Review – Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance

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Review – Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance
Cutting Edge
Publisher:
Konami
Developer:
Platinum Games
Release Date:
22-Feb-2013
Platform(s):
XBox 360, PS3
Genre:
None
Age Rating:
[Funny Story. I was sitting down to scribble many hundreds of words on this vibrant, momentous, exceptional Platinum/Kojima collaboration called Revengeance for some wonderful reason. Then a distinctive buzzing alerted me to an incoming call. I bent a knee, touched an ear. Behold the transcription...]

Raiden: So, you just completed my latest excursion?

Click: Excursion?!?! You leapt from a crumbling skyscraper onto an unmanned UAV. You then proceeded to fly up THROUGH said toppling building, evading detritus, cutting open the roof and chucked the UAV at a helicopter. They both exploded (naturally) and as the pilot fell to earth you dissected him! Shoulder to hip!!!

Boris: Da! Raiden has talent for the understatement. Tell us thoughts on game, tovarich!

Click: Well I had planned on addressing concerns over the infamous management shift. Long story short, Metal Gear Solid: Rising began life back in 2009 as a traditional Kojima Productions title.


Snake: Kojima Productions???

Click: ...What’s he doing here?

Boris: ...

Raiden: .... Leave him. He feels left out... Plus he’s... old...

Click: Moving on; it got canned. Then picked back up in 2011 by Platinum Games A.K.A. the genius-types behind Bayonetta and Vanquish A.K.A. the ideal company to make this (or any) game.

I just thought it prudent to allay any doubts. This is no rush job. And while Kojima retained creative input, Revengeance is Grade A Platinum. Anyone NOT excited may want a doctor to check them for a pulse.

Doktor: I would be happy to assist –

Click: It’s a simple turn of phrase!!!

Worried Revengeance is a 5 hour game? My playthrough lasted 15. Alike Bayonetta, on besting the campaign a final playtime figure is given. Mine was a shave under 10 hours.

Wolf: Five hours remain unaccounted for. Elaborate.

Click: Relax, cybernetic chainsaw death pet! This final tally doesn’t include cut-scenes, VR missions, chatting merrily to yourselves via mandatory Codec or restarts. Of which there were many. Because I suck. The big one!

Snake: Lots of cut-scenes eh? Hmmpf! Just the way I like it!!!


Click: Actually no. Go back to sleep.
Like any game, cutscenes bookend each chapter. However they rarely clock in over the three minute mark and almost exclusively feature some feat of tremendous cybernetic ninjaery! At one point Wolf chainsaws a walk-way in two...

Wolf: Implied Accusation- Resented.

Click: While in another Raiden slices one drone in half while surfing another at 20,000 feet!

Raiden: Yep. That was me. I’m pretty awesome in this one...

Click: And how.
Another deft touch is the functioning Codec. Hacking off the tedium of scrambling for audio logs, at any point players can (optionally) ring up Mission Support for advice on technology, politics, characters and history. One can even discuss existentialism with a robot dog! It’s a simple trick which adds hours of content and colours the world of Revengeance as a living, breathing, stabbing organism!

Doktor: I talk a little about movies, too.

Click: He does...
Revengeance won’t be accused of being a lengthy endeavour. But neither was Vanquish. And brevity is all but forgot when faced with such blinding tempo!



Revengeance opens by throwing a Metal Gear (Endgame for most titles) at you and accelerates from there. The subsequent eight chapters represent a locomotion of stealth skills, Anti-Air missiles, acrobatic mauls, explosive shoot outs, sexy holographic distractions, break-neck parkour and generation defining Boss Battles!

Boris: Jack ripped them pretty good, da?

Click: It’s in the name, Boris.
Truthfully, only one current-gen title parallels Revengeance’s dynamism.
Visualize the raw unfettered energy of Asura’s Wrath: That fury! That scale! That feral dedication to overkill!
Now imagine it coupled with honed mechanics, concise plotting and supremely polished (60FPS) graphics.

