Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance Review
Have you ever wondered what’s it like to play as a cyborg ninja? If that’s never crossed your mind, than shame on you, sir. Metal Gear Rising gives you the chance to play as Raiden, a cybernetic ninja protecting VIPs under the wing of Maverick a private military company. But things take a turn for worse as a terrorist group under the name of Desperado Enforcement LLC ambushes Raiden. This leaves him with a thirst for vengeance and plans to hunt down Desperado at all costs. MGR is by means no Metal Gear Solid. It’s a spin-off and plays totally different from your average MGS game. Instead of the usual sneaking routine you’ll be fighting your way through countless waves of enemy cyborgs through sheer force. Is it worthy of the Metal Gear name? Let’s find out.
Metal Gear Rising is all about swords. These are not your average blades, no not all. These are called High frequency blades which are basically normal blades but with a very high frequency current going over them. Thanks to this feature these swords have the power to cut almost everything. That’s what Rising is all about, cutting everything in sight from enemies to buildings. Obviously it’s quite limited. The developers don’t want the players to ruin the level by cutting everything and leaving nothing but a desert of nothingness. The game’s story mode is structured in chapters which is great cause you’ll definitely want to replay older chapters to find collectibles.
Honestly no other hack and slasher comes close to the awesomeness in MGR. You’ve got your usual combos and moves along with the whole “Cut everything at will” thing but the highlight of the gameplay must be the blade mode. When Raiden enters blade mode everything slows down and the HF blade becomes even more powerful. This allows the player to cut everything with high precision. For this ability to activate Raiden needs fuel cells which operate like a stamina bar. Also health pickups are very different from most action games. Raiden needs to cut the enemies torso in half in order to absorb nanopaste which heals up Raiden. This helps keep gameplay fast, although the animation that Raiden does when he absorbs the nanopaste could get a bit irritating.
Ninja run is an ability used to run faster, climb obstacles and buildings automatically when in use. When this ability works as it was meant to, it feels amazing. But the ninja run suffers a lot from control issues. Sometimes it can be quite annoying to climb something or even just get out of the way of a wall or a rock. Not to mention it’s quite spotty, Raiden goes flying off the screen at the slightest touch when using ninja run. But for the most part it works fine. Like any other action game, MGR also features an upgrade system. It uses battle points as a currency which can be acquired easily by making a mess of your enemies. This whole upgrade system is the reason why multiple playthroughs are necessary. Theirs no way that all the items and upgrades can be bought with one playthrough’s worth of battle points.
While it’s clear that this game has deviated from the MGS formula quite a lot it still retains some of its charm. Cardboard boxes, alert phases and codec calls all make a return. The way they’re incorporated don’t feel tacky at all as some stealth aspects are still present. It’s obviously not as robust as an MGS game when it comes to stealth but sneaking around and killing of a few enemies using the mandatory execution from behind that seems to be in every action game these days, is rewarding and can help make the actual fight a bit easier.
MGR is quite unforgiving. On normal difficulty it can be very challenging for those who aren’t well acquainted with action games. Parrying is especially difficult as it must be timed at just the right moment at can take some time to fully master. MGR is quite moody, it likes to swing a lot from totally serious moments to just plain stupid. This can be ignored for the most part but it can ruin the feel of the moment at times. Like other Metal Gear games, Rising has the usual lengthy cutscenes. Don’t worry they’re not as long as the cutscenes found in MGS4 but for those who don’t care theirs always the skip button. It’s been a Metal Gear tradition to include crazy bosses. Rising excels in this department and delivers some of the craziest bosses this series has ever seen. These boss fights usually consist of two parts. The part where you get to fight them one on one and the part with the quick time events. Quick time events get a lot of bad rep within the gaming community but they actually work here.
Remember those awesome VR missions in MGS1 or 2? You know the ones were you’d have to control either Snake or Raiden and complete a challenge within certain parameters. They make a comeback in Rising and they couldn’t be better. Each mission must first be found while playing the regular story mode and they’re usually hidden really well so be on the lookout. Apart from VR terminals there are plenty of other things to collect throughout the story mode. Things like data storages, hidden enemies and left commander arms give players a reason to replay the game. Theirs plenty of collectibles in here for any completionist nut.
Originally Metal Gear Rising was going to use the FOX engine but after being handed over to platinum games things had to be downsized a bit. Still even though it doesn’t look as impressive as it would originally have, it plays at a solid 60 frames per second which more than makes up for the FOX engine. Some frame rate dips do occur especially when using blade mode but these rarely tend to happen. The soundtrack contributes to a lot of the wow factor found in the set pieces. It really helps hype up these epic moments. Their isn’t much more to say about the stellar soundtrack, it’s fantastic and fits the game’s feel perfectly.
All in all “Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance” is an incredible effort by Platinum. It may be short in length but the action it provides in this short span of time is more than enough to meet the needs of any action junkie.