Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance Demo Review


Never was a huge fan of the Metal Gear Solid series simply because I hated how slow pace it was and the emphasis on stealth.  However, from what I have witnessed in the trailers associated with Metal Gear Solid Rising: Revengeance, it seems to me Raiden prefers a more hands on approach than Snake of Metal Gear Solid does.

The story telling ability of Hideo Kojima combined with the Hack n' Slash genre mastery of Platinum Games make for a fearsome combination, but will it work?

Join me as I give this demo a thorough once over in an attempt to figure out if this collaboration brings about an amazing experience that will be well worth my hard earned money or a gift wrapped package of  full of disappointment.

[ Content Index ]

Click on any of the links below in order to jump directly to that particular section of the review.  There is also a "Return to Content Area" link provided at the end of each particular section.

01.  Getting Started.











[ Getting Started ]

Browsing Xbox.com as well as the Xbox 360's online marketplace, I was nearly OCD in my constant checking for the demo of Metal Gear Solid Rising: Revengeance.  Finally around 7:15 CST it managed to finally show up in the demo section of the online marketplace, which I find to be highly unusual since it normally shows up online first (But you never could be sure that is why I was checking out both of them).  I soon started the download for the Metal Gear Solid Rising: Revengeance demo, I was quite surprised that it posted a nearly 2 GB file size (1.84 GB to be exact), hopefully I have something good waiting on me.  It finally finishes and I boot it up.

The typical logos of the developers and all those working with them pop up: Konami, Kojima Productions, Platinum Games, Havok, and Dolby Digital.  Next thing you know I see Raiden and what I believe is going to be some type of awesome opening cinematic for the demo, however, it was just him standing with his sword while flaming embers flew in the air around him before "Press Start" came up; at least he makes different poses every 3 to 5 seconds.

Once you actually press the start button you are greeted with two choices: Story and Options.  Upon pushing the options button you have multiple choices in three main categories: System, Display, and Sound.  For story you can pick from 2 initial difficulties of Easy and Normal, and the greyed out Hard (Not selectable in the demo, which it was like Son of Sparda in DmC: Devil May Cry demo where if you beat it at a lower difficulty it unlocks it.).  I choose Normal and it asks me if I want to play through the tutorial, choosing to do so I am ready to begin... or so I thought.

If you choose a tutorial a guy named "Boris" speaks to you and tells you a lot of the basics of the combat in a special VR Training (Remember Metal Gear Solid VR missions?) by Doktor.  They said they want him to get comfortable with his new body (He is a cyborg) before they send him out into the field.  They let you test out Blade Mode, which allows you to go into a pseudo-type of bullet-time where you can then slash your sword into multiple directions to dismember an opponent into the way you see fit.  You get several targets and watermelon to practice on before you are moved to the main story.

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[ Story Synopsis ]

Raiden after he lands on the shore with Augment Mode enabled.

This starts off with a large post telling you exactly is going on with the story and why Raiden is going to where he was in the demo.

"Four years have passed since the "Guns of the Patriots" and the collapse of the system that had been controlling world affairs from the shadows.  Free from Patriot control, cyborg techonlogy has proliferated the world's major private military companies (PMCs) have splintered into countless smaller entities sparking new conflicts around the globe.

Raiden, retired from active battle, is a member of a peace keeping PMC known as Maverick Security Consulting.  However, a routine mission to guard the prime minister of a developing African nation turns deadly when cyborgs from a rival PMC known as "Desperado Enforcement" attacks Raiden's caravan.  Held at bay by a mysterious swordsman known as "Sam" Raiden can do nothing but watch helplessly as the prime minister is killed before his eyes.  In the battle that ensues, Raiden loses his left eye and left arm to Sam before barely escaping with his life.

In the weeks after the attack, Raiden learns that Desperado is leading a military coup in the nation of Abkhazia.

Equipped with a powerful new cyborg body, Raiden heads to Abkhazia capital, Sukhumi, on a mission to halt the coup and settle the score with Desperado once and for all."

Once you finish reading this you are taken to a cinematic of a jet-type vehicle and is conversing with a group of people who see, to act as his support crew: Boris, Kevin, Courtney, and Doktor.  Doktor tells him about extracting electrolytes from his enemies as well as to take the left-hands of fallen foes in order to acquire the battle data within and offers upgrades in return (Which lets me know that the upgrade system will probably revolve this, which should be easy with the Blade Mode precision).  Kevin then briefs him on his mission, which he is tasked to restore government order to a place which has been overthrown and leaders powerless to oppose the tenacious regime responsible for doing so.  However, they seemed to be supplied by Desperado Enforcement LLC.  Raiden seems to recognize them as the group who was responsible for killing Prime Minister N'Mani and a man known as "Jetstream Sam" who cut off Raiden's arm.  Finishing up the briefing he is shot from the jet to the location where you begin the mission.

For the purpose of this demo you will have to traverse an area because you are attempting to liberate that which was taken over and restore it its rightful leaders.  You go area by area until you make your way to the boss which is a robotic dog who goes by the name of LQ-84i who appears to have advanced artificial intelligence with the ability to think but cannot disobey orders.  The demo ends after you fight with the boss to which he begins to speak about "Freedom...undefined" to which Raiden responds "What does an A.I. know about freedom"?

