12 Things You Should Know About Metal Gear Rising

This week in Los Angeles, Konami threw a three-day event to show off Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, the oddly titled action game they're developing in conjunction with Platinum Games, the folks behind Bayonetta and Vanquish. Although Kotaku typically turns down these sort of publisher-paid press events, I happened to be in Los Angeles this week anyway, so I stopped by Konami's event Wednesday night to check out Metal Gear Rising, which is kind of insane.

Kirk warned me that Rising was intense, but I didn't really know what to expect until I saw it in action. I also didn't really know how much I'd enjoy playing it.

Here are some of the important notes I took along the way:

  1. This is basically Metal Gear meets Bayonetta. Or Devil May Cry, or El Shaddai. It's got the setting, the style, and the bombastic cutscenes of Solid Snake's adventures, but it's also got the high-octane frenetic battling system of a Platinum game. This sort of combination doesn't seem like it'd work, but it really does. During the game's prologue chapter, you get to use Raiden's sword to slice open a Metal Gear. It doesn't get more satisfying than that.
  2. Yeah, Metal Gear Rising stars Raiden, but not the lame Raiden. This is totally 2008's Metal Gear Solid 4 Raiden, not that annoying dude who screwed over Snake and took over your controller in MGS2. I'm not a big fan of his voice acting, but he is undoubtedly cooler than he was a decade ago. This is the ninja cyborg Raiden, the type of Raiden who, when one of his appendages is unceremoniously chopped off, responds with a simple "Shit! Not again!"
  3. The story is as Metal Gear as it gets: as Raiden, you're sent on various missions where you have to infiltrate, slaughter, and take out bosses. You can codec call with your support group, which consists of an old leader with a foreign accent, a military support dude, a nerdy girl, and an eccentric doctor who can upgrade your equipment. There are lots of cut-scenes.
  4. Your new boss is named Boris, and he's as stereotypical a Russian as it gets. He likes to call you "tovarish" — Russian for "comrade." You get the feeling he could drink you under the table.
  5. There are also plenty of weird enemies and enemy bosses. You've got your standard cyborg soldiers and Gecko robots, but there are robot dogs with chainsaw tails and big Metal Gears and a guy named Jetstream Sam who can do very bad things to you very quickly, and does, within the first hour of the game.
  6. Everything is destructible — from barricades and fences to pivotal pillars, which you can slice in half in order to knock down the platforms they support. Since this is an action game, indiscriminately chopping things is not just allowed — it's encouraged. To help you slice things more precisely, you can hit one of the trigger buttons to enter a freeflowing action sequence called "Blade Mode," during which you can directly control the movements of Raiden's sword. No Wii remote necessary.
  7. Even though there's not a whole lot of stealth, that familiar-sounding Warning/Caution meter is still there. In case you feel like getting yet another Kojima-induced heart attack when your WARNING shoots up to 99 per cent. Which happens pretty often.
  8. Many of the early boss battles are half-cutscene in typical Metal Gear fashion. But Rising is really good at allowing you to do really cool things. When you're leaping between missiles in the air so you can reach that, or when you're swordfighting with a tough boss on the top of a moving train, it's hard not to be suckered in by the thrill of the moment.
  9. The hardcore metal music that plays during boss fights is less forgivable. But hey, it happens. Heavy Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance wouldn't have been as catchy.
  10. The game's gorgeous, by the way. Not that this should be a surprise, if you've played any Metal Gear game. But it's worth mentioning just how great everything looks on both Xbox 360 and PS3.
  11. At one point, you have to fight a robot dog boss who brags about how smart he is. So Raiden, being a wiseass, decides to crack a joke. (Remember, this isn't MGS2 Raiden. MGS2 Raiden would probably just break down crying.) Here's the full dialogue exchange:

    RAIDEN: What's the meaning of life? Why are we here?

    ROBOT-DOG-THING: I am here to kill you.

  12. It's so fun and zany and bizarre and action-movie-esque, you'll almost forgive them for the QTEs. Yes, there are QTEs. No, the folks at Platinum don't seem to have realised that QTEs are obsolete and pointless. But the game feels so fun, so fast-paced, so interesting that yeah. I forgive them for the QTEs. And from the couple hours of Metal Gear Rising I've played thus far, I think it'll be one hell of a game.

