“Metal Gear Rising” is a game with an interesting past. Originally it was created by Kojima Productions, without Hideo Kojima on the project. In all that time, we got one trailer with a compelling concept called “Zandatsu”, in which you would take the sword and aim it for precise cuts against enemies and objects in the environment. Besides that, the team couldn’t pull together an actual game, so it was taken over by Platinum Games. Platinum’s resume includes stylish action games such as “Bayonetta” and “Vanquish”, so it really seemed like a good fit.
Right off the bat, it feels like a game that was half conceived and then outsourced to someone else to finish it, with things like half-baked, superflous stealth and the “Zandatsu” concept plugged in for the sake of having something from the original concept. While this description has a negative connotation, it really comes together better than it should.
It plays like a game in the vein of “Bayonetta” or “Ninja Gaiden”, except a little more simplified. There is no blocking mechanic, with parrying only. The way the parrying works is that you press the light attack button when an enemy is winding up for an attack. Some times it works beautifully, making the game feel buttery smooth. Other times, it is unreliable, leaving you frustrated. Other than that, the sword play is satisfying, especially when combined with the “Zandatsu” finishing moves you can inflict on most enemies.
The story originally started as an “interquel”, taking place between “Metal Gear Solid 2” and “Metal Gear Solid 4”, showing the character’s transformation between the games. Given the conclusion of “MGS4”, you would think that Raiden, the main character, would retire. When Platinum took over, the story moved to post-“MGS4”, which at first sounds like an awful idea, but the story is probably the least interesting part of the game. It’s not bad; it’s just kind of there, without consequence to any pre-established fiction.
Getting through the main story on normal took about 5 hours which is a tad short for a $60 game. There are multiple difficulties and bonus VR missions to go through, so if you’re a completionist you can squeeze out upward of ten hours. Chances are if you do enjoy the basic combat, you’ll want to go back in for replays of old missions.
All in all, “Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance” had a rocky development history, but it came out on top, unlike most games that get plagued with delays and developer changes. With a fun core premise, it is definitely is worth seeing, but perhaps you should wait for a price cut before taking this journey.