Asura’s Wrath.
Only as a proper action game.
And developed by Platinum.

I can think of no greater endorsement.

Wolf: Define – Asura...

Click: Eh...
The pacing’s only real issue comes when positioning certain encounters. The final contest should have featured Revengeance’s most intriguing antagonist. Instead he’s relegated to the penultimate duel. It’s a minor misstep, one Platinum takes in its stride. But no matter how grand the finale, the sacrificed intimacy ultimately cost it a grade.



Doktour: Perhaps you are too critical. The final mission was a technical marvel. And the world was in peril!

Click: Always is, too.
Yet in a game of such staggering drive, Raiden’s fractured psyche fast becomes the lynchpin. Likewise, the narrative should have crested with a cerebral match.

Doktour: Perchance you overstate Raiden’s appeal.

Raiden: Easy Doc! I’m loveable and funny.... right?

Doktor: ...

Boris: ...

Wolf: No.

Click: Which segue ways nicely onto the subject of subversive humour.
Initially, the dialogue seems as ponderous and hammy as previous Metal Gears. But that cheek has so much tongue in it, the in-jokes quickly become infectious. Often, Raiden’s attempts at humour are met with derision and complaint. Elsewhere his Samurai foil, Jetstream Sam is about to launch into the obligatory villainous idealist monologue before deciding, ‘actually we’ve both heard enough. Let’s dance.’

It’s this constant flippancy, this humanising trait of making light, which grounds the necessary histrionics of such a bombastic plot.

Raiden: I’m funny dammit!

Click: No, but you swing a mean sword.
Child-soldier and self-taught swordsman, Raiden’s vicious “Jack The Ripper” personality is a deep rooted theme that manifests phenominally during boss fights.

Normally the bane of Hack/Slash, Revengeance bucks the trend by foregoing glowing orange weakpots, pitting players against combatants of comparable size and (crucially) skill level!

Raiden: No-one’s at MY skill level!

Wolf: What about Jetstream-

Raiden: Shut it, Wolfie!

Click: Boss Battles evoke grandeur on an epic scale. Combatants knock one another through buildings, wield multi-story chimneys as batons and hurl tanks at one another’s faces. All while testing your proficiency with the parry technique, Blade Mode, Ninja Run i.e. those systems you spent hours perfecting on slighter foes.

And while The Ripper’s explosive debut during Monsoon’s courtyard carnage remains a personal highlight, the inevitable rematch stands as testament to Platinum’s vision.

Man to Man. Sword to sword. Jetstream Sam is better than you!


Raiden: Hey!-

Click: And he punishes those who neglect defence. And this makes some magnificent sense. He isn’t a Metal Gear that you can dash up the side of, nor a group of foes you can herd and grenade into oblivion.
He’s trying to cut you in half with a high frequency katana. Of course you need to parry!!!

Tragically, these glorious bouts cannot be replayed from the start menu. This feature (coupled with a robust Theatre mode) could have assured Revengeance MAXIMUM RECOMMEDATION...


Snake: And the music? I had Harry Gregson Williams soundtrack my adventures... [whistles rousingly]

Click: Another category Revengeance stumbles in. There is no memorable score.

Raiden: Oh?! And what about those sick jams that kicked in whenever it was time for Jack to let’r rip!!!

Wolf: No.

Doktor: Nein.

Boris: You are fired, tovarich.

Snake: Enough stalling! Does it even feel like a real Metal Gear?

[I paused here. For poignancy. It seemed appropriate.]
Click: ... Does it need to?...

Raiden: Alright, enough with the details- Time to CUT to the chase! Heh.
Revengeance... Is it any good?

Click: Any good, Raiden? No.

God no!

It’s Platinum.
PRESS SELECT TO EXIT


8 Stars
Review – Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance on ClickOnline.com


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jack@clickonline.com
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