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Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance – a slice of the action

Tuesday, 18 December 2012 09:03 GMT By Stace Harman

Stace Harman goes hands-on with Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance to find out what happens when two worlds collide and lengthy exposition meets lightning action.

Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance

Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance started life in 2009 as Metal Gear Solid: Rising. It was originally intended to sit between the events of Metal Gear Solid 2 and Metal Gear Solid 4, but is now set several years after the latter title.

The game’s not out until February 2013, but developer Platinum Games has already expressed a desire to develop future Raiden-centric titles.

A demo of Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance was packed-in with the Zone of Enders HD Collection; a standalone version of that demo will be available to download for PS3 and 360 in January.

Game director Atsushi Inaba has told of the moment that he broke the news to the Platinum Games team that they would be responsible for the development of Metal Gear Rising.

The depiction of Raiden as a fusion of man and machine serves as a fitting reference for Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance. Platinum Games and Kojima Productions have combined forces to create a hybrid title that benefits from the partnership of two companies known for their strong ideals and unique identities.

What was once envisioned as a slower-paced, Bushido-focused title created solely by Kojima Productions has turned into a slick, cyborg ninja slash-fest produced by acclaimed Bayonetta-developer, Platinum Games.

One might cynically suggest that removing it from the Metal Gear Solid canon allows Hideo Kojima to disassociate himself from Revengeance should it prove to be a disaster. However, after walking a mile in Raiden’s high-heeled titanium shoes, I’m convinced that the auteur director will be proud to be associated with the finished product.

For franchise fans, the most important result of the Platinum/Kojima fusion is that Revengeance is unmistakeably a Metal Gear title. A host of identifiable strands of the series’ DNA run through its cybernetically enhanced blood stream: aesthetics, stealth, meta-narrative, lore, existential theorising and off-beat humour.

These are combined with Platinum Games own a defining characteristics of challenging game play, a high-level of polish, and an ocean-deep, multi-faceted combat system.

It all gets off to a breathless, rip-roaring start. Within the first 20 minutes I’ve reduced low-level blade fodder to ribbons, run full pelt down the outside of a vertical tower, used incoming missiles as aerial stepping stones and destroyed a gargantuan that could easily find work elsewhere as an end-of-game boss.

Unfortunately for Raiden, shortly after this period of being made to look and feel invincible he has a run with a glib sword-master who gorily renders him entirely ineffectual and altogether impotent.

We can rebuild him. We have the technology.

Through a relatively-short-by-Metal-Gear-standards cutscene, we’re introduced to the major cast-members of Team Raiden and given our first glimpse of Raiden’s harder-edged personality after some fairly dramatic surgery.

He theorises on the black and white choice made by his enemies and goes on to display cold, dispassionate calm at the notion of harvesting his cyborg foes for upgrade components; like “vending machines full of blood” as one of his Codec-contacts eloquently describes them.

Shortly after this blunt exchange, the first of Metal Gear Rising’s more considered sections begins as Raiden makes his way through a militarised downtown area. Here, the first opportunity for some stealthy back-stabbing and head stomping is presented.

The implementation of the stealth system – complete with the familiar sound-effect denoting that the guards have discovered you – will no doubt please Metal Gear enthusiasts. However, the sudden change of pace could confuse newcomers who have come to Revengeance off the back of the action-heavy trailers and are pumped-up after the adrenaline-fuelled opening.

Fortunately, you have the choice of how to approach the patrolling guards and it is possible, though not recommended, to launch a full-frontal assault. However, if you want to play stealth to avoid having to face-off against several enemies at once, you’re going to have to stay your blade and patiently stalk your enemies to earn the right to perform one-hit stealth kills.

This is true of much of Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance. Throughout, Platinum ensures that you feel like you’ve earned level progress, combat victories, upgrades and even health packs.

Button mashing is sufficient against the lowest-level grunts but you’ll need to do more than spam the vertical and horizontal attack buttons if you’re to retrieve the healing energy cells stored within them or effectively take down a Gecko (a 3m-tall, bipedal automaton that kicks like a mule, moos like a cow and bleeds like a stuck pig). For these situations, you’re going to need to step it up a notch to master the first of Rising’s three core principles of combat: parrying.

