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A delicious slice of 'Revengeance'

Jan 25, 2013

By Daniel Barron - G4 Canada

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Metal Gear Rising: RevengeanceThe cut scenes, the script, the sound effects, the exclamation marks, and of course the title all scream "Metal Gear," but "Revengeance," the newest game in the storied series from Hideo Kojima, is something much, much different from past Metal Gear games.

G4 Canada had a chance to play through the first couple of chapters of a final build of "Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance" ahead of its February 19 launch date, and it's apparent that Kojima Productions and Platinum Games have nailed the feel of the series, while offering up an utterly new experience.

Please keep in mind, there are spoilers in the paragraphs ahead, so if you want to keep the story a surprise, you'll want to sneak away in a box right now.

First and foremost, players are no longer controlling Solid Snake as he sneaks from one checkpoint to the next and choking out hapless guards. "Revengeance" stars the Raiden, the oft-hated character from Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty.

Set four years after Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots, Raiden is still very much a deadly cyborg, who is now helping keep peace in a fictional country in Africa, through the threat of force. Cyborgs are all around, and they mean business, as you'll see in the opening cinematic.

It's not long before Raiden is called into action, and like Superman tearing off his suit in a phone booth, Raiden tears off his tie and jacket and unsheathes his sword in one of the many dramatic cinematics that help set up the characters and the story.

Like in past Metal Gear Solid games, there's plenty of close quarter combat in "Revengeance," but it doesn't involve bare hands or syringes. The focus in this game is on sword fighting. You'll be slashing your way through the vast majority of enemies big and small - and we mean that quite literally.

Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance While you'll warm up your blade by dicing up a few guards, within a few moments you'll be taking on a massive Metal Gear Rex mech by yourself, and without the aid of high-powered long-range weapons. It's just you and your sword, but you'll soon learn that's not a bad thing.

The Rex battle is, simply put, awesome. Past Metal Gear games have shown a penchant for spectacular boss fights, and it looks like "Revengeance" will be no exception. Like many of the more powerful enemies in the game, you'll have to break apart the Rex's armor bit by bit to make him more exposed and susceptible to damage.

After a drawn out battle, Raiden literally lifts the Rex through the air - that over-the-top drama that Kojima loves is front and centre throughout this game - and continues the battle outside a building. You're not done there though, as you'll be thrown onto a building, and will literally run down the side of it as it's collapsing, and as the Rex is attacking you.

The sheer amount of action in the opening sections of "Revengeance" is quite simply astonishing. Oddly, alerts are back in this game, so when you're spotted by an enemy, that unmistakeable noise sounds and enemies become on guard. Although you can take out some enemies using stealth, it's an odd choice when it's so much fun slicing up enemies, while also parrying, pulling off combos, and grabbing parts of their body to earn powerups.

There is admittedly a steep learning curve when it comes to the combat. The enemies are quite aggressive, and tend to team up with each other to overwhelm you. Parrying is simple enough to pull off, but is made much more difficult when bullets are flying at you and you have baddies coming at you from every direction.

Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance There are certain times, usually when enemies are on their own, where the AI is pretty stupid. I snuck up on a Gekko and tore it to pieces with my sword, mere feet away from a guard. Despite what must have been a huge commotion, the guard remained blissfully unaware and focused on whatever it was that was keeping his attention away from me.

As fluid as the sword combat is, and as smooth as level traversal can be while taking advantage of your "ninja run," it can be frustrating taking on enemies who can shoot at you from several metres away. And while you can find and use rocket launchers, this almost takes away from the whole melee-focused combat you're trying so hard to get a grasp on.

That said, I found "Revengeance" to be much more positive than negative. If you remember some of the action-focused over-the-top moments in Guns of the Patriots, you'll know what you're in for with this newest title in the series. It seemed like there was one set piece after another in "Revengeance," but it was never too much.

The learning curve is a little steep in terms of combat, but things start meshing fairly quickly, and I'm fairly certain after more time in the game, I'll be a lean, mean slicing machine.

 
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About G4 in Canada
G4 Canada (formerly TechTV Canada) launched in September 2001. G4 is the one and only television station that is plugged into every dimension of games, gear, gadgets and gigabytes. Owned Rogers Media Inc., the channel airs more than 24 original series. G4 is available on digital cable and satellite. For more information, see www.g4tv.ca.