I’m what some of you might call a noob when it comes to the Metal Gear series, the last time I played a Metal Gear game was way back in the 90’s and it was on a demo disc for the PlayStation. “Then why are you reviewing Metal Gear Rising?” I hear you cry. Well, it seems to be a new take on the Metal Gear series and I thought I could express my opinion on the game from someone new to the series, so here we go!
The one thing I learned from previous Metal Gear titles is the fact that it’s a game that relies on the player being stealthy and covert. Though the game can probably be played differently, it’s just increasingly difficult the more exposed you are. Metal Gear Rising in a way throws that idea out of the window, it’s a lot less sealth, but has an insane amount of slashing and hacking.
Though being covert is still a key part to the game, I could get away without having to hide underneath a cardboard box or remaining in the shadows, and in all fairness it was way more fun that way.
Though this game references things from the older titles, I could easily get submerged into the game and let the references go over my head. The game begins with a short cinematic with Raiden (the main character) in a limo with the African President. Even though you’re being escorted by a handful of huge troop transporters things start to take a turn for the worse when you’re attacked by a Samurai Sword wielding cyborg.
Raiden then decides that it’s best for him to take a stab at this guy as things start to go wrong for all of the troops that he’s so painstakingly trained for situations just like this. The limo then speeds off as the chauffeur tries to take the President to safety only to be caught about a mile or so down the road.
This is when the game really begins, you’re thrown into combat immediately and you find yourself outnumbered by a handful of Cyborg PMC’s. If you played through the tutorial you’ll know the basics and you can begin kicking the crap out of these half men, half robot troopers. This type of game play is super fun and fast paced as you’ll find yourself launching a fast paced slide tackle that flips your enemy up in the air giving you the ability to enter a special slash mode that slows everything down and you can then slash the seven bells out of him until he’s cut into a million pieces – you’re also well rewarded for this at the end of each battle.
After a few more ambushes there’s another cinematic where you’ll find that the President has been captured by one of the main Cyborg Ninja characters who’s keen to bring war back to Africa. Not to give too much of the story away, the cyborg takes the president away, Raiden tries to chase after him, but is knocked back by a giant Metal Gear.
Bring on the WTF moment. For those of you who don’t know (and I’m still not sure that I do) the game references this giant robotic monster as a Metal Gear, and when I say giant, I mean that it’s HUGE. I couldn’t believe that this early on in the game you’re already attacking monsters the height of a skyscraper.
This part of the game for me resembled DmC a lot. At the beginning of that game you’re set upon buy a giant demon that wants you dead and along with the hack and slash game-play, in my opinion they’re one of the same.
Once you’ve managed to ‘defeat’ the gigantic Metal gear you then get back to chasing down that dastardly Cyborg but soon enough you find yourself faced with the remains of the Metal Gear that you originally though you’d defeated. This is a reoccurring theme through out the game as you’ll often find that you’ve sliced up different parts of your opponent only to find that it utilizes it’s remaining appendages and continues to attack you.
As a newbie to the Metal Gear series, everything that you come across in the game is new and exciting. Something I found out when I was attacked by what I originally described as a “two legged chicken robot hybrid thing” only to be corrected by a fan of the series letting me know that it’s called a Gecko something that fans of the series would have already had experience with. Personally I think it made this game a whole lot more fun for me. I like the fact that I’m discovering these creatures for the first time, something a lot of veteran players wish they could do again.
So the game itself is perfectly executed. For fans of the series, it must tie in well with previous games, for new comers it’s an exciting an exhilarating experience that I would recommend to anyone. The controls are a little difficult to get to grips with, especially if you’re not one for playing games for hours at a time, but once you’ve settled in and remembered attack combinations as well as the tell tale signs to get into the slash mode you enjoy the game a lot more.
Another really interesting part of the game is the environment because it’s fully interactive in the sense that you can slash and hack at almost everything into a million pieces, and again this is counted in your final score at the end of each mission. I’d often find myself hacking up a dumpster for five minutes whilst travelling to the next location – it’s that fun..
The graphics in this game are pretty incredible too, there’s a definite arcade feel to it compared to the cinematics, but overall the environment is stunning, and the way your enemies sort of explode when you rip out the spine-like core is pretty neat too – This is how the ‘new’ Raiden repairs himself after/during battle. The camera angles can at times be a little confusing and disorientating, but once again that’s a control thing and once you’ve got the hang of it you’ll have no troubles.
Overall the game has a really intense story, the graphics are fantastic, and the game play is fast paced, and addictive. From the very start you get pulled in to the story and begin to care about the same causes that Raiden does, even if you’re new to this game. It even does that horrible thing some RPG games have done in the past where you’re put into battle with someone who’s way more superior to you, only to find that you’re never going to win giving you the “I’m going to be here for hours” feeling. Eventually you’re on the cusp of being wiped out when you’re saved by a buddy of yours, and find that it was a part of the story after all – I hate it when games do that. This is actually when Raiden then becomes the one you’ve been seeing in the promotional images; he’s sort of put back together a little like RoboCop, and becomes half cyborg himself and in order to remain as strong and essentially not die, that’s why you need the blue spinal chords.
If you’ve seen this game, but are new to the Metal Gear Series, don’t worry about it. Yes there’s references to the older games, but they easily go over your head and don’t affect the overall game. Give it a try!
Metal Gear Rising: Revengance is available on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 on the 22nd of February.