Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance Review Round-Up

By Michael Epstein email: m.epstein@gamenguide.com , Updated Feb 19, 2013 02:03 PM EST
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Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance may not be Metal Gear sequel fans have been waiting for, but it sounds like it sounds like it's a game they will definitely want to play. Also Bayonetta fans. And Ninja Gaiden fans. Anybody who like technically complex gameplay hyper-violent action, really.

This might seem obvious, but Metal Gear Rising is not a Metal Gear Solid game. Bayonetta developer Platinum Games has taken the reigns from series mastermind Hideo Kojima and devotes 100 percent of its energy to fast-paced combat.

Luckily, the game's combat is just as gratifying as it is insane. Where many games strive for an ebb and flow to combat, Rising demands the player constantly pushes forward. Players block enemy strikes by attacking and regain health by killing enemies in magnificently brutal fashion. Polygon reviewer Michael McWhertor extols the simple pleasures of fighting in Rising: "Eviscerating common enemies is consistently gratifying over Revengeance's eight chapters..."

Rising protagonist Raiden carries around an electricity-infused blade allowing him to slice his flesh-and-steel cyborg enemies into tiny little pieces. Doing that, slicing baddies to bits, is more than a gimmick: Everything about this game screams two words: "precision" and "overkill."

"In close quarters, a squeeze of the left bumper sends Raiden into Blade Mode," explains Eurogamer reviewer Rich Stanton, giving the game a 9 out of 10. "Here time is slowed while your right thumbstick rotates a plane that passes through the centre of the screen. Release the thumbstick and Raiden performs a sword strike along its path. In this way its possible to slice and dice enemies (and many inanimate objects) while an on-screen "combat log" keeps track of the number of disparate "parts" that your handiwork has created."

More importantly, there's a lot for Metal Gear Solid fans to love, even if they're not excited for Rising's gameplay pivot. Though the game works hard to keep the player actively playing as much as possible, the game still has an over-the-top narrative where the world is at stake both physically and philosophically. "In terms of tone, the pendulum swings from cheesy, so-bad-it's-good territory to moments of shock horror and exploitation," explain's Kotaku's Evan Narcisse. "But I never got whiplash, even as I moved from gleefully beheading fools to debating moral relativism with an archenemy."

Not everyone is eccstatic about MGR's faithfully dramatic cutscenes. Despite giving the game an 8.5 out of 10, IGN's Mtch Dyer wishes Platinum Games would have done more to cut down on the cutscenes: "To its credit, you're rarely made to watch what you'd rather play, but the story bits, interesting though they are for fans, ultimately intrude on the fast-paced flow of combat."

The game isn't without it's flaws, though. Many reviewers complain that the game's camera can, from time to time, get in the way of the action. Gamespot's Peter Brown, giving the game 8.5 out of 10, writes: "For example, locking onto enemies in a cramped environment doesn't always produce the best results, and the same can be said for the one rare Zandatsu out of a hundred when the camera abandons all logic and orientation."

Similarly, GamesRadar's Ryan Taljonick complains that game's environment can feel dull, especially when you consider how much personality exudes from the rest of the game: "Most of them at least give you plenty of space to move around in, but too often do they feel like a barebones playbox." He still gave the game four stars, though.

Ultimately it sounds like Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance does exactly what it sets out to do: Offering an extremely intense action experience while maintaining the melodramatic charm of the primary Metal Gear Solid franchise.

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