There are two levels to parrying: the first acts as a basic block to incoming attacks, while the second is activated only if both the timing and direction of the parry are perfect. Achieve this and Raiden repels the attack and can follow up with one of his own.

One early boss that can only be damaged after a successful parry quickly highlights the importance of mastering this technique. I was initially hopeless at identifying from which direction this particular foe’s attacks were coming from and, as Platinum is not a developer known to hand-hold, I sat stuck on the boss for an inordinate length of time until it finally clicked and I was able to put an end to it.

Once learned, effectively parrying the attack of a lower-level enemy can immediately launch Raiden into the deadly Blade Mode, which is the second of the game’s key combat tenets. This headline feature allows you to slice and dice enemies into hundreds of pieces but its tactical strength is in its precision cutting that enables Raiden to gain access to the internal energy cells.

Blade mode can act as a fascinating diversion outside of combat as you see how many pieces the level furniture can be sliced in to but it is best put to use as a technique to decimate foes and harvest their key components for Raiden’s upgrades.

The third of Metal Gear Rising’s combat pillars is the combo system. This really starts to open-up a couple of hours in, after Raiden has faced-off against the multi-limbed Mistral. With Mistral defeated, Raiden has access to his first alternate weapon: a ruddy great pole-arm that can also be used as a mechanical whip.

Raiden’s fast blade attacks can then be combined with the heavier, longer ranged attacks of the Etranger. Use of the in-game VR training can help you perfect technique and my advice to you is to make good use of it whenever you acquire a new weapon. It’s important to ensure that you fully grasp the nuances of combat system in order to avoid frustration on later levels.

Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance brings together Kojima’s tactical espionage and Platinum’s liquid grace. It feels at once like a Metal Gear title and a Platinum Games labour of love and looks on course to be a stunning example of what happens when one of video games’ most revered directors puts his faith in one of video games’ most uncompromising development teams.

Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance launches on PS3 and 360 on February 19 in North America and February 22 in Europe.

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12 Comments

  1. KAP

    There seems to be an article on this title every other day. Nice

    #1 2 years ago
  2. theevilaires

    The headline pic would make for a sweet wallpaper if there was a 1920×1080 version. Also why do I see 7 and 8 written all across this game :( I think platinum games will not deliver and fall short of what Metal Gear is all about in essence. I think Ninja Theory will do a better job at rebooting DMC than Platinum games doing a spin off with Raiden. Then again I have kinda been staying away from knowing much about the story and a pic is worth a thousand words so I could be wrong….I hope I’m wrong.

    #2 2 years ago
  3. Clupula

    The article continues the misinformation that it is non-canon. This is no longer true. Watch this video. The question of whether or not it is canon is the first question asked.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=d7BTtiAQuZ0

    A previous article that stated this almost made me cancel my pre-order and will have the same effect on other people to whom the story continuity is important.

    #3 2 years ago
  4. Clupula

    And keep the absolute worthless talentless hacks in Ninja Theory the fuck away from Metal Gear. Although I have said, many times, if there ever was a company that was the Anti-Platinum, it’s Ninja Theory. They wouldn’t know gameplay if it bit them on the ass, something I have never worried about with stuff from Platinum.

    #4 2 years ago
  5. j1015

    Played, the demo with ZoE and it’s sick! It’s true that until you learn that parry the first boss a bitch.

    #5 2 years ago
  6. Dave Cook

    @2 are you on Twitter? If so add me – @davescook – and I can mail you the pic if you want it for your wallpaper :)

    #6 2 years ago
  7. theevilaires

    Thank you so much for that link Clupula my faith has been restored back into this game. Knowing Platinum games aren’t developing this alone, but along side Kojima productions make me excited to get this game asap.

    #7 2 years ago
  8. Stace Harman

    @3 MGR is canonical in respect of the wider MG universe, but not directly within the MGS storyline. I mention this because, as you likely know, it was originally going to be MGS: Rising and the intention was for it to link Raiden’s story events from MGS2 and MGS4.

    From a game-play perspective, it makes a lot of sense for Platinum and Kojima to go with the name change, as it gives a clear indication of the differences between MGS and MGR.

    Depending on how it sells, I can well imagine that a MGR2 will be developed that directly follows – and makes reference to – the storyline of MGR: Revengenace; whereas the MGS series will not do that.

