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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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    AMD has confirmed what most Battlefield fans thought. Battlefield Hardline will indeed support Mantle. Battlefield Hardline will support Mantle, AMD has confirmed. Some players weren’t sure whether the retail version of the game will support AMD’s API, due to its absence from the recent PC beta. AMD did not say whether the feature will be […]

  • Unreal Engine 4 GDC 2015 sizzle reel shows what the tech can do

    Unreal Engine 4 is a pretty versatile bit of tech, as this new sizzle reel shows. As one of the more ubiquitous engines, Unreal will be on show at GDC this week. Developer Epic produced the following sizzle reel to quickly demonstrate what it can do – cutting edge graphics (there are very few games […]

  • Survarium’s latest patch removes limit on battle ammo, rebalances experience gain

    The latest Survarium patch has readjusted the value of experience and reputation points gained and removed the limit to the maximum amount of ammo you can use in combat. Survarium developer Vostok Games has released patch 0.27a to the public, having recently finished testing it. The patch is a major one and covers changes to […]

  • The Hunt Begins in new Bloodborne TV spot

    Bloodborne is so close you can almost smell its coppery tang on the wind – and also you can watch commercials for it. Bloodborne arrives on PS4 at the end of this month (March 24 North America, March 25 Europe, March 27 UK) so excitement is starting to build. Sony isn’t helping keep us calm […]

  • World of Warcraft: you’ll soon be able to buy game time with gold

    Blizzard will soon allow World of Warcraft players to exchange in-game gold for game time and vice versa. Blizzard has announced a new system that will launch soon for World of Warcraft. The system is called WoW Token. Using this system, players will be able to buy game time using in-game gold. Here’s how it […]

  • 3D Realms’ Bombshell returns with the first gameplay trailer

    Remember 3D Realms’ Bombshell? The isometric ARPG that was announced last year? Well, it’s back, and we get to see gameplay footage. The game stars Shelly “Bombshell” Harrison, a bomb technician turned mercenary with a mechanical arm. She will embark on a quest to rescue the president and save Earth, all while shooting aliens. The […]

  • Unreal Engine 4 is now free for everyone to use

    Epic Games has made Unreal Engine 4 available for anyone to download and use, for free. Unreal Engine 4 is now free. Anyone can download it and start using it, the developer announced today in a blog post. The download features the the full set of tools used by Epic, and includes 100% of the […]

  • Call of Duty European Championship winner announced

    The winner of the European round of the Call of Duty Championship has been announced. This past weekend, 28 teams representing UK, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Netherlands, Sweden, Finland, the rest of Europe and Middle East attended the final of the European round of the Call of Duty Championship. UK team Epsilon eSports was crowned […]

  • GOG brings back Insomnia sale with discounts up to 90% off

    GOG.com is bringing back its Insomnia sale event with even more games. GOG’s Insomnia sale is back with double the amount of games. This year, there will be two sets of games available at once. The sets are seasoned classics and fresh new titles. Each set will feature games with discounts up to 90% off, […]

  • 2K is shutting down NBA 2K14 online servers, won’t affect career save files

    2K will be shutting down the servers for NBA 2K14 this month. The publisher revealed yesterday that online servers for NBA 2K14 will be turned offline on March 31. “You will no longer be able to play ranked games/online association,” reads the announcement. NBA 2K14 relied on online servers to store save files for MyCareer […]

  • One Dead or Alive tournament organiser is proposing ban of “over-sexualised” costumes

    A Dead or Alive tournament organiser has suggested a soft ban on some of the game’s “over-sexualised” costumes, and not everyone is happy. Tournament organiser “The HuBBs” took to the FreeStepDodge forums to suggest a list of rules that other offline tournaments can follow. The list goes over stages, characters, moves, which is certainly in […]

  • Destiny: all the news from Bungie’s open house Q&A

    Bungie hosted an open house Q&A session with the community last week and lots of exciting news have come out of it. Arekkz Gaming has gathered all the information that came out of Bungie’s open house Q&A in one handy video. The list is massive, going over Exotic weapon balance, upcoming events, PVE, Crucible rewards, […]

