The lights are on
Raiden gets another shot in the spotlight today. Everybody’s second-favorite cyborg ninja stars in Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, and fans of the series are just picking up the new game and learning its secrets. Most of the important elements become clear over time, but if you want a head start, these spoiler-free tips can save Raiden some trouble during his hack-and-slash rampage.
When you buy new moves, you don’t have the opportunity to try them out beforehand. In fact, you can’t even see the button inputs required to perform the move as you’re browsing. This is where the “help” option from the pause menu comes in handy. It should have just been labeled “Move list,” because that’s where you find Raiden’s full arsenal of special maneuvers and how to perform them. Fortunately, they aren’t difficult to pull off once you know what you’re doing.
Revengeance is more action-focused than previous Metal Gear titles, so you spend less time watching cutscenes and listening to codec conversations. However, fans curious about how Revengeance fits into Metal Gear lore should spend a lot of time making unsolicited codec calls. The discussions that follow aren’t always riveting, but it is the only way that you’re going to get some questions answered. For example, the only way to find any elaboration on the current status of Raiden, Rose, and their son is through one of these optional conversations.
Love The Polearm
Raiden wins the opportunity to buy a new weapon after each of the four major bosses, but they cost money to acquire and subsequently power up. If you’d rather save your points for health upgrades or new sword skills, you should focus on the polearm weapon on your first playthrough. You get it early, so you definitely have time to reap the benefits of your investment. You should also buy the sai, but don’t worry so much about the upgrades for that one; its main use is as a long-range grapple, which you get as soon as you buy it.
Heal With Caution
Normally, checkpoints are a good thing. However, you need to be a careful as they pertain to your health-restoring items. I occasionally equipped the nanopaste (Raiden’s ration equivalent) to prolong what I thought would be an experimental combat encounter. Having your health refill helps you develop strategies and learn patterns when you first encounter a new situation, letting you practice before giving the fight a “real” shot. However, on a few occasions (and once during a late-game boss fight), I hit an auto-checkpoint that saved my progress…including the lost items I had recklessly burned through with the intention of restarting. The lesson? Don’t use that nanopaste unless you mean it. Thankfully, restorative items aren’t too rare, so you can restock again after a level or two.
Learn To Block
This seems obvious, but blocking is your main line of defense in Revengeance. Raiden can’t really evade or dodge on command, so you have two main options for avoiding damage: blocking and running. Running is certainly the easiest, but blocking is the most effective. The complication is that there isn’t a block button; it’s more of a parry system that requires you to tilt the stick toward your opponent and press the attack button as your opponent tries to hit you. If there’s no incoming attack, you can’t block, which keeps you on the offensive. Enemies have visual cues to indicate when they will attack, so your priority in the early levels should be practicing and mastering the block technique before the fights get harder.
Update: Since it seems to be causing some confusion, I should clarify that Raiden also has a dodge-attack move that can be used to sidestep attacks. However, much of the combat system is built around your ability to block and counter effectively, which is why perfecting your parry is crucial.
The Easy Way
Revengeance isn’t brutally difficult, but you shouldn’t be shy about playing on easy. Doing so can lessen the frustration of the blocking system, still leaving you free to stylishly demolish hordes of cyborgs. The decreased challenge allows Metal Gear fans who aren’t experienced with this genre to see the story. A word of warning: If you want to play on easy, you need to make your decision early. You can’t switch difficulty on the fly, so consider your selection carefully when you start, because you’re stuck with it for the whole playthrough.
For more on Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, read the review and watch the trailers showcasing various elements of the game. To watch us play through an early part of the game, check out our recent episode of Test Chamber.
Email the author Joe Juba, or follow on Twitter, Facebook, and Game Informer.