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Demo’d: Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance

Revegeance hasn’t exactly been a title that comes up as a bold blip on my personal radar. ‘Revengeance’ is a word I struggle saying out loud with a straight face and although its gimmick of cutting everything in sight into schribbons has some appeal, it tends to add a bit more unintentional humor than anticipated. Needless to say, I just couldn’t take it seriously. Even still, after firing up my copy of Zone of the Enders HD, the presence of its demo beckoned me with a high def portrait of the new Raiden.

It’s hard to solidify a stance of indifference now that I’ve relinquished a good few hours of my time to its trials. To sum it up, I was dead wrong to underestimate its prowess now that I’ve found its prospects justified. However, it can’t be denied that there will be quite a number of hardcore MGS fans that will disagree, and for good reason.

First off, Revengeance, as far as the demo revealed, is not going to be a stealth game. No hiding under boxes, no tip toes, and perhaps most differently, there’s no crouching or finding cover behind solid objects. The game still adopts the classic MGS alert/radar system, however the goal here is to try and not draw too much attention otherwise come the horde. Indeed, this new adventure of Raiden’s is more of the hack and slash variety.

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But before you start groaning, take heed that Raiden is more than equipped for the task. Before you start getting cut happy, it’s imperative that you adapt to the use of ‘Ninja Dashing’ – for an unlimited time you can speed across surfaces and scale otherwise unsurmountable heights useful for planning ambushes. Additionally, the energy discharge released from his high tech hooker boots during this dash attracts particles that form an invisible barrier rendering him bulletproof.

Of course, the action’s all about dat high frequency tech blade, but there’s more to it than just slicing and dicing. You can get combo happy and hack everyone up, but you can also opt to go into Blade Mode. Already it’s known that it will incur a bullet time speed displacement, allowing you to eviscerate to your heart’s desire. But more importantly, against a number of cybernetic foes, defeating them in this manner will allow you to siphon their power supply for replenishing health or harvesting ammo and items. Against certain enemies however, mostly the large ones, you actually can’t do much to them in Blade Mode and it’s only after you land enough hits to a body part can you actually start carving up some bacon (signified by blue highlights). You’ll find yourself trying to finish off enemies in Blade Mode often as despite the usual straightforward, almost effortless, nature of sword based action titles, Revengeance actually gets pretty difficult.

It can be hard to leave enemies alone when you know you could tear them up with finesse and theatrics, but giving in to such temptations usually nets a payload in regret. Getting overwhelmed by long and close ranged foes of varying speeds and strengths is more than enough to jack your style. Although a bit frustrating at times, I can’t help but find it fascinating. Between Raiden’s jaw dropping abilities (swinging swords with his ankles) and the advantages of avoiding conflict, that underlying message amongst all stealth based games is truly conveyed of how important it is to pick your battles.

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The one element of the game that I still have some difficulty mastering is parrying. Only certain attacks from specific enemies can be parried and even still the timing gets a bit odd here and there. As proven by the staple end-of-demo boss fight, it’s imperative to adapt to parrying as it makes a big difference in regaining momentum and drawing out difficult battles long enough to figure out your enemies’ patterns and weaknesses.

Often times I found myself dying, but in the end, what really makes it all worthwhile and brings it home are Raiden’s finishing moves. Against bosses and big foes, when it’s time for the coup de grĂ¢ce, you enter the appropriate QTE responses to start up a flashy combo. Once the final strike is upon the victim the game opts you to go into Blade Mode, and the finishing touch is all you as you reduce the bastard into thin-sliced deli turkey. Yeah, you’re going to feel pretty damn good about it when it’s all said and done.

Revengeance‘s demo has done well to shed light on what to expect once its full version is released. Aside from being a different game from the rest of the franchise, this will be a heartpounding romp fraught with refreshing challenges and self-gratification, and just in time to help start things off for 2013. In the meantime, I’ll be revisiting the demo over and over to prepare myself for whatever awaits Raiden come February.

The author of this fine article

is a Staff Writer at Thunderbolt, having joined in August 2010. Get in touch on Twitter @S_Chyou.

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