Wot I Think: Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance

By Nathan Grayson on January 14th, 2014 at 7:00 pm.

Metal Geaaaaaarrrrrrrr?!?!?!?! On PC? This particular collision of worlds – masters of espionage infiltrating the home of spyware, cyborg ninjas running amok in cyberspace – isn’t unheard of, but it’s far from the norm. Then again, Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance isn’t your average Metal Gear game. It dispenses with stealth almost entirely, favoring combo and counter-heavy action over tippy-toeing and mullet-rocking. But does the extra helping of over-the-top insanity gel with Metal Gear’s, er, also insane (but in a different way) universe? And how does the long-awaited PC port hold up? Here’s wot I think.

If only Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance were more like its robo-chainsaw-wolf companion, who I’ve nicknamed Raidog (or Logic Dog, for longer/more descriptive). For all the game’s bluster, he is a calmly sauntering embodiment of well-timed humor and restraint. Don’t get me wrong: I’m of the mind that Metal Gear wouldn’t be Metal Gear without its many fearless cannon balls into lunacy’s deepest waters; when I advocate for restraint here, that’s not even what I’m trying to discuss. Rather, Revengeance’s problem is that it’s so very loud and meandering and insistent on itself that it sometimes forgets to check and see if the player’s still having a good time. Despite being a pretty great game overall, I sometimes got the impression that Revengeance didn’t really give a damn about me.

Large, bloody chunks of the combo-based actioner are outrageously enjoyable, but the first 40 minutes or so are a slog. Painfully forced exposition abounds, precious few playable moments are book-ended by lengthy cut-scenes (some of which look like they’d be really fun to, you know, play), and – most damningly – the game teaches you damn-near nothing. I mean that, too. It is inexcusable how little a game with such rewarding mechanical complexity attempts to clue you into any of it.

One of the first bosses is basically impossible if you haven’t mastered blocking/parrying, which is actually super easy to learn; Revengeance just explains it horribly and doesn’t give you a safety-wheels-on trial run. I ended up having to alt-tab out, pop open a web browser, and hunt down a Care And Maintenance Of Your Badass Cyborg Ninja manual on YouTube. I know Metal Gear is a famously meta series, but somehow I doubt this is what Kojima and his collaborators at Platinum had in mind.

VR missions helped me wrap my head around a few mechanics, but they were hidden and existed more for the purpose of offering additional challenges than playing sensei to my increasingly annoyed pupil. Further mechanics were equally obtuse, with unlockable weapons and attacks difficult to understand until I had purchased them, and save-anywhere functionality barely mentioned.

All that said, this game’s basic building blocks are, in fact, brilliant – a lightning-laced tornado of bone-shearing violence and perfectly timed subtlety. Blocking and parrying (both of which are triggered simply by timing-based pushes of the same button/analog-stick combo) are extremely physical, with successful counters turning my brain into a screaming adrenaline geyser. I’d wait until the last possible millisecond before an attack connected and – BOOM – blockslashdecapitation in the blink of an eye. I got so into doing it just right that my thumb still aches from how hard I continually shoved the analog stick. It’s a good pain, though, and the purple blister blossoming beneath my skin a trophy.

Revengeance’s other core pillar of wonderfully inspired design could have turned out its most gimmicky. In short, you can squeeze the left trigger for a spritz of slow-mo that allows you to slice and dice in any direction. As you’ll notice in the video below, this can be used on pretty much anything. Shelves, tables, doors, vending machines, traditional Japanese memorabilia, elevators, melons, etc, etc, etc.

But, as with blocking and parrying, it’s a powerfully physical action, both in the way hacking like a butcher gone mad feels and in the devastating results depicted on screen. Moreover, it’s often timed as a dual finishing attack/health recovery mechanic wherein you tear out and crush men’s spines, which results in a surge of emotions so primally satisfying that it should be classified alongside illegal drugs, the voice of the narrator from Bastion, and videogames.

The game’s easy-to-learn (once a YouTube video tells you how, anyway), hard-to-master approach to complexity only expands outward from there. Secondary weapons bolster your arsenal of pretty pricklies at a nice clip, and each adds a new dimension to your move set. Think of Raiden as a human blender and each new weapon as a different setting, always complimentary to your sword. That said, I do wish I was able to map secondary weapon switching to a quick button press, as opposed to manually making my way through a menu every time.

Maybe it’s blasphemy, but I prefer DmC: Devil May Cry‘s approach to multi-weapon combat, with a grip of either trigger producing its corresponding weapon until you let go. Actually, I think it used the concept better in general, making each fight into a sort of puzzle only well-timed weapon switching could solve. Revengeance, at least on normal difficulty, doesn’t give every weapon the spotlight quite so effectively. They’re still useful, but not quite as crucial. But hey, it never hurts to have options.

Combined with generally solid enemies and wild (though sometimes overlong) boss fights, you’ve got a recipe for some truly excellent moments. I went blade-to-blade against baddies 50 times my size and chopped them down like the world’s angstiest lumberjack. I tore out three people’s nutrient-rich spines. At once. I cut down more jerkwad grunt soldiers than I could count on a hundred hands with a polearm made out of… a hundred hands. It’s a long story, but not really. More often than not, Revengeance is big, loud, and stupid in all the right ways. Sure, the storyline gets unbearably preachy in places (yep, it’s still Metal Gear), but even that doesn’t eclipse the pure, dumbosterone-fueled spectacle of it all. And even the plot has its moments. For example:

There are, however, places where Revengeance abruptly decides it knows best, player agency be damned. I found its treatment of stealth especially puzzling. On one hand, playing life-or-death peek-a-boo has always been a Metal Gear staple, but on the other, Revengeance opens with Raiden hefting a building-sized nuclear tank over his shoulder and hurling it into the sky end-over end. He is a goddamn comic book super hero, is what I’m saying. This is a man who probably wouldn’t hide from Godzilla, let alone a few guards who will (literally) fall to pieces in his presence.

