Up Up Down Down: Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance
Developer Platinum Games has become notorious for its brand of crazy beat 'em up and hack-and-slash titles. That's why it was kind of refreshing when the studio teamed up with publisher Konami to release Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance. While it wasn't exactly a departure for Platinum, the Metal Gear series went in a drastically different direction, offering an insane action game experience that differed largely from the typical sneak-and-attack mechanics the series became known for. On this edition of Up Up Down Down, we're going to join Raiden on his quest for justice.
Up Up: A cool departure from the typical stealth Metal Gear games
Though a lot of familiar Metal Gear themes and concepts are present here, it doesn't necessarily require you to be knowledgeable of the series' lore. Case in point: I'd never played a Metal Gear game before in my life, and I was able to jump right into Revengeance and enjoy it immensely. The fact that the game is so different from the rest of the series makes it both a good jumping on point and a fine standalone experience in its own right.
Down Down: Fans who don't like action games probably won't be crazy about it
The unfortunate thing about Revengeance being so vastly different from the Metal Gear games that came before it is that longtime fans might not enjoy it. While that's not exactly the case for everyone, longtime series aficionados and stealth lovers who don't dig fast-paced action games are likely to miss the appeal. That's actually kind of a shame, because as far as hack-and-slash titles are concerned, Revengeance is a hell of a game.
Up Up: Zandatsu kills are freakin' badass
It's great when a game can actually manage to make you feel badass. I, for example, lack any sort of badassery, but the Zandatsu technique in Revengeance actually fooled me into thinking that I possessed a slight hint of awesomeness. Well, for a second, at least. When Raiden unleashes the Zandatsu attack on his foes, he can slice away repeatedly and tear them apart to pieces. He can then rip out their life-giving core and use it to replenish his health. Even despite the fact that you do the move throughout the entirety of the game, it never gets old.
Down Down: The game's only about five hours long
Throughout the course of its campaign, Revengeance succeeds at giving you countless hilarious, kick-ass, and memorable moments. Sadly, said campaign is over after about five hours, which is criminally short for a game as awesome as this. The action gameplay is so satisfying that it never gets boring, and a few extra hours would've definitely been a good thing. There are some bonus missions, multiple difficulties, and story-based DLC, but these don't expand the game in any meaningful way compared to how a longer campaign would've.
Up Up: Villains are weird, surreal, and just plain crazy
In true Platinum fashion, Revengeance is filled with a cast of colorful characters. Villains, though sinister, are a true spectacle to behold and instantly take the spotlight from the game's heroes. While the good guys are largely uninteresting, the antagonists are entertaining and memorable. The final boss, for example, is a total riot despite being a heinous, power-hungry world leader. That joyously absurd level of bipolar character design is telling of Platinum's love for utter wackiness.
Down Down: The story is kind of a convoluted mess
Whether or not you've been following the Metal Gear games, the story of Revengeance is bound to leave you confused. So much goes on and characters ramble on incessantly to the point where it's hard to figure out what the hell's going on. All I ever understood while playing was that Raiden is a good dude and needs to stop a bunch of bad dudes who feast on the chaos of war ... and then I was totally lost.
Up Up: Talking robot dogs!
As asinine a concept as it may be, I absolutely fell in love with Blade Wolf, the talking robot dog that (thankfully) ended up being a major part of Revengeance. Hell, the little guy even got his own DLC! Equipped with his very own arsenal of moves and monotone banter, Blade Wolf is easily the standout hero in this game. He doesn't really evolve much until starring in his DLC story, but even then, I'll take a talking bot doggy over the game's cast of otherwise bland heroes any day.
Down Down: The camera's a pain
Contrasting the satisfying action mechanics of Revengeance is a camera that's woefully difficult to deal with at times. The combat is easily the best thing about this game, which is why it's disappointing that the camera does so much to detract from the overall experience. It's not a problem all of the time, but when the camera goes haywire, it's absolutely infuriating.
Left Right Left Right: Revengeance isn't for everyone, but it's still a beautifully absurd blast
As is often the case with beat 'em ups (and games from Platinum in general), Revengeance won't entice everyone. Even some longtime Metal Gear fans are likely to be disinterested in this novel action game. For those who give it a chance, though, not only are you in store for the most unique Metal Gear game thus far (Who cares if it's a spinoff?!), but you're also going to be treated to a blissfully wild ride. The futuristic world, cathartic slicing and dicing gameplay, and weird characters are enough to offset any flaws that may rear their ugly heads.
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