Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance is a new twist in the Metal Gear Solid franchise. Ever since It's official reveal even before Konami decided to pass the project over to Platinum Games, I was excited. An action game set in the Metal Gear Solid world with Raiden once again in the spotlight. I gave the public demo a try on my Xbox 360 and quickly noticed that this is will be one hell of a stress reliever.
The demo released is the same demo included in the Zone of Enders HD Collection. It's a good 20-30 minutes of your time. Once you run the demo, you see the menu screen with Raiden in great detail rotating every once in awhile showing a different angle of his pose. I don't really care much about game menus, but this one was impressive. Once I pressed start, I only had two options: Story or Options. I quickly started Story which only showed three modes: easy, normal, and hard, with hard the only option unavailable. I went with normal and I was then given the choice to try the tutorial.
With it being my first time, I tried it out. The tutorial stage has the VR mission look seen in past Metal Gear games that gave a bit of nostalgia. Object like floating cubes, barrels, and even watermelons are found in the stage to practice your cutting skills. We all know Revengeance's biggest feature is blade mode - Holding down the left trigger activates blade mode, which then allows you to slice the target in front of you in any angle you want by either using the right stick or the attack buttons. Just like the first gameplay demo showcasing the cutting feature, I went up to the watermelons all neatly placed on the tables, and started slicing them into small pieces like a pro. It was weirdly satisfying and I was actually now eager to test this blade on actual enemies.
After the tutorial ended, you are given a short cutscene. A small briefing was given as we see Raiden heading to his destination via a small bomber-like plane. The graphics look amazing and after Raiden lands on the beach, we were given control. I was still craving for more slicing, so every tree, barrel and rock I saw on that beach was cut into pieces. Once I had nothing else to cut, I moved forward and encountered my first batch of enemies. With the light attack and heavy attack buttons, I hacked away and just after the combo finishes, I enter Blade Mode and finish them off, seeing the human cyborgs getting sliced up in slow motion. Once you slice him enough, you are given the option to press X which let's Raiden consume the enemy cyborg's electrolytes. These cyborg juices replenishes Raiden's life.
After the first batch, you move forward and the game informs you that you can go behind an enemy and kill them from above or behind by simply pressing X when told to do so. That is pretty much the stealth portion of the game which I hope doesn't force players to sometimes play in the shadows to move forward. We had too much of the stealth approach in MGS, I wanted blood, or rather, those electrolytes. Once your done assassinating, you enter this open area filled with different avenues to approach each enemy. You can tell already that they are giving the players the choice on how to engage. There's an augment mode which can be used by pressing the up on the D-pad. It highlights enemies and other points of interest in the area, a way to scout what you're getting into. Sneaking isn't a big portion of the gameplay, it looks like it's just there when you want to use it. I was able to go behind a guy and assassinate, but after that, I just went on the main road and alerted everybody in the area.
The famous alert sound from MGS with the exclamation point above the enemy's head return in Revengeance and I quickly find myself going against a couple of cyborg soldiers and two of those Gekko's that first appeared in Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriot. During the fight, the game teaches me about parry, which is pretty much the only means of defense. I had no roll, and it felt like I had to just stand my ground and parry any attack coming my way. I kept going in their face, deflecting anything they throw at me, while activating Blade Mode to finish each one off.
After I had cleared the area, a report pops up showing how well I performed giving me my stats and rank for that fight. Hopefully that won't happen in every encounter, but I do enjoying seeing how well I did. Instead of moving forward, I decided to look around since I noticed how big this area was. With the right trigger, holding it down lets Raiden sprint and make him react to certain environments making him jump ledges, and climb boxes smoothly. While exploring, there were crates that have consumable items for Raiden to pick up like healing items and even grenades and rocket launchers that can be used if equipped, Metal Gear Solid style. Rockets do damage, and grenades seem to stun enemies like the Gekko's, but it's quite hard to use them effectively in a fight. It was unusual to see Raiden use these equipment, but hopefully they come out useful in the full game because I simply ignored using them.
I then enter the next room and a cutscene occurs. Raiden is welcomed with a chainsaw that barely touches his jaw. The chainsaw slices up the corridor forcing it to collapse. Now in the streets, Raiden gets acquainted with IF Prototype LQ84i, a beast-like AI machine with a chainsaw as it's tail tasked to kill him. This is obviously a boss fight and it was fairly easy thanks to the parry system. After he takes a few hits, he jumps on a high ledge and calls for reinforcements. I slice them all up and the beast-like machine comes down for another go. Rinse and repeat.
After beating the AI, that was sadly the end of the demo. I wanted more! The fights were exhilarating. Blade mode was a lot of fun and the music played once a fight starts the mood right especially during the boss fight. I was worried they would change it up a bit to give the game its own identity, but no, It looks and feels like a Metal Gear Solid game (which I was hoping for) but with a good twist. The UI, the cutscenes, they even included the codec making Raiden call his teammates to do some small talk. Staying true to the Metal Gear Solid world, while providing a satisfying combat system, makes this a game I'll most likely get when it hits shelves this week.
You can check out Migoy's impressions in the video below.