E3 12; Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance rises to a cut above the rest
Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance has gone through plenty of changes over the last few years and was even on the brink of being cancelled by Kojima Productions before it landed in the hands of Platinum Games. Rising made its playable debut at E3 this past week and we were able to go hands-on with Raiden and his sword slicing skills. Question is, does the game’s mantra of being able to cut anything still ring true?
The demo acts as tutorial to the gameplay mechanics of Rising. While the game may have Metal Gear in its title, this is definitely not a Metal Gear Solid stealth game. Rather, it focuses on slick ninja blade action. There are a few iconic MGS references, such as the various alert sound effects/punctuations, but Rising still feels completely different.
The first mechanic Rising teaches you is Blade Mode. Using the trigger buttons, Raiden can enter a first person slow motion view, allowing you to take direct control of his sword for precision attacks. The right analog stick controls the blade’s slicing attack motion while the left analog stick can rotate the axis of attack. This allows you to slice in essentially any range of motion. Having the right analog stick control the attacks gives you precise control over where you want to cut. In the demo, we were given specific targets to slice at crucial weak areas, and Blade Mode proved more than capable of handling them. There is a slight delay in the input, however, as you must release the stick in order for Raiden to strike. You can’t perform a single smooth set of motions on the controller and expect Raiden to do the same on screen. Hopefully this slight distraction can be ironed out in the final version.
Through the use of Blade Mode, players can essentially slice anything up into a million little pieces. Oil drums, crates, and even vehicles are no match to your blade. There’s even a nifty counter that keeps track of how many times you slice a single object as well as how many individual pieces it has becomes.
After a few more cardboard cutout enemies, the Rising demo dumps you into some full-fledged combat. With real enemies, you can actually slice them in half and take their cybernetic spines which are then converted into energy. The move is called zan-datsu and according to producers, it will expand to include more than just spines but also ammunition, items, etc. Once you’re done cutting an enemy to pieces, their bodies tend to explode in a torrent of blood and robotic fluid. Why? I’m not exactly sure, but it definitely looks cool.
That’s what Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance is all about; looking cool. From Grey Fox to Raiden’s MGS4 enhancements, the cyborg ninjas have always made an impact on the series. With what we’ve played so far, Platinum Games has accurately captured that ninja experience. Running up the side of crumbling bridges and jumping on helicopter missiles is just another day’s work for Raiden. I am a bit worried, though, that he may be too strong. Nothing seems to be able to take him down.
One section in the demo tells you how to parry a Gekko’s attack. After a few head on collisions with the bipedal tank, we decided that enough was enough and simply cut the machine’s legs off using Blade Mode. Just like that, it was down for the count. Helicopters are pretty much the same as well. For now, nothing seems to match Raiden’s blade.