Editor: Brady Ruiters
Recently I had the privilege of reviewing the Zone of the Enders HD Collection and on that disc was the bonus addition of the Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance demo, just like the original Zone of the Enders game on the PS2 had a demo for Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty. I admit that I was a little worried when I saw footage of Revengeance and also when I heard that it was being developed by Platinum Games. Although, after playing the demo I feel that the gameplay style is appropriate considering how Raiden fights.
The demo opens up with a signature lengthy Metal Gear cutscene (You knew it was coming). Raiden confers with his handlers for the mission (one of them being an Xzibit lookalike) while he infiltrates the mission site via a drone. Once Raiden lands on the beach in a very stylish way, the player is then able to take control.
After running past a very ninja-like cat (take a swing at it and you’ll see what I mean), Raiden encounters the first enemies of the demo, standard cyborgs which look to be the cannon fodder for the game. Immediately, the combat feels very Raiden-esque, which is very acrobatic but deadly. The game has all the standard Hack ‘n Slash components: light attacks, heavy attacks, parrying and jumping. Due to his cybernetic makeover, Raiden is able to grip his katana with his feet during combat, which makes for some interesting looking combos. The new feature that intrigued me was Blade Mode. By holding a button, time slows down and Raiden centres his blade. The player is then able to use the right stick to move the blade in whichever direction they please, meaning that limbs and appendages can be slashed off with precision. It does however, take some getting used to. Blade Mode can also be used in conjunction with the light and heavy attack buttons in order to deliver a flurry of cuts but not the same accuracy as using the right stick.
After dispatching the first few enemies, a cutscene plays discussing the enemies and their gear. It seems that each combat section ends with stats of the player’s performance during said combat section, something seen in Bayonetta and Vanquish, two Platinum Games titles.
After entering and navigating to the 2nd floor of a building, Raiden sees a lone cyborg on the ground floor. I then sneak up on him and see a button prompt. It looks like there is a bit of stealth in the game after all. Although, the killing manoeuvre that Raiden uses doesn’t look very stealthy. Unless this isn’t a stealth manoeuvre and is just a one-hit kill attack.
After cutting through a few more enemies and saving a hostage, I discovered that enemies can get damaged to a point while using Blade Mode, sometimes activating a button prompt which results in a brutal finishing move; one of them being the ability to rip out the cybernetic spinal cord and crushing it. It wasn’t long before I saw a familiar enemy from Metal Gear Solid 4, the Gekko. It’s essentially a bipedal tank but it barely matters what kind of power it has after it has taken a few slashes from Raiden’s blade.
After clearing the area of all enemies, Raiden is forced to enter a building at the far end of a street. This activates a cutscene to introduce the boss for this area and is he a nasty looking one; try to imagine a big cat-like cyborg with a chainsaw for a tail, I kid you not. This thing has one thing on its mind, annihilating Raiden. The battle is very fast paced and requires a lot of parrying of the enemy’s wild and fast attacks.
With the end of the battle comes the title screen and the end of the demo. There were two things that bothered me concerning the gameplay; the first thing is that there’s a bit of a delay before Raiden starts sprinting which can become a problem in a game with fast paced action such as this, the second thing is that Raiden has to stand still in order to access the inventory which holds recovery items and sub-weapons. Somehow I doubt that players will be happy about being attacked while they stand still and attempt to access their inventory. Other than those concerns, I enjoyed playing the demo even if it was a little short. Nevertheless, the demo has piqued my interest and I’m intrigued to see what the full game is like. Thankfully, the wait won’t be that much longer.
Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance is expected to be released on the 22nd of February 2013 on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.