Hands On: Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance

It’s probably a bit of an odd statement, but I don’t think Metal Gear Solid’s gameplay is all that great. Stealth is hardly my favourite thing and I wouldn’t call MGS’s the best of the bunch; I find the boss battles and the more action-packed segments to be much more fun to play than crawling along the ground in amongst the bushes, but it’s ultimately the story that keeps me coming back to the world of Metal Gear.

Which is why I was a bit cautious – as we all were – when Metal Gear Rising was revealed, then still including the Solid part of the title. it looked like a massive departure from previous games in the series, perhaps holding back on the the all-important lengthy cutscenes and an intricately woven plot.

[drop]The gameplay, though, was a different story – ever since Raiden’s incredible Gecko fight in MGS4 I’ve yearned for a game where we’re able to play out these epic battles rather than have them confined to cutscenes as Snake – or another character for that matter – watches on. It looked like great, fast-paced fun and a good change from the slower, sneaking based gameplay of previous titles.


And that’s, basically, what Rising is. Platinum Games have completely delivered gameplay-wise and the sword-wielding Raiden is an excellent character to play as, in turn making the game an absolute blast to play. Slicing up enemies and sprinting around gives it a great feel – Raiden is a powerful protagonist this time round and some of the moves he pulls off are awe-inspiring.

Thankfully, the deep plot hasn’t gone anywhere either, judging by some lengthy calls and cutscenes that I didn’t really understand with the little background information on the game that I have. The fact that it’s set four years after MGS4 gives Platinum much more freedom with the story, which can’t be a bad thing.

Oh, and the sneaking is still there. Well, sort of: there’s no lying down and crawling along the ground, it’s more about running along behind enemies and quickly slicing them up or performing a brutal stealth kill before they can alert nearby foes.

Those enemies range from standard troops to large Geckos – robotic bipedal creatures which are a worthy opponent for a cyborg ninja. There’s no arguing that this is a Metal Gear game, from the style (complete with caution and alert warnings) to the setting it still feels in line with the previous games, even though the gameplay has radically changed.

Controls in Rising aren’t too complex, based around a standard third person control scheme, with square and triangle (or equivalent) for a quick but weak or strong but slower attack respectively. There’s no defined block button, instead you’ll have to time a flick off the left stick and a press of a button to parry your foes’ stronger attacks, though you are giving a fair warning of incoming attacks.

[videoyoutube]Since the camera is controlled by the right stick, Raiden is unable to use his blade in the same way he did in MGS2, so Platinum have introduced a feature named Blade Mode. By holding L1, the camera moves in closer, and you’re able to release a high-speed flurry of attacks that can slice enemies into pieces. It’s also very useful for precise attacks, as you have enough time to set up a slash at the perfect angle.

Being a cyborg ninja has its downsides though, as Raiden will have to recharge his body by cutting up enemies in Blade Mode and collecting their energy by tapping a button to collect glowing blue internals.

The playable section showed off enough to get a good taste of the game – a cutscene followed by a few battles here and there, some sneaking gameplay and even a boss battle with a large, wolf-like robotic enemy. This battle proved a challenge, but was a very good representation of the game, showing Raiden’s moves to their full potential.

Rising is a good looking game, too; it’s a lot more brutal and gory than previous games in the series, since Raiden can cut through enemies up as if they’re vegetables on a chopping board. Environments are solid and animations flow well, too – it’s all really quite impressive.

So, it’s still Metal Gear: the story is there, the enemies are there and the world is very much the same. But it’s definitely different from Metal Gear Solid – and it could perhaps even be better if Platinum do it right. If it’s not better, though, there’s no doubt that it’ll still be a frantic, fun and somewhat unique entry into the series.



  1. Oo, this is a nice surprise. I didn’t know what to expect with this game.

  2. “It’s probably a bit of an odd statement, but I don’t think Metal Gear Solid’s gameplay is all that great” I agree it’s the most awesome gameplay lol

    Nothing will ever make me by this game even if it gets 10/10, I don’t like raiden anyway. Does it play like vanquish? I loved vanquish

    • I played it – ridiculously arcadey & brilliant fun.

