Konami and Platinum Games latest entry into the Metal Gear franchise has hit retail this week in the name of ‘Revengeance’. This title takes the main protagonist Raiden, a cyborg ninja from the Metal Gear Solid franchise who wields a mighty high-frequency blade that can cut through virtually anything, into his first full blown adventure on the Xbox 360. This has to be one of the most action-packed fighting games in existence – 360-degree blade control has never felt so good!
Raiden, first appeared in Metal Gear Solid 2 many years ago which first hit the Xbox 360 with the Metal Gear Solid: HD Collection only recently, but Metal Gear Rising almost never made it to consoles at all. The game was first announced in 2009 as Metal Gear Solid: Rising, a story that would be set between the events of Metal Gear Solid 2 and Metal Gear Solid 4, but this project was cancelled. Platinum Games took the reins from Kojima Productions in 2011 and aimed the story in a whole new direction which was to follow on from four years after the events from Metal Gear Solid 4 plot. What we have now is a polished and sophisticated third-person-sword-wielder where every corner turned delivers a battle against a mass of cyborg enemies with every intention of killing you. It’s as if every end-of-level boss in all the games in the entire world has reunited for one hell of a mighty revenge on you as a player. Just when you think you’ve taken down some ginormous half beast, half machine capable of destroying cities… along comes another, and then another!
The introduction which follows from a tutorial on how to master your supplied skills and blade sees you as Raiden, suited and ready for business with a Prime Minister who is later brutally attacked and graphically slaughtered in your presence. The story kicks off from those moments, but your history lies within military training and working for a Colorado based Maverick Security firm to raise money for your family. This involves performing many tasks set by the firm and working towards fighting terrorism. Noticeably, some of the games most disturbing moments centre around the harvesting of the brains of children! However, kicking off after the attack of the Prime Minister you learn that a Desperado is leading a military coup in a place called Abkhazia, and each chapter that follows will see you as Raiden defeating military cyborgs and human leaders of various forces associated with the Desperado and his over-all plans for military domination. There some tough and challenging moments for Raiden hereon in as the journey that follows is a test of skill, and what seems to be some emotional references to his past in relation to the harvesting of children – as he himself was once a child soldier known as Jack the Ripper.
Your purpose within the game is literally to just defeat anything and everything that comes your way using the best use of skills and time possible that will improve your end of battle score rank. It sure is both fun and entertaining where you will always feel the urge to keep at it rather than give yourself a break – any game with that mental attachment for completion is a positive sign in my estimation, and that kind of engagement with the character wanting to fight battle after battle to keep pushing to the end is incredible. I can’t compliment my first impressions of Metal Gear Rising Revengeance enough and how impressed I was at both the visual quality of the environments and most definitely the amount of action to keep you on your toes through-out all of your missions.
Although there is not a huge range of diversity in your attacking processes because the buttons are assigned to both a hard or light attack, but it is the combination of your attacks used with various enhancements and skills that can be upgraded with BP points that determines your mechanisms. These points are earned in-game for killing cyborgs and completing the missions, but you can use them to upgrade your armor and skills with improved strikes, kicks, endurance, health and energy enhancements. For limited periods within the game you do additionally get to use another weapon apart from your blades as sub weapons can come into play. Grenades, Rocket Launchers, Homing Missiles, EMPs, and cardboard boxes can all come in useful in extremely difficult scenarios when up against some of the games most destructive enemies. The cardboard box is to hide under despite having a heavy arsenal of missiles – just genius!
Following your completion of missions, you also get to divulge in the many customisation options available for Raiden and to spend those hard earned BP points. New body armor and uniforms can be granted as unlocks for fulfilling certain objectives, and the addition to use a Unique Weapon instead of your main weapon can be used; Unique Weapons can be acquired in-game by killing some of the most deadly foes where you then later obtain their weapon as a form of trophy for your kill. These weapons also come with their own unlockable and upgradable skills and enhancements to ensure your Raiden is equipped with the most deadly of features.
The overall plot and story is pretty predictable though with the action filled environments laden with fights almost everywhere. At times you will forget the story due to the over-whelming quantity of sword fighting, since the game offers very little in the way of exploration and meaningful objectives due to being nothing more than a run, fight, kill, watch a cut-scene and repeat your efforts all over again task. It may be a simplistic game in its purpose, but the presentation of its design and cut-scenes that depict the battles with intensity deliver a sense of satisfaction with every kill. Metal Gear Rising Revengeance is a challenging game that demands you to learn the art of using a sword to your best advantage, a skilful approach to your enemy with the knowledge of your attack and defend mechanisms will greatly improve your chances of survival. There’s not a vast amount of stealth used in this Metal Gear game as it’s an in-your-face come and get me action orientated offering.
Metal Gear Rising Revengeance is a game full of many surprises and is a highly recommended title. It may not have any multiplayer or co-operative modes to compliment its action packed campaign, but it sure is worthy a decent score for the level of intensity, being completely jam packed with action scenes, sequences, and intriguing cut-scenes that immerse you deep into its military cyborg mind-set. If revenge is a dish best served cold, Metal Gear Rising Revengeance serves up a hefty chilling slice that will leave you wanting seconds.