Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance Hands-On First Impressions

The Metal Gear series is straight-up bananas. The newest game in the franchise, Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance is a side story of sorts, a frantic action game from Platinum Games. We spent some time with the demo recently, and here's our thoughts.

Metal Gear Rising is as much a Metal Gear game as Broadway musicals are a ham sandwich. That is to say, not much at all. The spell-check-manglingly titled Revengeance has had an extremely weird road to store shelves. Originally developed in-house by Hideo Kojima's younger staff at Kojima Productions, the project was cancelled, and then almost instantly revived by the crazies over at Platinum Games.

Revengeance has a lot in common with Platinum's Vanquish, at times feeling like a very direct sequel to that underrated masterpiece. The game engine plays incredibly similar, with frenetic action and explosions completely engulfing the screen at nearly all times. With Raiden's new cyborg-enhancements, he plays incredibly loose, with his high-frequency sword as the predominant weapon. As I said, this is barely a Metal Gear game.

There are a few holdovers from the classic MGS games, though. Frequent updates from your team via CODEC still pop up, although thankfully this time they are displayed on the screen in real-time, rather than a separate menu screen. The instantly identifiable "alert" noise from earlier Metal Gear games is still intact here, although they're usually pretty low in the mix, under all the sounds of dudes dying horrible, bloody deaths.

That's gonna stain.

About that. This game is straight-up gory. A separate "Blade Mode" allows Raiden to slice-and-dice enemies all sorts of terrible ways. In fact, my first encounter with enemies in the demo I played ended in one of the most gruesome ways possible.

Three enemies had me flanked, although they were quickly taken down with quick strikes and some well-timed Blade Mode slashes. I thought I had the situation handled, but my waypoint never reset, and the ever-present videogame trope "spirit barrier" was still intact.

I looked around, trying to find what probably-obvious switch I missed. I found nothing, but heard terrible moaning sounds coming from my just vanquished enemies. Finding my way back to the pile of bodies I'd just left, I found one of the dudes writhing around in pain, with no legs, and only one arm. This dude was straight-up Anakin Skywalker'd. I watched for a while, amused at how far this dismemberment system would go. I then lifted my blade high in the air, and cut him up 57 more times. Sweet mercy.

Christopher Linendoll is excited for more. Follow him on Twitter, if you like nonsense.

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