Oh my golly gee, is Platinum Games busy in 2013! I mean, they finally get Anarchy Reigns here in the USA, they have today’s game released back in February 19th of this year, Wonderful 101, and they are currently working on Bayonetta 2. Not to say that I haven’t seen them this busy before, since in 2010, they had Bayonetta and Vanquish come out here in the states and both games are super fun. It is pretty amazing to see that they really haven’t made a bad game. Sure, that DS game they made was received with mixed results, but that could be because of the company that helped them was mostly in charge of it. I don’t know, but if you really don’t count that game since they weren’t fully behind it, they don’t have a bad game. Madworld, Bayonetta, Vanquish, Anarchy Reigns, and now we have Metal Gear Rising Revengeance. I remember in 2011, when the trailer for this game was shown at the Spike VGA Awards, everyone got so upset saying that this isn’t a Metal Gear game and all that junk that you could get pages full of on the internet. I mean, first of all, Kojima and his team didn’t really know what to do with this game. Some people didn’t like the video of him saying that he and his team were basically going to shut this game down unless they could find a solid design choice for the game’s mechanics. Luckily, they hired one of the best new developers of the past decade, Platinum Games, to make the game. Plus, for a developer’s first time tackling an already preexisting franchise that isn’t one of their own, I think they did a fantastic job! Even with all of the minor little annoyances, this is one of the best games of 2013 and should be in any gamer’s collection.
Let us get started with the story. The story takes place a couple of years after Metal Gear Solid 4, and you play as Raiden, voiced by Quinton Flynn. While on an escort mission protecting a prime minister in Africa, they get ambushed by an enemy group, who of course want to kidnap and kill said prime minister. After fighting off the enemy’s Metal Gear Ray, because you know, why not fight a Metal Gear in the first 5 minutes of the game, Raiden gets his butt handed to him by one of the two other cyborg ninjas that staged the whole ambush. After some time upgrading and apparently replacing his entire bottom jaw, he sets out to get revenge on this organization and plans to save the world from yet another tyrant’s desire to rule the world. The story is basically filled with everything that you can put on a “story elements in a Metal Gear story” check list. It’s got some good characters, political themes, and everything, like I said, you can find in a usual Metal Gear game. However, it does have a bit of fun humor thrown in from time to time, which is great. The story is solid, don’t get me wrong, but the subtle humor thrown in from time to time does give this overly serious story some personality, and it does have some fun characters, ranging from Raiden to some of the bosses. This is even more interesting, since Platinum Games isn’t really known for their amazing stories within their games. I will say this though, that I wish they could have made the game longer. The story moves so quickly that it can be a bit hard at times to really pay attention to it.
The gameplay in Metal Gear Rising is an action game, but don’t think of it as a Bayonetta or God of War action game, it is more along the line of Batman Arkham City where you have a solid mix of stealth and action gameplay combined into the usual over-the-top nature of both the Metal Gear franchise and Platinum Games. You can literally sneak your way through this game, or go in guns blazing and not be punished by it due to the game’s great and fleshed-out combat system. And I mean it, you won’t be punished, unlike in other games like Deus Ex: Human Revolution that says you can go guns blazing or stealth your way through the level, which is a bloody lie. In that game, you NEED to stealth your way through, due to you having to manage your weapons and having to deal with a boatload of enemies in each room. Anyway, the main gimmick in Metal Gear Rising’s combat is this slice-and-dice mechanic where you slow down time and slice-and-dice your enemies. This is kind of crucial to a certain extent, since you need to master this mechanic to do some side objectives, like slicing off left arms for upgrades. This even comes with certain boss fights that need that slice-and-dice mechanic used on them. Within the game itself, you will find healing items, secondary blades, secondary weapons, unique weapons, VR Missions, and unlockables that will keep you playing over and over. That is good, since this game is about 5 hours or so, and unlike Vanquish, this game has many reasons to replay through the game. Oh, and of course, Platinum Games made sure to have some fun boss fights!
Graphically, it’s very good-looking, and it runs at a nice solid pace with no slowdown that I could spot when playing on my PS3. In my opinion, the soundtrack is memorable. It had some really good tracks for the bosses, so whoever did the songs for the bosses, freaking kudos to you guys! The voice acting while having some solid moments is a bit on the flamboyant side, to where it is kind of hard to take the story seriously, but it’s good, and you can tell they were having fun with the script and their characters. You have to put yourself in the mindset of a Platinum Game’s game, and know that the voice overwork is going to be a tad silly, but then again, it is a good kind of over-the-top, since it matches the action on screen, which is also over-the-top.
So, what is wrong with this game? For me personally, not a whole lot is wrong with this game. During the early goings, the little side quest of slicing off the left arm of certain soldiers was a bit tedious, but once you master the slicing-and -dicing mechanic, and the combat in the game, it can become a breeze. Heck, a lot of the little side quests that you encounter in the game, like not getting the captured civilians killed, can be a bit tricky, but just practice and you will be doing these side objectives with ease. Even though I said this game is basically Batman Arkham City, but with a slice-and-dice mechanic, the stealth mechanics are mostly just walking up behind an enemy and then doing an instant death move on them. While I don’t mind the stealth mechanics being rather simple, I do wish you could cling to walls and crouch to sneak up to enemies. Then again, the main theme of the game is to not really block and stealth your way through, but to keep pushing through and attack, though if you play on the harder difficulties, you will NEED to sneak past the enemies or else you will be welcomed with your butt being kicked. I also feel like the final boss can be slightly too long. However, I find it hard to hate the final boss, due to how what-the-H-E-double-hockey-sticks the final boss really is. I guess I think it goes on for a bit longer than I want it to because the first part of the boss fight is of course fighting a giant Metal Gear because you know, why not? You then have to fight the guy who pilots it, and you can’t hurt him. Usually when these kinds of boss fights happen, where you are either meant to die or to win,they are when there is no HUB on the screen. Your character moves differently, or something happens in the cut scene before the fight happens. Well, even though you are given full health, all of your moves, and you control him like you would at any other point in the game, still, you aren’t able to hurt him for two fights in a row. It is only after you get a special sword from a fallen boss that you are able to hurt him. It’s a bit tedious, but once you get to fight him, the final boss is satisfying. I also wish there were more bosses, but I am happy with how many they have in this one game. It’s just that the first boss you fight is amazing, and while the others are amazing also, I wish there were more bosses like the first one later on in the game. My final complaint has to do with the camera/targeting. This is just a minor gripe, but the camera can be a little finicky and the targeting could have been better
Despite all of these minor little gripes, Metal Gear Rising is a fantastic game. Sure, it might not be Metal Gear Solid 3 or 4, but it isn’t trying to be. It is a spin-off title and not meant to be taken as seriously, or meant to be on par with the main series. This isn’t Metal Gear Solid 5! This is Metal Gear Rising Revengeance. I would highly recommend picking this game up and this is coming from a guy who hasn’t really played all of the games fully and is more along the line of a guy who loves playing action games. You can either get the normal copy, or shell out a good chunk of change for the Collector’s Edition. Either way, I am glad to have played this game and to see that Hideo Kojima wants to do a sequel with Platinum games. Well done, Kojima and Platinum Games!
This game gets a 9 out of 10.