Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance Review
developer: Kojima Productions
|ESRB rating: M
release date: Feb 19, 13
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Konami, Kojima Productions and Platinum Games (creators of Beyonetta and Vanquish) take us back to the world of Metal Gear. Kojima Productions made it clear very early on that Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance won’t involve the series’ ever-popular central character Solid Snake. Instead we are given an opportunity to learn more about Raiden and his endeavors. He’ll be completing a series of missions for the PMC Maverick Security, one of which is protecting political VIPs. As the mission kicks off Prime Minister N'Mani gets kidnapped and Raiden chases after him, eventually encountering a major villain called Sundowner and a cyborg named Samuel.
There may not be much to compare this with great stories like the one we witnessed in, say, Deus Ex: Human Revolution. Still, extra dialogue that was neatly fitted into the game when Raiden communicates with individual members of Maverick in the tradition of the Metal Gear series (Raiden’s phone rings almost constantly, almost as much as Snake’s). Anyway, Metal Gear aficionados will surely be pleased with these additions because those conversations show the bond between the game’s key characters and they reveal more of Raiden’s backdrop.
This doesn't look easy. And it's not.
Cool is the right word, I think.
MGR: Revengeance features fast hack-and-slash 3rd-person action, in the spirit of games like Devil May Cry and Ninja Gaiden, with a dash of stealth-based gameplay as well. A lot of the missions give you a chance move on stealthily, if you wish. The problem is that Raiden’s stealth-based skills are quite limited, so what you’ll be doing is trying to sneak around without the possibility of crouching or sticking onto a walls for cover. So, the stealth elements are present and they can provide some fun, but you’ll most likely resort to action in almost every situation. The reason for that is because Raiden was made to be better at chopping things to bits than being a silent assassin, which he certainly has the potential to be.
The first issue that annoyed the hell out of me was the camera that often fails to cover the action on screen. It almost makes traversing through indoor areas a bloody nightmare, hence when you pan the camera, walls and other objects get in the way – the camera just zooms to a degree so that you can’t even see Raiden anymore. At that point, you’ll more than likely be treated the customary Metal Gear death sequence, except, of course, you’ll hear the name ‘Raiden’ being screamed out instead of the name ‘Snake’.
Another huge problem occurs when you enter the Blade Mode. You charge the Blade Mode meter by takedown opponents regularly, then when you trigger the Blade Mode, time slows down, you can choose the angle of the blade and then just turn your foes into French fries. As fun as this sounds, this particular feature also suffers on account of the flimsy camera. Thankfully, camera controls (and the controls in general) can be customized. The default camera controls for Blade Mode are definitely inadequate in that regard – you aim with the right analog stick and then you have to hit ‘X’ at the same time. It’s not always precise and it’s definitely not the best solution. It’s a major problem in some boss fights as well, where the player is required to use the sword and cut accurately.
Otherwise, the combat mechanics are generally engaging and fun. However, the whole thing seems like a bit of a wasted opportunity. If they put more emphasis on stealth, this would’ve been a truly great game. At the very least, they could’ve tweaked the stealth elements to make things more challenging and indeed more interesting to gamers who prefer the silent assassin route. Of course, Raiden can still manage to sneak up behind even larger foes and knock them out with a single stab (providing he remains undetected).
Engaging combat mechanics, there's a lot of material for fans of the series especially in the dialogue and character bios, VR missions are a nice addition;
AI quirks, camera tends to spoil the moment in indoor areas and can be an issue in Blade Mode, the game is relatively short, stealth aspect is a bit disappointing.