Game Title: Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance
Publisher: Konami
Developer: Platinum Games
Platforms: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
Release Date: Out Now

Following on from Hideo Kojima’s epic Metal Gear Solid 4: The Guns of The Patriots is no small feat as at the end of the fourth Metal Gear it seemed like Raiden was set for family life. Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance tosses this happy ending out the window opening with Raiden’s unexplained return to cyborg life, working as a diplomatic bodyguard. Prask but Platinum Games have stepped up to the plate and presented the opportunity to walk in the Cyborg Ninja shoes of Raiden.

After the destruction of the Sivate Military Corporations see peacetime as bad for business and a terrorist plot is launched to ignite a new world war. Raiden is caught in the crossfire leaving him bloodied, broken and out for Revengeance.

Rising blends Devil May Cry with Metal Gear in fast, fluid action which stays true to the legacy of the series. Combat is based around Raiden’s HF blade being used to parry and perform chains of attacks as stylishly as possible. The blade has vampiric properties, draining health and fuel from each cut to sustain Raiden during battles and power his ‘Blade Mode’. In Blade Mode time slows allowing precision dismemberment of your foes and it even lets you cut out artificial organs for an instant recovery.

Despite the emphasis on fast paced action there is still a touch of stealth to the game and even the opportunity to hide in a cardboard box. The stealth action draws from the Ninja Mode in the Special Missions expansion of the original Metal Gear Solid, polishing it into a full-fledged game.

Graphically the game is hit and miss. Character models are fantastic and animation lives up to the slick fluidity that we’ve come to expect from Platinum, however background art is noticeably bland and empty. This may have been a sacrifice to allow for the games excellent performance and rock solid frame rate. The graphics pair with an excellent high energy rock soundtrack that captures and compliments the tone of the game.

Given Metal Gear Rising‘s lineage it’s disappointing that the story is the weakest aspect of the game. Rarely rising above serviceable, much of the dialogue falls flat and voice acting is shakier than you’d expect from a game brandishing the Metal Gear label. Newcomers will be happy with the accessibility of this entry in the convoluted saga but veterans will be disappointed by the laboured speeches and unclear motives.

Despite a story that is unworthy of the franchise and a few dull backgrounds this game delivers a solid adrenaline pumping experience with a fantastic soundtrack and rich combat system. It’s lacking the Metal Gear polish but remains an excellent action game.

By Rory Michael O’Sullivan