Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance hands-on preview from E3 2012
Published: Sunday, July 1, 2012
Updated: Monday, August 27, 2012 16:08
Earlier this year, it looked like Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance was dead. Announced at the E3 2009 Conference as Metal Gear Rising, the game was a new take on the classic Metal Gear Solid franchise that would move away from stealth and towards action.
The debut trailer looked incredible: a cyborg ninja Raiden, yes that same Raiden that flipped around naked in Metal Gear Solid 2 and then reappeared as a super bad-ass in Metal Gear Solid 4, brandishing an electrified blade with which he was very precisely slicing and dicing foes. In the brief gameplay that was demonstrated by series creator Hideo Kojima himself, players were capable of making extremely accurate and destructive slices, even slicing a watermelons into very small, cubed pieces with ease. The game world was abuzz to see just how this game would come to fruition. As time went on, news began to sound grim for the game, and it was officially cancelled in early 2011.
All was not lost, however. At the 11th hour, Platinum Games, creators of such games as Bayonetta, Okami, Viewtiful Joe, and MadWorld, stepped in to take over development of the game, adding the somewhat ridiculous "Revengeance" to the title. So now the game is actually coming out, but how does it actually stand up to its expectations?
Going into E3 this year, I knew that I needed to check out Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance. Having released a brand new, tantalizing trailer in the week prior to the conference, Platinum Games seemed to be pretty confident that their game lived up to the prestigious Metal Gear name. On the first day of the conference, I made a beeline for the Konami area, where I was greeted with a massive, specifically designed booth (along with a very long line) for the game.
After waiting through the line, 10 of us were escorted into a smallish square room adorned with four televisions, where we were briefed as if we were on a special ops team. For the sake of the presentation, we were recent additions to a Special Forces team gifted with cyborg parts to make us super-human killing machines. The Metal Gear Rising demo was meant to be a training simulation for us, to teach us how to react on the battlefield. But let’s just get into the game itself shall we?
Forget everything you know about the gameplay of Metal Gear Solid, because Metal Gear Solid Rising: Revengeance flips the script entirely. Gone is the sneaking and hiding, gone are the silent creeps. In their place, Rising makes a little more noise. Raiden leaps about destroying everything in his path, a ninja in the following in the likeness of Ninja Gaiden's Ryu Hayabusa. Raiden moves like a fusion of Bayonetta and Ezio, able to traverse buildings and structures with ease, gaining an advantage over enemies.
While the sneakiness has diminished greatly from Metal Gear Solid to Rising, using stealth can still offer crafty players a chance to get a leg up on the enemy. In his typical run, Raiden can also deflect oncoming bullets, making the player almost feel invincible. But just as in Bayonetta, the challenge comes when the enemies get ridiculously huge or are in enormous numbers.
What truly separates Rising from other action games is its combat. Typical combat in Rising at first feels very similar to Bayonetta. Incredibly bad-ass and powerful attacks can be strung together into devastating combos. But where the combat really gets interesting is when Raiden goes into "blade mode." With a simple button press, the world goes into a bullet-time-esque state where the player gets complete control over Raiden's blade. As long as "blade mode" is enabled, players can cut in every direction with an impressive amount of precision. For example, when fighting one foe in blade-mode, I was able to easily slice off every limb, the head, and chop up the body into small bits within moments.
"Blade mode" can be activated at any time for as long as the player needs. And to make matters even better, fans of world destruction will be pleased, in my demo; I effortlessly sliced through tall pillars, toppling them onto cars which then exploded under the pressure. This can be used to even the odds for Raiden on the battlefield, the sort of world destruction that made Just Cause 2 such a blast.
The demo was fairly short, so I'll be interested to see how the game uses this "blade mode" and keeps it fresh hours deep into the story. Make sure to keep Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance your radar; it's shaping up to be one of this year's most interesting and exciting games.