Have You Played… Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance?

Have You Played? is an endless stream of game retrospectives. One a day, every day, perhaps for all time.

The dawning of a year means a little more of what was once the near-future is now the present. While most games set in 2018 squandered this just-out-of-reach year by simply speculating that sports teams might have slightly different lineups–a shameful lack of vision from PES 2018 and NBA 2K18–one dreamed big. 2018 is the year of Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance. 2018 is the year to swordfight a giant robodinosaur. Here in 2018, we drink from spines. In 2018 a US senator tries to spark international war as part of a plan to– and he actually says this–“make America great again.” It’s 2018 and hell, I’ll take any excuse to talk about Revengeance again.

Made by Bayonetta devs PlatinumGames, Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance hit consoles in 2013 then PC in 2014. It’s more of the Bayonetta-y hack ‘n’ slash action that Platinum do so well (and explain so poorly), this time set in Hideo Kojima’s sensible world of Metal Gear.

Yes, this means plenty of cutscene conversations about “the war economy”, the nature of violence, duty, causes, and nanomachines. It also means befriending a robot dog who doesn’t laugh at your jokes, attacking people with a polearm made of arms, and being kicked around by a US senator who boasts about his sporting prowess in between explaining how he wants to stoke war so America can be reborn as a libertarian paradise. Having recently revisited the po-faced Metal Gear Solid V, I’m enjoying remembering how Revengeance happily blends pontificating, goofiness, action, and huge robotic animals. I like my Metal Gear simultaneously self-serious and silly.

I still beam thinking about how one of the opening level’s boss battles (not even the final one!) is against a robodinosaur and the music builds to shout “RULES OF NATURE!” when you parry its swordarm and fling it into the sky.

Video games are amazing.

I wish I was better at Revengeance. I wish I hadn’t skipped years of hack ‘n’ slash games so I didn’t get frustrated fumbling my way through. I know there’s a beautiful heart to its fighting, one I’ve seen in Let’s Plays (the one by Chip and Ironicus is fab), but I only feel that in fleeting moments. When I dodge through a cloud of swinging blades, perfectly parry an attack, cut off the enemy’s legs in slow-motion and keep going until I yank out their robospine and crack it open to shower in robojuice, then spin around and do the same to the rest of the group, it feels amazing. Going through again now, I’m really trying to learn. I want to be as good as Revengeance deserves.

Oh, and Revengeance is still going cheap in Steam’s winter sale, down to £4.99/€4.99/$7.49.

32 Comments

  1. Da5e says:

    “OK, if you’re so smart, what’s the meaning of life? Why are we here?”

    “I am here…

    …to kill you.”

    BEST GAME. Also the music is by that bloke with the cool tattoos who was on the first couple of Machine Head records, when they were good.

  2. Synesthesia says:

    A wonderful game. And a very delightfully mgs-y vibe too, can’t get enough of it.

  3. ChampionHyena says:

    Gotta admit, the Chip & Ironicus LP sold this game to me. Like Alice, I spent most of my gaming career not playing these sorts of character-action-spectacle-brawler games. Worse, I’ve always found Metal Gear games to be hideously poorly written. Seeing C&I play through it warmed me to this game immensely (and taught me a lot of fighting techniques that the game itself–unfortunately–communicates poorly). One of those situations where I watched a Let’s Play AND bought the game rather than watching a Let’s Play INSTEAD of buying the game.

  4. draglikepull says:

    Really good game but the last boss fight is infuriatingly difficult.

    • Shinard says:

      Amen. And it’s bullshit difficulty as well. I have the Senator’s attack patterns down pat, and can breeze through 200-150% health without an issue (though it takes a fair few minutes). Then he throws three giant rocks at you and you have approximately a second to draw three different perfect lines through all three. If you fail, instant death, back to the start.

      And there’s a glitch where if your frame rate is too low, the rock will literally be took fast to deal with. I’ve beaten it once, though how I have no idea. But playing through again on Very Hard, life’s too short. I’m one boss fight away from winning the game, and I’m losing because of an instant death QTE with the last checkpoint 5-10 minutes of focused slashing away. Come. On.

      • Shinard says:

        Absolutely love the game, and I think its boss battles are some of the best I’ve ever played. Including the Senator! There’s just one QTE that ruins that whole bloody fight, and so the whole end of the game.

      • Deadly Sinner says:

        You actually only need to line up 3 of the 4 squares to cut the rock. Knowing that took it from nearly impossible to fairly easy for me.

        Also, you can just ninja run straight towards the senator and skip the rocks altogether.

    • Cyrus says:

      Thus why I was unable to finish it. Way too hard, barely made it through the boss before him. My weakness is that I couldn’t parry, no matter how much I tried.

    • Deadly Sinner says:

      I think most of that difficulty comes from requiring you to use defensive offense (aka dodge) which you never really needed before. I think I had an easier time beating him on Revengeance difficulty than I did my first time through on hard.

  5. HiroTheProtagonist says:

    It was a pretty good game, though I’m sorry to say that Raiden still isn’t cool. Jetstream Sam was loads of fun to play, and I still listen to the soundtrack.

