(PlayStation 3)

Game Review

Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance Review

Europe PAL Version

Posted by Greg Giddens

Not quite lightning in a bottle

The amalgamation of Platinum Games action and Hideo Kojima absurdity is realised with Metal Gear Rising: Revengence. The title's high octane, adrenaline-fuelled combat is complemented by a melodramatic narrative involving a band of unique and powerful warriors, fighting for ideals, honour, and the love of war. However, this is not the flawless journey that many were dreaming of, with a handful of caveats detracting from its appeal.

The terrific tutorial gives no hint of the troubles to come, slowly introducing you to the mechanics and allowing you to feel like the badass iteration of Raiden that Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots reintroduced. Felling lesser cyborgs and even a Metal Gear Ray is child's play in the opening 15 minutes, which is a testament to the power at your fingertips. It's also immediately obvious that this is not a merely a side-project tangentially attached to the Metal Gear universe; this is a grand story, a noteworthy addition to the mythos, and a controversial character's chance to shine.

Then you hit your first barrier: the parry. The two button combat allows for simple gestures to erupt into complex and beautifully devastating combos with minimum effort. Meanwhile, the aforementioned parry requires you to stab the light attack in addition to the direction that you need to block. Theoretically this keeps the controls simple and immediately accessible, allowing the fast paced action to maintain its momentum. However, despite on-screen prompts indicating the direction of an impending attack, it's still a challenge to activate your parry in time.

The combat is horrendously fast, and savvy AI won't make things easy for you. Multiple antagonists will surround you and deal out punishing blows from their varied selection of attacks, damaging you directly, dazing you, or knocking you down – and then even punishing you when you're on the ground, too. Merely getting to your feet is often a struggle, especially against air units with their barrage of missile attacks. Add to that a bothersome camera, and the frustrations really begin to mount.

To make matters worse, the game is extremely challenging on its standard difficulty tier, and there's no way to change the setting mid-game. The enemies keep you on your toes at all times, and are fun to fight, but you'll find yourself outmatched and outgunned far too often, leading to plenty of frustrating deaths. You can upgrade your health, energy, combat moves, and weapon stats at the end of each level, which allows you to become more proficient in combat. Furthermore, a generous checkpoint system with extremely fast loading times at least ensure that each new try is a quick transition. But a single battle can be draining, although you do have some options to avoid them in the first place.

Stealth makes a welcome return in Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, allowing you to save your strength – and, most importantly, your ration health packs – for the battles that you can't avoid. The classic Metal Gear cardboard box and oil drum allows you to attempt sneaking past your enemies, providing a safer route through guarded areas. When fighting is your only choice – or if you're feeling particularly bloodthirsty – you can replenish your health and energy by performing accurate slices to reveal an enemy's life source for you to grab and absorb. Planning your approach to battles with replenishment in mind gives you the opportunity to take on greater numbers without fear of dying.

This is all brought into play by the excellent slice mechanic, activated with a press of the L1 button. Slice mode slows time and allows you to perform precision incisions with the right analogue stick. With slice mode you can sever limbs and tear through armour plating, gradually incapacitating your foes, and making them easy targets. It's a brilliant mechanic that works exceptionally well, and adds variety to the standard combat.

The game may be fast-paced for the most part, but enough Metal Gear staples are present to slow it down, and give you a much-needed opportunity to catch your breath. Codec dialogue and boss monologues break up the action and hit the same tone of previous entries in the series, while traversal can be a slow walk, gentle jog, or wild dash, giving you some control over the velocity of your progress. Whichever way you play, though, the campaign is disappointingly short, clocking in at around six hours. Frequent deaths and restarts will add time to your playthrough, but that's not necessarily a positive endorsement. Outside of the main plot, you can unlock VR missions, which offer a unique roster of challenges for you to complete.

Conclusion

Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance is a solid game with sparks of excellence, but difficulty niggles and occasionally obtuse controls let it down. Lowering the challenge to one of the easier tiers helps to alleviate the worst of the combat frustrations, but the slender campaign and camera issues remain. This is a fun side-story for fans of the franchise, and there are some tremendous set-pieces – but it's just not quite the ultra sharp adventure that we were hoping for.

