OXCGN’s Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance review
That’s not a knife, THIS is a knife…
by Arthur Kotsopoulos
©2012 Arthur Kotsopoulos
Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, a move away from traditional Metal Gear stealth and into hack ‘n slash, features so much action it’s almost as ridiculous as the overly long title it sports.
Whilst I never had the chance to play Vanquish, Bayonetta did offer insane battles with larger than life enemies sporting overly large weapons.
Revengeance follows a similar path, as the further you progress in the game the ‘bigger and badder’ the enemies become. During the game’s opening prologue level where we find out how Raiden lost his left eye and obtained his cyborg armour, you’ll simultaneously battle a total of 3-4 enemies at any given moment.
Fast forward to the third level and you’ll encounter multiple cyborgs, a couple of Gekkos, and quite possibly some aerial units, and it’s battles like these where the game excels in showcasing what it has to offer to the player. Revengeance even on Normal is NOT an easy game to master.
The art of parrying is technically more difficult that stringing together combos as it requires precision, timing and reading your enemies attack patterns. Never underestimate any single enemy in this game as I’ve come to realise that they have a multitude of different attacks.
Evident in the game’s first boss battle against a huge Metal Gear, if you drop its health below 30% and have sliced off any of its mounted machine guns, the Metal Gear will rely on its tail, charging at you, and shooting homing missiles to defeat you.
Not to mention trying to stomp you if you’re too close, transforming his arm into a large sword and swinging at you and firing its laser if you’re on the other side of the playing field. Each enemy has a tonne of variety and will always keep you on your feet.
To counter this, the game allows Raiden to wield his High Frequency Blade alongside any unlocked weapon he may have retrieved from a fallen boss. When you have defeated Mistral you’ll be rewarded with her pole-arm which in then gives you greater reach in sword fights and can easily hit multiple enemies at once.
Not quite flawless
During the course of 4 and a half hours, I did however find the combat in Revengeance to have its flaws, in that if you’re mid-way through a combo the game doesn’t register you flicking the left thumb stick and attack button to parry an enemie’s attack.
Whilst the majority of the time the controls are accurate, in the heat of an intense battle and trying to go for that S rank and when trying to parry an attack, the game wouldn’t respond as smoothly as you would hope.
At times I would near the end of a fight and mid-combo I wouldn’t be able to parry an attack from an enemy resulting in either a B or an A rank, requiring me to restart the section again. That’s not to say that combat isn’t fun.
Enter the Matrix
The game uses this mode during combat and certain sections of boss battles surprisingly well.
Some bosses have certain pieces of equipment that you’ll need to enter “Blade Mode” to dispose of and it does wonders to keep the game varied and fresh.What disappoints me though is that by the time you get to really enjoy Blade Mode the game is over.
Revengeance is surprisingly short, so short that by the time you actually start to enjoy the game and master the art of combat you end up at the game’s final boss. Revengeance follows a similar path as Crysis, which promises you this huge island you can explore and when you arrive at end game you are constricted to the confines of a naval ship navigating corridors.
By the time you get half way through the game, the levels become shorter and consist of either 1 single battle with a bunch of enemies followed by a boss fight or just a boss fight. It got a little annoying as I was hoping for a little more variety in battles and locations but the game ends before it gets really good.
The final battle not only sees a long cut-scene (which is par for the course with the Metal Gear franchise) but then also a battle that drags on with a difficulty increase that becomes frustrating. Even on Normal you’ll become annoyed during the game’s penultimate battle as you’ll be required to use your wits and have your fingers ready to parry and dodge.
You’ll be required to retry this fight multiple times before you complete it, and you’ll only be able to complete once you’ve understood the enemy’s fight patterns.
Where I feel the beauty of Revengeance lies however, is that whilst the game may be extremely short it does indeed have an extremely good replay value. This includes the ability to unlock multiple weapons and costumes on top of some secrets such as the Konami Code to unlock the Revengeance difficulty.
Metal Gear Rising definitely gets better with multiple play-throughs.
The way the game achieves this is by having you play through the story multiple times so that you’ll muster up BP points which in then allow you to purchase new weapons and skills for Raiden.
During the course of combat players will not encounter any health packs instead they must perform Zandatsu’s on enemies wherein Raiden rips out their blue electrolyte spin and crushes it in front of the camera.
This not only recovers health but fills up the player’s fuel gauge to allow them to enter Blade Mode. It is essential that you use any BP points acquired to upgrade health and fuel first as they’ll play a big part during larger battle.
You’ll also come across computer terminals and data pads which unlock VR mission where you can try to obtain the best score or fastest time.
If you want to tackle Revengeance mode you’ll need to have everything that you can customize for Raiden at max level. If the game has its difficult moments on Normal you can rest assured that Revengeance mode will not be for the faint-hearted.
Platinum Games have done a tremendously solid job with Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance on the whole.
After the game’s official announcement at E3 2009, Kojima Productions struggled to build the game around the concept of Raiden and cutting and who better to take over the reigns than Platinum Games.
Whilst Revengeance is a little too short for my liking there’s a lot to love and a lot to do. If you’re a fan of Ninja Gaiden 1 or 2 then Revengeance should definitely be up your alley.