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Power Member - Level 8
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.
I do not own any of the pictures used in this review.
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.
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
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
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.
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
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.
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.