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User Comments (18)

get2sammybAdmin

#1

get2sammyb said:

Great review, Greg! I'm looking forward to this, but must admit that I noticed the same issues in the demo as listed here. The parry is needlessly inconsistent, and I agree that the camera can be a bit wonky.

NathanUC

#2

NathanUC said:

I'm still waiting for mine to come in (along with the snazzy lamp!). The first time I played the demo I could NOT beat the stupid dog... it was so frustrating. However, the second time I tried it, it was very easy (both tries on normal), and wasn't too frustrating. I think it's one of those games where you'll need to really analyze each situation in order to finish on harder difficulties. One tip someone gave me on reddit was that if I cannot parry consistently, rely on other methods of dodging (sprint, jump, etc). This really helps until you can master the tricky parry system!

KALofKRYPTON

#3

KALofKRYPTON said:

EG gave a 9, would've been 10 but for the camera. The reviewer there clearly had much more fun playing the game than you did though.

I will revisit the demo, didn't do much more than run around after the opening cinematic before as was wanting to get on with Z.O.E . . .

Valky

#4

Valky said:

Anthony Severino form PSLS has given 3 out of 10.
Here's the pros and cons:

Pros:
Zandatsu is cool and satisfying.
There are a few awesome action sequences.
The misery, I mean game, ends in five hours (lol)

Cons:
Where do I begin?
Awful parry system
Constantly obstructed camera and narrow rooms blocking view.
Enemies are overly difficult, and circle out of vision.
Bosses cannot be hit at times, adding to the ample frustration.
Bosses, grunts, even supporting characters are bland and forgettable.
Stealth and exploration are only partially done, and useless.
Story? What story? Oh, that mess.
VR Missions aren't worth playing. Offer no training opportunity.
Upgrades have little effect.
Did I mention how bad the parry and camera system are?
This game should have remained cancelled.

I'm amused beyond any normal thinking, so much that I'm actually laughing like I've read the most funny rant ever made on the Internet. This feels like a total attack to a game which yeah, it surely has its flaws, but it's like comparing it to a wast majority of total mess we get every now and then, easily forgotten.

I believe I won't return in that site ever again after this (plus the community really sucks).

KALofKRYPTON

#5

KALofKRYPTON said:

I wonder if Mr Severino ever actually played Ninja Gaiden/NG Sigma.
Sometimes, a game is just hard- not broken.

rjejr

#6

rjejr said:

Remember when the Star Wars prequels came out and everybody wondered aloud why people where fighting with light-sabers at lightning speed when the originals had slow paced katana like battles?

My 2 play-thrus with the demo made me think this game fights like the prequels but the controls were created for the originals. And that doesn't work.

ThreadShadow

#7

ThreadShadow said:

Played the demo for MGR:R and have to say I'm sad. Raiden is unbelievably immobile most of the time. He should have been able to use Vanquish-dudes boost moves, and wall run, grab ledges, and parkour all over the place. Clicking the left stick in to make Raiden dash felt intuitive...oh, right...ah well.

This just in: There is a "sprint"? I never found it. : (

The ability to do non-combat acrobatic moves would have been cool. Remember how Lara Croft could do a series of hand stand somersaults? That sort of thing. Just a way to spice up how you can move through a level. Dodges, rolls, mantling, planking...all that sort of thing.

And why isn't Raiden able to use his sword and run at the same time, or did I miss that too?

NathanUC

#8

NathanUC said:

@ThreadShadow
It might not be called sprint, but it's R1 I believe (awesome ninja parkour mode!). And yes, you can use the katana while running.

From what I'm reading, the demo wasn't a SUPER good representation of the game because it was such old code. I can't vouch for it myself, but a few people have mentioned the retail game plays a bit smoother and the combat is slightly better (parry made easier).

ShogunRokAdmin

#10

ShogunRok said:

Yeah, the demo immediately made me realise the parry system is a bit rubbish. Why we can't just have a block button is beyond me. It does work when you get used to it though.

