Published on January 26th, 2013 | by Cameron Woolsey

Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance Demo Impressions

He slices, he dices, he’s Raiden in his very own Metal Gear spin-off adventure. Something which, quite honestly, most people didn’t predict back when they first laid eyes on Raiden’s pale ass back in Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, where he became the target of much ire after stealing some of Solid Snake’s thunder. He reappeared later in Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots, sporting a brand new look and a more serious persona.

Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance takes place four years after the events of Patriots and stars Raiden in a full-on hack-and-slash adventure. With the release date drawing near, Konami and developer, Platinum Games, released a demo onto Xbox LIVE and the PlayStation Network. We sat down with it with the desire to murderfy on the Xbox 360. Well the results are in, and it doesn’t look good.

It’s clear that Revengeance is not made for fans of Metal Gear. Sneaking around in boxes and covertly taking out enemies is not Raiden’s forte. Carrying a high frequency blade, Raiden slices through enemies as he sets out for “revengeance” (can’t be Metal Gear without befuddling subtitles) against Samuel Rodriguez, a cyborg that had dealings with Snake’s white-haired protégé during the events of Guns of the Patriots.

Raiden is a member of Colorado-based Maverick Security, which sets out to destroy Desperado Enterprises, a group that nearly killed him. Now, Raiden has a brand new body which constantly needs recharging via ripping energy right out of his enemies, such as knife- and gun-wielding mercenaries, and absorbing it.

Tastes like strawberries … and murder.

The beginning story sequence of the demo explains more, but it really can be skipped. Unless you want to witness even more evidence that the Japanese have no clue how black people are supposed to act.

For a title developed by Platinum Games, the team behind the complex Bayonetta, the gameplay is shockingly simple. Attacking consists of a weak attack, strong attack and juggling enemies in mid-air. No, really, that’s about it. Don’t expect gameplay on the level of the stylish Ninja Gaiden or the brutal God of War. The formula breaks down into three actions: confront enemy, attack enemy, move on. Unless Raiden learns more moves throughout the game, I can see Revengeance getting repetitive rather quickly.

Counter attacks are done by tapping the ‘weak attack’ button and holding the ‘LS’ toward an oncoming enemy. However, I couldn’t seem to get it down right. During fights I was able to deflect the blows of one enemy, only to have another hit me dead on, even though I made the attempt to counter. Throughout the demo my countering accuracy was about 50 percent, making it more practical to just strike and run away.

The game’s staple trick is “free cutting,” which allows you to, when holding down the left trigger, slow down time and hack away at enemies along a geometric plane using the right stick. The actual slicing of enemies is technically impressive, as cutting will open an enemy at the exact angle for some satisfying and grotesque kills. Free cutting takes energy which recharges over time.

The free cutting isn’t just for enemies, either. The mechanic can be used against objects such as cars, trees, buildings, boxes and practically anything that looks like it could be cut open. First time players will no doubt have more fun running around finding things to attack than actually fighting mercs. In fact, you may even get a little overzealous as I did when I sliced down a platform I was supposed to hop over to get to the next area. Hell, it was fun anyway.

Raiden took the advice to get a beach tan too seriously.

Other than mercs, Raiden also faces Gekkos, the huge bipedal machines from Patriots. Against Raiden, the Gekkos aren’t nearly as intimidating as they were when they faced Snake. They move quickly, but the slow attacks lose any sense of danger due to the fact that their legs will glow before striking, giving you ample time to get a few hits in before running away. When you damage them enough, a button prompt will activate, allowing you to take out the Gekko in one flashy kill move. There is a finishing move prompt for the mercs as well, but as far as I know it can only be used in free cutting mode.

There is a moment in the demo that lets you try out the stealth combat. To this, however, I must ask, why? Up to this point, Revengeance has as much to do with stealth as much as Kratos has to do with cooking simulators.

The section starts with Raiden using his visor to pinpoint enemy locations. After that, you can take out enemies by “stealthily” ramming his sword through their backs and out their sternums. Stealth kills give the gift of a slow motion cinematic going on so long it almost teases a game freeze. After about three of these — and a good minute of watching Raiden enjoy his human shish kabob a bit too much — I gave up the sneaking and just ran straight in.

