Thursday 11 June 2015

Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance PS3 Review

Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance PS3 Review
Raiden has changed slightly... Metal Gear Rising PS3 review
It’s Metal Gear. But not as we know it.
The ninth entry in the Metal Gear saga Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, sees stealth, sneaking, and strategic gameplay replaced by lightning quick, hack and slash, blade swinging action mayhem. And the best thing about this new style of Metal Gear is that it works. It works very well.
The Metal Gear franchise now in its 26th year, starting way back in 1987 with the self-titled Metal Gear for the MSX2. Hideo Kojima’s stealth action-adventure franchise has amassed an impressive $45 million in sales worldwide, won numerous awards and received universal critical acclaim. Much of the Metal Gear series focuses on main protagonist Solid Snake, as he carefully sneaks his way through each adrenaline-fueled adventure. In the latest MGS instalment, you play the cyborg ninja Raiden who first appeared in Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty on the PlayStation 2.

Raiden’s certainly changed from the fresh-faced rookie featured in MGS2. At the time of its release, many hardcore fans as well as some critics were outraged by the inclusion of Raiden in the game and were less than appeased by his androgynous appearance. Many felt the backlash towards the character of Raiden wasn’t really due to his appearance and general aura, it was more to do with Solid Snake taking a back seat after the opening exchanges of the game.
Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance PS3 Review
Raiden’s altered appearance was first seen in the last helping of MGS when he featured in Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots. His transformation through cybernetics is as intriguing as it is disturbing. However, since MGR has taken a different road than previous MGS titles, Raiden’s given full license to showcase what he’s become, and boy is it fun.

Set four years after the events of MGS4Rising begins with the AR training mode, which teaches you the basic fundamentals of the game such as the 'Ninja Run', 'Blade Mode' and other general combat mechanics. The 'Ninja Run' allows you to sprint across environments with a single button held down, so you can navigate Raiden through obstacles and prepare for impending changes to the surroundings.

This kind of feature is very similar to what the Assassin’s Creed franchise did with their free-running system and mixes well with the combat mechanics. 'Blade Mode' merely gives you the choice of where to slice your weapon, with a red square indicating where your foes weakest area is, allowing you to exploit it with devastating effect.
Once you master AR mode, it’s not long before you’re in battle. The opening sequence sees Raiden working for PMC Maverick Security who specialises in protecting VIP's. While Raiden is guarding African prime minister N’Mani, a cyborg named Sundowner (leader of a terrorist organisation) kidnaps the prime minister and brutally murders him. An argument ensues with Raiden being severely injured in the process, requiring several upgrades to survive. From there on it becomes a personal revenge quest for Raiden, as he hunts down the terrorist organisation and uncovers their motives.

As expected, you’re bombarded with robotic foes and several breathtaking quick time events that showcase Raiden’s new abilities. The general plot itself seems trivial, with a sense that the game doesn’t take itself too seriously; it merely just wants you to sit back and appreciate the gorgeous visuals and exciting combat. This approach is a refreshing change to the series and allows you to thoroughly enjoy the abilities of Raiden’s character.

Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance PS3 ReviewMany of the enemies you encounter across Rising have a comedic value to them. There’s a bizarre robot that moos like a cow, a dog with a chainsaw for a tail and a chest-beating gorilla. Of course, Rising does stay true to some values of the series, with boss fights aplenty, though they require less strategy to defeat than previous Metal Gear villains.
As for stealth, there are opportunities to sneak up on enemies and dispense of them with ease, though it won’t be long before you’re back into full-on warfare. Raiden can also equip grenades and a rocket launcher, as well as upgrade his combat skills and add cybernetic enhancements. He executes all these skills in a bloodthirsty, sadistic manner which makes you believe you’re in control of a monster who’ll never get enough fun from killing.
Although Rising is violent, it showcases a beautiful kind of violence that is satisfying. However, It's not all out attack as parrying an enemy's offensive and countering it takes careful planning. Unfortunately, the camera can sometimes work against you by moving into nonsensical angles, which is really frustrating and can cost you dearly, especially if you’re far into a boss battle and find yourself having to start all over again.

Graphics / Audio

Graphically, Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance is crisp, especially in regards to the cutscenes that look gorgeous. Furthermore, the sound effects are faultless down to the smallest detail, with a familiarity to past MGS titles such as the moments where you converse with your off-site team via Raiden’s inbuilt communications system.

When you die, (which can often happen at first), the dramatic screams of “Snake, Snake?… SNAKE!!!” are now “Raiden, Raiden?… RAIDEN!!!”, But thankfully quick loading times get you straight back into the action. The 'Alert Mode' rings the familiar siren and will often happen although the repercussions are not as severe as the more tactical based Metal Gear games. The 'Blade Mode', which allows for precise cutting, looks fantastic when in full effect and gives you real freedom in your attacks.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance will keep you busy for around 5-6 hours, depending on how in-depth you want to go with your codec conversations and VR Missions.

Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance PS3 Review
To think there was a chance Rising might not have been made, affirms Platinum Games importance (Vanquish), who took over development from Kojima Productions. Kojima’s team were far more comfortable with tactical espionage stealth than a hack and slash concept. Overall it’s a credit to both, and a credit to the Metal Gear series that they’ve been able to develop something far away from the series’ comfort zone, and execute it with panache, vigour and style.

Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance is a worthy addition to the Metal Gear legend and one that will undoubtedly have a sequel. And because of this, I’m convinced we haven’t seen the last of Raiden just yet.

Score: 7/10

Game Details

Format – PS3, Xbox 360, PC

Game Genre – Action, Hack & Slash
Rating – MA 15+
Game Developer – Platinum Games
Game Publisher – Konami

Reviewer: James Coles