Check back next week for more on Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, a name that I still have trouble writing without laughing.


Comments

    1. I don't like the sound of that.
    6. First its MGS & Bayonetta, now its blast corps? -.-

    I'm sort of scared this game might have a identity crises but I won't judge something until it's released.

      This game is one of the best games I've played I played the demo it's worth the money .

    Having played the demo I'm crazy hyped for the full game. Just give it to me now!!

    This is still a weekend rental for me, rather than a purchase.

      Where the F LI C K can one rent games from these days? Like a video rental store?Whyy.

    Aren't these the guys who did vanquish? It was excellent. But the 720p hurts my eyes. I wish this was coming to PC. It'd be almost a sure buy.

      Really? the 720p hurt your eyes... Are you one of those people that sit 1m in front of a 60" TV screen? or do you have better than 20/20 vision?

        When I'm looking for enemies in the distance, the resolution's just not there, so I end up squinting, trying to see them before they see me. If you haven't experienced resolutions higher than 720p then you're really missing out. 1080p is just the beginning. High Res's add SO much to the experience.

          Your eyes physically can't tell the difference! Small enemies are probably a result of poor game design (Ghost recon anyone?)

          "Panasonic once asserted that at any normal viewing distance from a flat panel TV, nobody could tell the difference between 720p and 1080p unless the display was bigger than 50-inches."
          http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2405409,00.asp

            Lol- Yeah man. Totally no difference between 720 & 1080p. Lol!

            And there's no difference between a 4 cylinder hatchback and a porsche 911!

            Maybe you should comment on things you actually know about? The difference is knight and day. I bet you're one of those people who contend that your eye can't see the difference with any framerates over 60fps as well.

              There is a difference, just not one that you can perceive at the distances with which one normally watches television. also yes, you can't really tell the difference above 60FPS, most bonuses perceived are just placebo effects and/or bragging rights.

                You make me laugh. Sorry mate but you really have to watch these things for yourself and then you'll know.

                I have a 60hz monitor. I also have a 120hz monitor. FPS's are MUCH smoother on the 120hz. I don't care what you've read. I've seen it with my own eyes. It's absolutely true. You can see the difference.

                I've been gaming for 20 years. I've used every resolution from 320x240 through to 1920x1200. There is a WORLD of difference as you increase the resolution. To argue that there's no visual difference between 720p and 1080p only shows that you have never compared the difference for yourself.

                The reason it strains my eyes to see enemies in the distance at 720p is because there's not the pixels to show them on the screen. Beyond a certain distance you're just staring into pixelated blur. AA would really help here, but on console you don't get the choice. At a higher resolution, there are more pixels, therefore you can see a characters further away from your viewpoint, because now there are the pixels available to draw a smaller, complete character, rather than a blurry mess of pixels that will become a character when it gets closer to you.

                So sorry, I don't mean to be rude, or elitist. But you don't know what you are talking about, so you shouldn't comment on things you don't understand.

                  How do you know that I don't know what I'm talking about? I agree if your playing a game on a PC screen, the resolution can make a huge difference (up to a limit) as your eyes are much closer to the screen. The refresh rate of your monitor can make a difference to reduce the flicker and creates a hard to define effect (similar to when you compare movies shot at 24FPS to TV shot at 48 or 60).

                  However, we are talking about a console game, and console games are ussually played on Televisions between 30-50" (unless your really poor or really rich :P) and your ussually sitting around 2m from that television and at this distance it can be extremely difficult to tell the difference between 720p and 1080p.

                  FYI I am an Electrical engineer that has been playing games since the 90s.

                  I can't reply to you for some reason. But look, okay, whatever. You're obviously not going to change your mind so I'm gonna cease to waste my time on you. But I'm telling you, I can see the difference, it's clear as day. If you're happy with 720p then more power to ya.

    Played it at TGS.

    It was rad as hell. Cannot wait.

    Battle Arena Toshinden with a story/adventure.

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