Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance Demo

When Metal Gear Rising was first announced I liked the idea of it, but had become entirely exhausted of Metal Gear games.  While they’ve got quite a bit going for them, it takes a lot of player investment to suspend disbelief for so long.  It feels overwrought and inaccessible.  That wasn’t always the case.  Metal Gear Solid was just fun to play regardless of whether or not you payed close attention to who The Patriots are/were, genes/memes, and who or whatever Grey Fox is.  The games were playgrounds for Kojima’s game mechanics with a sci-fi/conspiracy plot that was icing on the cake.  I felt that later entries reverse that formula to a degree, and made plot a prerequisite to action.  Rising didn’t do it for me.  When I saw the game re-branded as Revengeance, set to guitar riffs and Raiden sword fighting with a Metal Gear Ray, I knew it was safely established that suspending my disbelief and brushing up on the conspiracies of Metal Gear would not be required to enjoy the game.

Playing the demo further confirmed this to me.  While stealth and carefully executed infiltration is the hallmark of the Solid series, fast action and precise slicing are the driving forces in Rising.  Now developed by Platinum Games, Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance establishes its own identity while maintaining the overarching Metal Gear objective as interactive entertainment.  Even while being more action-oriented, this does not excuse the player from having to carefully consider their next move.  Many times, the player has the opportunity to decide how Raiden will engage enemies and which he will target first.  Raiden can leverage basic hack ‘n slash combos to dispatch foes, but if the player wants to maintain Raiden’s health, they must enter into a sort of bullet-time mode where the player winds up precise sword slashes with the right analog stick and releases the stick to execute it.  If executed across certain areas of the target, Raiden has the opportunity to pull out a cyborg’s spine which will replenish his health and energy completely.  Health can be depleted quickly, so managing your targets such that you eliminate the most pressing threats while anticipating your next opportunity to refuel is an important balance for the player to strike.

I don’t mean to suggest that Rising dispenses with any sort of broader narrative.  Platinum certainly brings the same over-the-top flavor found in Bayonetta and Vanquish, but it still looks like Kojima is set to inject Rising with an assortment of ethical questions of personhood and warfare and plenty of speculative sci-fi.  Even in the demo and trailers, it’s narrative will focus on what and who is considered a “tool” and how; whether and when it’s okay to exploit other persons; as well as how artificial beings become persons.  Being that this is Hideo Kojima we’re talking about though, I’m not exactly expecting Kantian ethics, but like with the original entry in the Solid series, this is just icing on the cake which you’re free to take or leave.  In any case, it doesn’t require players to study the Solid series in order to enjoy it.  It’s still far too early to draw any conclusions about Revengeance, but I’m cautiously optimistic that it can accomplish something like the original Metal Gear Solid did.


1 Response to “Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance Demo”

  1. June 30, 2013 at 2:50 am

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