Take one part Bayonetta, throw in some precision blade work which allows you to slice a car into several pieces with pinpoint accuracy, cover it with a healthy dose of the Metal Gear series, and what you get is Platinum Games’ Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance.
Whilst at E3 I had the chance to play a multi-stage demo of Platinum’s latest title, and whilst it felt more like a tutorial and showcase of some of the game’s mechanics, rather than a straightforward section of the game, I came away very impressed with this rather different take on the Metal Gear universe.
Opening on a beach, the first section of the demo had me using protagonist Raiden’s blade to dispense of several cardboard cutouts, including ones which saw innocent bystanders being held hostage by nefarious evildoers. However, to dispatch said evildoers – and avoid severing the innocents – requires you to hold the left trigger in order to enter Blade mode; an over-the-shoulder camera view which offers you full control of the blade. Rotating the right analogue stick will alter the angle of your strike, represented on-screen as an orange plane, whilst the slicing itself is achieved by flicking the stick in the desired direction. Care has to be taken that you are close enough to your target to be able to actually reach them with your blade, which wasn’t too much of an issue against stationary pieces of cardboard, but in the middle of a hectic fight it did break the rhythm somewhat when you misjudged the distance and had to exit Blade mode simply to move forward a fraction in order to re-enter the mode and land a successful precision strike.
Besides highlighting the plane of your sword’s strike, Blade mode also reveals the weak points of any enemies that are directly in front of you. This proved to be especially important when facing against the cyborg enemies present in the second part of the demo. Using Blade mode drains Raiden’s energy meter, and one way to quickly refill said meter is to slice an enemy directly through their weak point. Successfully achieve this and a button prompt then allows you to rip out your opponent’s spine, their power source, which Raiden simply crushes in order to absorb the energy.
Blade mode is not the only way to deal with enemies. Using the face buttons allows Raiden to perform a series of attacks and blocks, more akin to those seen in games such as Bayonetta and the Devil May Cry series, and with a similar level of flash and bravado. The action here is fast-paced and when you are able to link your combos directly into a precision Blade mode slice to render an enemy in twain, it’s hard not to have a smile on your face.
However, there can be no mistaking that this is a Metal Gear game. Halfway through the demo the ominous sound of one of Metal Gear Solid 4’s Geckos punctuates the air, and before you know it you’re facing off against one of the bipedal nightmares with nothing but your wits and your blade. Luckily I was able to defeat the Gecko by literally taking its legs away from it, leaving a motionless pile of junk which quickly exploded. A cameo from a certain cardboard box provided some comic relief and further reinforced the fact that this is first and foremost a Metal Gear game, although unlike any that has appeared before it.
My playtime finished with a frantic dash across a collapsing bridge, before squaring off against the attack helicopter which had caused such wanton destruction. Homing missiles were the weapon of choice here, which were handily scattered around the immediate vicinity. After a few hits I was able to initiate the final quick time event. This saw the helicopter unleash a barrage of rockets, which Raiden used as stepping stones on his way to leaping over the aircraft, before entering Blade mode one final time to deliver a flurry of devastating swipes in order to finally ground the aircraft.
It was a suitably over the top finish for my time with Revengeance, but if this was just a taste of what we can expect from the finished product, then I have high hopes that Platinum Games can deliver an interesting and exciting take on the Metal Gear series.
Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance does not yet have a release date, but it will be released for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.
Hello! I'm Alex Wozniak and I'm a writer here at GodisaGeek. I've been gaming ever since my cousin gifted me an Amiga 500 at the tender age of 3 (or was it 4?) and I haven't looked back since. Currently, I'm enjoying playing games on the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and Nintendo DSi.
Apart from gaming I enjoy watching Formula 1, snooker, and darts, though I doubt I'll ever enjoy golf, cricket, or lawn bowls. I also support both Bradford City AFC and Bradford Bulls, but at times that support can be thoroughly tested.
If you want to get in touch you can email me at alex[at]godisageek[dot]com, or send a tweet to @Antholex.
You can find more of my ramblings and musings about videogames over on my blog, the Anthology of Interest.