So when the game came up with increasingly contrived (and often annoying) excuses for me to avoid combat altogether, I was equal parts confused and bored. That breakneck pace I’d been eating up, slurping each spine with a contented belch? Ground to a whiplash-inducing halt. Thankfully, those occasions were rare, but stealth was always an option, and my allies wouldn’t stop badgering me about it. I started feeling guilty because I was fighting people in an action game. But systemically, taking the quiet route didn’t make much sense. Sure, I could skip encounters, but it was an awkward, slow process, and I got fewer rewards. Game, meet narrative, narrative, game. Please get to know each other better.

Revengeance loses its footing on a few encounters as well, preferring “epic” scale over attention to minute details that constitute fun. Some of the more basic enemy types tend to be placed in ways that annoy and infuriate more than they challenge. Or, in short, fuck you sewer gorillas. I hope your designer gets stunned repeatedly in a corner at a horrible camera angle until they beg for the release of sweet, irritating death. Also, boss encounters are multi-stage affairs, and a couple sail right past their sweet spots and into, “Ugh, this again?” territory. And then there’s the final boss, who I’m still not entirely sure wasn’t just some cruel joke. In terms of ungodly unfair attack strategies, he constitutes one of the more abysmal failures of a game-capper in recent memory. His placement in the story is a love-it or hate-it kind of thing (you thought everything else Metal Gear ever did was goofy and self-referential? Prepare yourself), but I don’t think I’d play through that encounter again if someone paid me. Er, again.

The game’s other problems are less physically gargantuan in nature, but no less worth mentioning. The camera is a ponderous, uncooperative beast, and it conspires with some confined (and frankly, boring) levels to lose track of the action, which by comparison is a frantically wriggling fish. This fact is especially disappointing given that the PC port could’ve been used to at least clean up this much-maligned aspect of the console version. But sadly, no dice.

Beyond that, however, the PC port is serviceable, if not particularly spectacular. Obviously, a controller is a must here, as this genre reaaaaally wasn’t built with mouse-and-keyboard in mind. You can try, but I don’t recommend it. Graphically, it looks sharp though not mind-blowing – well, unless you’re hoping to exceed 1080p. Resolution is, for the time being, locked curiously low, but famed Master of Vision and Illusion to The Disillusioned Durante has claimed it can be easily circumvented. Right now he’s hoping Platinum will opt to simply patch it out themselves, but we’ll see.

We do get some free DLC to kinda make up for it, though. Story-based mini-episodes Jetstream and Blade Wolf provide solid though heavily recycled diversions, and you get 30 bonus VR missions on top of that. While Revengeance’s main game isn’t particularly lengthy (I beat it in about six hours), this package contains good value for its $29.99 price tag. Also, Blade Wolf lets you play as Blade Wolf, heroest of the heroes and chainsawest of the wolves. End of story.

It might seem like I’m really down on a lot of this game, but I’m actually not. I just can’t help but complain about Revengeance’s lows because they contrast so starkly with some brilliant (though poorly explained) base mechanics and positively amazing moments. I think a few precision-targeted snips here and there would’ve made for a much stronger experience, but Raiden and co still pack serious punch where it counts.

Revengeance isn’t quite an action game for the ages, but it’s madcap, deceptively meaty fun while it lasts. So then, the age old question: Metal Geaaaaaarararararararaaaaar?!?!?!?!? Yes. Metal Gear.

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117 Comments »

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Top comments

  1. GameCat says:

    NANOMACHINES, SON.
  1. altum videtur says:

    I *jetstreamed* (oh god kill me) through it on hard difficulty in basically one sitting. On keyboard and mouse.
    Easy peasy lemon squeezy GOOD LORD THAT BOSS WAS HYPE AND CRAZY

    (that’s my review)

    ps. DAT ASS SAM

    • Viceroy Choy says:

      dat fucking smirk

    • Press X to Gary Busey says:

      DAT HIND D!

    • Malleus says:

      I tried MGR with a controller and I was 100% incapable of doing anything. I was decent at it with KB+M from the get go. In the end it comes down to what you’re used to – for me, the controller is a totally alien thing.

    • Cung1947 says:

      my best friend’s step-mother makes $74 an hour on the computer . She has been unemployed for 10 months but last month her check was $13881 just working on the computer for a few hours. go to website……
      http://www.Jobs84.com

  2. Gargenville says:

    RULES OF NATUUUUUUUUUURE

  3. Malarious says:

    The last boss had some pretty abysmal attack patterns, but the nonsense he spouts? So, so good. Probably my favorite boss fight of 2013.

    • Revolving Ocelot says:

      I think his status as deliberately-over-the-top was confirmed by the cheering football crowd. And his excellently succinct description of his powers (and the plot of MGS4, which I haven’t played) where everything had been cyborgs-and-Gatorade up to that point.

    • Malleus says:

      What do you mean 2013? The game was released this year, har har har :D
      Anyway, Armstrong is boss of the year 2014 on the PC, I’m calling it now.

  4. Halk says:

    I’m not sure what some of the complaints are about. Did you manage to skip the tutorial at the beginning of the game, or the 5 vr missions that are tutorials themselves, and thus clearly separated from the others? About blocking, “Revengeance just explains it horribly and doesn’t give you a safety-wheels-on trial run”? I seem to recall the tutorial did the latter after a not-so-horrible explanation. What did you have to look up on youtube? There’s even a full movelist in the help menu.