  • Elite: Dangerous and Star Citizen to honour Nimoy with in-game memorials

    Developers behind space exploration games Elite: Dangerous and Star Citizen will honour the memory of Leonard Nimoy through in-game memorials. The develops of both games have confirmed separately that in-game memorials will be established to honour the memory of the late Star Trek actor, Leonard Nimoy, famous for playing Spock. Elite: Dangerous executive producer Michael […]

  • Deal: get a PlayStation 4 + three exclusives for $399

    Amazon’s latest PlayStation 4 deal is not one to miss. With purchase of a PlayStation 4 console from Amazon in the US, the online retailer will throw in digital codes for Infamous Second Son, Killzone Shadow Fall and The Last of Us: Remastered, all for the same MSRP of $399. The Last of Us Remastered […]

  • Destiny: this is how one player predicted House of Wolves details and Xur’s inventory

    The method one Redditor possibly used to leak some details from Destiny’s House of Wolves was the same one he used to predict the inventory of Xur: Agent of the Nine. Last week, Reddit user Megamanexe4 leaked a few pieces of House of Wolves expansion content. The leaks included strikes, new Crucible mode, and a […]

  • Mortal Kombat X is coming to iOS… as a card-battler

    Mortal Kombat X will be releasing on mobile devices in some form, just not the one you except. Mortal Kombat X is coming to Android and iOS devices as an extension of the main game. It will launch in April alongside the console versions. The mobile game will be part card collecting and part fighting […]

  • Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain announcement coming this Wednesday

    Kojima Productions will unveil something about Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain this Wednesday. Metal Gear Solid fans should standby for a Phantom Pain-related announcement on Wednesday, March 4. According to developer Kojima Productions’ Twitter, there’s going to be an announcement at 2pm GMT on Wednesday. The developer posted the following image. The image […]

  • Reader survey: time to let us get to know you better!

    We’d really appreciate it if you could fill in this survey about the websites you read and the games you buy. It massively helps! You can fill out the survey right here and obviously all the information you supply is confidential. It helps us build a better picture of the people who read our site […]

  • Battlefield Hardline Premium: here’s everything you get for $50

    Battlefield Hardline’s Premium membership will give players access to 4 new features, early access to expansion packs and more. EA detailed the offer today – it costs $50 in total (£40 in the UK) and gives players a whole bundle of new gear and content. Check it all out in handy list form below: Masks […]

  • Hayter’s gonna hate: the voice of Solid Snake wouldn’t answer my Metal Gear question

    Voice actor and Hollywood writer David Hayter discusses the differences between movies and games. And politely declines my leading question. “It might be fun to do a crazy, over-the-top film version of Saint’s Row.” Yeah, that headline is a bit cheap but you’re reading the work of a man who once asked the maker of […]

  • Xbox One bundle gets £100 price cut in UK

    Microsoft has knocked up to £100 off Xbox One bundles in the UK. The Xbox One with Kinect Assassin’s Creed bundle is now £100 cheaper and comes with a free £20 voucher to be spent on the official Microsoft online store. Over on the Xbox online store there’s a £70 price cut on the white […]

  • Pokemon Shuffle downloaded 1m times, free stuff given out to celebrate

    Free-to-play 3DS title Pokemon Shuffle has been downloaded over 1 million times. As a reward for playing the match-3 puzzle game Nintendo has gifted players a Complexity -1 item for free. The item reduces the difficulty of a level, according to Eurogamer. By all accounts Pokemon Shuffle is a cynical game with poorly implemented microtransactions. […]

  • Trine 3: The Artifacts of Power sure is pretty

    FrozenByte Games has revealed Trine 3, due for release in 2015 And what better way to reveal a new side-scrolling adventure than with a very pretty trailer full of gameplay? The latest in a series that has already sold 7 million copies is earmarked for PC and “other” formats. Trine 2 released on PS3, PS3, […]

