(Updated) Review: Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance - chanceisshane Blog - www.GameInformer.com
Switch Lights

The lights are on

(Updated) Review: Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance

 

PREFACE

This is the first review I have ever written and am aware that my spelling and grammar can be a bit atrocious. Also, I do not like to tack numbers to reviews. If you are reading this and notice anything wrong or have any tips for me, then please tell me. I want to get into writing reviews and am willing to take any advice to learn what is and is not accepted. Thank you.

I do not own any of the pictures used in this review. 

PS3 version.

STORY

Metal Gear Rising's story centers around the character Raiden and the aftermath of the fall of SOP and the Patriots in MGS4. Much like the other Metal Gear games in the series, the story tackles philosophies and criticizes norms of society as well as current events that could lead to devastating futures. However, this game contains the Platinum brand of insanity as a spice over the traditional Metal Gear flavor. Even in this fictional world the rules are bent to create awesome moments, impressive characters, and the feeling of power. Having said this, the story is also more straight-forward relative to the Metal Gear Solid entries. Even though there are still some branching into side-plots they are much more easy to keep track of compared to Raiden's last playable entry, Metal Gear Solid 2. Also, much like previous Metal Gear games moral ambiguity is still present especially given one of the main focuses of the story is Raiden's questionable mental state as the game progresses. For example, Raiden's body recharges by absorbing electrolytes in the enemy's blood and in a codec he asks of whether or not he can do the same with civilians.

GAMEPLAY

The combat, at its core, is quite simple in this game. However, this is one of those easy to learn but hard to master types of design. Combos are easy to perform and many have a special attack such as a launcher, knock-back, or tripping move. The controls for each attack are bound to only two buttons: one for your sword and one for your special weapon or extra sword attacks if no special weapon is equipped. Slightly off topic but the extra sword attacks are one of my favorite things about Raiden's cybernetic body design. I thought it was clever to design a character that is as ambidextrous with a sword in hands as with a sword in foot. These extra moves are all based off of Raiden using his sword with one of his feet. Say what you will but this is in my opinion one of the most brilliant use of high heels ever. OK now, time to get back on track. The special weapons each have a unique function: one for crowd control, one for stunning and closing distance, and one for power and charged moves that you cannot be interrupted from if fully charged. Swapping between these weapons does not happen in real time and they have to be changed in a simple menu that resembles the item and weapon tabs in the Metal Gear Solid games. The only problem with this menu is that you have to be standing still to bring it up which means you have to find a break in combat to switch weapons.

One of the key elements in the combat in this game is the parrying and countering system. To do both all you have to do is push the left analog in the direction of the attacking enemy and press the light-attack button. The timing will determine whether you parry or counter. Enemies in this game will telegraph their attacks with a bright red flash usually projecting out of their heads or the weapon they are attacking you with. After this flash the window is usually pretty large and gives you at least a second to react. However, if you want to counter then you have to parry just before the moment of impact which is a very small window but it pays off. If you are thinking about tackling the game's hardest mode, Revengeance, then this becomes your most powerful tool. In this mode a successful counter can take half or more off of a boss' health in one hit. You also have the ability to dodge after you purchase it from the upgrade screen called “Defensive Offensive.” Whenever you use this ability you dodge with invincibility frames and attack at the same time. This move is especially useful against enemy grabs or powerful swings , telegraphed by yellow flashes in place of the red flashes, which both cannot be parried.

There are also moments in the game were you have the option to try stealth. Raiden has an instant-kill attack that he can perform from behind or above that also leaves the enemy wide open for a Zan Datsu opportunity (explained later). Also, the iconic cardboard box returns along with the drum introduced in MGS4 to help you should you decide to take this option. There are no forced stealth segments in the game and even failed stealth attempts can be very beneficial if you manage to kill a few enemies before you are caught.

There are also disposable items to use to turn situations in your favor as well. Various grenades and rocket launchers can help cloak yourself, take out a couple of troublesome enemies, or stun very durable ones.

Finally unto the game's free-cutting mechanic. When triggered the right analog stick controls the angle of the cut and flicks and swipes of the analog perform the cut. You can also use the sword and special weapon attack buttons to perform quick horizontal and vertical swipes respectively. Well aimed cuts on basic enemies or weakened advanced ones will open up the opportunity for a “Zan Datsu,” the main way to restore health and blade mode completely. During this animation Raiden is invincible and and the camera pulls cinematically on him. The transition can be a little disorienting at first but I found myself adjusted to it pretty quickly.

CAMERA

Speaking of the camera, it can be fairly haphazard at points. There is a lock on system that can help in some situations where it tends to jump everywhere and single out quick evasive enemies. But once you learn where the camera does not like to be you can avoid most of the problems. It does not like being near walls or corners. If you can stay away from those, then you should be fine. Although, in open areas I find it fairs pretty well and is very manageable.

EXPLORATION

You will be getting around the majority of the environments using “Ninja Run.” This is very similar to Assassin's Creed's free running mechanic and the similarities extend to how finicky it can be at times. Although in Metal Gear Rising this seems to be tied to how fast you run rather than just weird glitchy behavior or vaulting over something you did not intend. Sometimes questionable animations are chosen but I find that it does not impede much on the gameplay. For some boss fights you can even use this to dodge some bosses attacks. For example, vaulting over specific attacks.

SOUNDTRACK

Yes this does deserve its own section. I feel the soundtrack fits perfectly with the hack and slash style of the game. It is a blend of orchestral, electronic, and metal elements and dynamically changes depending on what is happening in the combat. This is the most noticeable with the boss fights as they all contain vocals and you can easily tell when the portion of music playing changes. Whether or not it is noticeable or subtle the new part of the track that plays is appropriate to what is happening on screen.

LENGTH / REPLAYABILITY

Do not let what other people say about the length of the game affect you. Some claim that it is only 6 hours long but many base that off of the “Total Play Time” statistic at the end of the game. However, this statistic does not take into account the cut-scenes and deaths/continues.

I find this game to be fairly replayable just in the difficulties alone. If you switch to one of the harder two modes, Very Hard or Revengeance, then the enemy layouts change and all familiarity you have with the environment changes. The behavior of the enemies and bosses also change besides health and attack boosts.

Also, there are VR missions and these do not exist as purely something else to do besides campaign. As you progress throughout the campaign you will find these computers you can interact with and these each unlock one VR mission. Each of these missions are timed and are designed to specifically challenge you in one of the elements of the game. Such as stealth, speed run, general combat, Zan Datsu only kills, and use of weapons such as grenades and rocket launchers. Solely completing these challenges unlocks different bodies to use in the campaign with the best body being unlocked when all are completed. If you complete all of these VR missions with first place times, then you also unlock a special weapon to use in the campaign.

RECOMMEND?

Having only played two other Platinum games, Anarchy Reigns and Vanquish, I guess I do not have much say in the matter but this game feels like Platinum and if you are a fan of them I would recommend this game. Or if you have a good sense of timing and like a game where you have to learn enemy patterns and adapt, then I would recommend this game.  

*Note* This review has been edited to address thanks to the advice I received from those who read my previous version. Thank you! I also elaborated more on certain subjects and added those I left out fearing I would seem to opinionated without facts. 

The above note has been edited to address a typo and is a great example of irony.

comments