In my limited experience with the game, I have come to believe that there is no punishment — none, zero, in any way — for breaking stealth. There was one sequence where if you didn’t take out two guards using stealth, they’d kill a civilian. I didn’t care. After taking out one guard, the other gave the civilian some ventilation, and I took out the second merc. Nothing popped up on my screen telling me I failed some mission perimeter. There was really no reason to rescue the poor NPC or any sense of accomplishment for my heroics.

Yes, you can hide in a box, but when your whole body is a weapon and no one gives a flying fig about how you cut bad guys down, who really wants to go through the trouble?

I’m sure there are some who would see it as a challenge to go Solid Snake on these enemies, but I don’t see it that way. It’s just a desperate move to try and add a stealth element so the game can have some semblance of the games in which it spawned. The only thing I fear from this is a forced stealth mission after spending much of the game not practicing the useless mechanic.

Raiden can pick up several sub-weapons throughout the game. In the demo, I was able to use both grenades and a rocket launcher. Each weapon is equipped by pressing the directional pad and pauses the game. The rocket launcher can kill most enemies in one hit, and should be saved for the Gekkos. But, I suggest ignoring the grenades. Perhaps I wasn’t doing it right, but I don’t believe you can aim with the grenades. Pressing the button causes Raiden to fling them, a little too far, really, in the direction you’re facing. I’m sure there’s a trick to the throw, but I couldn’t get it down, losing most of my grenades in the process.

The final fight in the demo is against a cybernetic dog (think Crying Wolf with a doggie face) wielding a chainsaw on its tail. No, really, that’s what it is. Also, he can talk to you.

Throughout the demo, I ran into very few fights that I would call challenging. The boss, however, was a pain in the ass. When he slashes his tail, you are told to use the counter and, if you’ve paid attention, that doesn’t always work when you want it. The boss has an instant takedown move that’s difficult to dodge, even if you’re running away. What resulted in the end was about four retries before I finally finished it off. Seeing the end of the demo was probably one of the most fun moments I had with it.

Final Truth:

As I mentioned, Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance is not a game for Metal Gear fans. It’s a simple hack’n’slash adventure with an emphasis on simple. The game will probably not impress fans of games like Ninja Gaiden, and it bears little resemblance to Platinum’s excellent Bayonetta.

With the game releasing on Feb. 19, I believe there is still plenty of time for Platinum Games to tweak and polish Revengeance before its release. But if the final product is anything like the demo, then there will be much disappointment to be had. The game is slow, the action is dull, and the free cutting mode is fun for a time. But let’s be honest. Free cutting is technically cool, but so are motion controls. And much like motion controls, free cutting will most likely impress some at first, but ultimately turn out to be exactly what has been speculated: a gimmick.

The game suffers from identity crisis. It wants to appeal to both Metal Gear fans and followers of action games, but unless Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance is able to pull a magic trick from its hat after release, it will end up satisfying neither.

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About the Author

Video game journalist since 2006, and gaming since he was old enough to use an Atari joystick. Follow me: @Cam_is_16bit

16 Responses to Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance Demo Impressions

  1. anyone with a brain says:

    Opinions are not journalism.

    Don’t be so sensational.

  2. korbit says:

    The demo doesn’t include the upgrade system, there are also quite a few moves that Raiden has that the demo does not tell you anything about. Like his slide, or palm blast. This game is actually quite a bit like Ninja Gaiden given this demo.

  3. Unknown says:

    This has to be some of the worst analysis of a demo I’ve ever read. You seem to base your opinions on nothing but thin air the demo is fantastic. Calling the game slow makes me think you have a problem with your system or with your head. Please do not misguide people with such poor review skills. The game play is almost identical to bayonetta. Never coming back to this site.

