Leading into the release of Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots, Kojima Productions tantalized MGS fans with an iconic trailer that depicted a cybernetically augmented Raiden (a la Gray Fox) slicing and dicing hordes of foes using a razor-sharp sword and acrobatic flips. MGS4’s Raiden was a refreshing departure from his whiny, abrasive turn in MGS2: Sons of Liberty, and before long series fans fantasized about controlling him in a dedicated adventure. Luckily, that fantasy will become reality thanks to Kojima Productions and Platinum Games.
Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance takes place nine years after the fall of the Patriots in MGS4. We played a demo at E3 2012 and tested Blade Mode, which you probably saw in the game’s trailer. Blade Mode is very simple: you activate it using L2, which triggers slow-mo and a zoomed-in camera view while Raiden gets into slashing position. You control the sword with the right analog stick: Everything in the path of the sword will be severed, whether it’s a structure, the body of an unfortunate combatant, a vehicle…even a girl’s dress (ooh-la-la!)
But Blade Mode is even more satisfying when you can work it into a combo by lifting an enemy from the floor and turning him into human sushi. The MGRR controls work to perfection; the game runs at 60 frames per second. Raiden is very fast, and the combo system is simple but visually spectacular, especially when you take hold of the sword with your feet and you slice everything around you to pieces — yes, just like that trailer from MGS4!
At E3, Platinum Games Executive Director and Producer Atsushi Inaba confirmed to us that MGRR will feature many references to the Metal Gear universe. One example: We were tasked with obtaining a code from an enemy, and this was found hidden in a box. The Gekkos from MGS4 also make an appearance, but you have to apply a counter before being able to attack them: press Triangle just before being hit and you’ll be slicing and dicing in no time.
The main advantage that I see in MGRR is that it feels like a completely fresh product. It is a great action game from a series that has millions of followers, and it may also attract a new audience which eventually could become interested in the adventures of the two Snakes.
There is still a long time to wait before MGRR goes on sale (recently confirmed to be early 2013) and we have many questions. Will we learn more about Raiden’s cyborg transformation? Will we see more characters from the Metal Gear universe? What happened to Sunny, the daughter of Olga? We’ll have to wait until 2013 to find out.