Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance is a spin-off of the main series that features Hack & Slash combat. We play as a cyborg named Raiden, tasked with protecting an African prime minister. As you may imagine things immediately goes wrong and the prime minister is kidnapped by a PMC that profits heavily off of war. Forced into action it is up to Raiden to rescue him and chop down everything that stands in his path with his trusty sword. All of the foes we will face will either be robots or cyborgs that still have blood in their bodies often causing quite the mess when cut in half.
The focus of the combat is almost solely focused on melee and there is no blocking or dodging to be found here. You can run away from an attack but in actual game-play Raiden is rather slow, making it unreliable at best. Parrying is a skill that is absolutely vital to get the hang of to avoid being a punching bad for your foes. It is a neat mechanic that requires you to flick the movement stick/key in the direction the attack is coming from while simultaneously pressing the light attack button right before you are struck. Some enemies will stagger back while others can still attack a few more times before there is an opening which makes for some very intense battles.
You’ll also have a supply of sub-weapons to put to use which ranges from grenades, rocket launchers and cardboard boxes. There is an item called nanopaste that you can carry around to completely heal yourself when the need occurs. Even without nanopaste you can still enter “Blade mode” which allows you to strike your enemy wherever you please and as many times as you want. Most enemies must be weakened a bit first and you can chop them into tiny pieces but it will better benefit you to strike with precision to leave their power cores intact, allowing you to rip it out and consume it to completely restore your health.
This feature is a ton of fun to use and is very satisfying to chop up a foe into unrecognizable pieces. Combat is sadly let down slightly due to occasional camera problems. There are some really bad camera angles at times, making it all too easy to get blind sighted by an attack. It’s not game-breaking but it is noticeable and common place. After each fight you are graded on your performance then paid an amount that reflects how well you did. You can upgrade a ton of things such as outfits, skills, health or even buy the weapons of defeated bosses.
It really shines when you have to come face to face with a boss as the fights are both extremely flashy and difficult. These are the situations when your parrying skills will be put to the test and you’ll be happy that you saved some explosives so you can bring an RPG to a sword fight. This game cares little for realism, leading to most boss fights looking like something out of an anime. Limbs will be lost, collateral damage will be massive and will occasionally go into a cut-scene likely to have quick time events. That last one is usually a negative but I felt it fit in quite well here.
Your missions will take you across a variety of locations with secrets around every corner. They are mostly linear though have some room for a bit of exploration. Going around blindly is pointless however since Raiden has an AR mode that allows him to see any secrets or enemies around him. Running allows you to climb or avoid obstacles similar to the Assassin’s Creed series though it is nowhere near as good or reliable in this title. It is functional, don’t get me wrong, just don’t expect it to be as refined.
Fighting can at times be avoided by sneaking around in an equip-able cardboard box or you can simply stalk your enemies, waiting for the moment when you can get behind them and murder them with a single button press. If you are anything like me and enjoy making a loud entrance then you’ll be happy to know that sneaking is never necessary. Only in one occasion is combat a bad option due to story reasons though you can still fight back. Later in the game you will unlock Ripper Mode that is activated by pressing clicking both sticks down and makes your normal attacks able to cut through enemies for a few seconds.
Most of the game will have you fighting but there is a ton of cut-scenes & dialogue. It seems like every two steps that someone will call you Dead Rising 1 style to spout usually pointless things. Thankfully you can fast forward through the conversations to be able to move regularly and get back to the game again but like a possessive girlfriend, they’ll be calling again within the minute. Having a ton of plot is a staple of the Metal Gear series so fans should be used to it while new comers have been warned. It is still perfectly playable without prior knowledge to the franchise though certain things such as Raiden’s past, family and a couple of other things will not be explained.
The plot is average at best, sporting a very campy/B-movie feel to it that suits it well. Voice acting is pretty bad which helps give it a cheesy vibe but when things get too serious it is a double edged sword. One of the first issues I had with the game is that it was stuck at a mere 24 frames per second that is nowhere near acceptable for this type of game. It took some messing around with Nvidia control settings to get it running in its native 60fps form and considering the game has been out of PC for 3 years now it is unlikely to get patched. Also worth noting is that the highest the resolution goes it 1080p so the game looks less than ideal for those with monitors of higher resolution.
Music is fast-paced, occasionally featuring lyrics in the more intense moments. It felt odd to hear an actual song drown out the game though it is something you’ll quickly adapt to and even start to enjoy. Overall the campaign lasted around 7 hours with “VR missions” unlocked throughout which are challenges you can access from the main menu. While there isn’t a real reason to replay it other than being able to afford more upgrades, it is certainly tempting to give it a go on a higher difficulty. Some camera issues, PC specific problems and movement control do bring it down a bit it is still nowhere near enough to stop it from being an absolute blast. This is a spin-off that should not be ignored by those that don’t enjoy Metal Gear as it is one of the most adrenaline pumping Hack & Slash games in recent date.