The story looks like it will be well done, though I am not too sure exactly why they are completely cybernetic and technologically advanced in this world, I guess it was explained throughout the Metal Gear Solid series concluding with Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots.  However, I am sure everything in itself will be figured out once the full story is released since this is now Metal Gear Rising which focuses on Raiden and I am sure they will want to make everything understandable for those who were not fans of Metal Gear Solid.  Seems very futuristic despite the fact it says this game takes place on or around 2015, but I know this is attributed to the events that happened from past Metal Gears.

The voice acting is actually very well done and the characters they introduce here seem to have a personality all their own with a twist of humor.  However, it appears that there is also a very serious undertone as Raiden is set on making things right where they are obviously wrong.  I believe this sense of justice and morality is going to be the main driving point behind his ambition to fight.

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[ Controls, Combat, & Enemies ]

Raiden vs LQ-84i

As far as the controls go, you have your basic movement with your Left Stick, and you control the camera with the Right Stick.  Pushing the X button will give you a wide attack while pushing the Y button will give you a strong attack.  Holding down the Left Trigger will enable you to go into "Blade Mode" where you will be able to direct where riding is facing with the Left Stick and the angle and where he will be cutting with the Right Stick.  Holding down the Right Trigger button enables you to run (Which scales obstacles automatically for you) and you will be able to also attack out of it with different moves, including a slide with the Y button that launches your opponent into the air.  Left Bumper is used to select the weapon in your secondary slot and pushing Right Trigger enables you to use that weapon (Where as a Rocket Launcher and Grenades are available in the demo).  Not to mention if you push forward in the direction that Raiden is facing and hit the X button he will perform a parry to offset any incoming attacks, is going to be your primary defense mechanism as this game does not have a block mechanic.  Not to mention you can push up on the D-Pad to go into "Augment Mode" which allows you to see objects you can slice through in Blade Mode in light blue, enemies and heat signatures in red, and items are easily identifiable.

As far as the combo goes, it is pretty fluent all around.  The wide attacks and strong attacks (X button and Y button) are used together in conjunction to create combos that differ when used in different combinations.  Also, it appears that double tapping in a certain direction will also yield certain results, so we may have more combinations to do special moves down the road, especially if locked onto a particular target.  The combo themselves do not look too fancy and the moves can seem somewhat repetitive, however, Herr Doktor said if you bring him soldiers left arms he is authorized to offer upgrades and this is where I believe new moves and abilities will take place.  Also, you have some stealth kill mechanics available to you if you should happen to sneak up behind an enemy, pushing the B button will allow you to perform a killing action where you will then have an option to go into Blade Mode to further slash them up into little tiny chunks.

The enemies within this demo seems to only come in three varieties: Standard cyborg soldier, Metal Gear, and the Boss (LQ-84i).  Cyborg soldiers try to attack you with their own swords from close range and from a distance they seem to use RPG's (Rocket Launchers.  You can however, cut their missiles in half if you can react fast enough with Blade Mode), they are fairly easy to deal with and make for quick kills to see how cool the combat can be.  Metal Gear's are a little bit more tricky to deal with as they are able to move fairly quick and deliver sweeping attack with their legs that can be hard to parry because of the sometimes weird camera positioning on the screen.  The boss can be a pain to deal with but offers the most enjoyable experience in the demo because of the constant fighting and parrying that is involved, especially when it is defeated and chopped into tiny robotic pieces, beautiful.  I can already tell that the fights in this game will be fun and I am interested in seeing what other enemy types and bosses they have in store for me.

The combat in this game feels pretty good actually because Raiden feels powerful, especially when he is in Blade Mode.  Fighting a fast moving enemy like the Metal Gear's or the Boss can prove difficult sometimes because of the direction and speed they sometime show, which is an issue only because you have to push forward in the direction Raiden is currently facing which can quickly be shifted depending on where your opponent is positioned.  Overall the fighting is enjoyable and while it does seem like it could get a bit repetitive, I am hoping that will wane with additional moves and enemy types and mission objectives (A type of mission which allows you to escort someone or save hostages would serve to be particularly amazing with the type of precision you are given in blade mode).  Also, using the environments, such as cutting down bridges to collapse enemies down to you seem to be a good way of surprising enemies.  The experience is solid and the game play is definitely enjoyable.

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[ The Verdict ]

Need those Electrolytes!
  YES! DOWNLOAD THIS DEMO!  

This demo was adequate enough for me to make up my mind about buying the full game.  Hopefully this is only a small tip of the iceberg and will deliver something even more amazing in the final product.  As I said before, even though I was not a fan of the slow-paced Metal Gear Solid series, I could respect Hideo Kojima's story telling ability and the type of depth he was attributing to the characters he portrayed.  Kojima combined with the awesome Hack n' Slash genre mastery of Platinum Games will undoubtedly provide an experience worth talking about...but will it live up to the height and expectations that it has set?  Only time will tell.

Thank you for reading my review of the Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance demo.  Arigatou & Sayonara!

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