PS3 Reviews: Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance Review

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Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance Review

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Replay Value:



Overall Rating:       8.2



Online Gameplay:

Not Rated




Kojima Productions, Platinum Games

Number Of Players:




Release Date:

February 19, 2013

When people say “stealth isn’t fun,” I can only conclude that they want something like Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance. And you know, despite the judgmental subjectivity of the aforementioned statement, there are indeed many different kinds of fun to be had in the realm of interactive entertainment. Some of it includes patience, timing, observation, tact, and strategy. Then there are other examples that hearken back to the golden age of gaming, where we faced down legions of foes that would irrationally fall beneath the ungodly power of our hero. Such is this combined effort from Kojima and Platinum.

Perhaps it’s true that graphically, this game won’t be winning any awards. And maybe it’s also true that given the ridiculously high bar the Metal Gear Solid franchise has set in regards to visuals, long-time fans might be disappointed. That being said, the graphical presentation in Revengeance is really quite impressive. The special effects are slick and awesomely implemented and the general palette is clean, smooth and refined (totally sick frame rate, by the way). The environments can seem a tad repetitive and even bland, but there’s no denying that the character and enemy design just screams Kojima: Futuristic, outlandish, and above all, singular.

On a technical level, the audio is a nice complement to the graphics. It functions at a similarly high level, as the effects match the visual flashes in terms of crispness and impact, and the driving soundtrack always fits the relentless action. Unfortunately, the voice performances aren’t quite up to par, which has been a common complaint of mine in regards to Japanese productions this generation. Still, there are some competent voices in this game and I don’t want to gloss over their quality. It’s just that one senses a lack of professionally honed actors for some of the minor roles. As for the rest, the audio – effects and score included – is great; it kicks ass and takes names, much like Raiden himself.

After Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots, Raiden was hired by a private security form to oversee the protection of an African Prime Minister. But as you might expect, it isn’t long before an intervening force snatches the Prime Minister away, and it’s up to Raiden to get him back. The force in question is known as the Desperado Enforcement and after obtaining the latest cybernetic upgrade from his buddies at Maverick Consulting, the iconic ninja sets off to retrieve his charge. The story has promise but sadly, it sort of falls flat as it immediately takes a back seat to the gameplay.

But then again, such a focus isn’t a bad thing. Most gamers know precisely what to expect from Raiden’s gung-ho adventure, and despite the fact that the stealth meter actually makes an appearance, its significance is greatly downplayed. This is an all-out action extravaganza with a whole lot of slashing and copious amounts of fantastically awesome style. The frame rate, as mentioned above, is excellent and never lets you down. The combat is fast, tight, challenging while still remaining accessible, and even downright addicting. Raiden’s enemies are crazy cyborg foot soldiers and other enhanced bad-ass villains, so his work is cut out for him.

“Cut” is the operative word in that previous sentence, by the way. This is because Raiden’s ridiculous power results in a slash-fest the likes of which you have never seen. You will start by dispatching marauding foes with relative ease, until the difficulty ramps up and you’re forced to discover more of Raiden’s inherent potential. The good news is that there’s a little something for everyone: If you’re simply seeking flashy entertainment with a fair amount of that legendary Kojima style and panache, Platinum’s rock solid and always engaging combat will keep you immersed. If you want something beyond flash, you can look a little deeper and find Raiden’s more complex skills, which are mighty impressive.

Raiden is a fighting machine (almost literally). He uses an enhanced awareness known as “Blade Mode” after draining electrolytes from his enemies, and he can pinpoint parts of objects and foes with his far-reaching katana. There are light and heavy attacks with which to experiment, and the right analog stick controls cuts along a certain sphere of vision. Enemies have weak spots, which Raiden takes full advantage of by activating his unparalleled Zandatsu skill. This is when he tears out a hapless opponent’s repair unit, crushes it in his hand, and as a result, this replenishes health and amps up his rage. This is an uber-cool feature but it has its drawbacks.

For instance, exploiting the weak spot on bosses can be an issue. You have to angle the analog exactly correctly to grab the repair unit, and you’re often left at the mercy of a very powerful enemy if you screw it up. Therefore, you may have to make multiple attempts, which infringes on both your enjoyment and the flow of the game. As for other slicing mechanics, you can dismember foes leaving them almost completely defenseless. Fun, but not perfectly orchestrated. The camera, which is somewhat erratic throughout, can cause problems, especially in tight areas, and this could generate much frustration and irritation on the part of the player.

