The lights are on
Veteran Member - Level 13
NOTE: This Review is of the PC Version
Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance is a bit of a polarizing game. Some people love it for how zany and entertaining the whole package is, and some people say it’s a disgrace to the Metal Gear franchise for being a shallow hack and slash with a cheesy plot. Honestly, I fall into the former camp and say this is one of my favorite Metal Gear games.
This game follows Raiden, who now has a Cyborg Body and a HF blade to slice and dice his way through a PMC organization Desperado. He has a support team of brand new characters, and a returning character from Metal Gear Solid 4 appears near the end.
The game's main villain is the real star of the show though. Senator Steven Armstrong, the hammiest video game villain in recent memory. Who else can have a philosophical discussion about the future of america while punching a cyborg ninja? Nobody else? Well how about somebody doing all that with his shirt off on top of a giant robot spider? I really can't stress how fantastic this guy is.
While Armstrong steals the show, it's really a shame that he's killed off about 30 minutes after he's introduced. Many characters in this game suffer from that, with two Desperado members almost instantly being killed. Sadly, one of the only surviving supporting characters is George, an annoying kid who references Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, talks exclusively in slang, and annoys the player until the very last cutscene.
Enough about the characters, what about the main story? Is it good? No, not really. However, I'm willing to give this a pass as the majority of the writing is focused on the characters. The story of 'Jack the Ripper' living inside of Raiden is laughable, but it's also hilarious. The whole plot seems to be wrapped in a thick layer of self-awareness and irony that makes it enjoyable.
Another thing this game does well is, surprisingly, audio. The game features some heavy rock tracks, and lyrics will kick in when you do something interesting. Hearing the vocals to “Rules of Nature” start when you run across missiles was my favorite moment in a videogame from last year, it’s just brilliant.
The combat itself is where the gameplay really shows off its depth. There is no designated block button, you must parry attacks by flicking the stick in the direction of the oncoming attack and attacking yourself. It takes awhile to get a hang of, but you can eventually parry your way through a vast majority of the game’s bosses and enemies.
When you fill up a meter high enough, you can activate blade mode. Time will slow down as you can line up every single cut with extreme precision, slicing off enemy’s joints and breaking shields. Basic enemies can be diced up without much trouble, but the tougher foes will need to be worn down a bit first.
The subweapons system is one of the game’s main flaws, as only two of them are worth using. The whip can’t deal much damage, and it really isn’t worth carrying around. The electric Sai can help you grapple into flying opponents, which really helps during a few levels featuring flying robots. The final subweapon is a massive pair of shears, which can wreck armor in a single shot if timed correctly. Outside of a few encounters, I never found any of these weapons greater than the HF blade.
Of course, what’s good gameplay if you don’t have good enemies to beat up on? Most enemies aren’t too difficult, but the gorilla-like Mastiffs are any player’s worst nightmare. They hit hard, have a ton of health, and usually appear in cramped spaces. Fighting Mastiffs just really isn’t much fun.
However, each of the bosses are great. The first three battles are pretty easy, but once you reach Sundowner you will really have to step up your game. Senator Armstrong takes the cake as being one of the hardest video game bosses I’ve ever squared off against, and he never becomes too unfair. However, I have heard of a bug where his final QTE wouldn’t work correctly on PC, but a majority of the people I’ve talked to who played the PC version did not experience the bug.
The PC version includes two DLC missions, allowing you to play as Bladewolf or Jetstream Sam. Jetstream Sam’s segment is great, even though you are fighting on familiar ground I was thrilled the whole time. It would be nice if he faced off against any new bosses, but fighting an even HARDER Senator Armstrong is nothing to sneeze at.
The Bladewolf DLC is borderline unplayable, with clumsy combat and broken stealth mechanics. I’ve tried playing it multiple times, but it’s honestly awful. You do get to face off against a new boss, but it isn’t worth the trouble of fighting through roughly 45 minutes of terrible combat to see.
Despite my complaints, I love Metal Gear Rising. It’s now one of favorite Platinum games, and is my favorite Hack and Slash of all time. When a spinoff can topple both MGS1, 2, and 4 in terms of how much pure fun I had with it, you know it’s doing something right.
+Amazingly over the top
+Senator Armstrong is the best
-A tad short
-Some promising characters killed off too quickly
About my Scoring System: I have been ranking games on ‘Objective’ and ‘Subjective’ for the past week, but Tim Gruver pointed out to me that ‘Objective’ and ‘Subjective’ is the wrong phrasing. As such, I have changed it to ‘Quality’ and ‘Fun’ as you can have a lot of enjoyment out of a bad game and recognize a good game despite not having fun with it.