Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance Preview
- Mat Mckeown
- On January 24, 2013
When it was originally announced back in 2009, Metal Gear Solid Rising: Revengeance looked pretty awesome. It featured Raiden in his Cyborg form freely slicing through everything and everyone in sight. But as the development time progressed the news came about that Hideo Kojima, although not originally being in charge of the project, had taken the reigns after the original dev team revealed that they were struggling with the project. Then everything was scrapped and it was rebuilt from the ground up into something completely different.
Being a huge fan of the Metal Gear series I was oddly curious about what they had done to this latest installment in the franchise, so after a hefty 1.4 GB install on my Xbox360 hard drive, the demo adventure began.
Rising Revengeance is set four years after the events of MGS4; Raiden has become a member of a peace-keeping military group known as Maverick Security Consulting. The demo took place a few weeks after a botched escort of a VIP leaves Raiden almost dead at the hands of a mysterious assailant called “Sam” a cyborg assassin from a rival PMC group known only as “Desperado Enforcement”. Desperate for revenge, Raiden goes on a quest for blood to finally settle the score with “Sam” and his rogue organisation.
Unlike MGS2, this time around Raiden is joined by his own international team of experts, who provide tactical advice, upgrades and items to use in battle.
The controls act out as your bog standard ‘Hack-n-Slasher’. There are the basic light and heavy attacks but for those feeling especially violent, holding LT enters blade mode. In this mode everything slows down and Raiden becomes incredibly focused on the act of making human sushi. After entering blade mode you aim the sword with the right stick then move it rapidly in the direction you wish it to swing, strongly reminiscent of the melee controls of Too Human. Although over exuberant swings can mean a less defined surgical cut and more butcherous slices.
The graphics look fantastic and there was a nice reference to the original trailer video in the tutorial whereby I had to dismember rogue terrorist melons. I thoroughly enjoyed the minute detail at which I could slice things apart.
Overall destruction was limited to only specific objects however, but I happily sliced them apart in an act of catharsis not felt since the good old days of playing Red Faction. Rising Reveangence has got everything you could expect from a Kojima game, stunning visuals and action packed cut scenes.
But the demo had its fair share of problems, there was considerable frame rate drop when I got too over exuberant with my slashes, fairly linear level design, dialogue struggling to keep up with animation and on more than one occasion I came across my old nemesis, the invisible wall.
Even worse was when a scripted fight occurs the player becomes trapped within a small combat bubble which the friendly NPC advised me was to “limit collateral damage.” Thanks guys, but I think I can manage one fight without breaking everything. The combat was further hampered by the inability to dodge or even lock the camera on one individual target at a time.
But my main gripe was with the games core mechanic itself, because although the ability to cut through any surface can be downright awesome, it sometimes offers more problems than it solves. One infuriating incident led me to accidentally cut a set of stairs at the beginning of the mission, thereby rendering them unable to walk up because rather than say, scramble up the rubble, Raiden merely phased through it, leading me to embarrassingly restart the mission.
My main issue is that although having the ability to cut through any surface sounds amazing when it was first announced, limiting it to certain objects should have been implemented in a better way to stop players from cutting themselves off from level progression accidentally. Although destructible objects can be highlighted in the tactical view mode, it can still lead to infuriating situations where one miss-swing can open a world of problems.
Raiden himself has taken on this colder persona of hating the terrorists for giving away their own humanity and becoming more machine than man, although during the demo it just came across as being hypocritical of him as he himself contained more attachments than a Swiss army knife. It seems this new Raiden persona will pay off in the long run but in the demo it fell kind of flat. Add on the fact that enemies and destroyed objects seem to just phase out of reality after destruction, just makes this feel less and less like a canon Metal Gear game from a series I love and just another generic Hack-n-slash with characters that feel just tacked on for the sake of pulling in fans of MGS.
So as it stands the demo of Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance hasn’t sold me on buying a copy of the full game when it finally gets released in February 22nd. This is a shame because although Raiden is my least favourite character from the series since his escapades in MGS2, I was rather interested in seeing where they would go with him in the post MGS4 universe.
So Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance is something I can’t particularly recommend to fans of Metal Gear or Hack-n-Slash games.