Revengeance is a dish best served diced…
Metal Gear Rising feels like a game created by two different companies. Funnily enough, it was. Developed by Platinum (Bayonetta) and set in the Metal Gear Solid world created by Hideo Kojima, MGR has just enough of the Metal Gear influence and just enough of Platinum’s wilder tendencies to paper over any cracks. During our play through, we often wondered what the title would be like if Platinum had been allowed to fully cut loose -it seems at times the developer wasn’t fully comfortable working within Kojima’s parameters and existing story lines – but, rest assured, the game play is as good as you’d expect from possibly the best action game creators around.
Set four years after the events of Metal Gear Solid 4, MGR is all about cyborg ninja Raiden, the much maligned protagonist of MGS2. The story begins with Raiden finding himself outmatched and overwhelmed and sets about on a quest for (Re)vengeance. The story is as bonkers and as fun as you’d expect, with events constantly escalating to a completely over-the-top finale. While the narrative isn’t quite as complex and convoluted as previous entries in the canon, long-time fans will find much to enjoy here. We don’t pretend to be huge MGS aficionados but we were entertained throughout the (brief) playing time.
MGR’s chief strength is unquestionably its gameplay, specifically its sword play and parry dynamics. The fighting and combo system isn’t the most complex or deep system that Platinum has created, though more skilled players will undoubtedly find a stronger challenge in the higher difficulty modes, but the parry system is key. At first, it feels uncomfortable and unwieldy – you can’t block, you must evade or parry – but once you learn it’s like slipping into a comfortable pair of slippers. A comfortable pair of slippers that allow you to slow down time (or “blade-mode”) and slice your enemies any way you seem fit. Yes, Blade-Mode is very fun and very accomplished. We can see why the system originally caused Konami problems (the original plan was that you were able to slice and dice everything) but the way Platinum implement it is rewarding and fitting. Not only is it undeniably cool, it’s also vital. You can use it to finish off weakened enemies but also to expose their innards which Raiden uses to restore his health and battery reserves. Like I said before, bonkers.
As we touched on earlier, it won’t take you a long time to complete the story. In fact, our first play through (minus the lengthy cut-scenes and Codec exchanges) was just under 5 hours. This might be an issue for fans of the Metal Gear series or for gamers on a budget. However, there are multiple difficulty levels and, as always, Platinum’s games lend themselves to being replayed until you discover every combo and perfect every encounter. We did find some of the cut-scenes and Codec exchanges tiresome but your mileage will vary on this, depending on how well versed you are in the series or how immersed you become in the storyline.
If you’ve played games like Bayonetta or DmC and enjoyed them, you’ll find much to like with Metal Gear Rising: Reveangance. We do feel Platinum are trying to find their feet in Kojima’s world and the short play time does stop us from recommending this wholeheartedly. Rest assured though, the game is fun and frequently chaotic but is just as slick and well-polished.
– Dave Green
Low Fat Gaming review scores explained:
Count from 1 to 10. What comes in the middle? 5. 5 is average, not 6 and certainly not 7. You can have perfectly good fun with an average game (we have) but anything above 5 deserves your interest and possibly your hard earned cash – a 9 or a 10 definitely does. We’d steer clear of anything under a 5 though, unless you absolutely must.