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E3 2012 | Revengeance is a Dish Best Served in Many Pieces

Posted on June 11, 2012 AT 06:49pm

One of the main concerns about Kojima Productions’ newest venture, Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, has been the departure from the format present in most of the previous games in the series.  With a story featuring a character not named after any reptile or form of matter and a play-style that looks quite different, those concerns are well founded.  My main goal playing the game this year at E3 was to determine how much of a departure it really turned out to be and I believe I found my answer.

Upon walking into the booth to get my hands on the game, I was first herded into a small room with TVs to my left and front.  As soon as I had a second to wonder what was going on, the door shut behind me and the TVs to my left turned on.  What followed was cutting back and forth between two sets of video footage.  One contained a main being, tied to a chair, being killed while someone, presumably a young Raiden, is forced to watch.  The other was Raiden again, after sustaining some heavy damage, being fit with new cybernetics on an operating table.

After these live-action videos came to a close, what followed was a short debriefing.  A man came on screen and informed me that I would be testing out my new cybernetic abilities alongside Raiden.  It was really reminiscent of a video you might watch right before getting on a ride at a theme park.  I loved the idea of starting the demo off this way.  It really oozed the right kind of campiness that is often associated with the Metal Gear series.

Walking through the next set of doors, I was finally able to get my hands on the game.  One of the first things they have you try out in the demo is the new Blade Mode feature.  As Raiden, when you enter Blade Mode, everything slows down maybe a bit slower than bullet time.  At this point, you hold and release the shoulder button to strike with your sword.  As you hold the button, it shows you a little line that will trace exactly how you strike, so you can do it with a great amount of precision.  It’s also quite a bit of fun, because after you’re done with your target, they often explode in a bloody mess.  They also provided a few giant watermelons so you could slice them up Fruit Ninja style.

After getting the hang of that, they let you loose on the training area.  The movement feels pretty good and they provide handy-dandy arrows to show you where you should be moving.  As you start to encounter some enemies, there are several ways to approach it.  You can sneak up on someone, at which point Raiden will plunge his sword through their gut and end that fight.  Another option would be to spam your sword button, which after getting a few good hits in, gives you the opportunity to knock them into the air and slice them into tiny chunks.  You can also use the aforementioned Blade Mode straight off, but you will eventually run out of energy to use this move.

As enemies become aware of your presence, the appropriate exclamation mark and accompanying sound are still there.  Shortly after I was confronted by a giant Gekko, my time with the game ended.  The setting and what I’ve seen of the story thus far also feel very much a part of the Metal Gear universe.  You can really feel the influence of Platinum Games, of Mad World fame, on the gameplay, but the spirit of the series is still there.  Thinking back to the other games in the Metal Gear series, if the part you loved the most about the game was the stealth-based gameplay, then you’re going to find a bit of a different experience here.  If you enjoyed the unique storytelling that only a Kojima Productions game can provide, then this game at least deserves a shot.  Put it in your hands and slice some dudes up before you give up on Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, you might just decide you like it while you’re there.

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