Yea! I get to play as Raiden again! Minus the whole “I’m just a little boy trapped in a man’s body” nuance.
When I first had seen the mechanics of Metal Gear Solid Rising: Revengance back at E3 a few years ago, It looked like a suped up version of Fruit Ninja. Well I am happy to say that this is nothing close to a .99 cent app.
Metal Gear Solid Rising: Revengance takes place after the events in Metal Gear Solid 4. You get to play the part of Raiden who we first met in Metal Gear Solid 2 and had an appearance in MGS 4. You will be happy to know he is no longer the child soldier turned stealth agent, but a more advanced cybernetic agent working for a cause to keep the warmongers at bay. You will quickly find out that the events that took place in MGS 4 have a direct effect on the premise of Revengance. The out of work Private Military Corporations are eager to get back into business and are demonstrating their power and the necessity of having a balanced war economy. That is where Raiden comes into play. In an effort to keep these psychotic cyborgs at bay, he will be using stealth and of course his fast paced sword to take care of this little uprising. Revengance also contains the tropes that you associate with Metal Gear Solid. You will get your fair share of over the top enemies with their drawn out back stories and a underlying context that challenges the way that we observe war even for this day and age.
This game is beautiful, with the frame rate topping out at 60 fps, you can instantly see just how fluid the gameplay is and how much detail went into the characters and set pieces. The maps are at times a little confining giving it a more linear feel, but you also quickly ignore that due to the amount of action going on. You will find yourself battling a range of enemies form three armed little cutesy robots to multiple attack helicopters. You will also fine over the top sequences where reality is merely a suggestion when you find your self running up a volley of missiles to get close enough to make a attack on the propellers of a chopper.
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The action is what makes this stand out from other MGS games. Although it does take elements of the previous series such as stealth, it is merely an afterthought. You can go into areas and perform stealth kills but there is no reward other than keeping the other enemies unknowing of your presence. The action in this game is easily accessible for all players. You are given two basic types of attacks and a parry command. This allows for inexperienced players to be able to go through the game by mashing buttons, and for experienced ones, they will be able to chain together large combos for that coveted S-Rank for the missions. During the battles, you will also be given opportunities that will help recharge your health and your sword energy called zandatsu. This means that you will be given a target that you can slice into with your precision attack and remove parts necessary for your recovery. You can also have quite a bit of fun with the attack sequences where you will be able to slice off specific parts of your enemies which allows for a gruesome but fun experience. You are also not limited to just the swordplay. It would not be MGS without guns. Though they don’t make up for the majority of the combat, you will be able to use them as a supportive tool for your arsenal. As you progress through the game, area bosses will grant you special weapons that will add new depth to the action, from a double bladed sword to a polearm made of well, arms. you will find yourself experimenting with different builds as you progress.
VR missions also make a return for Revengance but with a twist. They are not immediately available from the onset but they are hidden throughout each level. There are also bonuses to be obtained from completing them whether it is money to help with your upgrades or just favoring your completion-ism by obtaining all gold rank in the missions. These don’t add to the story but they help with perfecting your techniques and are a nice diversion from the action. In addition to that, you will also be able to find different costumes such as a sombrero complete with matching poncho scattered throughout the game which don’t provide much in terms of power but it adds little pieces of comedy to break up the seriousness of the tone.
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The game is relatively short. Clocking in at roughly five hours from start to finish, You might feel like you got the short end of the stick. But there is still a ton of content to keep you busy in this. There are hidden items to find, VR missions to perfect, and of course the new game+ modes where you will be able to keep building and building your Raiden until he is an unstoppable machine.
The biggest problems that I had with this game is that it was short. They tried to up the value by adding small missions and collectibles into it but that doesn’t add to the story which is one of the best pieces of this game. I also found it a little difficult to understand some of the mechanics in the beginning. Not knowing exactly how to parry was a pretty large challenge for the first half of the game and I just had to play the same area over and over to truly figure it out. These issues aside, this is a great addition to the MGS catalog. I have had a blast with Revengance, whatever that means. If you like action games with the drawn out stories that exist in Kojima’s other titles, this is definitely for you.