I have been looking forward to this one for a while. The Metal Gear series has always meant a lot to me. Metal Gear Solid showed me that games could have complex narratives and be more than just kiddie-fair and time-sinks. I have been sure to play every major entry in the series, save for a few of the handheld titles because they’re mostly awful and insubstantial.
“Metal Gear Rising” picks up a few years after the end of “Metal Gear Solid 4″ and follows the exploits of Raiden, the pretty boy protagonist from “Metal Gear Solid 2.” But he is not pretty anymore, no sir. Since becoming a cyborg in MGS4, he has taken to heavy smoking (probably to imitate his immediate superior and man-crush Solid Snake) and dressing himself in spiky, somewhat tacky cyborg armor. He also has joined up with a mercenary PMC and now takes jobs protecting VIPs and earning merit badges. On one particular job, he is attacked by a rival cyborg PMC and is left crippled by the encounter. After getting some upgrades, Raiden vows Revengeance and hunts down the PMC’s top members with the help of his cadre of comrades and a sword that cuts through robots like a chainsaw through silk.
The gameplay in this game is a bit sloppy. Revengeance abandons the usual tactical espionage action seen in every single other Metal Gear game in favor of fast-paced hack and slash action. And it’s pretty fun, for the most part. The defense system is dependent entirely upon parrying (apparently it never occurred to Raiden to just block oncoming attacks) and it’s finicky at best. On the harder difficulties, the enemies can become wildly unfair and require skilled precision to take down. On the easier difficultly, the game becomes a cake walk and is mildly insulting. The story is alright. Platinum Games (Bayonetta, MadWorld) has created a plotline that is separate enough from the main Metal Gear storyline to reduce confusion to new players. It’s still a Metal Gear game, however, and the story quickly becomes complex and hard to track.
On the whole, Revengeance is an adequate entry into the series, nothing too fantastic, but it doesn’t kill it either.