'Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance' hands-on preview

Wednesday, 13 June 2012 02:27 AM Written by 

A gameplay video of “Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance” was available on Xbox Live over a year ago, showing deliciously deadly sword-slicing action. Since then, it was nearly canceled followed by being picked up by Platinum Games. When a game has that kind of history, I assume the worst. Then I got a hands-on look at the game at E3 and my assumptions vanished. Platinum games have put their stamp of action excellence on “Revengeance,” and it was one of the most impressive games I saw at the expo.

The first thing I noticed was the game’s look. Action games of this caliber are expected to run at 60 FPS on consoles. “Revengeance” does and looks amazing doing it. My time with the game didn’t explore a wide variety of environments, but the beachfront stage I saw looked excellent.

One can hardly say “Revengeance” is part of the “Metal Gear” franchise. It’s nothing like any “Metal Gear” game you’ve ever played. Stealth goes out the window. This is action at 1000 MPH and the accelerator is constantly pressed. You play as the Raiden the cyborg, and the developers make you feel like you are stronger and faster than anything you encounter, including the Gekkos.

You may have seen Raiden slicing enemies from any and every angle in video demos. That’s exactly what you are capable of doing in this game. When encountering a weak enemy, Raiden can enter “blade vision” which slows time when face-to-face with the enemy. When in blade vision, the right analog stick controls the sword, making it possible to swing it on any axis. Pushing the stick in one direction prepares the sword and bringing the stick across swings the sword. This can be performed dozens of times from any angle while in blade vision, slicing enemies and objects into slivers.

While being different from the core experience of “Metal Gear,” there are still some fantastic nods to the series. For example, an exclamation point pops up when an enemy spots Raiden. I even found an enemy hiding in a box. He was promptly sliced.

Platinum Games is known for over-the-top action sequences in games like “Bayonetta.” These sequences will be present in “Revengeance.” I was being stalked by a helicopter, and Raiden’s solution was to run up the missiles being fired and slice the helicopter in half. So yes, action sequences will be jaw-dropping.

"Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance" will be available in early 2013.

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