Thing is, you really want to try to master that unique slicing technique. There are thirty enemies that hold valuable data in their biomechanical bodies and for every ten you nab, you earn a new upgrade for Raiden. So if you want to fully unlock your powerful hero’s capability, you really can’t miss those specially equipped opponents. However, due to some mechanical difficulties, this objective can really give you a headache. As precision and timing are essential elements here, you have to continue to practice and battle a slightly wonky camera. But if you stick to it, you’ll get better and better with time, and your deadly effectiveness will increase.

And besides, the entertainment value is super high. There’s just something so freakin’ satisfying about slicing and dicing ‘til your heart’s content. The boss encounters – despite the aforementioned issue – are bound to test your ability, and victory always brings a significant sense of accomplishment. Raiden is also a surprisingly effective main character, even if the main plot doesn’t quite live up to expectations. Don’t think he’s just a mindless warrior; he goes through a lot of emotional upheaval in Revengeance and even better, that directly effects his performance on the battlefield. Overall, the speed, design, style, and stability of the gameplay will draw you in. Personally, I love feeling crazy powerful.

If you’re having some difficulty getting used to the flow of combat, you can always hone your skills in the VR missions, but for the most part, practice makes perfect. And for all you MGS followers who are skeptical about this spinoff, I should add that you can dispatch enemies silently. That’s part of the reason the stealth meter exists, after all. Still, this game is obviously designed to be an in-your-face brawler, with a nod to both depth and accessibility. In many ways, it reminded me of DmC: Devil May Cry, in that just about anyone can find enjoyment in the gameplay; both hardcore and casual gamers shouldn't find much to complain about.

Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance is a visceral action spectacle that puts the emphasis squarely on the well constructed gameplay. You’ll never get tired of slashing and cutting and as you get more accustomed to the speed and style, you’ll become even more deadly. The story is a bit of a disappointment (despite Raiden’s personal angle), the camera really can be a detriment, and some boss fights can be a little trying. But the end result is a flashy, highly stylized production that puts the term “fun factor” in the spotlight and lets it shine. And yes, one can easily sense the Kojima team’s contribution, and the marriage of Platinum’s gameplay quality and Kojima’s design and lore is truly compelling.

The Good: Fantastic design and style. Good effects and soundtrack. Great combat that is both challenging and accessible. Slicing mechanics never get old. Tight, responsive control. Raiden has some depth as a protagonist. Very well paced.

The Bad: Camera definitely gets in the way. Main storyline is a bit of a letdown. Can feel a little repetitive. Boss fights can prove tedious at times.

The Ugly: “You know what? Now I don’t want your damn special freakin’ data. Now I just want you to die.”

2/19/2013 Ben Dutka

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New Comment System

Legacy Comment System (19 posts)

Tuesday, February 19, 2013 @ 11:28:10 PM

Oh well I thought it would score better than DMC, that one was 8.8,whatever I have the game :), but not chance to play it until Friday :S

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Tuesday, February 19, 2013 @ 11:45:06 PM

DmC wallops the competition

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Tuesday, February 19, 2013 @ 11:50:38 PM

There's still GoW Ascension and Castlevania Lord of Shadows 2 to beat :3

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Wednesday, February 20, 2013 @ 12:03:49 AM

I hope the combat in Castlevania is stepped up, I enjoyed the last one but the fighting was pretty weak sauce. Also I'd kill for a return to the gothic stuff and synthesizer music.

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Wednesday, February 20, 2013 @ 12:14:11 AM

''the gothic stuff and synthesizer music. '' I agree but mercury steam already told in some interview they don't like that music :( , Mirror Of Fate (the 3DS game) music sounds similar to the original Lord of Shadows so I expect the same for Lord of Shadows 2, which wasn't bad but was forgettable save that tune when you play chess, I loved that one.

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Wednesday, February 20, 2013 @ 12:27:19 AM

yeah I heard that, so sad, it's like what makes Castlevania what it IS.

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Tuesday, February 19, 2013 @ 11:46:30 PM

Good review, sounds like it should satisfy those who plunked down the cash. Demo turned me off though. Was the whole story as painfully and excruciatingly preached like it was in the demo?

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Wednesday, February 20, 2013 @ 12:46:26 AM

Kinda sorta. Thankfully, the gameplay drowns out most of it.

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Tuesday, February 19, 2013 @ 11:51:58 PM

Yeah I cant wait for payday...I'll be getting this one for sure.

