Review: Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance - Blade Wolf DLC is fun but ends way too soon
The second round of story-based DLC for Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance has launched, this time in the form of Blade Wolf, an add-on that focuses on Raiden's robotic dog buddy. This latest batch of content actually feels distinguishable from the main game, and it's easier to recommend over the Jetstream DLC. Still, it's criminally short and will likely take you about an hour or so to complete, so only the most loyal Revengeance players should make the $7 investment in this otherwise solid piece of digital content.
Like Jetstream, Blade Wolf recalls events that took place before the story in the main game. The star here is the titular Blade Wolf, who begins a quest for freedom and hopes to escape the clutches of Mistral. The whole thing is kind of melodramatic, but it's melodramatic in that over-the-top Metal Gear way, so if you've been following the series for a while, you probably know what to expect. Even then, it's a bit weird to think that Konami and Platinum Games are trying to tug at our heartstrings with some intense music and “moving” moments surrounding a robot doggy.
The gameplay parts of the DLC are surprisingly refreshing. Blade Wolf has access to a lot of the same moves Raiden boasted. He's got melee attacks that vary in power, slow motion slash attacks, and the patented Zandatsu move. Like Raiden and Sam, Blade Wolf benefits from pulling the life-giving core out of his enemies. He also has access to a few items such as knives, grenades, and health kits. It's a nice way of keeping things familiar for Revengeance players, but some good decisions are made to differentiate the overall experience.
For starters, there are some incredibly enjoyable platforming sequences in the earlier parts of the DLC. Astonishingly, the annoying camera angles seen throughout the main campaign and Jetstream content aren't as prevalent here. This makes the 3D platforming gameplay loads of fun, and while certain parts are tricky and require a lot of precision, these moments are hardly annoying. Being under enemy fire or being chased by bad guys makes everything more intense, requiring you to both dodge some offense and be spot on with your platforming.
Another thing that makes this DLC more entertaining is the reliance on stealth. Blade Wolf just seemed weaker than Raiden and Sam to me, so I was forced to approach situations in a more cautious manner. I went through a bit of trial-and-error, and while I often initially entered areas hoping to hack and slash my way through, I quickly learned that sneaking around would be my best bet. And it always was. Lying in wait, creeping up behind enemies big and small, and delivering a brutal kill provided me with some truly satisfying moments. While Revengeance is a largely action-oriented experience, this stealth-based change of pace is extremely welcome.
While Blade Wolf provides a good deal of fun, it also suffers from a lot of the same problems the Jetstream content was plagued with. As previously mentioned, the story beats are hardly exciting. Additionally, a lot of areas from the main campaign are revisited, though playing as Blade Wolf definitely makes for a different kind of romp through these same locales. Also, while the camera isn't as bad this time around, it still has some occasional hiccups, specifically in the final boss battle. Speaking of which, that dude comes out of nowhere and is solely introduced here to get his ass kicked, creating a sort of disconnect from the rest of the Revengeance experience.
There's also no real reason to return to this content unless you're hoping to get high scores on everything. There are VR missions scattered throughout, many of which are genuinely enjoyable, but like the Jetstream DLC, once you get to the end, you have to start all over if you want to complete any missed missions. It's a shame, too, because the VR missions here are a lot of fun.
It would have been really awesome if the Blade Wolf DLC lasted a good three or four hours. As it is, this is basically a tease for what could totally be a great standalone piece of digital content thanks to some remarkable gameplay directions. The problem is that both Blade Wolf and Jetstream would've likely been extra modes had Revengeance launched for the Xbox, PlayStation 2, and GameCube. If you really dig the main campaign, this add-on is certainly worth buying. If, however, you're content with what you got out of Revengeance already and feel no need to return to its world, you can probably skip this content.
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