Chill Box: Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance

Written by: Carlos Zotomayor

Games | May 19, 2016

chill box metal gear rising revengeance

Chill Box is where we relax and talk about video games and film from the distant past. There's a lot of cool stuff out there the younger generation have yet to experience or even heard about.

Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance may have "Metal Gear" in its title and includes concepts and characters from the classic series, but that's as far as similarities will ever go. The game (which was in development hell until Platinum Games picked up where Kojima Productions left off) is fast, crazy, and nothing like its stealthy brethren games- which is what makes it so unique and fun to play.

Revengeance (to make my life easier and so you can get used to the silly word) stars not a grizzled man whose codename can also mean "penis", but Raiden: the white-haired, androgynous-looking fellow that we hated in Metal Gear Solid 2 but all thought was kind of cool as a cyborg ninja in Metal Gear Solid 4. Thank goodness then that the developers knew which version we wanted to play as this time and saved me from having to do naked cartwheels again.

The game is set after the events of
Metal Gear Solid 4 and follows Raiden as he tries to reintegrate himself into society as a member of a private military organization. Things seem all right at first but not too long into the game, stuff happens and it falls to him to pick up his sword once more and make things right (more on the story later).

So you play as a cyborg ninja with a giant sword and you cut everything up. Now if that isn't enough to get you to try Revengeance then I don't know what is.

The game is all about the cutting: cutting up cyborgs to restore your health and diminish the world's population, cutting up giant robots because they are giant robots, and cutting up buildings, helicopters, trucks, and pretty much anything just for fun.

And fun it is!

Very few games have the hack-and-slash genre down but with Platinum Games at the helm, Revengeance delivers the unique experience of being able to cut up just about everything without the game crashing due to how fast the game is or how many things get tossed into a salad because of your nanomachine-infused ninja rampage.

What greatly contributes to the game's overall fun factor is "Blade Mode", which slows down the overall action and lets you precisely control how Raiden chops up whatever is in front of him at the moment, be it something inanimate or something that will soon be inanimate.

Let me get into detail on that:

When fighting enemies and bosses, you do so in the standard hack-and-slash formula of mashing buttons with reckless abandon: light attacks, heavy attacks, all while occasionally dodging and running away. Pretty simple, right?

What changes is that when they get weak enough or when certain opportunities present themselves, you can then enter Blade Mode to chop up your enemy in specific ways in order to take the energy from them and fuel your powers and health. It seems pretty boring on paper but trust me when I say that it is a lot more fun in action.  

 As I mentioned before, Revengeance is nothing like its other Metal Gear brethren and more often than not drops stealth in favour of high-speed action and combat. The game never settles on one mechanic or enemy for long and always throws something new like a Japanese garden within a corporate building or one of various set pieces that will leave you thinking just how crazy this game can actually get.

Yes, aside from being very fun, the game is also overtly crazy and feels more like Platinum Games' Bayonetta rather than an actual Metal Gear game.

Gone are the numerous lengthy cutscenes (though some scenes can still give you time to make a sandwich and crap it out in the same cutscene alone) and the somewhat realistic setting from the previous entries; these are then replaced by fast action sequences set in a world that feels more akin to something you would see in a Japanese anime rather than real life.

From the gameplay to the story and dialogue, this game feels and plays like a B-movie in every sense of the word; so if you are not into stupid, nonsensical stuff, then Revengeance may not be for you.

The plot covers some pretty dark subject matter like child trafficking, loss of self-awareness, and deep philosophical mumbo jumbo, but at the same time it includes really stupid scenes that involve ninja-running on missiles, carving up a Metal Gear with its own arm, and dialogue that is obviously there for it to be humorous.

Aside from that, the gameplay itself has quite a few problems.

For starters, the camera seems to be your constant enemy throughout the entire game and can be an even bigger bother than the hardest bosses in the game. It constantly focuses on the wrong thing at the wrong time and you will spend a lot of time unlocking from one enemy's crotch area to refocus the camera to where the action is... which is usually another enemy's crotch area.

Another problem is move-cancelling, which involves interrupting your combo in order to execute a different move or to get out of the way of incoming attacks. There is almost always some sort of delay between when you press a button and when the move is executed which can cause quite a bit of frustration when you know you should have gotten out of the way but the game registered your moves a tad too late.

Also, because it may be a deal-breaker for some, Revengeance is also really short. You can finish the main story in about five hours but you can carve out (heh, ninja reference) countless more hours should you decide to complete all the side missions, objectives, and other difficulty levels. If you aren't the type to replay a game after beating it, then Revengeance will seem like an unfair trade for your money.

These are just minor annoyances though; Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance does not have a compelling story or characters and is most probably not a game that you will end up loving for decades to come. What it does have though, is some of the most unique gameplay, bosses, and WTF moments in gaming to date. 

It constantly adds something new within its short timespan: new weapons to play with, a never-ending variety of crazy playable sequences, and a lot of fun bosses to fight.

There is never a dull moment in the game and when compared to other games that seem to drag on for far too long or those that restrict all the cool stuff your character does within cutscenes, I would totally recommend Revengeance over a three-part trilogy that just reuses the same stuff over and over again.

Revengeance is, in conclusion, for those who want to play a game for its gameplay. It is not a great game by any means, but it deserves to be played by anyone looking for a fun experience or an excuse to cut loose (yes, that was a ninja joke).

About the author: Carlos Zotomayor

Zoto can see your underpants. Mmm... tasteful.

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