Friday, February 22, 2013

Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance Review

The Metal Gear series has been a top franchise for Sony for many years. The Xbox 360 user base has only recently been let on to the games after the HD Collection was released last year. Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance is the not only the first ‘Rising’ spin off to the main stealth series but also the first game developed to be released on the Xbox 360 at its launch. Where Metal Gear Solid is a serious, stealth based game, Rising is the complete opposite and you should not launch into this title with any thoughts of MGS in your mind. This is not a stealth shooter, this is a full on action title that is full of crazy over the top moments.


I am a big fan of the top graphics possible and playing the MGS HD Collection on my Xbox 360 is hard since the games are really showing their age graphically. There are no such issues for MGR however with Platinum Games putting in a lot of effort to make sure the game lives up to the lofty standards. Player models are stunning and watching a cut scene and seeing the hair flowing on Raiden actually reminds me of Final Fantasy in a way. In game the fast pace doesn’t reduce the quality of the graphics as you move with ultimate precision and player models represent the ferocity of it quite well. 

The environment is also quite beautiful, especially the outdoor settings in most of the chapters. Dark environments can seem quite bland but luckily this is a game that wants to embrace colour and put you in the limelight rather than lurking in the shadows. MGR shines where there is action happening. Whether it is the gruesome decapitation of an enemy or a massive explosion, the wow factor never gets old and I love to see it happen time after time.

Metal Gear Rising has some very good voice acting to go alongside the excellent character models. Even though the story is absolutely ridiculous and you will most likely care little for it unless you’re a dedication MG fan, it’s still nice to have. The sound effects that accompany the game give a real sense of power and destruction as Raiden slashes through everything from opponents to fences, poles and more. Destruction is well backed up by the noise to match.


From the word go this game is brutal, this game is action packed and this game will keep you on the move constantly. Despite it being a disappointedly short 5-6 campaign, the one positive is that you will never feel bored or are simply grinding your way to the next chapter. Everything is over the top and far from serious, but it feels purposeful and I love that Platinum Games weren’t scared to make this type of game even though it was carrying the Metal Gear logo.

For the short adventure you follow the story of Raiden, a cyborg, in a world adventure to stop a terrorist group that are kidnapping humans and causing havoc to America’s political standing. When you finish the game are you going to care about what has happened? No. Will you even understand how you arrived at your final crazy boss battle? Most likely not. But you will have a damn good time getting there and in an action game like this I couldn’t honestly care less. The game is fun and I half expect Japanese games to not cater to my storytelling needs so I went in expecting this. There are sly moments that are there solely for true fans of the series and they will be able to respect the cameos and conversations made during the adventure.

Combat is what makes MGR the fun it has become. Raiden runs around the chapters, most of the time using the boost trigger that pretty much acts as a freerun mechanic like in Assassin’s Creed. This can be used to slide under enemies and initiate combat as well as being used to deflect oncoming bullets and attacks from enemies. You have light and heavy attacks and using them in conjunction with each other will prove to be the most effective method of fighting. Killing so many people allows you to initiate the awesome blade mode, which freezes time and allows you to be a brutal son of a bitch. Blade mode slows down time and allows you to unleash mayhem on all of those around you. Slicing enemies literally slices them into as many pieces as your heart desires. It is a brutal, yet easy kill that comes in handy during boss battles but never gets old seeing the destruction against regular foe.

Action is around every corner. Whether it is another group of enemies or a huge boss battle (these arrive at regular intervals), the game always wants to keep you moving. This fact contradicts two areas of the title that I am perplexed by. Raiden has a main weapon that you will use most of the time, but also can equip a secondary weapon. The downside is that if you want to use this secondary weapon you have to hold down the left bumper and it physically stops you in your tracks. It can’t be used in the fly and trying to aim a rocket launcher while you remain stationary against a charging cyborg dog does not bode well for all involved. The other negative in MGR is the sheer length of the cut scenes. I know they are attempting to tell a story that is drastically over the top, but I don’t want to be sitting there for more than a few minutes watching it all play out. They do a good job or incorporating it during the levels but the start and end of each chapter can go on for a bit too long.


Launch this game expecting a long, heart filled story with lots of tense moments and stealth gameplay the Metal Gear series is known for and you will be disappointed. Rising is a spin-off to the main series and I am so glad Platinum Games made sure this was the case. Revengeance will be over just as soon as it begins, but the journey you take is over the top chaos and that is exactly what the intention was. You won’t remember the story but really, who even cares! Slices cyborgs into millions of little pieces never gets old and being accompanied by great visuals makes this an excellent game that may go unnoticed in todays market, which is a real shame. I recommend checking this game out for some stylish hack ‘n slash pure fun.

Graphics - 8/10
Sound - 8/10
Gameplay - 8/10
Overall - 8/10