    “save-anywhere functionality barely mentioned”? Not sure what this means either. It warns you about autosaving every time you start the game, and there’s the usual icon when it does it, like in every recent game.

    • MrWolf says:

      “like in every recent game” except in all of those recent games that don’t have an autosave.

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      darkChozo says:

      The game tells you about parrying but doesn’t really indicate how integral it is to the combat system or explain any of its mechanics. It’s pretty easy to get to at least the second boss without having ever parried, and then run into a brick wall. They really should have made the first boss only beatable by parrying, I think people would have a lot fewer issues if they did.

      Also, having to buy dodging is pretty silly. It’s also not super-clear that it’s a dodge move when you buy it.

      Not sure what he’s talking about with the VR missions, though. The tutorial VR missions are all unlocked automatically, the ones you have to find are more challenges than tutorials.

      • dE says:

        This […] allows Raiden to freely sidestep enemy attacks in any direction.

        I don’t know, how much more clear do you think it needs to be?

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          darkChozo says:

          It’s not an issue of the description being unclear so much as the fact that the skill should be highlighted with a huge neon sign saying “THIS IS IMPORTANT IF YOU DON’T WANT TO BE CONSTANTLY GRABBED BY MASTIFFS TWO HOURS FROM NOW”. “Defensive Offense” doesn’t quite get the same message across.

          MGR’s tutorial has issues because it does a terrible job of emphasizing its core mechanics; while the information is there, the player is likely to overlook it and get totally lost when it actually becomes necessary. If knowing something is absolutely necessary to playing your game, you better be sure that your player actually knows that thing — something simple like a skill check (“parry/dodge three enemies!”) would suffice.

        • grom.5 says:

          Press X+A to perform the dodge ?

          Seriously, I freaking love this game, but I had to go on the web to find how to use a move that I bought….

          (And it took me 4h to find that you can find all the moves by pausing the game (and not in the other one where you equip your weapon or talk with peoples) and searching in something called “Help”…

          That said, it still really great. And being unable to perform a dodge or a real parry didn’t stop me to destroy everything, but you feel less stylish.

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        strangeloup says:

        I have no idea how anyone could beat the first(?) fight with Blade Wolf without having got the hang of parrying.

        That *is* the first boss, right? I haven’t played in a bit, got distracted by other things. (On PS3, because reasons.)

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          darkChozo says:

          Metal Gear RAY is the first boss.

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            strangeloup says:

            Not sure how I managed to forget that (though it does seem more ‘tutorial boss’) especially given that it’s the header image.

            I love the way Raiden flings it around like a child’s toy and eventually just slices it right the hell in half, because he has long since run out of fucks to give.

    • dE says:

      Yeh, some parts did read like he skipped importants parts of the game (most notably the bloody TUTORIAL). I guess it goes back to the tutorial discussion a few articles back, about how people will skip the tutorial and then get angry because they didn’t get all details and have to struggle on.

      Things like the parry system. You’re taught in the tutorial and once you enter the game, you’ve got a couple of grunts to train on. You don’t even need it until much later in the storyline, you can just pummel enemies to death. It isn’t elegant but does the job with nanopastes to tide you over any smashings you receive. And about the Silverbacks in the Sewer, please don’t tell me the movelist was also skipped? Things like dodge (Offensive Defense) and air-recover? Because that’s the only way I can see him getting stunlocked in a corner. Also the camera is only ever an issue if you don’t bother increasing camera sensitivity (options) or don’t use the lock-on (also in the movelist).

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        darkChozo says:

        Eh, the camera’s pretty prone to randomly freaking out, especially if you’re not locked on to anything, and it has issues in smaller areas and in corners. Far from the worst I’ve seen in a third person action game, but not amazing either.

      • tyren says:

        My friend had the same issue with parrying, and he played the tutorial, as did I. It took both of us a while to figure out that HOLDING the stick in the direction of attack, rather than just flicking it for a second, tends to result in NOT parrying roughly half the time, which is something the game never tells you so if you never figure out how parrying ACTUALLY works it can just seem like the mechanic is finicky and not working right.

        I found out by checking a walkthrough that talked about the mechanic in more detail. My friend found out via Youtube.

    • Flammablezeus says:

      He didn’t say auto-save, he said save-anywhere. And they do never mention it unless you happen to stumble across it. You can save the game by calling the blonde chick on your phone. Seriously. That’s how you save. I would never have done it if I didn’t see somebody else mention it online.

      • Halk says:

        Ok, I had no idea about that either. But why would you need that feature? Saving mid-fight maybe? It autosaves bloody everywhere, I’ve never felt the need for such a thing.

        But yeah, the reviewer was right on that one then.

        About the rest, what dE said.

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        darkChozo says:

        I’m actually curious if manual saving does anything, considering that the game autosaves after every single fight. I’m pretty sure it’s just a bit of a series in-joke, considering that that’s how you save in all the MGS games.

        • Flammablezeus says:

          Yeah I’m iffy on that. I’ll admit though, I always feel more comfortable being able to manually save before closing the game if it’s not immediately after an auto-save. I can’t remember right now if it auto-saves when you find a collectable, although I would assume it does.

      • DatonKallandor says:

        Saving Manually doesn’t actually do anything you still restart at the last checkpoint. Don’t tell anyone though – the only reason there’s a codec person you can call that then asks you if you wanted to save is because every Metal Gear game has it. But it’s just for show. Not knowing it exists makes absolutely no difference whatsoever.

