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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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    PlayStation 4 firmware update version 2.50 has started rolling out. Reports are coming in saying that Yukimura, PlayStation 4′s firmware 2.50 has been made available to download. The update is clocking in at just 245mb, so get downloading. 2.50 brings with it many new additions, including the suspend/resume feature, backup and restore, accessibility options and […]

  • Harley Quinn DLC for Batman: Arkham Knight is a prequel

    Batman: Arkham Knight’s Harley Quinn pre-order DLC is set before the events of the main game, according to Amazon’s description. Today we learned a few details about the pre-order DLC for Batman: Arkham Knight, namely the Harley Quinn one. According to the description on Amazon, the DLC takes place in the lead-up to the events […]

  • Bloodborne Vicar Amelia summon mystery solved

    Bloodborne players unable to summon near Vicar Amelia: here’s your solution. Bloodborne’s secrets are unfolding by the hour as clever players piece together From Software’s cunning design. Yesterday we reported problems summoning in the Cathedral Ward, before the Vicar Amelia boss fight. It turns out this isn’t a bug – or if it is, it’s […]

  • Steven Spielberg will direct film adaption of Ready Player One

    Steven Spielberg will direct the film adaption of the sci-fi, virtual world, video game themed novel Ready Player One by Ernest Cline. Warner Bros. bought the rights to the film in June 2010 and hired screenwriter Zak Penn to rewrite the previous draft written by Eric Eason, according to Deadline. The book takes place in […]

  • Bloodborne players with PS4 headsets shouldn’t forget about the custom audio

    Here’s a friendly reminder for Bloodborne players with PS4 headsets: be sure to download the Headset Companion App from the PlayStation store if you haven’t already. As previously reported, the game supports a custom Bloodborne audio mode which can be uploaded. It contains custom audio created by developers specifically tuned to enhance the audio. This […]

  • EA explains why FIFA Ultimate Team transfer prices are now platform specific

    EA has posted a blog entry explaining its FIFA Ultimate Team transfer market price ranges which now include platform-specific pricing in order to best the coin sellers. EA said it has implemented the changes to FUT over the last several weeks because it should be “fair and fun for every player,” ultimately coming to the […]

  • Game of Thrones: Episode 3 – The Sword in the Darkness now available

    In case you forgot, Game of Thrones: Episode 3 – The Sword in the Darkness was released today. It is available on Mac, PC, PlayStation 3, PS4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One. The third episode releases on iOS devices and Android tomorrow, March 26. The Sword in the Darkness finds Asher Forrester heading to Mereen […]

  • Bloodborne players are already documenting their crazy antics

    Bloodborne has been available for almost two days now in North America, and already players are posting interesting clips and character customization choices for the game. Below are interesting takes on creating a character and videos of a frustrating death and another full of blood coming from a very painful place – monster or not. […]

  • FIFA Ultimate Team celebrates sixth year in existence with giveaways

    FIFA Ultimate Team is celebrating its sixth year in existence with special events running from today until March 29. According to EA, every FUT fan will be handed one free pack every day, and those who play at least one match in the FUT Birthday Cup will have a chance to win rare “tradable In-Forms” […]

  • Halo Online is a F2P PC game in development exclusively for Russia – video

    Halo Online is a free-to-play game which will launch this spring in Russia, and is in development with Saber Interactive. According the reveal event attended by IGN Russia, the game was designed to run well on lower-end PCs and runs on a modified Halo 3 engine. The game is set on a secret UNSC space […]

  • SteamWorld Dig Xbox One release expected in late May

    SteamWorld Dig is coming to Xbox One, developer Image & Form has announced. A firm release date hasn’t been announced, but the studio expects the title to arrive on the system in late May. “We’re preparing quite an elaborate Easter egg for the Xbox One version – a gaming thing that we really wanted to […]

