Despite its title, “Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance” has no resemblance to its parent franchise’s gameplay staples. Developer Platinum Games takes the already established character Raiden and gives him his own over-the-top storyline and combat system. Players should not expect the game to include any form of espionage or hiding under the series’ iconic cardboard box, for “Revengeance” focuses instead on the thrill of the fight. By the end of the short story, which lasts a mere four to six hours, Raiden will have killed hundreds — if not thousands — of cybernetic soldiers, A.I. dogs and mechs.
The game’s quirky, stylish and simply insane events are actually one of its strongest points. “Revengeance” does not slow down. In one moment, Raiden is slicing apart cyborgs, and in the next, he’s jumping from missile to missile while cutting down helicopters or destroying towering mechs. While the game’s graphics are not the industry’s finest, they are clear and detailed enough to convey all of the action.
“Revengeance” plays like a typical action game, like “Devil May Cry,” with a satisfying twist. Once Raiden weakens enemy cyborgs, he is able to enter Blade Mode. In Blade Mode, time slows down and Raiden is given the ability to slice his sword in all directions. Enemies are instantly cleaved apart in varying ways, depending on how the player chooses to slash Raiden’s blade. If Raiden is able to slice off enough parts of his enemy, he is then able to rip out their spines and restore his own health. While refueling with enemy spines is exaggerated and somewhat sadistic, it also adds a strategic element to killing.
In other games, henchmen are often dispatched first because they tend to annoy players and interfere with the ultimate goal of defeating the boss character. In “Revengeance,” it is advantageous to leave some weaker enemies behind and focus on the boss. If Raiden is low on health, the player can quickly dispatch a henchman and take his health-replenishing spine.
“Revengeance” does not introduce revolutionary gameplay elements, nor does it provide a large, engrossing story, but at the same time, it does not have to. The game has satisfying combat and ridiculous set pieces that make players feel like skilled cybernetic ninjas. “Revengeance” is clean and fast-paced, and it executes its core gameplay mechanics to perfection.
A version of this article was published in the Monday, Feb. 25 print edition. Kai Zheng is a contributing writer. Email him at email@example.com.
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