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      Phinor says:

      I did play the tutorial but it was such an info dump without much time to adjust to anything that I had forgotten everything by the time I finished R-00. I was completely clueless with the combat and spent an hour trying to beat two mechs and three random bazooka guys on normal difficulty early on in R-01. I’m now stuck at the second boss and a friend of mine just told me that parry is in fact the most important ability in the game. I didn’t even remember how to do it anymore.

      So far the game has been one of the most difficult games I’ve played in recent years mainly because I forgot everything the tutorial hastily went through. Something like Dark Souls was much easier to adjust to and learn even though the game barely had a tutorial. So maybe both me and Nathan are idiots, or there is in fact something true in what he said.

      • ramirezfm says:

        (Un)fortunately I fully understand how you feel. I completely forgot about blocking mainly because I just couldn’t -ing do it. Managed to learn that only on the second Monsoon fight. To be honest I have no -ing clue how to make the moves I bought. If not for the comments here I wouldn’t even know there is a dodge. So either I am really bad, or the game is not very good at explaining things. I completed Ninja Gaiden, I shouldn’t be really bad ;(

        • Flammablezeus says:

          There’s an in-game menu which tells you how to do combos and stuff. It also tells you the controls for any unlocked abilities. I don’t think the game ever mentions that it’s there, but it is.

      • DatonKallandor says:

        There’s both a move list (in the start menu, under the unhelpful title “Help”) and a series of VR tutorial missions that you can play as many times as you want at all times. If you ever forget how to parry or want to train – it’s right there from the start.

        Of course it doesn’t teach the important mid-late game stuff like Dodging, Air Recovery, Quick-Sub-Weapon use, Blade Cancelling (never actually needed, just nice to have) or dodge combo carryover (don’t even need to know about it to use it).

        That’s why Chip Cheezum’s got a tutorial up for everyone:

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          Snidesworth says:

          It’s absolutely worth watching that video, even if just for the first couple of minutes that explain parrying. I don’t think I would have clicked with the game as quickly if I hadn’t been watching the LP he did when I first got the game.

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      Arathain says:

      I played the tutorial. It was not a good tutorial. It told me how to do things, once, briefly, and made no solid attempt to confirm that I had. It didn’t explain everything, even important stuff. I went and watched a couple of well made Youtube videos, as did the reviewer, which gave me a much better handle on what playing the game properly was about.

      It’s really important to flag your core systems as core. The game is about using the parry to stay on the offensive. It’s about realising just the right moment to hit Blade Mode for a Zandatsu, to keep your momentum going. The tutorial just said “there’s a parry. Here’s how you do it” and not much more. Did it explain that the blue flash/brief slowdown allowed you to trigger Blade Mode for maximum effect? Not that I saw. I don’t think it even mentioned that blue highlighted sections on enemies can be removed.

    • ShineDog says:

      The tutorial for parry tells you to push the stick towards the enemy and press light attack when the enemy attacks you. What it doesnt tell you, or even imply, is that you need to push the stick from centered, you basically flick the stick and tap attack to parry.

      If you just are holding towards them and hit attack you won’t parry, it’ll whiff and you get thumped. It’s incredibly poorly explained, you need to flick and tap together.

    • dDilla says:

      I think the save-anywhere thing refers to the fact you can save anywhere you want through the codec by talking to the lady.

  5. Ninja Foodstuff says:

    You’d think somewhere there’d be a review of this that bothered to explain what the metal gear series is about, given that this seems to be the first to be on PC.

    But no.

    • LionsPhil says:

      As far as I’ve managed to gather, it’s nonsense and cyborgs and robots, and some increasingly old guy who’s a bit like Sam Fisher who does something regarding the nonsense and cyborgs and robots and maybe also nanomachines? Only not this time.

      I think the writer/designer is stuck at a perpetual mental age of eight, and they keep him locked in a box, feeding him sci-fi anime, slightly rubbish action films, and sugar.

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        Aerothorn says:

        I have no idea what Kojima’s “mental age” is, but he’s a brilliant, brilliant man, and there are few series that reward formal critque like the Metal Gear games. Metal Gear Solid 2 is the watershed moment for postmodernism in video games and thus has received the bulk of the feedback; MGS3 is probably the best metal-gear-as-game, and MGS4 is a big-budget tour-de-force that really is for series fans only but oh what a finale.

        http://www.deltaheadtranslation.com/MGS2/DOTM_TOC.htm
        http://archive.insertcredit.com/features/dreaming2/

        • Viceroy Choy says:

          I’m not ashamed to say that the second to last playable scene of MGS4 had me freaking out. And the last playable scene? Epic.

        • LionsPhil says:

          I wasn’t necessarily being negative about it, since it seems to revel in those characteristics, but: if disconnected one-sentence-paragraph rambling is the level “formal critique” of games has fallen to, I think it’s time for the “are art” crowd to pack up and go home.

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          AngelTear says:

          I honestly don’t get all the hate for Kojima’s plots. I’ll admit sometimes he may need an editor, but his storylines are among the best in gaming. He is over the top, he knows it, he revels in it, and (at the end of MGS2) he did ask the players to stop caring so much about the canon, internal consistency and all the twists and try to understand what he’s actually telling them (and there’s a great deal of interesting stuff he’s telling the players in his games despite how many of you call that “nonsense”).

          I’m going to drop this here to justify my claim, alongside Aerothorn’s own links (mine may be easier to get though):

          There really aren’t many games, especially in the action genre, that would hold up to such long, in-depth and sustained critical analysis.

          I think most people just come at them with the wrong attitude: either they don’t want/don’t expect a plot from an action game, and so they don’t enjoy the cutscenes, or they just love to hate it. Sure, I can read a novel by Salman Rushdie (or by most magic realists) and say “Oh, this isn’t possible, this other thing doesn’t exist, oh this coincidence is all too convenient” all the time and then call it nonsense, but then it’s my attitude that is preventing me from enjoying it more than any fault in the book.

