E3 2012: Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance hands-on
I’ll be honest: I knew very little of Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance before I played it at the Konami booth at E3. I assumed that it would be a continuation of the series’ traditional stealth gameplay and not being a fan of that style of play, I wouldn’t enjoy it. How wrong I was.
As the playable demo revealed, Revengeance is a pure action game, and more specifically, one about chopping things up with a big sword.
The tutorial introduces the core gameplay mechanic. When controlling cyborg ninja Raiden, pressing L1 switches you into Blade Mode. This slows down time and brings up a blue line. Pressing and rotating the right thumb stick allows you to aim this line at any angle you desire. Releasing the thumb stick then sees Raiden slice whatever object lies in your path along that line.
This sounds straightforward, but the result is hugely flexible and satisfying. In the tutorial, you cut your way through supersized melons and cardboard bad guys, dismembering imaginary foes. Once completed, you proceed into a real mission where Raiden’s skills prove devastating.
When his blade meets your enemies, they fall apart according to whichever way you swung your sword at them. Opponents can be dissected limb by limb, with each cut revealing butchered internal organs. It’s a gruesome spectacle, but one that’s undeniably rewarding. I’m sure there’s more to the gameplay than chopping people and objects into pieces, but that’s all I wanted to do in the demo. Faced with gun-toting enemies, I would sprint up to them, engage Blade Mode and quickly separate their torso from their legs.
The only troublesome aspect of the gameplay is making sure that you’re facing the right way when you engage Blade Mode. On a number of occasions, I thought Raiden was facing an enemy when in fact he was positioned just to the side, out of reach. I was able to adjust my approach by taking longer run ups towards opponents before striking them, but this was hardly ideal.
Revengeance isn’t the Metal Gear that many know, but the demo at E3 was extremely enjoyable, despite a few niggling annoyances. When it reaches stores next year, it should interest fans and those new to the series alike.