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Wednesday, February 20, 2013 @ 12:01:24 AM

Every time I watch a video review, the action and visual flair just makes me salivate. It looks like an ultra awesome cyber-ninja game.

But I thought the same stuff leading up to trying the demo. I liked the demo okay. It seems like maybe it was improved for the final game, judging by the reviews. I thought the graphics looked quite nice, incredible for 60fps really.
I'm glad to read the game doesn't have too much stealth. The demo sort of made me believe it tried to.
With it being a Metal Gear game and Kojima's involvement I wouldve expected a better story.

Anyway, the curiousty I still have for this game still attracts me. Perhaps I'll give it a shot some day.

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Wednesday, February 20, 2013 @ 12:12:40 AM

For you Platinum fans, Vanquish is free for PSPlus today.

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Wednesday, February 20, 2013 @ 1:27:20 AM

gosh....really love the perks for plus

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Wednesday, February 20, 2013 @ 1:43:04 AM

Too bad. I'm all about the story rather than just the gameplay. Maybe I'll pick this up at the end of the year. The hype didn't draw me in and this score isn't helping. Here's hoping that GoW: Ascension satisfies my expectations. :)

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Solid Fantasy
Wednesday, February 20, 2013 @ 3:07:51 AM

I still think I'm going to pick this one up someday. It would be nice if they pieced together some of the original game from Kojima Productions as DLC.

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Wednesday, February 20, 2013 @ 5:44:37 AM

looking really good so far!
shame its releasing same day as crysis 3 so i probably wont get to it for a few months!
march is full of new releases, april im going overseas, may is full of releases.
exactly why i get so pissed when so many games release so close together!
i have been looking forward to this for so long, if they released this today just 1 day earlier i could of finished it!

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Wednesday, February 20, 2013 @ 5:58:25 AM

i'm a huge P* fan, but also a big metal gear fan (who isn't)
but somehow they don't go together that well

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Wednesday, February 20, 2013 @ 6:38:20 AM

I'm sorry, I just can't. I am a huge fan of the Metal Gear series and because of that I just cannot look past a few things. For me it literally is the change from Rising to Rising: Re-vengeance. I was all for a title set between MGS2-4. There were so many interesting story points to explore. Seeing Raiden transform in tho the exoskeleton through Dr. Mandar and having him meet with Big Mamma and his objective to save Sunny. The premise was all there and it was going to be fantastic... But then they went completely back on themselves and set it became set after MGS4.

The problem with being set after MGS4 is that it was the conclusion to EVERYTHING! I won't go into all the spoilers as I am sure most have you have played it anyway. But there really was nothing that could be set after MGS4 and not just for Solid Snake. Raiden went through so much in MGS2-4 and part of what was beautiful about the ending was how Raiden finally had peace with his family which was truly well deserved. The Hospital sequence was a real tearjerker and now I feel that moment has been completely diminished.

I am not saying that this is a bad game, far from it. It has plenty to offer in terms of gameplay. But it just looks far too over the top for Metal Gear. While MGS is hardly full on realistic, it had it's boundaries which this title breaks completely due to the over the top nature of Platinum games. Which was a good developing company, but this project just wasn't for them in my opinion. I will no doubt pick it up when it reduces in price but for now I just cannot get excited for it.

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Wednesday, February 20, 2013 @ 11:41:55 AM

I'm a huge Metal Gear fan myself. The one thing you just have to keep telling yourself is that this is a spinoff and not directly related to the main story. Which is rather hard to do, when they state in the game "4 years after SOP incident."

I wouldn't say that MGS4 was the conclusion to everything. It did tie up a lot of loose ends. Which I believe we'll have a true MGS5 next gen as they didn't say what exactly happened to Old Snake, Meryl and her unit, Sunny, or Otacon. But as a fan, I understand what you're saying.

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Wednesday, February 20, 2013 @ 6:19:09 PM

story takes a back seat to gameplay huh. this was actually what i expected all along from platinum games. vanquish gameplay was great but i found story lacking. i would still recommend playing vanquish though. i dunno if i'll get revengeance though maybe if it reaches 20 bucks or something.

i got turned off by the demo when i tried it. i didnt mind the fast pace but the blade mode kinda ruined the experience for me. it just felt awkward. i'll probably try it out again later. can anyone tell me if you can dodge or is there a dodge move in the game when youre fighting? if there is, i guess i missed it. but if there isnt it just feels weird that i have to rely on those weak points to recover life instead of not getting hit at all.

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