  • Dying Light takes UK number one

    A month since it was released on digital platforms, Dying Light’s physical release has topped the UK charts. Techland and Warner’s zombie survival game has proven to be one of the big hits of the year so far. It was released on digital formats a month ago but has only just been released on good-old […]

  • GTA 5: that’s some seriously accurate grenade throwing

    Think you can take down a jet plane with a grenade throw? This guy can. In fact, he can do it twice. This is in a variation on the player-created deathmatch “Stunters Versus Snipers” which seem to be all the rage in GTA Online at the moment. One team has a sniper rifle (and grenades) […]

  • Metal Gear Solid 5: Mother Base turns pink in the morning sun

    The Phantom Pain looks nice even when Kojima just takes a quick pic with his phone. Look at that beauty. We get nice reflection in pink at the first gray of dawn. pic.twitter.com/aERTBoZT9z — HIDEO_KOJIMA (@HIDEO_KOJIMA_EN) March 2, 2015 The game doesn’t have a release date yet, which makes us a bit nervous for it […]

  • Dying Light: Underpant Gnomes and 9 other secrets you missed

    Dying Light still has legs – maybe because it’s crammed full of secret things to discover. Ten of those have been highlighted by TerraMantis’ latest YouTube video, including reference to the Underpant Gnomes, guitar lessons, farting zombies and well, we don’t want to spoil it for you. Even if you think you’ve seen everything in […]

  • Resident Evil: Revelations 2 Raid Mode dance gestures are deadly

    Why blind ‘em with science when you could kill ‘em with dance moves? revelations raid When I say Resident Evil: Revelations 2‘s Raid Mode dance gestures are deadly, I’m not being figurative. If you finish the first chapter of Revelations 2 you can unlock Gina for use in Raid Mode. All characters can use gestures […]

  • Dragon Age: Inquisition mod enables male Blackwall romance, terrific joke

    “Male Inquisitors can now scale the wall,” says a clever Redditor. A new Dragon Age: Inquisition mod removes Blackwall’s romantic restrictions, allowing male Inquisitors to chat up the fuzzy-faced warrior. Blackwall doesn’t have any race preferences, so you’re good to go there. Dragon Age: Inquisition romance mods are pretty common by now, and to be […]

  • Destiny: it is possible to solo the Weekly Heroic

    Destiny players willing to faff about with their system clock can solo the Weekly Nightfall if they prefer. The Weekly Heroic is one of Destiny‘s toughest challenges. Responding to player feedback Bungie implemented matchmaking for the Weekly Heroic, but there are players who genuinely prefer to go it alone. There’s now no legitimate way to […]

  • Clayfighter remaster on the way, says Interplay

    A Clayfighter remake is inbound, apparently. Interplay has announced a Clayfighter remaster, combining the content of all past games into one package. Features include: Characters such as Bad Mr. Frosty, Blue Suede Goo, Earthworm Jim, Hoppy, Boogerman, Tiny – and more with over 20 characters total Over 20 familiar environments from the series to duke […]

  • The quickest way to climb in Dying Light

    Dying Light players! Are you sick of picking your way carefully up the sides of tall towers? Have I got a trick for you. The parkour system in Dying Light is okay, but climbing anywhere especially high can be a bit tedious. Enter Jesse Lester, who took a look at the tools available and worked […]

  • Bungie “always” looking at Exotic changes for Destiny updates

    Destiny developer Bungie won’t stop tinkering with Exotic weapons. In Destiny, Exotic weapons are supposed to be the best of the best – and to feel unique. Guns like Ice Breaker and Gjallahorn definitely hit the mark there (although less so when everyone has one), but unfortunately, there are a few that just don’t strike […]

  • Is Uncharted 4′s first trailer a tribute to Crash Bandicoot?

    Uncharted 4′s first proper trailer bears some remarkable similarities to the opening moments of a much earlier Naughty Dog game. Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End has more in common with Crash Bandicoot than you might think. It’s Naughty Dog’s first game on a new console, yes – but if you compare Uncharted 4′s E3 2014 […]