|System: Xbox 360, PS3|
|Dev: Platinum Games|
|Pub: Kojima Productions|
|Release: TBA 2012|
|Screen Resolution: 480p-1080p|
by Angelo M. D'Argenio
Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance is not a normal, run of the mill Metal Gear Game. Instead of stealth and espionage, the game is all about being surrounded by cyborg ninjas. Instead of stabbing your enemies in the back, you slice them into tiny pieces and rip out their spines. Instead of taking out people with well-timed headshots, you blow them up with rocket launchers and then intercept them in mid-air with a blade that is as long as your body. Honestly, I don't know why I expected anything different from the creators of Bayonetta, and I honestly wouldn't have it any other way.
Raiden has gotten a couple upgrades since we last saw him. First of all, he is incredibly fast. Simply moving around takes place at lightning speeds, far faster than Solid Snake ever moved. Raiden can even expend some of his power (a limited resource) to ninja-run, making him even faster and harder to detect. This allows him to run away from enemies easily if they are starting to overwhelm him—except that rarely happens.
That's because Raiden is more powerful now than ever, far more powerful than even the biggest mob of enemies. His two basic attacks are the quick slash and the wide slash. Quick slashes are quicker, (duh) but they tend to only focus on one enemy at a time. Wide slashes are slower and more powerful, and they hit a much wider arc around you. Combining these two attacks together will create ludicrous combos that will break through your enemies' defenses in no time.
Once you pound on your enemies enough, you can go into "blade mode," which slows down time around Raiden. In this mode, you are given a targeting reticule which shows exactly what portion of your enemy's body you are aiming at. You then use the right thumbstick to angle your slashes precisely and chop off enemy limbs, heads, and other nasty parts. This allows you to attack certain enemy weak points for incredible damage, even killing some of them in one shot. Lesser enemies are easily sliced into little tiny pieces with one precision strike. In fact, if you are precise enough, you can actually cut an enemy's spine out of him, allowing Raiden to rip it out and regain his energy. However, a sloppy slice will sever the spine, which prevents you from collecting this bonus. Of course, you can always just chop an enemy into tiny bits before they hit the ground, which ups your combo count, which in turn ups the resources you gain from the enemy's death. Enemies slice open in hilarious gushes of what would be blood if it weren't bright and glowing. It's like an amazing fight scene from a hardcore samurai anime, complete with dismemberment every three seconds.
Much of the game's combat is about how to get enemies into this vulnerable state that allows you to slice them apart. If an enemy is blocking horizontally, you can always choose to slice him apart vertically. If an enemy has a gigantic shield, you can blow it away with a firearm before running him through. Beating up enemies in the right ways will allow you to launch them in the air, then do a follow-up finisher which automatically puts you into blade mode, allowing you to slice them to bits. Not only that, but sneaking up on enemies allows you to stealth kill them in one shot without even initiating battle.
In fact, you can go entirely unnoticed if you really want to, and I suppose playing this way is quite a bit like other Metal Gear games. If you alert the enemy to your presence he will call reinforcements, which will cause you to have to slice more enemies down, and although Raiden is a true god of the sword, he can be mowed down if you choose to be too reckless too often.
Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance doesn't honestly feel like a Metal Gear game. It feels like a high speed anime-style action game, and I'm OK with that. It moved fast, gave me just the right amount of challenge, and constantly fed my adrenaline by giving Raiden opportunities to cut the heads off of giant bipedal walkers. It's like Ninja Gaiden, if Ninja Gaiden took place in a futuristic war-torn world dreamed up by Hideo Kojima. In fact, that's the only thing I didn't get much information about: the story. The Konami rep at the booth said that they were keeping story details mostly under-wraps. They also cut the demo short, simply because so many people wanted to play. This is the same demo that you will see if you pick up the Zone of the Enders HD collection, however, so we will all have a chance to get our hands on it soon.
Angelo M. D'Argenio
Date: June 7, 2012