Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance (Xbox 360) Review
Posted by Adam Larck on 02.20.2013
See if Raidenís standalone adventure should be checked out inside.
Title: Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance
Developer: Platinum Games
Rated: M for Mature
Having played a good chunk of the game at a preview event, I knew what to expect coming into Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance.
Thankfully, even after a few months, the fun of just going to town slicing up cyborgs and anything else you find into tiny pieces is still there.
Revengeance is all about Raiden, and barely touches on anyone else from the series that you know, save for Sunny. Sure, a few characters are mentioned here and there, but not for more than a passing second and none are seen in game.
The story focuses on Raiden four years after MGS4 and employed by Maverick Security Consulting Inc. as he tries to stop Desperado Enterprises and the Winds of Destruction from starting a new war after the Patriots were finished in the previous game. Throughout the game, some factions and characters will get introduced that add a bit more to plot and depth of the title, including one that makes for an interesting and unexpected final boss fight. The game also plays up Raidenís past war ties as a youth by making one aspect of the war hit close to Raidenís heart.
Gameplay is simple enough at its core. You can swing Raidenís blade with X, while Y either does different sword attacks or uses whatever secondary weapon is equipped that you can unlock after boss battles, such as Mistralís pole-arm, which is still just a pole made of arms. RT does the ninja run, which can help deflect bullets and do quicker attacks with less damage. Thereís also a visor feature which highlights enemies in the world, useful items to pick up and objects that can be cut.
However, the two biggest features and most enjoyable are the parry feature and blade mode. To parry, you actually have to hit the LS in the right direction of the attack and hit X at the same time. However, if you do that too early, all youíll do is block the attack. Timing it to when the enemy attack is about to hit you will let you parry, sometimes letting you do extra damage and sometimes letting you perform a zan-datsu.
Zan-datsu and blade mode actually tie in together. Blade mode is what you have early on when you have no battery power. You stand stationary and can control how you swing the sword with the sticks and X and Y. Zan-datsu slows down time and lets you precisely aim at key points to destroy or slice an enemy perfectly to get their spine, restoring health and battery for more zan-datsus.
Eventually, the battery can be used to activate Ripper mode as well when full. Ripper mode, based on his Jack the Ripper nickname, will power up your attacks for a short amount of time to dispatch bigger groups of enemies or damage bosses more. Thankfully, once you upgrade your blade you can get battery life back from normal attacks.
In addition, there are also various sub-items that can be picked up throughout the game, such as rocket launchers, holographic photo frames and even the cardboard box. However, I normally didnít find these too useful when compared to just slicing and dicing my way through enemies.
What the game doesnít flat out tell you, though, is that itís not always advantageous to cut your way through enemies. Some fights can be avoided outright, with the game awarding you more BP for sometimes sneaking through entire sections undetected. BP is used to upgrade your health and fuel cells, learn new moves, upgrade weapons even buy new costumes.
Similar to how Hideo Kojima had cleverly named bosses for his entries in the series, Platinum Games does the same type of naming with the Winds of Destruction bosses, including Sundowner, a wind type in Santa Barbara, Calif., Mistral and Monsoon. The trio and Sam actually make up one of the best features I like most about the game: boss battles.
While most enemies can be dispatched by just carving them up and moving on, boss battles require strategy and a bit of thought to overcome, especially battles like Sundowner and Monsoon. They always left me feeling rewarded and ready to continue on with the game.
I also loved the music that went with the battles. I know I mentioned this with the preview, but the pushing beat and lyrics match the battles perfectly. In fact, the music throughout the game is great to listen to, and matches the action-packed pace of the game.
Like other Metal Gear titles, thereís a bit of humor throughout to find, like enemies hidden in boxes or bikini-clad women posters to cut open with blade mode. You can also call your teammates via the Codec to get a bit of background on parts of the game from them or just to hear their commentary.
When compared to other Platinum Gamesí titles, their work can definitely be felt in the over-the-top nature of the game as well as within the story. It starts adding a lot more cursive towards the end of the game, as well as some tongue-in-cheek comments as you go along. Fans of Platinum Games will find something to love here.
The one drawback people may run into is the play length. First playthrough ran me a little under five hours, with it possibly being longer or shorter depending on if you try to find everything and use the Codec. However, this doesnít count time that can be spent unlocking everything or taking on the 20 VR missions in the game.
The graphics and cutscenes (this is a Metal Gear game after all) look great throughout. It actually adds to slicing through objects when you can slow down time and experience everything going on around you. Character models are great, and while the cyborgs can get a bit repetitive the unique characters all are great to see when you can.
The action is fast and well-refined.
Blade mode is a blast to use.
Boss battles are great to come up against.
Gameplay time may be short for some.
Some areas require quick, pinpoint precision in Blade Mode that you may not expect.
Overall, fans expecting the next traditional MGS game will be disappointed. However, if you come into Revengeance wanting a new experience and ready to try something new in the series itís a great title. Action fans will love the game, as the polish can really be felt. Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance is definitely a game worth checking out.
The graphics and cutscenes are great to see as you progress through the gameís eight stages.
Itís a blast going through enemies and bosses, and blade mode will let you slice and dice to your heartís content.
I loved the soundtrack in the game. The pulsing beats and lyrics as you go through levels fit every level and fight nicely and kept me wanting to hear more.
The one low spot for the game. The story lasts about five hours. While you can go through to unlock everything and do VR missions, people in it just for the story will feel a bit let down.
Despite its short nature, I had a blast playing the game. Though itís a side story to the Metal Gear series, Raidenís story is definitely worth playing.