This preview is based on a demo-build of the PS3 version of the game.
I’ll be honest, I was skeptical when I heard that Metal Gear Solid: Rising was being transferred from Kojima Productions to Platinum Games, and renamed Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance (though I’m still convinced that that is the most awesome name for a game ever). However, with my hands-on time with the game at this year’s E3, I can safely say that all of my worries about Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance have been put at ease.
The demo started by introducing the free-cutting mechanics that we’ve been seeing in the trailers for the last few months now. By holding down L1, players enter slow-motion, and then control the positioning of Raiden’s sword with the right thumb-stick. Releasing the thumb-stick then caused Raiden to strike, then rinse, repeat. The most interesting incorporation of this feature was when I had to save cardboard hostages being held by cardboard enemies by cutting them in specific positions.
Next up were real enemies. Longterm Metal Gear fans will be happy to see that stealth still plays a big part in the combat. I was able to silently take out two or three enemy sentries before going into full on combat. If the enemy cyborgs were free-cut horizontally in the middle, Raiden would absorb their energy into himself, allowing him to perform an insta-kill finishing move.
One of the coolest things in Raiden’s repertoire is his Ninja Run. Holding down R1 puts Raiden in a full on sprint, automatically climbing over walls and jumping over things in his way. Combined with the game’s fast-pased combat, Metal Gear Rising has some of my favorite action game combat I’ve seen in years.
The demo ended with a boss fight against a Hind D helicopter. The game left a plethora of stinger missiles around to shoot the bad boy down, but I opted instead to Ninja Run up a building and jump at the helicopter head-on, barraging it with a volley of free-cuts, until the game led me into a quick-time event where Raiden jumped toward the helicopter by bouncing off the rockets it shot at him. Hopefully, this is a sign that the whole game will give the players multiple options for every enemy encounter.
After the helicopter battle, the demo showed a quick teaser of what appeared to be Metal Gear Solid 4-era Raiden, facing off against a Metal Gear Ray before quickly cutting out. According to the Konami PR representative I talked to, the game will frequently flash back and forth in time to this Raiden, dubbed “White Raiden”, and the Raiden I played as in the demo, “Black Raiden”. He wouldn’t tell me much more than that, but it’s safe to say that the story will go interesting places in Revengeance.
Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance is not only proving to be a worthy successor to the Metal Gear name, but also possibly Platinum Studios’ best game to date. The only complaint I have about the game is that we simply won’t get it soon enough, with a tentative release date set for early 2013.
Fun-fact: According to the Konami PR representative, after the original concept for Metal Gear Solid: Rising was scrapped, many of its concepts and development staff found their way to the recently released NeverDead.