  • SMITE celebrating first anniversary with a sale on skins, Ultimate God Pack

    Hi-Rez Studios is celebrating the first anniversary of SMITE with a sale. From today through Friday, March 27, the Ultimate God Pack, which includes all current and future Gods, will run you $19.99. Alll individual pre-launch skins are 50% off, and all Gem Packs will award bonus gems. In addition, from March 27-29, all SMITE […]

  • Borderlands 2 has sold around 12 million copies, says Gearbox

    Speaking with Microsoft’s Major Nelson in his podcast, Gearbox Software boss Randy Pitchford stated Borderlands 2 has sold somewhere around the 12 million mark. As of August 2014, it was announced by Take-Two in its financial report the 2012 game had sold-in 10 million units. Pitchford noted in the podcast he learned of the figures […]

  • Broken Age releasing on PS4 and Vita same day as Act 2 on PC

    Double Fine Productions has announced it will release Broken Age on the PlayStation Store next month. Act 2 will also be released on PC. The full Broken Age adventure will release on PlayStation 4 and Vita on April 28 in North America and April 29 in Europe. It features cross-buy and cross-save. Broken Age Act […]

  • Star Citizen earned another $1 million within two weeks – total hits $76 million

    Star Citizen continues its funding streak with backers pumping another $1 million into the game’s development in the last two weeks. The total earned for the space sim has now reached $76 million ($76,015,532 to be exact) with 851,395 backers contributing to the staggering figure. Star Citizen’s latest update was version 1.1 which included two […]

  • Final Fantasy Type-0 HD, Resident Evil Revelations 2 and Battlefield: Hardline top Media Create charts

    Final Fantasy Type-0 HD, Resident Evil Revelations 2 and Battlefield: Hardline were the big ticket debuts during the March 16-2 period in Japan, with each game claiming the top three slots on the Media Create charts, respectively. Final Fantasy Type-0 HD moved 92,094 on PlayStation 4, while Resident Evil Revelations 2 moved 73,373 units on […]

  • You can now learn English or Spanish on Xbox One with the Rosetta App

    Want to learn English or Spanish? Rosetta Stone has an App for that on Xbox One. According to the language teaching firm, Rosetta Stone’s Discover Languages, the new application teaches English and Spanish by way of immersive simulation. Users will virtually travel to learn vocabulary and grammar “necessary for real-world interactions.” Here’s how it works: […]

  • PayDay 2 and PayDay: The Heist have sold over 9 million units combined

    The PayDay franchise is a lucrative IP for Starbreeze and Overkill, as both games combined have sold over 9 million copies as of November 2014. The company has also sold over 8 million paid DLC packages since PayDay 2 was released in 2013 (via NeoGAF). In its Q2 half year report issued in February, net […]

  • Nintendo wants to “surprise” customers with NX, not expand upon existing hardware

    Nintendo president Satoru Iwata has firm wants to “surprise” players with its new NX system. Speaking in an interview with Nikkei, translated by Kotaku, Iwata wouldn’t go into details on the new system, but stated expanding on a current gaming system would be “dull.” “In the past few years, the idea of what [encompasses] a […]

  • Kojima Station show suspended

    In another episode in the the ongoing kerfuffle between Hideo Kojima and Konami, the publisher has suspended the Kojima Station web show. Recent tweets from the newly created Japanese Metal Gear Solid account confirm that Kojima Station will not be broadcast tomorrow, but would not provide a date for the next episode. The Tweets were […]

  • Watch Battle Royale for free this weekend on Xbox Live

    Square Enix is celebrating the launch of Final Fantasy Type-0 HD by offering Xbox Live members in the UK a free rental of Battle Royale. Starting Saturday, March 28 and through Sunday, March 29, Xbox Live members in the UK will be able to rent Battle Royale through the Xbox Video Store, for free. The […]

  • Bloodborne journal, part 1: managing anxiety on the path to the Cleric Beast

    Bloodborne is both like and unlike the Souls games. Brenna descends into Yharnam with reluctance and trepidation. Need help succeeding in Bloodborne? You need our Bloodborne walkthrough and boss guide. Bloodborne isn’t Demon’s Souls or Dark Souls. Let’s get that out of the way right off. I enjoyed both Dark Souls games, but it was […]

