Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance Preview (PS3)
When Metal Gear Rising had been effectively “rebooted” as a PlatinumGames action title, purist Metal Gear fans were, understandably, very upset. An action-heavy game from the creators of Bayonetta and Vanquish wasn’t what they were expecting. However, Metal Gear fans who at all enjoy action titles should give Revengeance an opportunity to slice and dice its way into an open mind. MGR: Revengeance, although over the top in tried-and-true PlatinumGames style, lives up to the studio’s pedigree of creating fast-paced and high quality action games that are nothing if not enjoyable.
The Revengeance demo began with Raiden communicating with a man named Boris prior to the beginning of the tutorial. Raiden first is taught how to use “Blade Mode,” (or Zan-datsu) which is, in essence, a Raiden-style version of Bullet Time. Time slows down for the enemy and Raiden is free to choose precision cuts, which can be made with the right analog stick — think of a brutal version of the paint brush mechanics in Okami — or conversely, cut down enemies with real-time fast and furious rapid slashes that will reduce them to ribbons. Afterwards, Raiden is set loose in an environment with various targets, which include boxes and watermelons (possibly a reference to an early demonstration of the original Metal Gear Rising). Raiden isn’t limited to just objects such as those or enemies, though — the cyborg assassin can also slice through various pillars and plenty of other objects in the environment as well. He’s not just limited to the right analog stick, either, as X or Y can be used.
The first thing evident about Revengeance is that Raiden, not quite as agile while running, moves exceptionally fast with his blade. Raiden’s intense hacking and slashing quickly becomes reminiscent of titles such as Devil May Cry, and he can handle most enemies with relative ease, even despite the fact that none of them are necessarily pushovers. Speaking of Devil May Cry, Raiden can nearly effortlessly throw his enemies up into the air and receive the option to activate Blade Mode and completely decimate his enemies, all of which seen in the short time with demo were some kind of cyborg (or cybernetically enhanced) mercenaries armed with weapons. Raiden doesn’t have infinite amounts of Blade Mode, though — he must restock his fuel by obtaining Repair Units, which he extracts from his enemies via brutal attacks. (The Repair Units were reminiscent of the “blue spines” seen in the original Rising demonstration.)
Fear not, stealth fans, because PlatinumGames hasn’t completely omitted stealth. Raiden can sneak around enemies, so long as he’s not detected. Also, when prompted, Raiden will have the opportunity to execute an unaware enemy with a savage stealth kill. However, once Raiden has been detected, the game offers up the crazy hack-and-slash action that gamers following it closely have come to expect.
The game is unbelievably slick and feels fast and stable, despite being an early 2013 release. PlatinumGames, although not typically associated with Metal Gear, has made a game that brings the feel of some of Raiden’s attacks from MGS4‘s cutscenes and blends it with Bayonetta-infused flair. Fans of Metal Gear can put aside some reservations and enjoy an action game should definitely consider making room in their gaming calendars for when Revengeance arrives early next year.