Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance Review - 'Swordplay has never been this much fun'

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Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance

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Once again Platinum Games conjures up an action-packed masterpiece. Swordplay has never been this much fun.

We like

  • Captivating cut-scenes and cinematic sequences
  • Blade Mode adds an innovative new mechanic to the hack 'n slash combat
  • The frenetic pace and challenging enemy encounters can be exhilarating at times

We dislike

  • Generic level design
  • Shifting camera angles can leave you disorientated during combat

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(continued from previous page) also have to contend with different enemy types and their variety of attacks. There’s also plenty of times where multiple enemy types attack at the same time – we’re talking mechanical hounds with chainsaws on their back, stealth cyborgs that appear out of nowhere, giant robotic hunks with ten tonne hammers that pummel you into the ground, and alien creatures that can pick up vehicles and toss them at you.

As such, Metal Gear Rising can be a really tough game and some of the fights can be exhausting, but there’s nothing more rewarding than the feeling you get from seeing off black crocodiles and elite cyborg soldiers before coming face-to-face with the mother of all fights against the bosses. It just feels good to kill in Metal Gear Rising and we’d be very surprised if you’re not punching your fist in the air with celebration after you’ve spent 15 minutes trying to take down one of the big guys.

What makes this hack ‘n’ slash action stand out from the crowd is Raiden’s much-publicised Blade Mode. Far from being a gimmick, Blade Mode is a brilliant new multi-faceted gameplay mechanic that opens up a new dynamic. Triggering Blade Mode slows down time, uses up energy and allows you to slice at multiple angles through the body of an opponent or an object, such as a helicopter. The reward for precision cutting is points, which can be spent on upgrades. Cutting off left hands, for example, rewards more points than other parts of the body. Firstly, it’s great fun to see an enemy splinter into 400 pieces, followed by the on-screen prompt - usually the Circle button – giving you a second or two to rip a limb clean from them. Secondly, it really does pay to be precise – it’s an additional challenge beyond simply killing your opponent.

The environment doesn’t cut up and fall to pieces as much as we expected it to with Blade Mode activated, but there’s plenty of opportunity to take advantage. Slicing up an incoming projectile, for example, or using it to collapse a bridge by taking down its legs, opens up other strategic possibilities to add a new layer to the combat. Overall, combat succeeds because of a couple of things. The fluid movement of Raiden as he brings together offensive and defensive manoeuvres, then combining them with the slow-mo effect of Blade Mode, is ultra-effective, intuitive and visually impressive. Just as impressive is the variation of enemies and their design, in particular the big bosses such as Mistral who takes the arms of Dwarf Gekko (small black spheres with three arms) and attaches them to her back to give her more ammunition against Raiden.


Raiden can also boost his move-set and skills via the upgrade system. Players are graded at the end of each battle and chapter, after which they receive the option to upgrade Raiden and spend points won from battles before the next mission starts. Those points can be spent on the likes of making your weapon stronger and improving reaction speed, but the most fun to be had is with the upgrading of special skills such as ‘Falling Lightning’ which allows him to dive down from the air like a lightning bolt to kick foes flying. The action gets extremely tough so the upgrade system is vitally important, and when you’ve worked hard to cut off all those left hands you’ll be rewarded by some satisfying skill moves and the great visual effects that they produce – it definitely pays to be precise.

Outside of combat, there are also some stealth sections during the game, but because the action is so fast-paced in between these sections it feels a little out of place sneaking around avoiding infra-red cameras and shuffling about under a cardboard box to avoid guards. In fact, triggering ALERT mode is much more fun as you then have to tackle a dozen enemies, from robotic hounds with chainsaws for tails to robots that resemble gorillas and beat their chests in fury. With such a powerful sword in your hand, combat is so enjoyable that we’ve usually ended up taking this option; though it does pay sometimes to find a different route through a pack of enemies just so you can enjoy a satisfying stealth ... (continued on next page)

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