    #8 2 years ago
  9. theevilaires

    No I’m not on twitter or facebook Dave Cook the only social networks I use are XBL and PSN but its cool I appreciate it that. I’ll find it some how.

    #9 2 years ago
  10. Dave Cook

    @9 found it :)http://www.enizr.com/media/48806/Metal%20Gear%20Rising%20Revengeance%20Screenshots,%20Artwork%20introduce%20Minstral,%20other%20cyborgs%20(1).jpg

    #10 2 years ago
  11. theevilaires

    Dave Cook you’re a good man :) This is so going on my EVO LTE as wallpaper back ground :D

    #11 2 years ago
  12. Clupula

    @8 – Well, only because I doubt they’re going to take the Solid games into the future beyond 4. If they did make a Solid game that took place after Rising did, which is doubtful since Kojima seems to be elaborating on the past and there’s still the game starring The Boss to do, they would make references to what Raiden was doing.

    But unlike, say, Ac!d which doesn’t count at all, Rising will count in the overall Metal Gear continuity.

    #12 2 years ago

Comments are now closed on this article.

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  • Bloodborne: watch the opening 40 minutes

    The opening minutes of Bloodborne really do set the stage for what’s to come. They’ll also help you decide if this game is for you. Arekkz Gaming has captured the first 40 minutes of Bloodborne. Complete with the opening cutscene, and the first few obstacles you’ll face. The video is commentary free, so wear headphones […]

  • YouTube will relaunch livestreaming service with focus on eSports and gaming – report

    According to industry sources, Google is preparing to relaunch YouTube’s livestreaming service with a focus on eSports and gaming. According to anonymous sources speaking to TheDailyDot, Google is planning to bring back YouTube’s livestreaming service. The company is said to have started recruiting around 50 engineers with experience in the field, “a pretty big statement […]

  • I think I’m too old for Final Fantasy 15

    Final Fantasy 15 was nine years in the making – and counting. Are we the same people we were in 2006? Final Fantasy 15: Episode Duscae A demo available for PS4 and Xbox One. Offers a couple of hours of gameplay. More if you jump over the borders. Bundled with Final Fantasy 15 Type-0 and […]

  • New multiplayer mode for Splatoon announced

    Nintendo has sent over three screenshots for Splatoon along with information on the Wii U another of the title’s multiplayer modes. Called Ranked Battle, it keeps track of each player’s online ranking. Splat Zones is one of the additional ways to play online in this mode. It differs from Turf War, which is the main […]

  • 2015 WoW Arena World Championship has a $250,000 prize pool

    Blizzard has announced the WoW Arena World Championship will culminate at BlizzCon 2015. World of Warcraft 3v3 Arena teams from around the globe will compete for spot at the 2015 WoW Arena World Championship and for a share in the $250,000 prize pool. Online qualifiers will be held for North America, Southeast Asia, Australia, New […]

  • The Crew two-hour demo now available in US, tomorrow in the UK

    Ubisoft has announced a free trial of its driving MMO The Crew will be available tomorrow, March 25 in the UK. It’s live today in North America. For current players, the Vintage Car Pack and Vintage Live Update, including a new PvP mode, are now available. The Vintage Car Pack included the Chevrolet Corvette C2 […]

  • Minecraft Mass Effect Mash-Up and Pattern Texture Pack out from today

    A Mass Effect Mash-up pack and the Pattern Texture Pack will release on PlayStation 3, PS4 and Vita today in North America and tomorrow in Europe. The Pattern Texture Pack is also available for Xbox consoles today. The Mass Effect Mash-Up pack contains the Mars Facility from Mass Effect 3 plus textures and craftable items […]

  • The Talos Principle expansion pack Road to Gehenna announced

    An expansion for The Talos Principle has been announced titled Road to Gehenna. The expansion follows the narrative of Uriel, Elohim’s messenger, as he explores a “strange, hidden part of the simulation” on a mission of “mercy and redemption.” Uriel is attempting to free the souls of the damned “at all costs.” Road to Gehenna […]

  • Twitch Plays Pokemon finally catches ‘em all – even the rare Mewtwo

    Twitch Plays Pokemon players have captured all 151 original Pokemon which were included in a modified version of Pokemon Red, and this includes the rare Mewtwo. It took 39 days for Twitch players to catch ‘em all. Have a look at the impressive feat for yourself below. Thanks, Polygon.