Anyway, this was a great review!

charlesnarles

#11

charlesnarles said:

Parrying is really hard to do in real life lol. I like that the difficulty is high, I always play MGS games on the hardest difficulty available. Any frustration felt by the player only mirrors Raiden's mental state, it seems. I love Raiden, I'm glad he's back

CanisWolfred

#12

CanisWolfred said:

Actually, I was just expecting a fun side story with over the top setpieces. I'll still get this game, though not right away - I'm too low on cash right now. :(

Gamer83

#13

Gamer83 said:

Over at Pure Xbox it got a 9. Seems like a good game and I'm a big Metal Gear fan but this isn't the kind of MG I want. I'll play this eventually but wouldn't pay $60 for it. Now that this is done, looking forward to Kojima putting the focus on Ground Zeroes.

Alpha

#14

Alpha said:

@get2sammyb
Its a very good game, and in the Demo i found my self killing myself on purpose just so i could restart the part with the 2 Gekkos,i ended up playing the Demo for 3 straight hours just doing that exact same part. i didnt know it was 3 hours tho at first lolz

Alpha

#15

Alpha said:

@Valky
wow... thats a really really bad reviewer, i ended up playing the demo for 3 hours straight without realizing. Push Square is much better than that community website.

ThreadShadow

#16

ThreadShadow said:

@nathanuc1988 Well...that's embarrassing! Ha! Thanks for the info, can't believe I missed the "sprint". And trying the demo again with that, well Raiden does move better and can attack while running. Now it feels a little too out of control for parkour for all the crazy mid air somersaults, but it works. With Raidens claw toes, I would have liked to see him be able to run/parkour up the sheer sides of walls/buildings and backflip off them. Ah well. I too like fighting the Gekkos.

NathanUC

#17

NathanUC said:

@ThreadShadow They actually make it MUCH more clear in the game. it has a much better tutorial (still missing a lot though). He does feel a bit crazy with parkour mode, but I think it's awesome. I'm about 2 hours in and absolutely love this game.

DarkKirby

#18

DarkKirby said:

This review says parrying is a problem like many others. I would like to point something out, the tutorial for this game when it comes to Blade Mode and Parrying is TERRIBLE, and the game in general does little to teach you how to play the game properly. I had to look up a FAQ to understand what the controls actually were and how to use them, but once I did, the game became fantastic. 1st thing to note about the parry, you must press in the direction of the attack, let the stick return to neutral, move it in the direction of attacks again for EVERY SINGLE ATTACK, you cannot hold in the direction of the attacks and mash light attack. Another thing, the game does little to explain the most efficient way to aim Blade Mode, when the controls are actually intuitive, they are not explained well (or ever as far as I'm aware). The best way to do it is to target with left stick and use square and triangle to slice, which is accurate and fun. Before I looked up a FAQ on the controls I was trying to aim and slice with the right stick, which is terrible. And about parrying being poor as a result of attempting to simplify controls by linking it to the attack button, as many reviews have claimed, in my opinion this was not done to simplify the controls, but rather, to remove the mashable invincible "roll" so many other action games (like God of War) have. The idea is to force the player to pay attention to where the attack is and actually have to pay attention to where the attack is coming from to parry, and NOT be able to mash parry when you just feel you are in danger, and have an attack come out instead if you try, leaving you vulnerable ON PURPOSE if you didn't specifically mean to parry in specific direction. Like I said, the game itself explains how to use parry properly VERY POORLY, but the system works very well one you learn it. And the game actually DOES have a roll that can be used in multiple directions (which the game one again never explains how to do properly and it's explained nowhere in game that the roll can be used in more then 1 direction, which I once again had to look up online and why i assume most people don't know Defensive Offensive IS the roll), it's one of the 1st things you can purchase for cheap in the shop Defensive Offensive, but it's NOT spammable on purpose, and while it has invincibility, you must still at times pay attention to the direction of the attack to dodge properly depending on the attack and dodge in a direction the attack isn't or you will still get hit by certain attacks. Another thing the game doesn't explain and I had to look up in a FAQ, different colors of attacks represent if they are parryable or not or if you must avoid them. This is meant for you to use Defensive Offensive, Parry, and Ninja Run in conjunction to properly avoid attacks, and NOT have the ability to mash some mindless invincible move to use in every situation.

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