As I’ve said before, I’ve never been a huge fan (or really, any kind of fan at all) of the Metal Gear franchise of games. I find the forced stealth gameplay through extreme punishment for derivation from that gameplay to be contrary to my enjoyment of the experience. I appreciate all that it has accomplished and what it means for its fans, but it’s not a game/series that I can sit down and truly enjoy myself with. With all that in mind, it should come as no surprise that I’ve never really anticipated a Metal Gear title. Imagine my surprise when Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance became one of my most anticipated titles of 2013.
Why am I excited for Revengeance? Two words: Platinum Games. The shift from classic Metal Gear gameplay to the action gameplay that Platinum Games does so mind-blowingly well is single-handedly responsible for this unexpected and unlooked for anticipation and excitement. At PAX, I was able to sit down and play Revengeance, and I’m glad to say that my excitement is not misplaced.
The gameplay demo available at PAX started in the same place as the recent gameplay video:
How did I like the demo? Well, if I didn’t have certain people waiting to play (and I didn’t have other appointments to get to), I’d have played through it again…and maybe again just for good measure. The gameplay definitely improves as you grow accustomed to it. Jumping doesn’t feel fluid at first, with forward momentum slowing as you jump, resulting in your traveling distance being reduced, but it begins to feel more natural when you consider that realistically jumping while running is similar (unless you’re a long-jumper). There are two gameplay modes that you can switch between at whim. You have your standard action gameplay, which Platinum Games has delivered on as usual, and a unique blade mode. When you transition to blade mode, your entire control scheme changes, and the camera angles become a little difficult. This is, as I mentioned earlier, one of those things that you grow accustomed to as you continue playing. The transition from action to blade mode becomes less jarring, and your performance improves.
Blade mode slows time and allows you to slice enemies or obstacles with incredible precision. During the training segment, you are presented with cardboard pop-ups of villains holding hostages. Part of the blade mode training has you attack the pop-up in a way that only deals damage to the mostly hidden villain. On top of simply using blade mode for precision combat, you can build a meter for special finishing moves (my favorite part of the demo). In one of these finishing moves, you attack the enemy from behind, then perform a graceful flip/leap over your enemy’s head. As you flip/leap, time slows and you enter blade mode. You’re then free to slice your enemy into as many little pieces as you like (with a counter, as with all trips to blade mode, of how many cuts you have made and how many pieces those cuts result in).
Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance is, without a doubt, a game to look forward to in 2013. Aside from it being a more accessible Metal Gear title, the Platinum Games development should make any action fan weep in joy.