Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance Review for PlayStation 3 (PS3)

Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance Review for PlayStation 3 (PS3)

Metal Gear Cry

I wanted to hate Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance. I really did. But it just didn’t let me.

Rarely have I encountered such a brutish game, one that wants you to enjoy yourself so thoroughly. It’s a bit like blending God of War and Devil May Cry, only with cyborgs! It’s filled to the brim with adrenaline and topped with action straight from the 80s, with dialogue to match. It has all the things that will make any action fan fall in love from the first sword swipe.

Set three years after the events of Metal Gear Solid 4: Gun of the Patriots, we find Raiden running his own PMC (Private Military Corporation) to help restore balance to the world since the fall of the Patriots. Though Raiden refers to his organization as private security over military, he also falls victim to ideological contradictions, since he now subscribes to the whole “If I kill to protect, then that’s okay” mentality.

Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance Screenshot

The first few moments of the game show us a perfect example of Raiden’s new creed. Your convoy with the African Prime Minister is ambushed and Raiden jumps to the front lines to ensure the Prime Minister’s safety. This is only your first taste of the insanity that will unfold throughout the game. Case in point, Raiden takes on a Metal Gear Ray before the first stage is over, and demolishes it in such a way to remind the player that this is not an old man’s game. In fact, it practically delivers a painful smack across the face (though I was in too much awe of what had happened on screen to notice the sting of the smack).

Even though this is a definite separation from the longstanding Solid series’ stealth gameplay, there are still moments when Metal Gear fans can experiment with how stealth gameplay works in a hardcore action game. In all honesty, the stealth elements are challenging and add a depth to the game that most players might be hesitant to experiment with at first. However, I do recommend an additional playthrough to see if you can find the stealth approach instead of the easier, more chaotic experience.

Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance Screenshot

After the opening, things really start to take off. Raiden is now on a mission to stop the PMC group Desperado, and along the way he’ll discover some things about himself that he might not exactly be excited about. Picking up points of the story from Metal Gear Solid 2 and 4, Revengeance does a fine job of connecting to the franchise, setting the groundwork for Metal Gear Rising to become its own independent sub-series.

Without giving too much away, the story carries on with Snake’s mantra from the previous titles without being quite as preachy. But if you were worried there wouldn’t be cutscenes due to the backlash MGS4 got, think again. While I can’t say they are the same in length and frequency as those in MGS4, I did find myself feeling disappointed whenever a cutscene was about to end.

Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance Screenshot

Not to say that I didn’t enjoy the cutscenes—quite the contrary, I am a fan of Metal gear after-all. They are very well done, and the graphics rival those of MGS4. Aside from a few minor personal complaints, I feel that matching the graphics as closely as possible to those of MGS4 will help sell this game to hardcore Metal Gear fans. Of course, the attention to detail during Blade Mode also helps sell this game based on pure badassery.

The controls help as well. Not since games like God of War and Devil May Cry have things been chaotic and disorienting to the point of pure glee. Revengeance doesn’t hold the punches on the absurd over-the-top action. Hell, most of the sequenced fights scenes end with an action pose by Raiden.

These types of moments are only amplified by the soundtrack. Throughout most of the game, there is a typical score that combines action and machismo, but during grander battles there are songs that might remind you of Devil May Cry. Each boss battle is accompanied by a different theme, which adds a sort of ambient texture to the battles. For example, LQ-84i’s boss theme, “I Am My Own Master Now,” refers to his forced servitude to Desperado and his desire to be free to harness his full capabilities.

Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance Screenshot

Unfortunately, there is one major problem, and it’s big enough to kill the game for most people. This game is short. Like, Kane & Lynch short. Revengeance lasted roughly seven hours for me, with me watching the cutscenes. Sure, you can replay and earn more battle points to upgrade Raiden, but it really doesn’t feel like there’s much need past the first playthrough, with the exception of the aforementioned stealth elements. There are VR missions to be done if you collect them throughout the story, but I don’t see these increasing the longevity of Revengeance.

Revengeance can be summed up in one word: “fun.” Well, maybe two words are better: “stupid fun.” As was shown with DmC, there are still a lot of fans out there who want to have button-mashing fun and be rewarded with carnage in its most primal form. Revengeance delivers this in abundance. With insane combat, easy-to-understand fighting mechanics, beautiful graphics, and a deeply complex conspiracy theory storyline, Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance is a fantastic first entry to what’s hopefully a new sub-franchise.

Solid in comparison to MGS 4. 4.0 Control
The chaotic nature of the game’s flow spills over into the controls. 4.5 Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
Picking some classic sounds from the Metal Gear universe helps the insanely fitting soundtrack. 4.0 Play Value
It’s short, but this may be a blessing in disguise. 4.0 Overall Rating – Great
Not an average. See Rating legend below for a final score breakdown.

Review Rating Legend
0.1 – 1.9 = Avoid 2.5 – 2.9 = Average 3.5 – 3.9 = Good 4.5 – 4.9 = Must Buy
2.0 – 2.4 = Poor 3.0 – 3.4 = Fair 4.0 – 4.4 = Great 5.0 = The Best

Game Features:

  • Rising’s stealth elements will emphasize Raiden’s considerable speed and agility through what Matsuyama describes as “hunting stealth.”
  • Gameplay will focus on two key elements: sword fighting, and a style of stealth that is more fast-paced and action-oriented.
  • “Cutting” entails sophisticated swordplay that lets players engage in third-person melee combat, as well as precisely slash enemies and objects “at will” along a geometrical plane using a “free slicing” mode.

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