          • Incision says:

            Oh, I do. Kojima desperately requires the services of an actual writer because Kojima himself cannot write a story to save his life.

            His melodramatic dialogue is simply awful, his characters are thinly drawn and reflect his social immaturity, he CONSTANTLY stops the story so he can spend 25 minutes on exposition, he has no sense of timing or pace and his scenes are flabby and completely ignore the “enter late, exit early” principle.

            Metal Gear Solid 4 is a hideous example of an output by an auteur who has no accountability. Compared to what it could have been, the result is a pale shadow of what an exciting epic should be.

    • tobecooper says:

      Metal Gear is a big mech or robot, I don’t remember. It’s dangerous, so you destroy it.
      There may be more to the game. Maybe.

      Also, MGS1 and 2 have PC ports.

    • Halk says:

      Nobody bothered because a) 1 and 2 are on PC, and b) this one is a spin-off, with not that much to do with the others.

      • LionsPhil says:

        Is the cyborg prettyboy in high heels not from past games, then?

        • Gargenville says:

          Raiden was introduced in 2001’s Metal Gear Solid 2 as a slightly whiny flesh-and-blood prettyboy in sensible sneaking boots and returned in 2008’s MGS4 in his current stupid sexy cyborg form. He’s apparently a former child soldier, but more importantly, HE IS POWERED BY SPINAL FLUID.

        • Ansob says:

          The cyborg pretty boy was the protagonist of MGS2, in which he fights a global capitalist conspiracy run by AIs. Eventually, he’s captured and turned into a full-body-conversion combat cyborg by said AIs.

          And you don’t even need to know that much. The game will happily drop setting info on you if you go into the codecs menu and chat to all your team-mates, but none of it is of any importance to the plot. The tl;dr is that it takes place in the near future and is basically Ghost in the Shell prequel fanfiction.

    • Viceroy Choy says:

      The Metal Gear series is impossible to explain; it’s more convoluted than Resident Evil and 3 times as crazy.

    • Keyrock says:

      Trying to explain Kojima’s ridiculously nonsensical and convoluted plotline is either an exercise in futility or a descent into madness. It’s so ludicrous and baffling that I’m not sure even Kojima himself fully understands it.

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        RedViv says:

        That’s the entire point, as he himself states. Every single one is an exercise in how far he can get so that people finally drop their demand. So far, nothing has worked out at all.

        • dE says:

          Oh, kinda like Final Fantasy seems to be the desperate cry “please stop buying this, so we can stop making it, please, we beg you”. And having recently read an Interview from around 2000 about how they don’t want to keep making Final Fantasy and instead experiment on other franchises… yeah, a cry for help indeed.

          • The Random One says:

            Why don’t they just make whatever they want and call it Final Fantasy? It worked for the movie… oh, right.

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            RedViv says:

            Problem is, the people from then are mostly gone, and hundreds of artsy folk now work away on stuff for the series. Too many of them really.
            Personally I see the recent games more as a cry for help from Nomura. Somebody needs to free him, that he may FINALLY bless the actual fashion world with belts and zips and chains and belts and zips and chains and zips.

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      darkChozo says:

      The Metal Gear series is about a war-torn near-future with light to moderate sci-fi elements and a lot of political intrigue and philosophizing about violence and war and stuff. You don’t need to know much about the story to play this game — maybe a bit about the background of the main character, though a lot of that stuff is summarized in cutscenes and stuff.

    • Synesthesia says:

      METAL GEAR?!

    • Scumbag says:

      A large exposition dump:

  6. GameCat says:

    NANOMACHINES, SON.

  7. Premium User Badge

    darkChozo says:

    Apparently the secondary weapons being clunky was a consequence of console memory limitations. Everything being cuttable ate up a lot of their memory budget, meaning that they literally couldn’t keep multiple secondary weapons in memory at the same time, meaning that you have to go into a menu so a new weapon has time to load. Fun facts!

    I didn’t find that stealth was too odious, the game never really forces you into it, and when it berates you for not doing so it’s more about not wanting to alert your enemies than Raiden’s safety. Mechanically, stealth is more about getting an easy kill or two than anything else, at least in the main game.

    Also the final boss proper is fun. This is an objective fact.

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      draglikepull says:

      I abhorred the final boss’s final form. Still haven’t beaten it. Rest of the game was great though.

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        darkChozo says:

        Hmm, out of curiosity, what didn’t you like about him? I thought he was pretty interesting to fight and that he was reasonably well designed.

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          draglikepull says:

          I found it to be a huge jump in difficulty over anything the game had presented previously, including the earlier forms of that boss. I can’t stand games where the very final boss is a big spike in difficulty over the rest of the game (even the rest of the end game).

    • colw00t says:

      If you were too fast with your subweapon select on the PS3 you could see the game visibly pause while it loaded the new weapon. The dynamic cutting system ate up a lot of power and it’s still kind of amazing what they managed to get out of the PS3.

  8. Premium User Badge

    draglikepull says:

    I played (and loved) this when it first came out on PS3, so maybe my memory is failing me here, but is it really 40 minutes or so until the game gets good? Isn’t the insanely epic battle with Metal Gear Ray like 20 minutes into the game?

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      Snidesworth says:

      I was showing it off to someone else last night and they pointed out how cutscene heavy that first half an hour is. The actual playtime in R-00 is maybe 10-15 minutes and there’s just as much cutscene mixed in-between those segments. Then the start of the first proper chapter of the game has another cutscene, a brief fight, then another cutscene followed by a few codec conversations that slow you to walking pace. Then it finally begins to pick up speed.

