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Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance is not my GotY

Friday, 22nd February 2013 09:15 GMT By Brenna Hillier

Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance may be the victim of Brenna’s lofty pre-release expectations, of which it fell just a tiny bit short.

I don’t hesitate to recommend the game to anybody with even the slightest interest in action games or who enjoys the Metal Gear franchise – especially as Platinum Games has tone down some of the more trying aspects, like 20 minute cutscenes. That said, it’s not perfect.

I’ve been a bit surprised by the very positive reviews for Metal Gear Rising: Revengeace. It’s a good game, and I enjoyed it, but I didn’t love it. I expected to love it. Dave seems to have loved it. Everyone loves it, apparently.

There are plenty of sources of praise for Revengeance and I encourage you to seek them out and absorb them, because they raise excellent points about its delightfully authentic Metal Gear presentation and the sheer joy of its fast paced technical action. I don’t hesitate to recommend the game to anybody with even the slightest interest in action games or who enjoys the Metal Gear franchise – especially as Platinum Games has toned down some of the more trying aspects (such as 20-minute cutscenes).

That said, it’s not perfect, so to stand in balance to Dave’s very strong recommendation, I’d like to offer a run down of what I didn’t like about Revengeance. It’s not a long list, and you’ve got to take it in context with the positive reviews; I’m not just pouring shit for the sake of it on what is, I believe, a solid and enjoyable effort most core gamers will value.

The camera is bollocks. Revengeance has a lock-on feature, which somewhat mitigates this flaw, but Raiden spends a heck of a lot of time zipping around narrow interiors where the camera insists on backing up against walls, wandering off to stare into a corner, or wildly flip-flopping between extremes.

This is heck annoying because like many Platinum action games you need to be precise in your timing, and that really means being able to see what’s happening. It’s a game where you have to be quick, mobile and ruthlessly efficient to evade and destroy the enemies; even when you’ve upgraded Raiden’s systems, some of the tougher but common foes can knock off a third of your health bar in a single hit.

The difficulty is all over the place. In some later sections you could probably close your eyes, hold one button and mash another, and open them a few minutes later to find legions of dead enemies at your feet. Of course, you won’t get an S-class rating for chopping down grunts in this lazy fashion, and I’m sure there’s a defence here somewhere about accessibility. But I did find it easy to reach S rankings in these sections, time and again – so I must be pretty good, yeah? You can’t get any better than S.

Here’s Sam having a smashing
time taking on a Metal Gear Ray.

And yet moments later I would limp out of a standard encounter having used up all my health items, having barely managed a D ranking. Learning each kind of enemy’s weaknesses and attack patterns is key, of course, but even fore-armed the difficulty pendulum swings back and forth wildly, never quite hitting that slow climb which is most familiar and satisfying. Experts will find the game too easy. Newbies will be hammered. The middle ground is an exhausting traipse between the two extremes.

The stealth sections are bullshit. Advances in soliton radar technology mean our hero can see where foes are at all times, even when he’s caused a panic. Unfortunately, he rarely has any idea where they’re looking. Enemies usually have lights which vaguely indicate the direction of their gaze, but as soon as they break away from a cardinal point (Revengeance is clearly built on boxes; there’s barely a diagonal line in sight) it becomes very difficult to guess their viewpoint. One section in particular, sneaking through a Japanese garden, was a nightmare for me; in the end, the answer was “run through the middle”, but it took hours of trial and error to find this out.

On top of that, going stealth actually seems to punish you. Fuck up a sneaking section and you’ll have a nasty fight on your hands, but as fighting is the point of the game, and the only way to earn the BP you’ll need to upgrade all your skills and weapons so handle tougher opponents, it seems like the preferable option. (I’ve never understood the logic behind this kind of upgrade system either; getting more points for better performance is fine, but if those points are spent on things that make the game easier, you’re effectively blocking beginners from helping themselves.)

Hideo Kojima’s trailer for Revengeance
isn’t indicative of the storytelling you’ll
encounter in-game. Thank goodness.

These are not huge complaints, just things that bothered me personally, and I want you to take them on board to temper the slobbering enthusiasm, not view them as damning critiques. When I finished playing Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, I felt a couple of things. I felt like I’d played a “real” Metal Gear game, which is much to Platinum and Kojipro’s credit. I felt satisfied by the bombastic story, good-natured silliness, and terrific boss design. I felt like my skills had improved vastly over the course of the game. And I felt like I would probably never play it again. I didn’t feel like I’d played a game of the year, unless that year was 2007.

If you like the idea of replaying to unlock every weapon and upgrade, achieve S-rating on all battles on all difficulties, and find all the secrets then more power to you: Revengeance is going to be perfect for you, and it will probably stick in your mind for years as a favourite game. As for me, I’m glad to have enjoyed a ripping yarn with Jack the Ripper, but now I’m moving on with my life. What would the world be like if we were all alike, eh?

Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance is now available in the Europe, the UK and US, and even Australia, thanks to a broken street date.

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16 Comments

  1. M. K.

    Brenna posting her “opinion” about a game? This should be interesting :P

    #1 1 year ago
  2. dtyk

    Well let’s hope this is not a DMC riot rerun.

    #2 1 year ago
  3. absolutezero

    What exactly is so different between the shit that we have today and the shit that we had in 2007?

    I’m not seeing much of a change here, help me out.

    #3 1 year ago
  4. OmegaSlayer

    Brenna Hiller…
    nothing smart to read here :(
    Next troll article will be about Tomb Raider, place your bets.

    #4 1 year ago
  5. YoungZer0

    Wow. Most of the reviews I’ve read don’t even mention the fact that a stealthy approach is actually being punished.

    Anyway, I’m finally going to play the game today to see what’s what.

    @4: How is that a troll article?

    #5 1 year ago
  6. orakaa

    Good article and valid points.
    Just as for DmC, to each his own: some people will love it, some will hate it, and some will just think it’s decent, but not extraordinary.

    Personally I preferred MGRR over DmC, but it’s my opinion.

    #6 1 year ago
  7. absolutezero

    The way stealth is punishing is the exact same way that stealth is punished in Dishonoured. No one cared then.

    #7 1 year ago
  8. YoungZer0

    What are you talking about?

    #8 1 year ago
  9. absolutezero

    I’m saying that the approach to stealth in Revengence is exactly the same set up as Dishonoured. Its not meant to be played like that, its a perfectly acceptable approach but you miss out on the bombastic fights and because of that you get less BP with which to Upgrade Raiden.

    In Dishonoured stealth was the same idea, you get less powers to play with and it was more a means to set up some crazy running battles.

    I honestly don’t know what to say if you can’t see a similar design philosophy between both titles. Only this time suddenly its all wrong and totally counter-intuitive.

    Right right right. If you have the time watch this and apply the ideas from it to Rising : http://youtu.be/vRrM3RI0a4I

    #9 1 year ago
  10. Hellhound30x

    Hmmm… some of the negative reviews I’ve read about MGR comes down to them wishing it was a true sequel to the MGS games with Solid Snake.
    I for one loved the game, and think that in the amount of time that Platinum had to make the game, they did an incredible job. My only gripe is sometimes, even as beautiful as the backgrounds are, they seem some what hollow at times.

    I really can’t complain though… the boss battles were awesome. Totally feels like a Metal Gear game to me, and I’m glad people are liking it. I hope they get to make a sequel.

    as for the “stealth” bit, I didn’t realize there was stealth in the game. I thought it was hack and slash through and through…

    #10 1 year ago
  11. YoungZer0

    “Its not meant to be played like that”

    Oh, come on, you can’t be serious. You can’t even compare the two games. In Revengeance none of the stealth elements feel fleshed out. You can either jump on an enemy or stab him from behind. That’s all the stealth elements you get. The jumping mechanics sometimes feel downright broken.

    Yes, I only played the demo but from what I’ve seen online (some walkthroughs) the ninja run is still as poorly implemented as in the demo. The jumping mechanics are stiff and unfinished.

    All of the stealth mechanics in Dishonored are better.

    You have way more possibilities than in Revengeance and the gameplay was satisfying. The only limit you can have is if you choose not to kill anyone. And even then you only had like 2 skills that you wouldn’t need to use.

    Otherwise all the skills are useful. Want that guard gone as well as his corpse? Use the rats. Stab him from behind and drag his body, teleport yourself somewhere where noone can find him.

    Place a trap that gets a guard killed, etc. etc.

    It was fleshed out and with stealth in mind. To say otherwise is simply absurd.

    #11 1 year ago
  12. absolutezero

    Oh om nom nom nom all these words being forced into my mouth.

    Not what I said. Its gone flying over your head. Its alright.

    #12 1 year ago
  13. YoungZer0

    I’m tired. Gonna grab some tea now.

    #13 1 year ago
  14. xino

    i’ve had mixed feelings on the game ever since I saw the first trailer and I played the game myself.

    I can tell the difficulty is all over the place, it’s all based on trail and error.
    Because even in the demo, fighting the Gekko (walking legs) 2nd time, their was rocking launcher all over the time.

    and the camera DOES suck indeed!

    also I HATE single player games with no bloody unlocks. Even though NG3 lacked content, at least there was bloody unlockables, co-op and multiplayer.

    seriously, why should I keep paying full price for games that lacks contents.

    i will probably rent the game

    #14 1 year ago
  15. Bomba Luigi

    I never ever expected this to be my GotY. Rising ist a just for Fun Thing for me, the GotY Games is stuff like Last of US, GTA5 and all that.

    #15 1 year ago
  16. sb319

    It’s February, so it is definitely the right time to discuss GoTY.

    #16 1 year ago

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