Metal Gear Rising just might have one of the best Metal Gear stories in a long time. Who would have thought that such a good story arc could stem from Raiden’s first appearance in Metal Gear Solid 2?
My initial reaction to Metal Gear Rising when it was first announced in 2009 was one of excitement. “Surely,” I thought, “Solid Snake is too old to do anything, so this is the next step and it looks good.” I was stoked that stealth was still going to be part of the game, and I was equally impressed when the cutting mechanics were demonstrated on that watermelon. However, I was not excited when I saw the first gameplay trailer for MGR after Platinum Games took over, and the title then looked ridiculous. I knew that Hideo Kojima would step in if something was amiss, but MGR definitely looked like it was getting pear-shaped fast. The superb cutting system was completely gimped, everything looked like it was going to be a glorified Bayonetta-esque game, and stealth was completely removed; also, “Revengeance:” what was that about?
E3 2012 changed my perspective. Though stealth was still removed, the cutting system returned. And after I saw Raiden take out those Gekkos like he did in Guns of the Patriots, I realized that “Revengeance” was finally finding its place. So, I took my thoughts back to my Metal Gear-based drawing board and reassessed the situation. After playing through Sons of Liberty again, I stumbled across an incredible story arc that I absolutely want to see in Rising. The arc will be perfect; it’ll flow well with the MGS series, even though Rising is a spin-off, and it’ll really drive home the reason for fans, both old and new, to delve deep into this upcoming Platinum Games title: fighting for the Patriots’ control.
After Raiden found President Johnson in Sons of Liberty, Johnson talked about how Solidus Snake, Raiden’s foster father and head of the Big Shell seizure, wished to topple the Patriots. He then went on to say, “Imagine a massive political vacuum, a space that every power-monger will try to fill for their own greedy ends.” Rising looks to be ten years after the events of Guns of the Patriots, and that could definitely be prime time for some “power-hungry mongers” to be exacting their final motions on global control.
Now, here’s where Raiden would come in: he’s said to be a contract-for-hire for an unknown country, and he’s assigned to this country from someone close to him so he’s taken off the map while corporations attempt seizure of the Patriots’ former status. With this major corruption and Raiden’s unforeseen deception, he would go completely ballistic and, well, go all “ninja” on everyone. This will give long-standing fans a reason to really be on board with Rising, and this level of action will give a more diverse fanbase reason to check it out. This isn’t out of the question, especially since it’s been hinted that Solidus is going to make some sort of appearance in the game. So, the potential deception in present-day Rising could parallel the deception that Solidus had given to Raiden in his youth through means of flashbacks.
It’s going to make me look obsessive, but, throughout my years of MGS fandom, I’ve played through Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty twenty-seven times. In all of those playthroughs, I never really thought about the potential of what would happen with the Patriots if they were dismantled, not even after they were toppled in MGS4. I can only hope that Platinum Games has taken into account that the role of the Patriots is one that’s reasonably sought by those who would want it. Would you guys find a story like this worthy of the franchise?