- Publisher: Konami
- Developer: Platinum Games
- ESRB Rating: M (Mature)
- Genre: Action
- Release Date: February 19, 2013
- Pros: Streamlined Action, Great Combos, Gorgeous Graphics
- Cons: Lackluster Story, Short Running Time, Intense Difficulty of Some Bosses
Even though its a relatively short game (around 5 hours), "Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance" wastes no time. It is non-stop action, running, slicing, dicing your way through waves of cyborg enemies and the truly crushing bosses that control them. The storytelling, as disappointingly thin as it is, centers around a cyborg ninja named Raiden. You control this slicing & dicing machine as he invades another country in pursuit of a terrorist cell that's been kidnapping kids and possibly turning them into weapons of mass destruction. The bulk of the game consists of slashing, hacking, parrying, and slow-motion slicing enemies into little pieces. And death. Lots of death.
The best thing about "Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance" is the pace. From the very beginning, the game is flying by at a speed that leaves most of the backgrounds a blur. The first thing you learn is how to run and attack while you're running. There is no slowing down. Slowing down is death. You will then quickly get accustomed to combat, which seems like a pretty standard system of light attack, heavy attack, and parry/counter moves. However, it is easy to use but will take serious time to master. Let me tell you about the nightmares around the first time I fought Blade Wolf (and didn't realize I needed to equip the paste that would regenerate my health while he kicked my ass) or the unbelievably difficult Monsoon after my video game PTSD has passed.
The combat in "Revengeance" is addictive in the way that great games get better as you refine your skills. By the time I had relatively mastered Raiden's abilities, I started to eagerly anticipate the next wave of enemies. Of course, this being a "Metal Gear" game, there are time when it would be advisable and you're encouraged to avoid combat. Some of the most difficult enemies in the game can be defeated in one button-push if you can sneak up on them. Others should be avoided with a timely use of a cardboard box or metal barrel to hide in. The game is simply expertly paced with boss battles well-apportioned and combat streamlined like one of in-game machines. If you like action games, this is a stellar one.
Sadly, the storytelling doesn't live up to the action. As in most "Metal Gear" games, the cut scenes are once again EPIC but you can skip them this time, and it will be surprisingly tempting to do so. In stealth-heavy games, getting engrossed in the story can be easier than games like "Revengeance" that thrive on action. When people (or, actually, more often, cyborgs) start philosophizing about the future of warfare, it's tempting to go get the popcorn for this blockbuster. Or just fast forward.
But the success of "Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance" comes back to combat. Combo moves, the wicked-cool Blade Mode (which allows time to slow as you slice and dice specific points on your enemy, even removing their power cores in one blow to replenish your health), the Ninja Run -- "Revengeance" flows in ways that action games rarely do. So many games like this are choppy or repetitive but there's streamlined propulsion to "Revengeance" that elevates it above the rest.