Action replaces stealth in this Metal Gear in-story
When you think of the Metal Gear series what are the first things that come to mind? Perhaps you think of stealth combat, using your tools and surroundings to your advantage, or hiding in a cardboard box. Well after playing Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, I can tell you to throw everything you know about the Metal Gear series out the window.
Revengeance is the result of a partnership between Platinum Games and Kojima Productions. Players assume the role of Raiden, a child soldier during the First Liberian Civil War. In the future, cyborg technology runs rampant and Raiden is equipped with the best technology money can buy. With any gun he could want at his disposal, Raiden chooses a more up close and personal approach with his high-frequency blade.
My time with the game began on a lovely beach. Here the game trained me on how to use my blade in free-sword mode and slice in any direction to turn everything into minced meat. My first enemy was a cardboard cutout of a soldier. Holding down the trigger zoomed the camera in on Raiden and allowed me to aim my sword. Using the analog stick would pull my sword back and show a line indicating where I would cut when I swing. Flicking the stick would then initiate the swing causing everything in my sword’s path to be sliced.
After hacking up a couple different cardboard enemies the game presented me with cardboard soldiers holding hostages. It’s here where I had to really focus on what I was cutting so as to avoid the hostage. After I mastered that I decided to try my sword on some other objects around me. Using it on a nearby car showed me just how powerful Raiden is as I sliced the vehicle into multiple pieces. I could really see the power of the blade as I cut through anything like butter. Trees, gates, giant robots, everything in the game can be sliced in multiple directions and pieces. Using this free-sword mode is also important as the game had me slicing enemies in half to collect cores.
Free-sword is not the only move in the game. I also had to use traditional combos to weaken enemies or deflect attacks with counters. The combos are fluid and over the top. In mid-combo Raiden would attach his sword to his foot and kick-slice his way to victory. After seeing what’s was on the inside of a cyborg soldier, Raiden would clean his sword with a quick swipe (similar to Ryu in Ninja Gaiden).
On top of sword combat, there was also some platforming and stealth aspects. After jumping up to the top of a roof, I noticed an unsuspecting enemy below on patrol. Quickly pressing the on screen prompt sent me hurtling down at my foe. The end result was Raiden jamming his sword into the enemy before perching himself on the handle for a stylish kill. Using these silent takedowns would allow me to advance from one enemy to the next without being noticed, and without being ganged up on.
During my time with the demo I found a number of crates I could open that contained items to be used later on in the game. I also stumbled upon a rocket launcher, one of the few projectile weapons Raiden will have access to. Aiming the RPG brought the camera close similar to free-sword mode which allowed me to pick out my targets easily.
Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance takes sword combat to a whole new level. The ability to cut anything in the world using free-sword is unique and addictive. The game steps away from the classic mechanics of the Metal Gear series, but still has elements – like alert noises and cardboard boxes – to make fans happy. Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance is scheduled to release early 2013 for 360 and PS3.