  4. try again says:

    This is a terribly uninformed article. If you aren’t good at the game and don’t take the time to learn the mechanics or practice enough to know what you are doing, it’s not the game’s fault. It’s yours. I had none of the problems you mentioned and any games “journalist” worth their paycheck would do a bit of research to confirm or deny their experience. The conclusions you have drawn on this title are lazy and knee-jerk and obviously based on YOU’RE inability to come to grips with its systems that many people including myself have found extremely fun, novel and deeply satisfying. Your analysis is poor and you should really take your job more seriously. Or give it to someone willing to put in the effort.

    • try again says:

      sorry, YOUR inability

      • LaWiiG says:

        I find it funny that we weren’t the only ones to talk about the games inconsistencies with the parrying and general “turn-offs”

        • no says:

          Those are your inconsistencies with parrying, not the game’s. It requires practice and skill. Y’know, like video games used to.

          • LaWiiG says:

            Actually, not mine as I did not write this. I meant “we” as in GAMINGtruth. I do feel however, that if one person pointed something out like some of the moves in the demo and are the same said elsewhere, there might be something to it.

          • no says:

            Yes and that “something” is more than one person not practicing the game enough to get it down. The fact remains that many more people have stated, including myself, that the parrying indeed works flawlessly once you understand how to do it. Don’t you think that is more indicative of the mechanic being solid and points to impatience on the part of these players having problems?

  5. SirCrush says:

    But…the damn thing is INSANELY FUN…quite unique too, despite what this faux “impression” would have you believe. No, it is NOT for classic Metal Gear fans, per se…but it does have some MG flavor to it, albeit only slightly. DOesn’t matter…it’s a great experience. Many people I know are sold on this game despite skepticism going into the demo. What a long-winded way to miss the point completely…

  6. what a joke says:

    Hmmmm, where to even begin. There are a whole bunch of combos to dig in to, the parry system is near flawless and worked for me 100% of the time once I got it down, free cutting has many uses beyond gimmickry, there are a lot of awesome special moves utilizing the lock on and directional controls ala DMC, the bladewolf fight was super fun and showed promise for a lot of depth and speed and there is a great potential for emergent gameplay here that allows many approaches to each situation. It sounds like you just had a hard time with this game and instead of trying to improve, just blamed the game instead. You call yourself a journalist? Gaming truth indeed.

  7. Grayfox says:

    Wow man,this game is slow for you???Congratulations!!!
    I thought it is fast,and smooth,and fckng awsome!!!
    But maybe you are wiser than us!
    How can you writte such a things!Maaaan!!!Think!!

  8. Natchev says:

    Excellent article.

    Finally found someone who isn’t pleased by what Platinum has done. I love hack n slash games. And I love Metal Gear Solid so this was a match made in heaven.

    Only combat system is terribly simple (apart from blocking which is trying to be innovative but is just hard, unresponsive and inadequate). And story and dialogues look like a pile of horse shite, terrible on its own merits, let alone as a part of the Metal Gear universe.


  9. DeejayKnight says:

    Thanks for conversing, everyone!

    I gotta say though, it’s surprising to see such polarization on this. If Cameron’s looking for an old-school Metal Gear and plays this game, he’s entitled to not like it, right?

    Also, these are his personal impressions. Another staff member’s impressions may be completely different than his, but they didn’t give their impressions.

    Great article, Cam. Keep up the great work!

    • no says:

      I love peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, so this ham sandwich is just terribly made and disgusting and whoever made it failed because I prefer peanut butter and jelly. Interesting logic there.

  10. metlgersold3j says:

    I agree with the parrying, it just seems unnecessary, i don’t see why you all need to be so mean, im sure that plenty of other feel the same way he dose if you don’t . say so . you don’t need to attack the person .i love metal gear, hell iv stood in line to get Hido to sign my metal gear solid , its awesome. and this game feels awesome looks amazing, i just really did not enjoy that parrying , it was frustrating and honestly i shouldn’t have to practice .i played it over and over and tryed to get him to perry at the right moments only to be knocked to the ground, and ..getting dizzy ..really im an awesome cyborg and i got dizzy.that’s just lame. i hope they will let you move the perry to an R1 or something other then that i enjoyed the game.

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