Extra Scenario: Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance
Raiden made his debut in the Metal Gear franchise in quite an unexpected way. Back when Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty first came out, everyone was expecting another Solid Snake adventure to experience, following the massive success of the PlayStation original. And while we did get to see the next chapter in Snake’s story, being playable in the opening segment, we didn’t actually play as him throughout the whole game.
We played most of Metal Gear Solid 2 as this new guy named Raiden.
While people initially disliked the shift in main character in the game, Raiden has gone on to become one of the series’ best characters, and one of gaming’s most beloved heroes. And we all remember that naked Raiden scene…But we also remember, and were awed by, his incredible slicing and dicing skills in Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots. Sadly, his showcase there was restricted to cutscenes. We were left wanting to actually take control of the cyborg ninja in said scenes, taking down foes with his blade like some form of bloody ballet. Well, while there’s no patch for MGS4 allowing us to play as Raiden, we can now finally pull off all those crazy moves ourselves, this time in his own game.
Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance comes to us from Platinum Games. Yes, the house of Bayonetta and Vanquish have taken Raiden and given us one of the most satisfying action games I’ve played in a while, and that’s after beating DmC: Devil May Cry, too. Sadly, the story isn’t all that special, despite being under the eyes of the series’ father Hideo Kojima.
Set four years after the events of Metal Gear Solid 4, Raiden is now working for Maverick Enterprises, and in the beginning of the game he’s tasked with protecting the prime minister of a recovering nation. Hey, he’s gotta make money for his family, right? (Little John!) It doesn’t take long for things to get crazy. A rival outfit known as Desperado Enterprises comes into the picture and kidnaps the prime minister. This leads to his death and Raiden getting his ass handed to him, leaving him to be reconstructed and getting a new cyborg suit. Now it’s time for vengeance…Revengeance.
As aforementioned, the story here is decent, but it’s nothing special, especially when compared to the previous games in the franchise. But, again, this is a spin-off, so we can’t really knock it down too much for that. Regardless, it still carries the Metal Gear name… However, it’s all about the gameplay here, and Platinum Games truly delivers on that front. All that those wishes of being able to play as Raiden as he gleefully sliced and diced enemies in MGS4 have now been granted. And we get to perform those crazy acrobatic moves for the entire game’s duration, rounding out at about 6 hours. Yeah, it’s not that long, but there’s never a dull moment, with the pace equaling the gameplay mechanics in terms of speed and excitement.
You really do have complete freedom to slash away at enemies anywhere you want, thanks to Blade Mode. Once initiated, things go slow-mo around you, and you’re able to precisely guide where your sword will slice next. This is already pretty fun, but it gets even more satisfying once you’re performing crazy combos, entering blade mode and ripping out an enemy’s robotic spine after slicing an indicated spot in their body, which refills your health and fuel cells (which in turn lets you use Blade Mode). This process never gets old, and it makes every enemy a joy to confront, especially when facing more than one. The only thing hindering the combat is the at-times troublesome camera. But it’s nothing too drastic, just a minor issue worth pointing out.
The Metal Gear series has always been known for its eccentric and downright memorable boss battles. Rising continues that tradition…somewhat. The bosses won’t be dethroning any of the series’ classic baddies, but they are pretty exciting to fight, and each come with their own crazy personality in tow (there’s that Kojima influence!). It’s in the boss battles where you put all of Raiden’s abilities to the test, including the very crucial parry maneuver. The game does a pretty bad job of showing you said mechanic, and you’ll learn the hard way once you fight one of the game’s first bosses (those who played the demo know what I’m talking about). But after you get accustomed to parrying and countering attacks, things get even more fun, and just watching each battle you take part in becomes quite a treat.
The first installment in what hopefully will become a Metal Gear Rising spin-off series is truly one of the finest action games this generation. It’s not free of issues, but the pure joy of the gameplay makes this a must-buy for not only fans of the Metal Gear series ,eager to see what a post-MGS4 world looks like, but also for anyone who enjoys a great action game. Stop reading this, go slice and dice some bad guys, make Jack the Ripper proud!