Have you ever wanted to move to Hawaii and become a benihana chef? You know the kind who throw fish up in the air, swish a knife around and then suddenly a fillet lands on a table…? Have I lost you?
Well if you have ever had this dream, or ever played Fruit Ninja on your phone for hours at a time then you are bound to love Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance.
It is like Fruit Ninja on acid, an absolute blast of Japanese crazy mixed with some western macho. There is a serious side in there somewhere but I couldn’t be bothered looking for it.
It may have the Metal Gear name but don’t let it fool you, this is no sneak around and break necks game, this is all out action and it’s why it has the name Metal Gear Rising. It is canon in the Metal Gear universe but this is no Snake game it is 100% Raiden.
Now last time we saw Raiden he was cyborg ninja’d out his nut and trying to help Snake during the events of ‘Guns of the Patriots’. Here we meet him again some 4 years later, he is more cyborg ninja than ever and is willing to do damage.
Working for a private military contractor called Maverick he crosses paths with the rival company Desperado Enterprises (Much better name that Maverick) who kill the man he is trying to protect and leave Raiden for dead.
He is left in bits (literally) and has to go back to lick his wounds, we catch up with him a few weeks later in a better more stronger body, this is where things really start getting good.
You are left to cut your way through whatever you like until you reach your goal, enemy cyborg ninjas attack you but do little more than refill your health bar with their electrolytes.
It can be a little gruesome at times, during the flow of battle you can at any time enter blade mode, this is where you can control every movement of your sword with the right analogue stick, the screen changes and you are left with a blue arc that determines where your blade is. This means you can decide to cut someone’s arms, legs then head off leaving just a torso if you wish.
during battle if you parry properly to repel enemy attacks you can get Zan-Datsu kills, Raiden does some cool move like jump over the person, time slows down and you can enter blade mode to finish them off. Whilst in blade mode a red square appears, if you cut this red square and press B at the right time you will grab the spine out of the poor dude, grip it in your hands and squeeze. This release blue blood/electrolytes and refills Raidens health and electrolyte bar.
It’s kind of like Raiden’s way of kicking back after a workout and drinking a Lucozade, although a lot more vampiric and creepy.
The electrolytes themselves are expelled when in blade mode which in the higher difficulty levels are used up quite quickly. So your best bet is to enter Zan-Datsu mode a lot.
At the end of every level there is a boss, these are easily defeated and you don’t have to figure out any elaborate ploys and puzzles in order to defeat them, it’s more a case of block then attack.
The flow of gameplay is broken by calls on your Codec, it wouldn’t be a Metal Gear game without the infamous sound of the Codec ringing in your ear, but this is the first game in which that ringing just annoyed me instead of making me glad of a break.
The flow of gameplay and action is so important in this game that when you get a call it just breaks everything down and feels like filler.
I don’t really care what any of the supporting characters want to say in this game, they don’t add any great information so why should I care?
The best person to call is the robot dog you get in the middle of the game; he is less insightful and more just funny as hell.
Now the graphics don’t look amazing, but then again they don’t look terrible either. The background looks slightly shoddy but you will be paying more attention to the enemies in front of you and how best to slice and dice them.
When in Zan-Datsu mode the graphics are lovely, every little bit of someone or something can be cut and you see it happening in front of your eyes.
When cut scenes are playing they look great and really move the story forward. Metal Gear Solid has a habit of having long drawn out cut scenes; Metal Gear Rising is the petulant child here, screaming ahead without a care in the world.
My biggest problem was simply that the game was so short. I felt I was just getting down to the meat and bones then suddenly that’s it?
Correct me if I’m wrong but Kojima aren’t exactly known for making short games so this came as such a shock.
Now I’m not saying it makes the game any less good, it does bring up the question if it is worth the current price tag of £40.
You only get the main mission, several difficulty levels and some VR missions. Apart from that there is no reason to come back to the game, so no £40 doesn’t sound like a good deal at all. I can see this bothering a lot of people.
The story is good but not good enough to justify an 8 hour campaign, and that was about 8 hours all in including cut scenes.
If it had only been longer then it would have gotten more, just as it becomes addictive the game stops. The constant Codec messages are just pointless filler and don’t add anything to the game.
It is a great idea and shows further potential in the Metal Gear series but and 8 hour campaign just doesn’t cut the mustard.
*thank you to Kojima games and Voltage PR for providing us with a review copy