      The fact that it’s a slow start sailed right over my head because I’ve been traumatised by MGS4.

  9. RPSiscancer says:

    “And then there’s the final boss, who I’m still not entirely sure wasn’t just some cruel joke. Both in terms of ungodly unfair attack strategies and story placement, he constitutes one of the more abysmal failures of a game-capper in recent memory”

    Maybe if you weren’t shit at the game…?

    • altum videtur says:

      I disagree completely on Nathan’s assessment of the final boss as well, but maybe insulting his skill is unnecessary.
      The duel with Jetstream was the absolute high point of the game; extremely fun, straight-up honor duel in the most visually striking location against (imo) the coolest character in the game (alongside Wolf).
      And Armstrong was the combination of every Metal Gear boss into one completely nonsensical opponent that manages to push the hype meter right through the roof, while being clever and funny commentary on the nature of Metal Gear’s… well, everything, basically. All the ideas and nonsense gibbering insanity and brilliance and fun and awfulness (both of the subject material and it’s B-movie quality presentation) distilled into the most quotable final boss of all time.

      It is the meme of Metal Gear broken down into its basic components and amplified 100x.

      I just used “meme” without quotation marks. Good god the pretentious.
      PLAYED COLLEGE BALL YOU KNOW

      • The Random One says:

        I’d argue always using quotation marks around “meme” is even more pretentious, since you’re saying, “I know we both understand the meaning of this word, since I wouldn’t use it if that wasn’t the case, and therefore it’s completely valid as a unit of communication; but since it’s a manufactured neologism, I’ll use quotation marks so you know I have complete distaste for words that haven’t been approved by Oxford.”

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          jrodman says:

          The only meme in “memes” is the meme of “memes”. “memes” aren’t memes, but the meme of them endures.

          • LionsPhil says:

            …if you know what I meme.

          • Blackcompany says:

            Clarification please: What, exactly, is the meme-ing of this, again?

          • Josh W says:

            Ah yes but as “meme” makes a better meme than meme does, and the spread of meme is parasitic on “memes” as in this example, by the standards of memes, “memes” are more real, and instead of writing “memes” and “”memes””, we should instead write “”memes”” and “memes”, as the latter has overwhelmed the former.

        • Bent Wooden Spoon says:

          Given that the term meme was coined by Dawkins and he’s tenured at Oxford, surely it’s about as “Oxford Approved” as you can get?

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        strangeloup says:

        I do wonder if Revengeance is a rather fond pisstake of the MGS series on Platinum’s part. The similarly excellent Bayonetta was both a love letter to Sega and a bit of a send-up of the spectacle fighter genre in general, and their own Vanquish certainly had a few points of fun at MGS’s expense (which was before there was any inkling of them making a game in that universe).

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          Snidesworth says:

          Pretty much. Sam’s few words before your proper fight with him lampshades how every boss in the game (and the Metal Gear series) is prefaced by a bit of philosophical waffling and that you’re probably both sick of it by now.

          Of course the final boss rolls around and spews even more words at you, but you’ll be grinning ear to ear throughout so no foul.

    • Bent Wooden Spoon says:

      I can tell you’re going to be a veritable fountain of insightful, interesting comments.

  10. LennyLeonardo says:

    This a fantastic game. I will happily play any game whose protagonist’s reaction to having his arm chopped off is, “Argh, not again!”

  11. Synesthesia says:

    I’m having a blast with this game. Chaincomboing , parrying and slicing everything in sight. And then, Kojima exposition. Far, far better than some other hacknslashes i have seen on the pc. DMC4 was the last one i really enjoyed. Never change, Hideo!

  12. ChatterLumps says:

    I agree with the problems with the game not explaining things. Like one move that is absolutely crucial “Defensive Offense” (or offensive defense…) is really poorly described so you never know if you actually “need” it, but it constitutes the only real “dodge” move, invincibility frames and all. It also is absolutely necessary in the final boss fight.

    I highly recommend watching this video, because it explains everything the game doesn’t (which is a lot I am afraid): http://youtu.be/C7IlIUKP64o

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    yandexx says:

    I think you got the name wrong – it is called METAL GEAR RISING: REVENGEANCE, and for a good reason.

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    ffordesoon says:

    This review is quite fair, despite all the “YOU SUCK AT GAMES” comments a review of a Platinum title that dares to mention the problems seemingly endemic to their games inevitably engenders.

    And Revengeance was one of my top ten games of last year, and most of these problems weren’t problems for me, so anyone accusing me of being down on this game simply because I think Nathan’s criticisms are fair is preemptively encouraged to be quiet.

  15. Suopis says:

    I love the art of Metal Gear series. I love how almost every character looks and what inspired them. I love how Metal Gear novels look. I love what I have seen of promotional material from Metal Gear Acid on PSP and Peace-walker. I love Metal Gear figures, posters and whatnot. I understand some of the jokes, like the cyborgs who go Mooo or the famous Snake eater ladder.

    But I can not indulge myself into this abysmal plot. I have tried time and time again, but it is just plain daft.

    I enjoy Japanese games, Resident evil Dark souls and Devil May Cry just to name a few, but man Metal Gear is a turn off for me.

    Still I somehow want to experience it… Just need to get my major in non-sensual plot studies.

    • dE says:

      Still I somehow want to experience it… Just need to get my major in non-sensual plot studies.

      You might want to try Visual Novels then, some of them are all about that sensual experience. Personally, I found the heels on Raiden a sexy touch, Sam wasn’t too bad either. I admit, Mistral came on a bit strong, especially in the DLC where it seemed like they just recycled some of Bayonetta’s Animations.

