Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance looks to be such a dramatic departure from the Metal Gear Solid formula that it could upset a large fan base on principle alone. While the first definition of “repugnance” that may come to mind is “intense disgust,” the alternate definition, “inconsistency or incompatibility of ideas or statements” brings forth a good argument in its own right. Platinum Games‘ upcoming title may have gamers pondering whether the latter is true.
Ever since replacing Solid Snake in MGS2, it almost feels as if Kojima has been trying to live up to the hype and make Raiden likable. Why couldn’t have Kojima given gamers a new character in the Metal Gear universe as a stand-alone product ready to prove himself on his own without drowning in the depths of Snake’s shadow? Because of this a precedent was set, in that gamers on Team Snake will forever see Raiden as the little brother that must endlessly work to live up to extremely high and unfair expectations.
Many were impressed with Raiden’s performance in MGS4 and his cutscenes begged the question why they didn’t just send in a few guys like him to slash everything to bits in a quarter of the time it would take Snake to sneak through it all. The designers at Platinum Games seem to have established this concept as the entire foundation of Metal Gear Rising.
There’s just something about pumping an entire magazine of rounds into a person’s torso and not being able to see through the gigantic holes that should be there. Characters in RPGs are still intact even after being struck with every spell in the book; it reminds gamers that they’re playing a game and it ruins the suspension of disbelief. The combat in Rising looks visceral and stylized enough to be realistic. Granting gamers the ability to slow down time and carve just about anything into tiny pieces that fall to the ground in true anime fashion is exhilarating. The only issue that could surface from this formula is whether the combat moves progress and evolve enough to where the action doesn’t stagnate over the length of the game. Past Metal Gear titles have been excellent at ensuring that players need to use every tool in their kit at some time or another. Hopefully Rising will be no exception, because the Snow Crash styled robot dog looks like pure dynamite in comparison to Snake’s pathetic mouse-bot in MGS4.
The most notable issue addressed is Platinum Game’s choice to shorten the cutscenes as to prevent them from overtaking the actual play time–something fans of the series have all complained about at one time or another. Combine that with the stance on presenting Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance as a fresh installment accessible to gamers that haven’t played any other Metal Gear titles and Platinum Games just may have created a true contender. The cutscenes seen thus far did feel right at home in the Metal Gear universe, which helps maintain a degree of skepticism. Doling out portions of halfhearted exposition sold as excuses for upcoming action hardly ever sells well with players. Though there are certainly problems in maintaining a well-known intellectual property, having the courage to stray from the norm and attempt to pioneer a new vision can have massive benefits, including acquiring new fans, and just maybe swaying us Old Snakes into taking a second look at Metal Gear’s silver spooned, silver haired, high-heel wearing little brother.