The challenged title was first announced back in 2009, before heading into hiding for a good couple of years. That's because staff at Kojima Productions lost sight of the project, and the game was promptly (and secretly) cancelled.
But the game was resurrected when Platinum Games expressed interest in the concept. The Baynotta and Vanquish developer took on board the half completed game and tweaked the story — the result is what we saw at the VGAs this weekend.
Responding to queries on Twitter, honcho Hideo Kojima revealed that the game's name change — from Metal Gear Solid: Rising to Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance — was implemented in order to reflect the game's removal from the Solid storyline. Kojima explained that the game is now a spin-off, set after the events of Metal Gear Solid 4. (Rising was initially conceived as a prequel.)
Kojima Productions' official Twitter account said: "We've only said that the period setting is several years after MGS4. Metal Gear Rising is not part of the Metal Gear Solid series. At present, we can't say more than this."
And Kojima himself added: "When entrusting the next title to the Kojima Productions staff, I'm always told, 'For the fans, it's no good if it's not the director's Metal Gear.' [The director meaning Kojima.] This isn't the case, though. Saying, 'If it's a spinoff can it bit done?', I entrusted the old Rising to the young staff.
"However, I feel certain that if their Rising had been released to the world, there would have been many people who felt, 'This isn't Metal Gear.'"
Kojima was also keen to point out that the precision slashing mechanic — which formed one of Rising's earlier E3 trailers — is still in the game, as is the concept of "zandatsu" (or "cut and take"), but to convey "the refreshing and speedy feeling of slashing". In short: Platinum's maintained the original philosophy of the game but reworked the flow.
One major thing that Platinum Games has changed is Rising's frame-rate. Kojima Productions was originally aiming for 30FPS, but Platinum Games has upped this to a more fluid 60FPS.
"The old Rising that was being prototyped at Kojima Productions looked visually like Metal Gear, but it was 30 frames per second and required complicated controls," Kojima explained.
"I made one request of Platinum: a cool Raiden who moves nice and smooth at 60 frames per second."
Sounds good to us.