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    amateurviking says:

    2nd floor basement???

  17. Totally heterosexual says:

    No idea what you are talking about with the final boss. Yeah he is very tough (on hard mode atleast, never even bothered with normal mode), but there is like nothing unfair about him since it’s all stuff you learned throughout the game.

    Nanomachines son

    • DatonKallandor says:

      Last boss is incredibly hard if you haven’t practiced dodging the entire game – and unfortunately you can get through the rest of the game without even knowing there’s a dodge. You can still grind through it by just blocking well and chugging health-packs, but it’s a frustrating fight.

      If you know how to dodge though you see just how incredibly well designed the last boss is.

  18. Ergates_Antius says:

    MGS. Sewing and delivering the emporers new clothes for over a decade now.

  19. Pill_Hell_Tom says:

    It’s great but hopefully some of the graphical issues (including resolution cap) will be patched soon. The game straight-up hates Crossfire, I had all kinds of bizarre problems including the weird black outlines around every polygon that, interestingly, are also in the screenshots here. I ended up having to run it in a borderless window too, because fullscreen 1080p caused menus and the Steam overlay to flicker like crazy.

  20. RProxyOnly says:

    The games just looks like a clusterfuck.

  21. Mooglepies says:

    As others have mentioned, the parry mechanic is given quite a bit of time in the tutorial. The only real mis-steps the game makes, as far as I’m concerned, were making “Defensive Offence” (the dodging attack) a move you have to buy in the second mission onwards (this move is absolutely essential to pulling off some of the more interesting shenanigans in the game), and the camera sometimes being an absolute arse. There’s also quite a bit of complexity and variety thanks to Blade Mode Cancelling, and the enemies and bosses aren’t all passive damage sponges; both of these issues were big gripes for me with DmC.

    The only PC port-related grumble I have is the lack of support for resolutions above 1920 x 1080 – I’ve got a 2560 x 1440 display and can’t get the most out of it. But this is a minor quibble, all things considered. I’m happy to have a Platinum Game on PC, and I hope that continues (since their catalogue is great) and that it encourages other Japanese developers onto PC who are traditionally console-only.

  22. Eight Rooks says:

    Seems like a decent review going by all the other critical opinions of it I’ve read when it came out on consoles, but just one thing – if it’s even remotely like Vanquish then length shouldn’t be a factor. At all. You can beat Vanquish in a few hours but it’s staggeringly replayable, whether it’s simply to stare at the insane spectacle of it all or to shoot manz in increasingly over-the-top set pieces or to glory at how astonishingly well-designed the combat mechanics are. Anyone who seriously complains Vanquish is too short simply shouldn’t be playing it in the first place, so I’m hoping (when I can afford it) Revengeance will fall into the same box.

    • Erinduck says:

      This game thrives on replayability, yeah. There’s new game+, the ability to replay individual chapters, and the unique weapons allow you to really change up your playstyle. There’s also the unlockable outfits and the VR challenges. ALSO all the DLC is included in the PC version. The main campaign may only be a few hours, but there’s dozens of hours of extra content.

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        darkChozo says:

        The new game+ is particularly good because the unlockable difficulty modes change up enemy placement and behavior in addition to just increasing the damage you take. It helps to keep things a bit more fresh on a second playthrough. The only complaint I’d have is that there are some semi-lengthy unskippable cutscenes that are a bit tedious to sit through.

        Also, there’s a lot of collectibles and a progression system designed for multiple playthroughs, if you’re into that sort of thing.

    • subedii says:

      DMC4 was one of the few games I’ve ever re-played specifically to roll through all the higher difficulty levels. Having just finished the game, I suspect it’s going to be similar here. That said, I really would have liked an arena mode similar to DMC4’s Bloody Palace.

      Disagree with the comments about enemies being placed to annoy. Agree with the ‘good pain’ analog stick bruising.

      • Deadly Sinner says:

        I wonder what he means with the enemies placed to annoy bit. There was one part with unreachable enemies on a terrace that would shoot at you and then jump down when everyone else was defeated that was annoying at the time, early in the game. But then, after the fight was over, I accidentally figured out that you could collapse the terrace by slicing the pillars holding it up. I am so used to the environment being static and non-interactive that I didn’t even consider that I could do that.

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        Snidesworth says:

        Sliders in the lift being impossible to target and sending the camera wild? That bit in the lobby where you’re kept from engaging stuff in melee and forced to use your ranged items or bloody turrets? There’s a few other segments in enclosed spaces where mobile enemies can really play havoc with your camera too, if you’re foolish enough to lock into them.

  23. Obc says:

    I’d have loved to read a mention of the dynamic music system. how it rises in volume or changes in tone or suddenly vocals come when something even more badass happens than what you are already doing.

  24. Greggh says:

    Nathan, do you want MORE TUTORIALS??? Get a grip, young man!

  25. DanMan says:

    Will buy on sale, if they get the remaining technical problems fixed.

  26. raggnarok says:

    As its already been said, you don’t need to know the full story of MGS to play this. You could just read up Raiden’s backstory if needed to tie any loose ends, which isn’t really all that outrageous or anything (by MGS standards)

    But I tell ya, I do love MGS’s full history. It’s a mix of sci-fi + bits of magic or paranormal dealio on a world set in the not-so-distant future, with its history dating back to the 60-70’s. Some stuff can make you raise your eyebrows, but its pretty damn awesome.

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    PampleMoose says:

    Is it fair to say, especially given the first video in this story, that Metal Gear Rising is a better woodcutter simulator than Woodcutter Simulator 2013?

