhem upon them all. Get ready for a bloody good time as body parts and environments are sliced off with the ease of a simple control scheme. Raiden can jump and run through obstacles by having the right-trigger held down, he’ll automatically do the rest, so running through obastacles will result in him jumping and sliding automatically which not only looks great but is very easy to control. Weak and strong attacks can be joined as feverishly as you well desire while slowing the pace down will get you into the game’s gimmick/selling point: “Blade Mode”.
Blade Mode is when the game slows down so Raiden can execute precise insertions onto his enemies, it can be done freely with the right analog stuck or by pressing buttons to slash vertically or horizontally. Although this is clearly the games gimmick it never gets old and is always strangely satisfying.
Rising is a tough cookie as well as the game does a pretty horrendous job at letting you know simple maneuvers and gameplay elements that are very important to the game. This includes the ability to lock on (which I discovered by looking at the control setting). The camera isn’t the best around as enemies are really fast and sometimes show up behind you even if they were just in front of you so the lock-on button is very important. The most unexpected non-existent explanation was that the game never quite explained how to parry or dodge oncoming enemy attacks. When the enemy flashes red you block by pressing X + direction of the attack, if the enemy flashes yellow you dodge by pressing direction + X & A. Two very important tactics that you have to learn on your own or by mistake. Without these movements you will die a lot. It’s not a big deal as it added an unnecessary challenge but once you have that down you’ll love every battle because of the different movements that Raiden can pull off.
Raiden’s animations are fantastic as well. Yes, there are the odd moments of a body going through a wall or in some occasions the floor but the fact that you can splice up almost anything in the game is a real treat. The movements and characters facials are done very well although the lip-synching does seem to be off a bit. Rising is a very pretty looking and great sounding game. The amount of action that takes place on screen with no slow-down is impressive.
The biggest highlights in Rising are of course the boss fights. Like mentioned previously every enemy encounter is a treat and never gets boring but the boss fights mix things up a bit and are not only difficult but fun to engage in. The bosses all have their own unique personalities that allow for character development within the 10 minutes that they are on screen while other games allow a whole game but still lack any sort of personality. After you defeat a boss (in a very over the top explosion, probably) you can keep their unique weapon and use it as a secondary weapon to your arsenal and yes, that too is also satisfying.
After every battle you’ll get a grade stating how awesome you are, the better the grade the more points you earn. Points can be used in between chapters or at the main menu to enhance Raiden’s weapons, looks, skills and health. You can also unlock more combos if you so well desire making you want to see it all.
Like past Metal Gear titles, Rising offers a hell of a lot of conversations through codec. Not as much but a decent amount. Thankfully the voice actors all treat their counter and bring life to it, even if at times the writing can be a little butt-cringing and sometimes the accents are a little over the top. The writing is as silly as it ever was, more so even, with the addition of cyborgs as villains, cyborg-dogs and whathaveyou. I won’t mention key points due to spoilers but some moments will have you roll your eyes. But the things is, although the writing can be a little cheesy at times, you remember that the game did create a word with the combination of REVENGE and VENGENEANCE and all is forgiven. The game also uses old-school Metal Gear sound effects for the menu and the codec with the occasional “alert” sound just for good measures.
Rising doesn’t offer too much content, with the game running at about 8 hours (depending how good/bad you are and how much time you spend on slicing random objects) but it does offer VR missions that act as tutorials/mini-challenges. But this is the sort of game that you want to come back to and try in a harder difficulty because you don’t want the game to end. Although not everyone likes that it’s still a great investment, especially if you’re a Metal Gear fan.
Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance is a silly-action game, but honestly it’s one of the best action-games I’ve ever played. Bayonetta is a silly-action game and that’s a great title as well, and low and behold, both games were made by the same developers Platinum Games (Mad World, Vanquish, and Bayonetta). Rising really is one of the best action games out there right now that you must play, even if you’re not a fan of Metal Gear you’ll have a great time dismembering cyborgs and cars. There are a lot of references to past Metal Gear titles and even some obscure references to pop-culture, it’s enough to put a smile on anyone’s face. The game takes a while to get used but once you are in control you’re going to have a great time slicing things up.
ProsBlade Mode = Fun Fast, Fun, Fluent Gameplay Difficult but Satisfying
ConsLow Replay Value Accents and Writing a Little Cheesy Explain the Controls!