Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance Review (PS3)
key review info
- Game: Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance
- Platform: Playstation 3
- Reviewed on:
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Metal Gear Solid titles have all been about stealth and patience so when series creator Hideo Kojima announced that he was going to supervise a spinoff project made by Platinum Games, the same studio behind hectic experiences like Bayonetta or Vanquish, you can bet that many fans raised one or both their eyebrows in surprise.
Does this new experience have what it takes to live up to the joint pedigrees of Platinum and Kojima or is Raiden's High Frequency Blade a dull affair? Let's find out.
Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, in comparison to previous entries in the Solid series, has a pretty simple plot, as Raiden faces off against a new Private Military Company called Desperado, which uses cyborgs and has a vested interest in keeping African countries in constant dispute.
Raiden has a personal grudge against the PMC's leaders, the so-called Desperado Elite, which are to blame for the injuries he sustains at the beginning of the game. These force him to become a full-fledged cyborg, heavily augmented with all sorts of high-tech gadgets.
What follows is a pretty decent story that, unfortunately, tends to rely a lot on lengthy cut-scenes, although they're much shorter than the ones seen in previous Solid titles.
Fans of the series will certainly enjoy much more of the plot, as it's filled with extra info for veterans and the Codec entries reveal even more details about what happened after Guns of the Patriots.
While the characters are corny and the story sequences are definitely around the cheesy levels set by Bayonetta or Vanquish, the action is quite impressive and goes over the top in many glorious ways, like when Raiden starts spinning around a giant Metal Gear with his bare hands.
Revengeance is a pure hack-and-slash experience, much like Platinum's previous Bayonetta, but it blends those mechanics with the fast-paced combat of Vanquish, where the protagonist slid around the battlefield, taking on foes and using all sorts of special gadgets and powers.
Raiden is a great hero as not only does he get to use his special High Frequency Blade, which can basically cut through anything, but he also benefits from superhuman strength and key abilities like the Augmented mode, similar to the Detective mode used by Batman in the Arkham titles.
This allows Raiden to spot enemies and points of interest in his vicinity. While you can go in wielding your sword and proceed to chop everything to bits, there is some logic to approaching combat in Revengeance.
By staying silent or by using the trademark boxes, Raiden can perform stealth kills and, once you're detected, you can perform different attacks that result in getting healed and incapacitating enemies via stylish maneuvers.
Basically, you can swing your sword in a regular way, through regular and heavy attacks, but you can also enter a sort of first-person Blade Mode, where you decide the angle of the swing.
If you hit key weakpoints while in Blade Mode, Raiden can pull out the spine of his cyborg opponents, instantly replenishing his health. While this procedure is tricky at first, you'll soon slice and dice your foes without your health decreasing by large percentages.
Sadly, Blade Mode may be awesome, especially when triggered during the special Zandatsu moments, allowing Raiden to pull off even more cinematic moves, but it's quite annoying to use, especially when sliding around the battlefield and being hit from multiple directions.
Besides wielding the High Frequency Blade, Raiden can also use a limited arsenal of weapons, like rocket launchers or grenades, as ammo can be found throughout the game's world.
Enemies are pretty varied, as you go up against Cyborg opponents, who wield anything from sniper rifles to machine guns and other such things to the classic Dwarf Gekkos or different crazy machines. Boss enemies, like the Desperado Elite, possess different abilities and powers that make Raiden's quest much harder. Some of them are pretty well designed, like the hulking Sundowner, while others are really outlandish, like Mistral who controls a lot of hands.
Level design is pretty good, as Raiden's adventures take him through many different environments, but getting around them isn't as fluid as some other hack-and-slash games, like DmC Devil May Cry. Even so, Raiden's Ninja Run is pretty good, although performing it on a crowded battlefield is quite disorienting, as the camera can barely keep up with the hero.
As you fight, you earn Battle Points, which can then be spent on upgrading your different weapons, including the High Frequency Blade, improving your various skills, and unlocking new moves that are quite devastating.
Visuals and Sound
Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance looks pretty good, but its main attribute is the rock solid framerate that only slightly dips at the beginning of a level, when Raiden usually engages in a conversation on his headset, prompting to walk slowly with his hand to his ear, just like in many other games.
Animations look good and are really well executed, but the textures are a bit blurry or of a low resolution in quite a few areas.
In terms of sound, Revengeance uses a pretty good mix of rock-and-roll to accentuate the intense combat and sequences, although it doesn't really stand out all that much. Voice acting is decent, but once again there are no remarkable performances and the English voices don't really match up to the actual animations.
Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance is a good game, as it delivers an intense hack-and-slash experience with lots of over-the-top sequences. Sadly, its story is a bit short, although there are quite a few VR missions to add extra play time, the Blade Mode can confuse new players at least at first, and it could have used a bit more work in terms of visuals and sound.
Even so, Metal Gear fans will no doubt appreciate this new direction for the series while hack-and-slash aficionados will enjoy this new Platinum production, even if previous titles were a bit more stylish and well executed.