Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance has been causing me a lot of frustration since it was announced. My initial reaction was excitement at the prospect of playing a Metal Gear game on my Xbox 360. Since then my excitement has turned into confusion - is revengeance a word? - and casual interest. To say that there have been mixed messages regarding this game would be an understatement. Is it a stealth game? Is it a hack 'n slash? Should it really be associated with the Metal Gear franchise? Why is that cyborg dicing a melon with an enormous samurai sword? All important questions, and all will be answered in this preview.
The demo picked up with Raiden on a mission to infiltrate an enemy base. That’s about as much story detail as I can provide due to the fact that because my time with the game was limited I had to skip most of the cutscenes. We all know how long these Metal Gear cutscenes can get, so I’m sure you’ll forgive me.
Infiltrating this base involved little stealth and a lot of combat. That’s fine, though, because the combat is immensely entertaining. Raiden is as quick, acrobatic and agile as cyborgs come. It’s safe to say that he can handle himself in a sticky situation. Don’t go thinking that combat is all about button mashing and hoping for the best, though. You’ll need tactics if you hope to complete this game. Sure, the combat is brutal and lightning fast, but if you don’t think about what you’re about to do, you will be brutally relieved of life.
By far the best part of the combat in Rising is the unique slicing mechanic. When using this mechanic you can control exactly where your sword stroke falls. It’s a masterful addition to the combat and really helps Rising stand out from the crowd. In combat you’ll use it to carefully attack various weak points and finish off foes with masterful precision. You can only go into this mode for a certain amount of time though, so use it wisely.
As I’ve previously stated, the demo I played didn’t showcase much stealth gameplay. However, that doesn’t mean stealth won’t be a major part of the final game. I say that because this particular demo appeared to be focusing on the combat aspect of the game, so I can only comment on what I played, although I do find it hard to see how stealth could be cohesively implemented alongside this particular brand of combat. However that doesn’t have to be a negative thing, does it? Different doesn’t always mean worse, and this is definitely the case with Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance.
Graphically, Rising didn’t impress me as much as I’d hoped it would. It doesn’t look bad by any means, it just doesn’t have any sort of wow factor. In fact, some textures look quite rough, and as a whole, the game appears to be lacking in sharpness. The exception to this is the character model of Raiden which is chock full of detail.
Oh, and in answer to that final question: I cannot begin to describe the amount of satisfaction you’ll get from carefully carving up a melon in Rising. Just know that when you finally do it, you’ll realise exactly why melons are present.