Monday, 3 November 2014

Metal Gear Rising:Reveangence

Gamespot Score: 8.0 (Great)

My Score: 8.2

(+) Pros: - Simple, fast paced and incredibly fun combat system, - Visually impressive on most ends, - Great sense of speed, - Blade Mode is simply an amazing mechanic, - Superb boss fights, - Character progression for Raiden is done well in the story, - VR missions and other small side activities prolong the experience.

(-) Cons: - INCREDIBLY short, - Repetitive environments.

Gameplay time: About 5 hours

Okay, first things first, I need to get a few facts out of the way. This is my first "Metal Gear" title, and I don't really care for what some of the die hard "Metal Gear" fans say (some of them REFUSE to accept "Revengeance" for having the "Metal Gear" name on it). Why so? Because "Metal Gear Rising:Revengeance" is a damn good game. Yeah, it may not be the usual stealth affair that most "Metal Gear" games aim for, but its a f**king spin-off guys, it doesn't NEED to follow the formula. As a hack and slash 3rd person action game, "Metal Gear Rising:Revengeance" delivers, and there's no doubt about it. It provides an excellent combat system that's easy even for beginners to pick up and an incredibly unique Blade Mode mechanic that's unlike anything ever done in a sword game. I feel that whether or not you like or have played any of the "Metal Gear" games, "Revengeance" is just something you need to try for yourself.

Instead of ol' Solid Snake, "Revengeance" brings us into the boots of Raiden, a cyborg who has been working for a PMC, and has took it upon himself to helping the prime minister of Afghanistan rebuild his war torn nation. In just 2 years, they have made remarkable progress in both repairing the country, and defending the prime minister. Things go terribly wrong when a rival PMC known as Desperado show up, using their own brand of cyborgs to throw Raiden's group into disarray. Raiden tries to fight back, but fails. The prime minister is killed, and Raiden is defeated by an opposing cyborg known as Jetstream Sam, a sell sword with a very bright personality. After losing his eye and hand, he is reborn with a newly improved cyborg body, setting out for revenge against this PMC group.

Raiden can not only use a sword, you know.

Being a third person action game similar to the likes of "Devil May Cry" or "Bayonetta" (which Platinum also made), you know that "Revengeance" is going to be full of...well, fights. Raiden runs around areas and then enemies pop up, barring you from advancing the stage. Then you proceed to murder them in true cyborg fashion, before you get to move on. Its a rather simple premise that you see everywhere in these action games. So, what does "Revengeance" bring to the table that's unique and/or different from the other games in the market.

For one, the combat in "Revengeance" is pretty damn good. Its consists of your standard affair: Raiden has two kinds of attacks, light and heavy. You can hit them in rapid succession, or combine the two to form some fairly simple combos. You can knock enemies into the air for air combos, or sweep them off the ground for extended ground combos. Additionally, while there is no dodge mechanic in the game, Raiden can run around extremely quick with his own Ninja Run, which also allows him to deflect minor projectiles. He can also parry enemy attacks, which is a key technique that you'll need to master, since you'll be spending ALL your time on close combat, you're going to need to learn how to parry properly, and fast.

Oh, I do love me some spines!

Besides those, Raiden can also use secondary weapons that he picks up during stages, like rocket launchers, grenades or mines. Those are rather minor, but can help in a pinch. Raiden's arsenal seems limited at first since he only has those basic moves and his sword, but rest assured, you can vary up your moves by purchasing new attacks for either Raiden's sword, or for weapons that you've obtained through defeating the various bosses. Combat looks absolutely fantastic, with Raiden chopping up enemies into bits after defeating them. It feels satisfying to cleave an enemy into two, especially with Blade Mode (more on this later). Besides that, most of Raiden's combos look impressive, especially if you've bought many different moves to combo into. Be it destroying terrain in the midst of your attack, or simply sending your enemies flying as you constantly swing your sword, everything feels damn satisfying.

What's truly satisfying however, is the unique Blade Mode that's introduced early in the game. Its your primary source of execution and health regeneration throughout the whole game and DAMN does it feel good to use it. You see, other than your normal health bar, Raiden has an energy meter, which pretty much serves as the sole reason for you to use Blade Mode, since its the only thing to ever consume energy. Blade Mode slows time, allowing you to strategically cut the enemy body, dealing damage and severing off body parts. If you aim and cut an enemy cyborg's hand, it goes off. His leg? It goes off too. Everything that you decide to cut WILL get cut. And at the end of it all, when you've cut the specific "sweet spot" that's marked up for you, you get to grab the enemy's electrically energized spine, which Raiden will consume to heal him completely. Sound gross? Don't worry, its not as bad as it sounds. Everything happens so quickly, so you won't really get to see the specifics. But I can tell you something, the way that Raiden does it is badass.

Midair combat 30 stories high against a helicopter? Yeap, that's intense.

"Revengeance" is filled with intense moments throughout, be it exciting chase/escape sequences, exciting QTEs to take out a massive enemy/obstacle, or of course, the boss fights. These are EASILY the highlight of the game, and probably the one thing that kept me so glued to the screen as I sat through the entire game in one sitting. I eagerly anticipated boss fight after boss fight, because the first one was already so well done. Fortunately, most of these guys are equally spaced apart (except for the final 2-3 bosses), so I could do some of the ACTUAL game play in between.

Boss fights, whether or not you're facing a gigantic hulking juggernaut of a UG or an opposing augmented cyborg like Raiden himself, are simply wonderful encounters, especially the latter. All bosses require their own strategy to defeat, and each have their own attack patterns to memorize. On normal difficulty, you can beat most of these guys in about 1-2 attempts (minus the final boss), which is rather...underwhelming, to say the least. I'd at least try the game on hard to have even more epic boss encounters. Most bosses have multiple forms or sequences in a single battle, making the battle even more epic and cinematic. Halfway through the fight, they constantly talk down on you, which adds up for a more thematic experience. You get thrown off a platform, a single fight can drag to many areas, all while still fighting the same boss. You'll also have to use Blade Mode to stragetically cut at some of their weak points, which IMO, is a smart way to implement the mechanic into a boss.

Let's dance!

The game also offers some VR missions along the way in between stages for some minor distraction. While they don't really do much to immerse you into them, they do provide some much needed down time in between levels. During missions you can also check your log for some calls from your friends. While these are mostly throwaway tidbits, it can be cool to see what some of your team mates have to say. I mean, you even get to see a different side of Raiden when he tries to communicate with his friends, be it in a funny or serious topic. Especially as Raiden's personality goes through so much changes throughout the story, its nice to see what new stuff he has to say to those dear to him.

Tutorials aren't a must. They're quite boring if you aren't slicing a
woman's clothes off anyway.

There's really not much holding the game back other than its length. For a full priced game, its pretty freaking short. It may not be as short as a standard COD campaign, but its about 5 hours for a single play through, including the VR missions and call logs. That's quite pitiful, but then again, it IS a score attack based game, and unless you intend to play it multiple times, you should know what you're getting yourself into. There are also a serious lack of environments, but really, that's just the game's lore playing into effect, since most of the world is roughly more of less the same (urban areas).

"Revengeance" may not be the "Metal Gear" game that fans have been waiting for, but its a damn good spin off for action lovers to crave over. The unique Blade Mode, fun combat, excellent boss fights and more, make this a game that you'll have to experience, even if its just once. There's a lot to like in "Revengeance" as long as you give it a chance. Here's hoping to a sequel, because I can't wait to see more of what Raiden can do.

Happy gaming!