    • It plays nothing like vanquish. You rarely pick up guns – They are dotted around from time to time, but they rarely come with enough ammo to run through a level with them.

      Think more hack & slash than run & gun.

      • So more like Bayonetta then? To me, MGR looks like MGS and Bayonetta had a baby. Am I someware near what the game will be like?

      • Yeah, you are kinda along the right lines there.

        It’s a little slower than bayonetta, but there are definitely some similarities in gameplay (apart from the hair being the suit & random nakedness of course!)..

  3. Better than Metal Gear Solid! Pffft!

  4. I thought I’d hate this game, but it was actually seriously good fun, which surprised me as I’ve never been a fan if hack and slashes. It just seemed like really good fun. At the beginning of the demo, you can find a random cat walking about the beach which ninja flips out the way if you try and attack it. :D

    You can also destroy pretty much anything with your blade. I slashed the stairs, which made them fall down and I couldn’t for the life of me find another way up! I was so shocked the game let you do that! Although that might become annoying if you accidentally do something ike that halfway through a level and have to restart, I do generally welcome freedom in games.

  5. Sounds like a pile of P00 LoL:D Goes back to playing MGS:Peace Walker HD on my PS3(A REAL BRILLIANT Metal Gear game) :P

  6. The game itself sounds like a good bit of fun to me, but I’ll never get over it being a Metal Gear. Because it’s a Metal Gear it will constantly be compared to the Metal gear Solid series when in my opinion they should never be compared. The cinematic, story driven style of Metal Gear Solid is so far from the style of this arcadey style slice-em-up that it really grates when people are trying to compare and see which is “better”. The worst thing though is if the game doesn’t turn out to be great then I’m worried it could harm the reputation of the MGS series as a result as people don’t separate the two completely different games in their criticisms.

    • “Thankfully, the deep plot hasn’t gone anywhere either, judging by some lengthy calls and cutscenes”

      it still seems very story-driven.

  7. It sounds like it will be good. Not better then MGS but not a pile of steaming gecko poo. But I can’t get over the fact that it’s a MG game. I know MGS does have some over the top stuff but Rising makes those elements seem normal. It seems that PG wanted to do Cyborg ninja game and didn’t want to take the risk of doing a new IP thus asking kojima if they can do Rising in order to do so due to how big MGS is. It feels like it’s just a MG skin of a hack and slash.

    Although i don’t like the way that they have implented stealth as it sounds like another form of combat instead of being a way to avoid enemies. I can see it getting a 6-7/10.

    • Why would you want to avoid enemies? Thats totally not what this game is about.

      Also, i am not definite, but i was under the impression that this was something that Kojima wanted to do & so it got allocated to platinum who have a decent track record in this sort of game.

    • ‘Stealth’ can be implemented in any number of ways. People are so used to the way that MGS games play that they think that’s the only way stealth should play in a game.

      In Rising, stealth is just an additional facet to the gameplay. You can use it to thin the enemy ranks, for example, before taking on the rest in battle. You’re no longer screwed if you’re seen and have the power to engage enemies on your own terms.

  8. My only concern is that i’ll get bored with the slicing gimmick after a bit but it doesn’t sound too bad – completely the opposite to what we’re used to from the MG series but it might be a blast. I’ll really need a hands-on before i’m certain though.

  9. Great article, echoes my feelings about the game too. Definitely the best and most surprising game I played at the Expo.

    The most important thing with Rising is to go in fresh and not judge it against every other game in the series (I know, it’s almost impossible to do). Whilst it has many classic MG elements it’s just a different type of game…and a bloody fun one at that.

    Can’t wait.

  10. This really appeals to me, I’ve liked everything I’ve seen & heard so far and I’m extremely interested.

    I’ve only played MGS2: Sons Of Liberty & MGS4: Guns Of The Patriots & it’s just never stuck with me for some reason, I can see everything’s really good but I’ve not been able to get into them.

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