Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance – Preview
The Metal Gear series is well known for being all about sneaking through areas, trying not to get detected, and not necessarily killing everyone in sight. So when it was announced that Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance would be taking Raiden, one of the series’ most controversial characters, and putting him in his own action-oriented game, there was obviously a little bit of concern raised from the fanbase. Thankfully, I managed to get some hands-on time with the game, and discovered that while fans of the stealth genre might not be best pleased, there’s actually a pretty interesting game being put together.
When Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance was first announced, one of the big things that the developers were pushing was the fact that you could slice through pretty much anything in the world, and I can happily report that this is most certainly the case. Right from the offset of my demo at Gamescom, I was offered the opportunity to slice and dice with the game’s easy to use controls. You simply hold down a button to enter the sword mode, and then start waggling the right stick to your heart’s content, turning anything in your path into a million pieces. You can of course be more precise than this, and some enemies will have a sweet spot that, when sliced, will reward you with bonus XP, but the controls can be a little dodgy, and what you thought was a slice ends in you simply changing your starting point. This was mostly a problem on the diagonal slices, which proved troublesome when dealing with cardboard cut-outs holding hostages I wasn’t supposed to hit, but on the whole you can stick to horizontal and vertical slices and get the job done.
The only problem with sword mode is that you’re stuck in one place while slicing, but there are two other attack buttons for fighting off larger groups of enemies. After facing off against some cardboard terrorists (and being asked very politely not to attack the giant watermelon too much, thanks Ed), I was able to take on some moving enemies, and they were quickly dispatched by hammering on the light attack button, occasionally throwing in a heavy attack. One cool move was the ability to throw your enemies into the air before jumping up after them and going into sword mode. Here you can slice away at them as much as possible to deal serious damage and totally decimate their bodies, which is very, very cool at first, but I found I ended up using this move on almost every enemy, which became a tad dull after a while. Still, it’s not totally necessary, and you can always rack up some good combos on the ground with your basic attack buttons.
You can use the standard ground-based sword mode on the real enemies, of course, but I found this to be a little tricky and not worth the effort. Apparently you can disarm enemies by cutting their hands off, or hamper them massively by lopping off their legs, but with the slicing mechanics being ever so slightly off (or perhaps I just wasn’t used to them yet), I usually ended up just flailing at them with the sword, which I could have done in a faster and more graphically interesting fashion by using the attack buttons.
But for what it lacks in gameplay features, Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance makes up for in big ideas. Being able to slice up everything is a lot of fun, and I’ll admit to having a wide grin on my face as I turned a car into a bunch of scrap metal with just a few moves. It also leads you to think about puzzles differently; at one point, presented with an impassable gate, my platformer mind told me to find a way around. Luckily, I was pointed to the solution of slashing the gate up, which proved far more effective and a lot more fun. As well as this, the developers have decided to throw huge enemies at you to carve up. In the demo, I took on a Gekko, a familiar face from Metal Gear Solid 4, and gleefully sliced its legs off and watched it tumble to the floor.
For the boss fight, I was greeted with an attack chopper to deal with. Here, you have the option of picking up a Stinger missile to bring it down and have at it with your sword, or alternatively there was the option to climb up the ruins where the battle took place and meet the chopper in the air. The jumping mechanics are fairly solid, so it was easy to get up, but as one might expect when fighting a helicopter up close, the damn thing flew away, so I kept falling down and having to start my ascent again. Finally, after whittling it down to low enough health, I was granted the opportunity to run along a near endless stream of missiles the pilot fired at me in a quick-time event, and start slashing away in mid-air using sword mode, in what has to be one of the most ridiculous and yet hilariously cool things I’ve seen in a long time.
Unfortunately I only managed to get about fifteen minutes of hands-on time with Metal Gear Rising: Revengance, but from what I saw it is a very cool and fun game to play, with plenty to slash up and keep you entertained. However, due to the repetitive fighting and occasionally messed up controls for sword mode, there is a wonder how long the game can hold the player’s attention. That said, the game is still a while from release, so if the developers iron out the kinks in the sword system and keep throwing in mad but cool scenarios, like the final QTE against the chopper, then we could be in for a treat when the game releases on 22nd February, 2013.
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