Latest ‘Metal Gear’ trades stealth for swordplay
Published: Tuesday, February 26, 2013
Updated: Tuesday, February 26, 2013 22:02
It’s hard to believe, but this June will mark the fifth anniversary of “Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots.” It’s been almost five full years since we’ve seen an original “Metal Gear” title on a home console. And while “Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker” was nothing less than absolutely stunning, fans can’t help but bemoan the extended absence of their favorite stealth action series on their core consoles.
My friends, the calvalry has arrived.
“Metal Gear Rising: Revengance” (despite the incredibly stupid title) manages to re-invent and provide a breath of fresh air to a franchise more than 25 years old. The first game in the series to drop “Solid” from the title since 1991’s “Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake,” “Rising” is a far different beast from its counterparts. Moving away from traditional stealth gameplay, “Rising” is a fast paced action game (skilled players can still attempt “ninja style” stealth if they so choose).
You control everyone’s favorite whining girly-man-turned-badass-cyborg-ninja Raiden in a quasi futuristic setting a few years after the events of “Guns of the Patriots.” The plot is one of the most ludicrous in the series so I’m not even going to bother explaining it. Your enemy is (yet again) a terrorist cell, just so you know.
The developers’ (Platinum Games, famous for “Deadly Premonition”) goal for “Rising” was to make Raiden control like the badass he was in “Guns of the Patriots.” Boy, did they deliver. The sword mechanics are simple enough to learn and move quite fluidly. The insanely awesome “Blade Mode” allows for precision blade strikes that let you slice and dice as you please (think of a sword version of “Red Dead Redemption’s “Dead Eye”). Top that with incredibly satisfying quicktime finishing moves as well as large destructible environments, you’ve got a recipe for a great time. Other weapons can be acquired during the course of the game, but none are nearly as fun as your sword.
In a challenge for the hardcore, like in past “Metal Gear” games it IS possible to beat the game without actually killing anyone.
Despite all the fun to be had in “Rising”, there are a few drawbacks which make it hard to praise so wildly for a $60 price tag. The game is rather short (approximately four to six hours long) and can at times be tediously difficult. Also, the camera can at times become rather bothersome, as is the usual with most of these styles of games.
In short, if you are a fan of “Metal Gear,” or a fan of Japanese action games such as “Bayonetta” and “Devil May Cry,” you’ll probably enjoy “Rising” a lot. For everyone else, the game’s difficulty, short length and complex plot (for the non-“Metal Gear” fans) make “Rising” a tough sell. For the fans though, this game makes a great way to bide the time until the release of “Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes” and inevitably “MGS5.”