  6. Brahms says:

    I like that there’s a bit in this game where the character you play as gets depressed and stops attacking anyone.

  7. lordcooper says:

    I’ve never really been a fan of the spectacle fight genre, but the MGS flavour lured me in for long enough to fall in love with the sword ballet. I’m yet to encounter a combat system so bizarrely joyful, and that it’s paired with such utterly stylish ridiculousness is the icing on a damn fine cake.

    This is one of those rare games I can see myself still dipping into ten years from now.

  8. Spakkenkhrist says:

    I finished it then found out you could parry.

  9. RandyBacon says:

    This is why I stopped buying games.
    I’ve started the first two levels of this game, enjoyed it, then left it in my Steam library for TWO years.
    Yeah, my poor abandoned videogames/books/movies/series think I’m a hoarding asshole. I can’t really disagree. ;_;

  10. rondertaker says:

    this game was a fucking revelation for me. as a pc die hard i missed the entire character action genre, and mg:rr was my intro, and its utterly glorious, easily one of the best gaming experiences i’ve ever had.

    • geisler says:

      You should play Nier next if you haven’t yet.

      • rondertaker says:

        yeah im super psyched for it, at the moment im actually still unlocking stuff in bayonetta (which i may be starting to like even more than mgrr!) but once another decent sale for nier comes around…

  11. Jekadu says:

    It’s so weird how this game of all games has grown in relevance over the years. It’s a hell of a ride and more true to the Metal Gear series than it should be.

  12. welverin says:

    Nanomachines, Son.

  13. adidaas says:

    Ah, MGR. I thought this game was ridiculously fun with a ridiculously awesome soundtrack that went with all the insane action. That being said, I really hate this game for what it does with the Metal Gear lore and especially what they do with Raiden’s character.

    Raiden being my favorite character from the Metal Gear series, it really makes me sad that all his tragic backstory and well developed character over the MGS series is reduced to a “I wanna be a hero but I’m so blood thirsty so here’s the obligatory Devil Trigger mode.” I always wish the game was set between MGS2 and MGS4 like it was intended, then they wouldn’t have had the chance to ruin his ending from MGS4.

    Ah well…

    • Kinsky says:

      That’s really underselling it. The gist of Raiden’s arc here is that he deludes himself into thinking he’s a badass warrior of justice when he’s actually just a psychopath (a direct extension of his MGS2 arc), but he eventually learns to accept that and reconcile both sides of his fucked up personality. Furthermore the overall story is a nice counterpoint to MGS4’s weird assertion that the Patriots are the masterminds of today’s fucked up society and that removing them makes everything fine forever, and their world of CYBORG EVERYTHING has that particular MGS flavor of almost-real weird science. And the game has a lot of great characters besides – tell me Sundowner isn’t hilarious (still hard for me to believe that’s really Crispin Freeman). I think Kojima’s understudies really cleaned up Raiden as a character and I’d love to see a Revengeance 2 continue the story, although Konami has most likely put an end to the franchise for good.

  14. PenguinJim says:

    I would love to play Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance.

    Unfortunately, it has been region-locked since release, and I cannot buy it.

  15. bmxbandit says:

    I want to play this game, but cannot due to being in Japan. For some annoying reason, Konami or whomever own the game over here do not wish for it to be available via Steam.

    Konami and Square/Enix are proper scrotes regarding their IP and Steam. They hate that the standard sales system is circumvented in Steam. Books, CDs and games are all priced by the manufacturer prior to sale. Shops therefore generally have no say in how these items are priced, and are afraid to discount them for fear of the manufacturer pulling their product range from stock.

    Steam, with its frequent sales, forces these companies to sell things at a price point lower than in stores, so you can see that for the major companies, there is an incentive not to list items on Steam, as they may as well maximise profits, right?

    It is changing; PC gaming is gaining traction in Japan finally, and Steam, and as a distant runner-up Amazon, is pretty much the only place a lot of PC games are readily available. Computer game shops still see PC gaming as a niche market, so the games available in most shops amount to about ten or so titles, generally of the military sim/The Sims/Civ ilk, all priced at maximum retail regardless of age. The Sims 3 for 7000 yen (about 45 quid) ? We do indeed have that in stock. Metal Gear Solid 5? Yeah it’s 8000 yen.

    The Steam sale is always a bit of a teeth-grinder in Japan, but for Japanese companies it’s frustrating as hell. I see that a title is on sale, then go to the Steam store only to see it with a piddling discount or none at all. Nier Automata hasn’t yet been discounted from it’s standard price (8424 yen/ 55 quid). Dark Souls 3 finally got discounted down for the first time (a respectable 1871 yen / 12 quid), yet Dark Souls 1 is currently 5000 yen due to it being published by Bandai Namco who pretty much never reduce their prices.

    Anyway, yeah. I’d like to play the game eventually.

    • bill says:

      Sega are scrotes* too. A few of their more recent strategy games are available, but a lot of their older ones either aren’t, or weren’t for a very long time.

      Humble Bundles (game, or book) by Japanese publishers are always region locked in japan too.

      Japan.. where the customer is god, as long as we can keep them ignorant and exploited.

      *good word choice

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