Review Price £39.99
Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance
Starting from its glory days on the PS1, the long and illustrious Metal Gear games have had one element in common: stealth. If you went in all-guns-blazing, you would end up as dead as the gung-ho fool you were. However, Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance kicks stealth to the curb in favour of exactly that all-out approach.
Revengeance is more akin to Devil May Cry or Bayonetta than the adventures of Solid Snake, and indeed the always more aggressive Raiden is the main protagonist here. The more action-oriented approach is hardly a surprise considering that this Metal Gear title is the first helmed by Platinum Games, the very studio also responsible for Bayonetta and Vanquish.
Actually, in terms of gameplay, the best way to think of Revengeance is like a mixture between DMC and golden oldie Fighting Force, with a dash of Dead or Alive. There is a deliberateness to your movements and fights that gives them just a wee bit of a more tactical feel than Bayonetta offered, and environments are quite destructible – you can even chop down palm trees with your trusty cyber-enhanced katana, or one of the other weapons you will acquire during the course of the game.
The insane DOA-style moves you can pull off are justified by the fact that, unlike Solid Snake, Raiden is a cyborg ninja. Of course, many of your enemies are also cyborgs, resulting in battles that play out like a ballet of lightning kicks, punches, parries, flips and dodges, with moves leaving trails of different-coloured light for you and enemies.
As well as being visually engaging, combat is supremely smooth and very satisfying, though on occasion the enemy AI left a little to be desired as enemies would practically stand around while you were defeating one of them. Mind you, this might just be that the first level we got to play was keeping things a little easy, and individual opponents already offered a decent level of challenge.
As you would expect considering the Kojima and Platinum Games legacies, Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance is a gorgeous game, easily the equal of any console title this generation. Environments and characters are nicely detailed with a lot of realism (if such can apply to the futuristic Metal Gear universe).
Only the PS3’s telltale lack of anti-aliasing is a tad grating at times, with the occasional jagged edge jarring with the fluid detail. We didn’t get the chance to try out a PC or Xbox 360 build, but would assume it’s not an issue on that console with its more powerful GPU and built-in anti-aliasing chip, or of course the PC. In the build we played there was also the occasional mis-placed shadow, but this will hopefully be ironed out by the time of release.
Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance may not quite be the kind of game you know and love the series for, but as a ‘side’ title that’s set after Metal Gear Rising 4: Guns of the Patriots, it’s a genuinely enticing entrant that’s sure to win its share of fans. Look for Revengeance to make its way onto Xbox, PS3 and PC towards the end of February 2013.
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