Preview: Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance
It started life as Metal Gear Solid: Rising, a game with plenty of promise about it but then it quietly got cancelled and almost never saw the light of day until Platinum Games picked up the title, re-branded it and made it their own. They called it Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance and redesigned it as something they’re more accustomed to doing – a hack and slash action game. It stars Raiden, the cyborg ninja who featured previously in Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots and Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty. In case you have some obscene aversion to words, above is a lengthy video of the opening 25 minutes of Revengeance which should be enough to give you a comprehensive look at the game.
Title: Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance
Developer: Platinum Games
Platforms: PS3, Xbox 360
Expected Price: R605
Release Date: February 22 2013
Initially a spin-off of the Metal Gear Solid franchise, Rising would be a more fast-paced stealth hunting action game with a core mechanic that would give players the power to cut anything with great precision and dexterity; this would even allow you to incapacitate an enemy by dismembering him but not necessarily kill him. The initial incarnation of the game was intended to have a no-kills playthrough possible. However, this all proved a little too tough for Kojima Productions to actually make a reality. The game was silently cancelled in the hopes that people would simply stop asking questions about it but then Platinum Games stepped up and offered to take the IP and do something with it.
They altered to suit their strengths and made it more of a hack & slash action title albeit still with a version of that lovely cutting mechanism. The game still features Raiden who struggles with his past as a child soldier. It’s set in 2018 after MGS 4, no doubt to avoid continuity issues. Raiden is working for a PMC called Maverick Enterprises and does jobs for them ranging from VIP protection to training recruits and stabilising regions in conflict. The antagonists come in the form of Desperado Enterprises, a rival PMC which Raiden has history with and thus we get the Revenge and Vengeance part of the title which was awkwardly bundled into the singular word “revengeance”. Raiden will be able to exact his revenge on Desperado as he stops them from leading a coup in Abkhazia but our protagonist will also find himself in other parts of the world such as Mexico.
Now the world Raiden lives in is one where cyborg augmentations are not exactly scarce and you can expect plenty of augmented enemies but also a lot of regular human ones. The main challenges of the game will come in the form of Desperado’s Winds of Destruction – a team of three cyborgs each with their own unique traits and augmentations. This is all before Raiden gets to the main antagonist in the form of Sam Rodriguez.
It’s all very much a bog-standard revenge plot by the looks of things with hints of some political conspiracy. The real focus, true to Platinum’s MO, is the gameplay. It’s fast-paced and energetic but manages to still incorporate that great “free-cutting” mechanic that’s been so appealing since the game was first announced. Players will be able to accurately slice just about anything they wish with a great degree of precision. Precision however is limited to using the analogue sticks to define a geometric plane along which Raiden will make his slice. The bulk of the slicing will be dealt by Raiden’s high-frequency blade. Below is a tutorial on the use of said blade.
There will be sub-weapons though. No guns just smaller blades and rocket launchers. Regular guns seems to be the missing link in that rather sizeable gap in Raiden’s weapons locker. Despite the seeming lack of weapon variety, you won’t be short on attacks to choose from. Raiden will have a variety of attacks, counters and contextual moves including stealth attacks and stunning finisher moves. These moves can also be upgraded and new ones purchased. Despite the more action-oriented nature of the game, there is still a propensity for sneaking around, scouting the environment and killing enemies quietly if you wish to do so. Oh and yes, you can use a cardboard box as camouflage to take a stealthier approach.
Like any game these days there’s some currency at play but it’s not exactly anything conventional. For the price of a few robot foot soldier’s left hands you can purchase new augmentations. Why the left hand? This is supposedly where vital data is stored and that’s the official reason at any rate. To purchase new attacks and such you’ll have to spend skill points which are awarded at the end of each mission.
There’s really not much more to say. This is game that skimps on the trimmings somewhat in favour of spectacular and over the top action-oriented gameplay. If you’re an MGS fan then it’s helpful to keep in mind that this is now further away from the franchise than even the original spin-off and is really not going to offer anything close to the same experience in terms of gameplay or complex narratives. Instead, Revengeance looks to have enough of a plot to get it by with the focus squarely on giving you a fun time with that blade and slicing things to pieces.