  • PS Store Easter sale discounts MGS: Ground Zeroes, Far Cry 4, more

    The Easter Sale is live on the EU PS Store, with Metal Gear Solid 5: Ground Zeroes for less than £10, FIFA 15 Deluxe Edition for £30 and other savings. Some of the PlayStation 3, PS4 and Vita discounts are valid through April 8, other through April 15. PlayStation Plus members can also take an […]

  • Bloodborne video: how to unlock the first shortcut in Old Yharnam

    Here’s a video for Bloodborne players showing a quick way to unlock the first shortcut in Old Yharnam. It also provides a look at things you may have missed in Central Yharnam and The Sewers, courtesy of VaatiVidya. Don’t forget, we have guides posted for the game with more updates coming soon. Bloodborne released in […]

  • Bloodborne issue prevents summons at Vicar Amelia fight

    A Bloodborne bug has prevented players calling on help to take on one of the nasty early bosses. Bloodborne bosses are significantly easier to take down in co-op. Unfortunately, at least one of them is proving difficult to find help for – and not just because not many players have obtained the Small Resonant Bell […]

  • Mass Effect 3 on sale on EU PSN, but not free

    Mass Effect 3 is discounted on the European PSN, but it’s not free. Update 2: The option to add to cart now lets you choose between the free trial or full version. The full version is on sale for £6.49 or £5.84 for PlayStation Plus members. The free trial is of course is still available, […]

  • Elite: Dangerous Race to Elite winners announced, one player makes £10,000

    The winners of Elite: Dangerous’ Race To Elite competition have been announced, with one player receiving the grand prize of £10,000. Back when Elite: Dangerous launched, developer Frontier announced a competition that would award players to first reach Elite rank in trading, exploration, or combat, a prize of £1,000 each. The grand prize – £10,000 […]

  • GTA 5 Online Heists guide: How to make the most money with Special Bonuses and Elite Challenges

    You’re not hitting heists for the good of your health. Here’s how to max cash rewards. Money. GTA Online players love it. Greenbacks are the core of the entire experience, allowing you to buy the best weapons, vehicles and stupid haircuts. Heists, as promised, gives more opportunities than ever to earn serious cash, but once […]

  • PlayStation 4 firmware update 2.50 coming tomorrow

    PlayStation 4 firmware 2.50, codenamed Yukimura, is due for release tomorrow, March 26. Firmware update 2.50 for PlayStation 4 will be launching tomorrow, March 26, Sony has announced. Codenamed Yukimura, the system update is promised to bring suspend/resume feature, trophy sync improvements, accessibility options, and much more. 2.50 has been in beta testing a while […]

  • GTA 5 Online Heists guide: adversary modes, daily objectives, free roam challenges and more

    Heists aren’t the only addition in GTA Online’s latest DLC – there’s a lot of content that can earn you big RP and cash payouts. GTA 5 Online Heists guide: adversary modes, daily objectives, free roam challenges While heists are the talking point and big payoff after more than a year of waiting, there’s a […]

  • Battlefield Hardline: what’s the best Police sniper rifle?

    What’s the best bolt-action, Police sniper rifle for the Professional class in Battlefield Hardline? Let us help you answer that question. As you’re probably aware, Battlefield Hardline weapons are class specific and faction specific. This makes deciding on a good weapon and loadout much harder than it was in Battlefield 4. Which is where Westie […]

  • Evolve 1.3 patch nerfs Wraith, adjusts Kraken

    Evolve is receiving a new patch that aims to put an end to the Wraith’s dominance. Evolve developer Turtle Rock outlined a few of the changes coming in patch 1.3. The patch brings balance changes to the monsters – mainly the Wraith – as well as other various changes to Hunters’ tools based on player […]

  • 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 […]