  28. Psychopomp says:

    The final boss is actually fantastic, the issue is design in two other places – Sundowner, who is supposed to get you used to cutting precisely can be beaten without blade mode *really* easily; and the completely essential dodge move is kind of hidden, and it’s importance isn’t highlighted.

    If Sundowner forced you to blade mode, and the dodge move was pushed in your face more, then I people wouldn’t have that much of an issue with Armstrong. As is, he’s a well designed boss that is failed by two rather large missteps.

  29. Wauffles says:

    Good review, I really hope this encourage Platinum’s various publishers to port their other stuff to PC. I’d do terrible things in order to be able to play Vanquish in 1080/60fps.

    Although you’re wrong about the final boss, he’s fantastic. And the plot of the game is actually a really clever pastiche of the themes of the Metal Gear Solid games if you can into subtext, so I sigh a little bit whenever I hear someone call it a ‘dumb action game’.

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      Mungrul says:

      I feel the same way; Bayonetta I enjoyed well enough, but it didn’t click with me as much as this; but Vanquish?
      Dear me, I have palpitations just thinking of the prospect of playing it on PC.
      I dearly love that game, even if I’m not the best at it.
      The engine on the PS3 completely wowed me, and I think that technically, it’s one of the best games of the last generation. And that’s before you get to the sublime gameplay.
      I know getting interviews with the Platinum guys might be a bit difficult for you RPS guys, but could you see if there’s even a hint of Vanquish coming to PC? Maybe talk to Sega? They do allegedly love the PC platform these days!

  30. Sunjammer says:

    Nothing else really like it on the PC, and that includes DmC (great in its own way). There’s a *solidity* to Platinum’s games that I find absolutely intoxicating.

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      Snidesworth says:

      Hopefully the success of MGR on PC (since it seems to be selling quite well) will prompt them to bring more of their games over.

  31. Shapey Fiend says:

    I’m delighted they’ve decided to port this to PC. I don’t own a console so I’ve been missing out on Platinum Games critically lauded output. I’m not particularly good at this kind of game yet but I’m sure I’ll get my head around it with a little practice. Dark Souls has convinced me I want to master this kind of thing better.

    They should port Vanquish… I don’t know if it’d sell many copies but I want to play it!

  32. RPSRSVP says:

    Interesting. so this game is worth the reduction in mean time between failures of your input gear? I thought it was a MGS abomination as a button masher…

  33. GamesInquirer says:

    This is among the very best melee action games available on PC (the others would be Devil May Cry 4 and possibly 3 if you can get past the less than ideal port of the latter – just ignore the recent DmC). It’s rough around the edges but the overall experience is incredible with only like two or three low points (most of them involving unskippable scripted sequences, though I disagree about the amount of cut scenes being an issue since most are skippable, but entertaining enough to watch them once). It’s especially awesome on higher difficulties that require mastering the controls and abilities, although in those difficulties the rough edges become even more apparent (the often annoying camera coupled with the behavior of off screen enemies and what not). The cutting up shit gimmick gets old fast too, but you aren’t asked to do more than a single slash to get past the points that require it so it’s largely irrelevant. Anyway, I finished the main game three times in a row and the additional chapters once each so I got about 20 hours out of it before a power cut during gameplay somehow managed to kill my save so I wasn’t interested in upgrading my character and unlocking the VR missions all over again from scratch. I do think I’ll eventually go back to the game to clear everything, or at least most of it (skipping some of the worse VR missions I imagine) so there’s quite a bit of value in the game evem if the central aspect is short. A sequel without the development hell this title went through would be a thing of beauty!

    Edit: those stealth segments mentioned in this “review”, I personally enjoyed going for stealth kills as a change of pace and would have actually liked the availability of stealth tactics to be more wide (perhaps similar to the recent Batman games), but you’re free to fight normally in pretty much every situation I can recall at the moment so if you don’t want to slow down, just don’t. At most you got one radio call with something along the lines of “I thought you’re a silent ops expert!”, not constant pestering or guilt trips. No different to the occasional excited cheer from the team for a cut well done.

    But please everyone, buy this. It’s already cheap so you don’t need to wait for a sale and we need to show Konami (as well as other primarily console focused publishers) that their PC releases can be worthwhile. I don’t want to have to buy a PlayStation 4 or Xbox One for Metal Gear Solid V you guys. Of course we probably won’t get the upcoming prologue version, Ground Zeroes (which is more like a demo they want to sell to console users because they’re kind of in a tight spot), but Phantom Pain absolutely must get ported (and maybe they’d include Ground Zeroes in it for a PC release, similar to how Revengeance includes DLC from the consoles, though they made that free for them also recently). If anyone is even slightly interested in stealth games or thought any of the better Splinter Cell titles were good, the main Metal Gear games will absolutely blow their minds with the depth of gameplay and variety of potential approaches even within seemingly limited situations (sure, there have been a few duds in the series, mostly the side games like Peace Walker which was fun in its own right but not exactly epic, or the story development of MGS2 and MGS4, but that’s minor). V is looking to bring everything to the next level in a league of its own with the focused sandbox twist. We need it on PC (with the right care it could even be fully playable with a mouse and keyboard unlike Revengeance)!

    Also if this sells well then maybe SEGA will see fit to give us another Platinum game that is arguably better, more finely polished and tuned, Bayonetta. That would be great too (we aren’t ever getting Bayonetta 2 or The Wonderful 101 sadly, but maybe we’ll also get future Platinum games that aren’t tied to platform holder deals). Not to mention all sorts of other console games from other publishers that aren’t necessarily in the same genre. Dark Souls was only the beginning!

  34. grenadeh says:

    Because RPS is a PC site you unfortunately didn’t get to review this game a year ago but wot you think is: MGRR is fucking terrible. That’s all you need to know.