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E3 2012: The Big Question:
Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance

Posted on June 5, 2012 AT 02:08pm

Will Metal Gear fans respond to Rising’s Fruit Ninja feel?

I can still remember when rumors began flying about a potential partnership between Metal Gear bossman Hideo Kojima and the mind-bending rebels at Platinum Games, and all I could think back then was, “You’ve gotta be kidding me.” But, hey, stranger things have happened, so when the rumor became reality a short while later, the question then became, “OK, now what?” What did this mean for the beloved Metal Gear franchise? What the heck is a Revengeance? Would Platinum basically deliver Bayonetta with Raiden at the helm?

It was enough to keep the average Gear-head up at night, but having finally put the E3 demo through its paces, I finally get where they’re going with the thing, and it focused my uncertainty on one key point: Will classic Kojima fans get this, or will they wonder what the f*** Konami’s thinking?

Revengeance offers up a core mechanic that can only be described as Max Payne’s bullet time mixed with Fruit Ninja’s obsession with slicing s*** up, and the footprint of Platinum’s less-than-conventional approach is undeniable. But unlike previous Solid editions of the franchise, Rising’s about as subtle as a tank in church mass, focusing less on stealth and strategy and more on busting out your inner berserker and seeing how many individual pieces you can cut an enemy soldier’s head into before you have to deal with his cohorts.

Was it interesting? Sure. Was it addictive? Absolutely. Was it what I think of when I hear “Metal Gear”? Hell-to-the-no.

This game is something else entirely.

And I’m not saying that’s a bad thing, per se. We all know that Platinum knows how to slang quality schtick, as evidenced by recent efforts like Vanquish and the aforementioned Bayonetta, so I’m quite certain the somewhat-shallow experience I tasted this week will be bolstered by a slew of unforgettable moments and over-the-top sequences. But I’m not so sure the fanbase will be falling all over themselves to drink the Kool-Aid on this one.

Sure, some fans of both MGS and Platinum will pick it up no matter what, but anyone who goes in expecting a traditional Solid Snake experience will be in for a rough, rude awakening of the worst sort—and no amount of title-swapping will prevent that.

In that sense, Konami’s taking a big-ass risk with Revengeance, and the entire Metal Gear franchise could bear the brunt of the blow. Mind you, my limited time with the title has me convinced that the game could build a sizable following if Platinum delivers with their typical swagger and substance, but you have to wonder if the whole experiment will fall flat on its face if they fail.

Guess the pressure’s on now, folks.

Where do you sit on this sword-swinging off-shoot? Does Rising’s bold new direction frighten you off, make it a day-one purchase, or plant your game-buying dollars firmly in the “park” position? Let us know in the comments below.

Brandon Justice, Executive Editor
Brandon Justice spent the last 17 years in the game industry wearing hats as an annoying retail weasel, an overly opinionated journalist, and game-development ninja—until he got tired of the all the caviar and groupies, returning to the ring as a rowdy, rambling writer in 2010 for EGM Media. Follow him on Twitter @jokeontheworldMeet the rest of the crew.

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