New ‘Metal Gear’ is ridiculous and awesome

by Jordan Pollock

02_28_13_Entertainment_MetalGearRising_KonamiIt’s finally here: The long-awaited next chapter in the “Metal Gear” series has reached shelves with unanimous praise.

“Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance” may have a ridiculous subtitle, but it pretty much sets up the game. The player takes control of Raiden, the protagonist of “Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty,” though this time around he is a cyborg ninja. Armed with the mighty high-frequency blade, Raiden is on a quest to stop the Private Military Company Desperado Enforcement LLC and reveal the identity of its mysterious financial backer.
Fans of the series should be fully aware by now this is not the average “Metal Gear” game, as evidenced by the fact that it’s called “Metal Gear Rising” and not “Metal Gear Solid.” “Rising” isn’t about stealth combat and sneaking around to avoid confrontation. No, “Rising” is about charging into battle headfirst and taking out anyone and anything that stands in the way.

But this isn’t to say there’s absolutely no sneaking around involved. Players can easily watch guards patrol routes and surreptitiously take them out one by one. However, the game focuses more on running in and cutting everything to ribbons.
Speaking of which, “Rising” introduces “blade mode” where players can take control of Raiden’s blade to slice and dice enemies and random items alike. The “blade mode” mechanic is built around Raiden’s ability to essentially harvest semi-electronic organs (fuel cells) of enemies to replenish his life and energy. After substantially weakening an enemy, players are given a visual queue to turn blade mode on. This slows time and displays a large pulsating red  icon indicating the location of the enemy fuel cells. Once the correct area is struck, a button prompt appears on the screen indicating how to execute Raiden’s “Zan-datsu” ability, which is the aforementioned organ-harvesting ability except more stylish.
Cut scenes are very minimal compared to previous entries in the “Metal Gear” series, but for lore junkies (such as myself), codec conversations are full of character development tidbits and additional information about the world.  Because of this, gamers who haven’t played previous “Metal Gear” games can listen to the conversations for a brief history, with absolutely no spoilers, which is a neat touch.
The bottom-line is this: “Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance” is a ridiculously fun game. It makes up for ousting the methodical pacing of previous “Metal Gear” titles with extremely engaging gameplay. The soundtrack will keep gamers’ pulse pounding as they strike down enemies like a bolt of lightning. The over-the-top ridiculousness of the game fits the “Metal Gear” world perfectly. Why are Gekkos and Metal Gear RAYs running around? Who cares? You’re a cyborg ninja who can cut them all into tiny pieces.
Once again, PlatinumGames has created a spectacle fighter that is a cut above the competition.

Rating: 4/5