  • GameStop will have limited units of Majora’s Mask New 3DS XL back in stock

    Those who missed out on the Limited Edition Majora’s Mask New 3DS XL will have another opportunity to purchase it outside of eBay. Tomorrow only, GameStop stores in the United States will have four units in stock, according to and internal memo sent to Kotaku. This is every store in the country, and again, only […]

  • Second phase of Fortnite closed Alpha launches today

    Fortnite’s second closed Alpha test will go live this afternoon, according to the official website. Those currently participating will have until April 14 to test the online aspects for 12 hours per day (noon -12am EDT). All progress from the previous Alpha test will be wiped, and other changes are listed in the patch notes. […]

  • Dragon Age: Inquisition: Jaws of Hakkon out now on PC, Xbox One

    As promised yesterday, the single-player DLC for Dragon Age: Inquisition, Jaws of Hakkon, is now available on PC and Xbox One. It will run you or £11.99 or your regional equivalent. The new content expands the land of Thedas with mountainous regions and forests, and it is full of “vicious enemies.” Players will also be […]

  • Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare trailer shows Ascendance gameplay

    Activision has released a new gamepay trailer for Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare to support the Ascendance DLC which releases next week. Ascendance, will release first on Xbox consoles March 31 and includes the next chapter of the Exo Zombies Saga, Infected, along with four new multiplayer maps: Perplex, Site 244, Climate and Chop Shop. […]

  • Batman: Arkham Knight will be a digital only release on PC – report

    It appears Batman: Arkham Knight will not see a physical release on PC, according to ShopTo. The retailer was told by its buyer the Rocksteady game will only be released on PC in digital form. ShopTo is currently double checking the information. If accurate, it is unknown if this will be case in North America […]

  • Bloodborne patch focusing on load times, performance optimizations in the works

    A patch for Bloodborne which will address load times is in the works, Sony has said The load times were one of the issues noted in Digital Foundry’s report on the From Software title. Sony told Eurogamer the patch would also explore other issues as well. “The development team is currently exploring another patch for […]

  • Gearbox would “love” to have entire Borderlands collection on current-gen

    An Xbox One and PlayStation 4 version of the original Borderlands game is something Gearbox Software is interested in, according to studio boss Randy Pitchford. Speaking in the latest Major Nelson podcast, Gearbox CEO Randy Pitchford said should Borderlands: The Handsome Collection prove successful, 2K Games might consider a current-gen version. “The fact that The […]

  • Wolfenstein: The Old Blood artwork shows the catacombs, dock, more

    Over the weekend we posted Wolfenstein: The Old Blood artwork along with news of a retail release in Europe. Today, we have better quality images of said artwork to share with you. Enjoy. The standalone prequel will be released digitally on May 5 on PC, PS4 and Xbox One in North America, and digitally on […]

  • Slender: The Arrival terrorizes PS4 and Xbox One this week

    In case you forgot, what with Bloodborne out today and other high profile releases of late, Slender: The Arrival is out today on PlayStation 4 in North America. The scary game will arrive on Xbox One tomorrow, March 25, and in Europe on PS4. Slender: The Arrival is an expansion on the original Slender game […]

  • World of Warcraft’s WoW Token rollout slated after launch of patch 6.1.2

    Blizzard has announced it will start rollout its WoW Token option in the weeks following the launch of patch 6.1.2 on March 24. WoW Token allows players to exchange in-game gold for game time and vice versa. Blizzard will release WoW Token first in realms serving North America, Oceania, and Latin America and will expand […]

  • The Evil Within: The Consequence dated for April, teaser video released

    Part 2 of Juli Kidman’s adventure in The Evil Within will arrive next month with the release of The Consequence. Above is a brief teaser showing some of the “madness” Kidman will encounter. The Consequence will arrive on Tuesday, April 21 on PC, PlayStation 3, PS4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One. European PlayStation players will […]

  • Bloodborne sometimes “struggles to run at a smooth frame-rate” per performance analysis

    Bloodborne has been analyzed by Digital Foundry and according to the report, even with a 30fps cap the game sometimes “struggles to run at a smooth frame-rate.” The game’s day-one 2.69GB update 1.01 is “essential” as it contains improvements to game performance and stability and the frame-rate tests run by Digital Foundry were in single-player […]

