[UPDATE: The accompanying video for this article is now live!]
For this week’s Metal Gear Mondays article, I figured that we’d take a break before moving onto Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake for the MSX2 to look at the demo for Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance that was just released along side the Zone of the Enders HD Collection for the Playstation 3 and Xbox 360.
I know that there have been many analysis articles, gameplay demos of the Japanese and American versions, and even a “let’s play” or two of the demo now that it’s available, but that isn’t what I wanted to do with Metal Gear Mondays. I wanted to take a look at how the game fits into the scope of the Metal Gear universe and I wanted to give the GeekTime readers a look at the demo with a GeekTime writer commenting, which is available here!
The demo begins with a lengthy plot summary screen stating that Rising: Revengeance takes place 4 years after Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots. Hideo Kojima himself has stated that Rising, as a stand-alone and even as a potential series, is a spin-off and should not be considered part of the main Metal Gear Solid series.
The demo also takes place part of the way into the game. Not to give too much away, Raiden works for a PMC (Private Military Corporation) group following the decline of the Patriots’ total control over technology and warfare. Cyborg tech is more widely available, and Raiden is tasked with protecting VIPs in exchange for money. On one such job, Raiden’s PMC group is ambushed by a competitor, Desperado Enterprises, and Raiden’s protectee is killed. Defending his target from Desperado’s own super-soldier, Sam, Raiden loses his left eye. The playable demo picks up shortly after these events with Raiden having a new cyborg body and being out for revenge. Oh, and he also wants to clean up the political mess caused by the death of his VIP by murdering hundreds of thousands of cyborg soldiers and Metal Gears.
Now, if you’ve played Bayonetta or Devil May Cry, Rising: Revengeance will immediately feel comfortable for you, especially since Platinum Games has taken the helm on the project. The game follows a standard beat-em-up gameplay style, with having buttons for a light and heavy attack, but also combines a slicing mechanic, reminiscent of Dead Space’s plasma cutter, that allows Raiden to cut targets into small pieces and retrieve their electrolyte centers in order to replenish his own energy.
The game also features a sub-weapon and recovery item system, being one of the only things besides the soliton radar, codec system, and alert statuses that shine through from prior Metal Gear games.
Overall, the game is a blast to play, but the characters seem very two-dimensional and stale. I’m not sure if I can see myself caring about any of the characters besides Raiden for very long. Another concern is that the slicing mechanic and two button fighting system seem as if they could get old quite quickly. I really hope that there’s a Kojima worthy switcharoo before release or that the fighting system will get more fleshed out as the game’s plot progresses. Don’t get me wrong, the gameplay is fluid, fast, and fun, but I’m not sure how much button mashing of the same two attack buttons I feel comfortable with.
Bayonetta and Devil May Cry can afford a lot of ridiculousness and insanity in their storys and gameplay, due to the fact that they aren’t built on any pre-established game worlds or scenarios, but I think that Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance will have a hard time juggling Metal Gear’s pseudo-realism and military tactical attitude with as high a suspension of disbelief that Bayonetta or DMC had. I’m remaining open minded, and I’ll most likely be picking this up on day one because I’m a shameless Kojima and Metal Gear nut, but I don’t foresee this as being game changing or scoring anywhere near as high on reviews as previous Metal Gear entries.
Be sure to check back for the video later!