Raiden is back; the badass cyborg from the “Metal Gear” series now has his own game, “Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance.” I have been a fan of “Metal Gear” since the beginning, and ever since then, the series has been about Snake, the quintessential soldier who can complete any apparent suicide mission and sneak into anywhere. “Revengeance” is the first time in “Metal Gear” history where Snake is not the main protagonist.
Raiden was introduced in “Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty” and it actually came as quite a shock because in the middle of the game, you suddenly become this new character – a whiney little blonde kid codenamed Raiden. For most of the game, he did seem pretty annoying, and many people said he ruined the game, but by the end, he begins to grow on you. It was interesting seeing the story from the perspective of another character. In “Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots,” Raiden stole the show by showing up as a cyborg ninja who saves Snake throughout the game by using his ninja skills to take on all the biggest and baddest guys with just his sword.
In “Revengeance,” Raiden is the star of the show. Set four years after the events of “MGS4,” the plot of this game is as convoluted as the rest of the series, but to boil it down, Raiden now works for a mercenary group called Maverick Security, and he is trying to raise money to support his wife and child.
The gameplay is far from what we know and is no way a stealth game; this is an over-the-top hack and slash sword fighting action game. “Revengeance” doesn’t waste any time getting into the action – this game lasts about six hours and is a non-stop action ride the whole way through. You travel all over the world, fight giant mechs, and chop up helicopters – what’s not to love?
The combat is this game is excellent, using basic heavy and light attacks you can string together combos which can devastate any foe. Each combo flows into the next with grace: lifts, knock-downs, stuns, spin kicks, aerial juggles, and other specialized attacks feel as fantastic as they look. The coolest fighting feature is the Blade Mode: once Raiden slices down enough baddies, he can enter the slow motion Blade Mode, slicing his sword in any direction and instantly killing or severing a limb of any poor soul near by a precision slice.
Blade Mode isn’t the only ability at your disposal, there is a ninja run feature that lets you rush through gunfire and even parkour over obstacles. This also helps to make platforming sequences more tolerable. There is also a currency system that allows you to unlock more health, weapon power, and more complex combo arrangements, all of which carry over into a new game. Plus, that holds even more blade types, costumes, and other secrets to discover, all of which add replay value.
All of the previous “Metal Gear” games have had huge cutscenes and have been all about the story, but “Revengeance” is all about action, and that’s not a bad thing. If you are a fan of the series, you might like this game to see what happens, but don’t expect the standard “Metal Gear” gameplay. If you think a crazy cyborg ninja action game sounds awesome, this game will be a cut above the rest.