Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance - PS3 Review
For those of you unaware Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance had a bit of a troubled development. Initially Hideo Kojima himself was handling the title at Kojima Productions following its announcement at the 2009 E3 Show. In late 2010 however Kojima Productions cancelled the games production due to difficulties in designing the game. Step in Platinum Games. The creator of Bayonetta and Vanquish was handed the job of developing the title by Hideo Kojima, and soon set about jettisoning the stealth elements to focus on the action - and with a focus on a slick 60fps frame rate. Could this title still exist in Kojima's universe but offer something fresh? Why yes indeed.
|Metal Gear Rising Revengeance is a great game.|
Metal Gear Rising tells the back story of Raiden - one of the key characters from Metal Gear Solid franchise and who is a child soldier transformed into a half-man, half-machine cyborg ninja, equipped with a high-frequency katana blade and a soul fueled by revenge. Taking place after the events in Metal Gear Solid 4 the plot revolves around Raiden trying to keep the peace as a member of "Maverick Security" as several large PMC (Private Military Companies) have collapsed and cybernetic technology is starting to change the balance of power on the battlefield.
So this game has a plot and characters that, at times, seem nonsensical however this game is a lot more streamlined then Kojima's Metal Gear Solid titles and, perhaps more importantly, is a lot more accessible to newcomers who have little knowledge of previous Metal Gear titles. In short, don't let the complexity of the franchise put you off this game.
|Slicing off the legs of an enemy.|
It must be said that almost everything in this game just "clicks". Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance really mixes up the gameplay too as, besides the hack and slash action sequences, you will also encounter several epic boss battles, engage in moments of QTE styled "button presses" to finish off enemies, control a small robot to infiltrate area out of reach to Raiden, or go racing through an area - such as down the side of a building - while trying to avoid obstacles, or even stealth your way past enemies - using the cardboard boxes to hide in of course. This game is non-stop from start to finish and never feels like it has been padded out to increase the game length (not that it's a long game anyway) over the eight main missions.
One thing I never got sick of is slicing things up. It's great to have a stack of boxes, for instance, where you just hack and slash them into smaller bits - the game even keeps count of how many pieces you've created. Of course slashing up enemies is much more fun and as you do this limbs will go flying although this isn't the blood fest you might expect with most enemies being cybernetic. As an enemy gets pummeled a target will appear and if this is attacked you can replenish Health and Blade Mode power. Depending on how well you perform through the levels will also determine how many credits you receive to purchase upgrades to Raiden, and his equipment.
|It's possible to destroy parts of buildings to take out enemies in Metal Gear Rising.|
Boss encounters are certainly one of the highlights of Metal Gear Rising, but can also be an annoyance too. Within minutes you'll encounter the first boss which is none other than Metal Gear Ray! It only goes up from there, but the annoyance is that these battles can be much harder then the previous battles throughout the level. Perhaps that's how it should be, but it just seems like too much of a difficulty spike. A key component to these boss battles is your ability to block and counter the attacks, if you just go in swinging your katana, you'll be dead before you know it.
Despite our love of this title, there are a couple of small niggles we would have liked seen addressed. As you play the game secondary weapons will be unlocked and purchasable in the store. Unfortunately these replace one of your normal attacks, which seems to reduce effectiveness in combat making it rather unnecessary to ever upgrade to and use these weapons.
At times, such as an early moment when Raiden is running down a building, the game seems to move so fast that it's more a test of memory then skill with barely enough time to move out of the way of obstacles. It only took a couple of attempts to get past that point, and a couple of similar ones, but it shouldn't have occurred. Also the codecs make a return which gives more back story and info, but while Raiden is listening to them he switches to a super slow walk. Any reason he can't listen and run, or be attacking enemies? Finally, some may be disappointed that there's no multiplayer in the game - to us, it doesn't really need it.
|Slicing up objects is just enjoyable.|
The length of the game too must be questioned somewhat. We took a while to get through it, however that was primarily due to our number of deaths rather than the actual amount of content. Each of the eight missions lasts about 45 minutes, so a 6 hour game, although the release does have some VR missions, and plenty of replayability. In future there will be several DLC drops (prices are TBC) but they will include one pack with VR missions, and two more with extra missions for the main game. Finally the games difficulty level can be somewhat inconsistent. We've often ploughed through a level without too much trouble, or perhaps some, only to encounter a boss that takes an absolute battering before being defeated. Sure, that's how games should be for the most part, but some people may be put off with these spikes.
Visually this game is a cracker with a, to our perception at least, solid 60fps frame rate. As you can see from the surrounding screenshots this game is no slouch either when it comes to character or level detail although, admittedly, the levels can be a bit plain compared to powerhouse games such as Tomb Raider or Crysis 3. Still, this game is all about speed and fluidity and we'll take the 60fps for this style of game any day. It would have been nice, however if the developers had refined the camera just a little more. While never terrible, at times it goes amiss, and you lose direction when surrounded by enemies, although it is possible to lock onto a single enemy to track them.
|Raiden slices and enemy clean in half!|
One staple of any Metal Gear game is the lavish cut-scenes. Gamers will (probably) be pleased to hear that Platinum Games are much more restrained then Hideo Kojima in that department with much shorter cut-scenes on offer then the often 30+ minute tests of patience found in Metal Gear Solid 4. Here, there are plenty of cut scenes between gameplay sequences, but they are short enough, often only a couple of minutes, to retain your interest for the duration (but if these aren't of interest you can skip them to jump straight back into the action).
When it comes to audio this game doesn't disappoint either with a cracking soundtrack, superb sound effects including sword slashings and pretty decent dialogue too - albeit to fit into the twisted and convoluted plot. Sure, some lines are corny, but they suit the game perfectly. Surround sound channels also get a bit of a workout and assist in pinpointing enemies.
|Metal Gear Rising is a very enjoyable game.|
Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance is a fantastic action game that ticks all the right boxes. It's looks a treat, moves slickly, has some very enjoyable gameplay, wonderful Metal Gear styled cut-scenes (although much shorter then Kojima usually delivers), and plenty of replayability. Platinum Games should be commended for taking the franchise (even in spin-off form) in a new, and impressive, direction. Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance is a melee combat game that action fans would do well to pick up.
Review By: Dave Warner
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|GRAPHICS||Metal Gear Rising is a gorgeous game that looks the part, be it during cut-scenes or while in-game. The camera can, occasionally, annoy slightly.||87%|
|SOUND||Music, effects, and dialogue all impress making this a treat sonically.||85%|
|GAMEPLAY||This Metal Gear spin-off game is often more enjoyable then full MGS titles, albeit with a very different gameplay style.||93%|
|VALUE||Not an overly long game, but very replayable, and plenty of incoming DLC including VR missions (pricing TBC).||80%|
|OVERALL||Metal Gear Rising Revengeance is one of the most enjoyable titles we've played for some time and we highly recommend it to MGS fans, and those who love hack and slash titles.||88%|