Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance (2013) Playstation 3 | Game Review

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Avatar for patientgamer9
2 years ago

Despite what you may think, this does feel like a Metal Gear game. Not when you're playing it, of course - it's a traditional action game that goes at full speed – but there's endless gibberish, alert periods, and a couple of monsters with some pretty odd powers.

Unfortunately, these elements aren't up to the Solid standard, with little of the amusing dialogue, interesting/infuriating philosophizing, and narrative intrigue we're used to from Kojima's beloved series.

But while these things do affect your enjoyment of Rising, they're not why you're here. Like a professional scalpel tester, you're here to cut things. And while the combat here is undoubtedly not class-leading, it's fun. Raiden's high-frequency blade hacks and slashes through enemies like a Samurai sword through lard once you've softened them up, at least.

Square and Triangle are your normal and heavy blows, strung into various acrobatic combos before you go surgical with Blade Mode. Activated by holding L1, you can then use the right analogue stick to direct your cut whichever way you please (or hammer the face buttons, if you're less discriminating about where you're dicing).

Lesser human fodder can be taken apart from the off, while better-armored foes and mechs need to be worked over a bit before those finishing blows. Angle your slashes perfectly, and you reveal the glowing blue innards of enemies, which you can then grab to refill both your life bar and Blade Mode meter.

Enter said mode when the meter's full, and the game automatically lines you up for the perfect zan-datsu ('cut and take') slice, meaning you're able to chain several together to keep your meters full and the blood flowing.

However, one of the game's primary failings lies on the flip side: the parry system. Although it's not inherently wrong, it is woefully explained and likely to be hugely divisive. To counter blows, you have to use your light attack button while also pushing the left analogue stick in the correct direction to repel your opponent's attack.

It's incredibly tricky to get your head around and adequately implement, but more damning is how the game fails to inform you of how critical it is. This is because you can get through almost the entire thing without ever using it until you come to specific boss battles, at which point you're stuck in an exasperated loop of death, restarts, and (genuinely) pads hurled against the wall.

A couple of the headline fights are pleasingly testing and a welcome change from the standard selection of enemies. Still, these are overshadowed by a trio of adamantium-tough ones that – unless your brain is jacked directly into the parry system – badly sour your enjoyment. And again, it's Platinum's fault for not preparing you – hell; I didn't even know there was a dodge until stumbling across it during the very last battle (it's activated with Square + X, by the way, so you needn't suffer the same fate).

The narrative involves an evil private military company called Desperado that murders the prime minister of an African nation and then leads an army coup. It snowballs from there as an evil multinational becomes involved, and Raiden is forced to go rogue to try to end their operations (which we shan't reveal here).

Yet despite our attachment to Raiden from previous Metal Gear games – Rising takes place four years after MGS4 – none of the events elicits much investment. Cut-scenes are interesting in terms of spectacle (a plane being sliced in two from nose to tail is undeniably badass) rather than intrigue, and the interminable conversations over the airwaves are made even more tedious by the fact you can only slowly lope around your immediate surroundings while they play out.

It's perhaps a consequence of its storied development, but Revengeance never feels like a top-tier game. While thankfully, the framerate is high enough for combat to flow freely, on an aesthetic basis, the game is far from blue-ribbon standard. The color palette is depressingly muted, and environmental textures are unimpressive, while enemies have an annoying habit of popping into view as you approach.

It also has no nuance when it comes to stealth, which would be fine in itself – no one badmouthed Vanquish for its lack of sneaking, after all – if the game didn't repeatedly suggest it as an approach. You can take down guards semi-silently from above, or if you get incredibly close to their back at ground level. Still, their positions mean that even the most careful approach usually descends into a slice-’n’-dice bloodbath.

Given that Rising could have gone the way of Eight Days and Wardevil, it's undoubtedly good to see it released, and despite not being another Metal Gear classic, it's a fun slice of balls-to-the-wall action gaming. The game is at its best when it dispenses with sense completely and embraces its inner maniac.

$ 1.27
$ 1.27 from @TheRandomRewarder
Avatar for patientgamer9
2 years ago