  • Borderlands: The Handsome Collection reviews round-up

    Borderlands: The Handsome Collection reviews are out in the wild so we decided to catch a few of them for you. Borderlands: The Handsome Collection is out today on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. The collection packages Borderlands 2 and Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel along with each game’s DLC content on one disc. Better graphics and […]

  • Evolve, Forza Horizon 2, WWE 2K15 are this week’s Deals with Gold

    Evolve, Forza 2 Horizon and WWE 2K15 are just some of the games which are part of this week’s Xbox Deals with Gold. You can also pick up the Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare Pro Edition for 20% off as well as the standard edition for 33% off. For the Xbox 360 crowd, there’s also […]

  • Xbox 360 2015 Spring Value bundles now available starting at $250

    Microsoft is offering a discount on three Xbox 360 bundles with prices starting at $250. The Xbox 360 2015 Spring Value bundles feature various content such as a Kinect, 500GB console bundle and one month of Xbox Live Gold. Xbox 360 500GB Spring Value Bundle: comes with Plants vs. Zombies Garden Warfare download and Fable […]

  • Rainbow Six Siege beta sign ups now open

    Ubisoft is letting everyone register for the upcoming Rainbow Six Siege closed beta. Rainbow Six Siege is due for a closed beta sometime this year. Ubisoft has opened registration to everyone. All you need to do is enter your preferred platform and log in using your Uplay account. You will be entered into a waiting […]

  • Advanced Warfare: Exo Zombies map Infection is creepy

    The upcoming chapter in Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare’s Exo Zombies mode is called ‘Infection’ and Activision has been slowly revealing bits and pieces about it. A few teasers have been dropping ahead of Ascendance launch this month. The teasers are about the second episode in the Exo Zombie story, Infection. First off, the map. […]

  • This is the Bloodborne press kit in all its glory

    Bloodborne is a gorgeous game so it’s only fitting that the press kit it came in is a reflection of that. The pictures capture the many amazing bits of the Bloodborne press kit. A press kit is what’s usually sent to the reviewers alongside the review copy. They’re usually very ornate and almost all of […]

  • This Hearthstone turn is taking over 40 hours and you can watch it happen

    A very smart Hearthstone player has rigged his game to make one turn take over 40 hours, and it has been going for over 22 already. Hearthstone player Mamytwink set up a game against his friend to try and achieve the record for the longest turn in Hearthstone ever. Basically, Mamytwink set the game up […]

  • The Witcher 3: Geralt’s beard grows over time, but not Gandalf-long

    The beard of The Witcher 3 protagonist Geralt will grow over time, but you can trim it if you choose to. As part of a recently published impressions piece by German magazine Gamestar (translated by NeoGAF), The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt developers revealed that Geralt’s beard will in fact grow over time. Not content with […]

  • Sony mistakenly abandons Bloodborne trademark in the US

    The administration side of Sony Computer Entertainment has not been in the best of shapes recently. Sony has abandoned four game trademarks yesterday, one of which is for Bloodborne. The trademarks were all registered with US Patent and Trademark Office. All of the games trademarks pertain to unreleased games and Sony would’ve had to either […]

  • Payday 2 will be supported until 2017

    Payday 2 developer has announced that it will continue to support the game for the next two years. Payday 2 developer Overkill has revealed today that it’s planning to support the game until 2017. What this means is that more free content as well as paid DLC are in the works for release later. Payday […]

  • These are the top Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare weapons, according to the developer

    Based on their overall kill-to-death ratio, what are the best guns in Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare? Developer Sledgehammer reveals the top 5. Sledgehammer’s Michael Condrey has revealed on Twitter the top 5 weapons in Advanced Warfare based on their overall kill-to-death ratio. Here’s the list: ARX-160 – Hole Puncher Ameli – Heavy HBRa3 – […]

  • H1Z1 has sold more than 1 million copies

    H1Z1 has already sold over 1 million copies on Steam. H1Z1 may still be in Early Access on Steam, but it has already sold more than 1 million copies. Daybreak president John Smedley announced on Twitter earlier. H1Z1 launched in January and instantly became a hit. The game has consistently been on Steam’s top 10 […]