Poor old Raiden. Since his introduction in Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, the floppy-haired hero has had to endure his fair share of acid-tongued criticism from devoted fans and reviewers alike. Much of the moaning can be attributed to his appearance in MGS2, where he replaced Solid Snake as the main protagonist after about 30 minutes of play time. After seemingly going down with the tanker, players were gagging to find out what had happened to their grizzly hero, only to be lumbered with this scrawny pretty boy for the rest of the game.
Whereas Snake had calved out a fine CV of snapping necks and destroying a tank single-handed, Raiden was perhaps best known for his penchant for doing cartwheels, arguing with his girlfriend, and fighting foes naked with one hand covering his crown jewels. However, give the guy a chance. Raiden returned in MGS4 with a makeover, kitted out in ninja clobber and wielding the sharpest sword skills known to mankind. With his imminent return in Metal Gear Rising looming, PSU.com thought it was time to celebrate three reasons why Raiden is just as much of a badass as Solid Snake.
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He took down dozens of Metal Gear’s and lived
Solid Snake had a ruck with Metal Gear Rex in the original MGS at the climax of the game. Armed with a stinger launcher, some chaff grenades and a few helpful hints from Hal ‘Otacon’ Emmerich,’ our square-jawed hero managed to see off the mechanical monstrosity and live another day. Raiden, however, has taken down literally dozens of Metal Gear Ray’s on his lonesome, again coming out alive and well. Yep, despite seemingly insurmountable odds, the young Jack the Ripper stood his ground with a stinger and a copious supply of ammo, felling countless of the walking battle tanks in combat. In fact, this battle – which saw Raiden capping them in the knee before finishing them off with a shot to the head – ranks as one of the most tense encounters of the series to date. Just how did he do it? We don’t know, but surely even Snake himself would be proud.
He can slice up enemies (and water melons) in stylish fashion
Raiden’s proficiency with a blade was hinted at before he returned in MGS4 fully decked out in Ninja clobber – MGS2’s climax saw to that. While Snake stuck to his guns (no pun intended), Raiden opted for a HF blade to battle Arsenal Gear’s grunts, before ultimately duelling with Solidus Snake himself. While competent with the blade, MGS4 cemented Raiden’s status as a definitive badass, with his Ninja incarnation offering some of the most stylistically thrilling scenes to grace our screens. We watched as our floppy-haired hero effortlessly dispatched hordes of Gekko’s, went toe-to-toe with the ‘immortal’ Vamp, and wielded a blade with his mouth (yes, really). If that wasn’t enough, Metal Gear Rising’s gameplay demo also proved he’s a dab hand at slicing water melons with alarming precision, too…
Amazing strength and resilience
In MGS4, Raiden is an almost unstoppable powerhouse. Aside from his aforementioned skills with a blade, our fleet-footed Ninja hero has an uncanny ability to survive all sorts of punishment. Being slammed against walls, stabbed multiple times, losing an arm and crushed by tons of rubble would put Snake’s lights out for sure, but Raiden still manages to carry on trucking. If that wasn’t enough, there’s the incredible – boarding on ridiculous – feat that saw our hero literally slow the gigantic ship Outer Haven to a crawl as it attempted to crush Snake, despite recently incurring severe injuries, which included having to amputate his own arm. Even after all this, he survives and manages to turn up to aid Snake in his final mission on board Outer Haven. Now that’s one tenacious chap.
Be sure to check out our review of Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance here to see how Raiden’s latest outing measures up.