Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance -- Questions And Answers

Is there anything more rewarding in video games? The act of imagining something -- a scenario, an attack, a technique, an outcome -- and then realising that, by the force of your will, or skill, you can make that thing happen.

In Metal Gear Solid Rising I can 'slice', I can 'cut' -- but how much can I slice? What can I cut? How can I use this ability? Can I imagine something, and then make that thing happen by slicing?

I can remember a handful of perfect moments in video games -- Taking out lights in Splinter Cell for the first time, and realising that the resulting darkness allows you to sneak past guards. I remember discovering that, if I shot guard's radios in Metal Gear Solid 2, they couldn't call for back up.

'I wonder if...'

You ask yourself that question. If a video game gives the right answer, it's a beautiful thing.

I had been intrigued by Metal Gear Rising since it was first announced, and that intrigue was intensified by an E3 demo showing Raiden, the protagonist, delicately slicing a watermelon into several different pieces. It got my brain ticking over, it got me wondering -- I started imagining what was possible with such a mechanic.

I wondered 'if'...

And then... silence. My questions, everyone's questions, remained unanswered. Then Platinum Games got involved. I wondered if the concept of slicing would get lost in the bluster of frenetic action the studio had become famous for. I loved Bayonetta, loved it. But I started asking myself the wrong questions -- negative questions -- I wondered if the game I imagined Metal Gear Rising could become would be replaced with something that removed the possibilities I had previously dreamed of.

———

"It's a little bit like Skate," says the man doing the demo. I suspect he's just dropping the name of a video game that I love.

"It feels a little confusing at first, but then it all clicks."

But this isn't the case at all. I push L1, time slows down, Raiden goes into cut mode. I can now aim precisely where I want his samurai sword to cut. It doesn't feel confusing at all; I don't need to wait until it 'clicks'. Metal Gear Rising feels like the most natural thing in the world.

Having seen demos -- gameplay demos, the first E3 demo -- I had an idea of how I thought Metal Gear Rising's slice mechanic should work, and it was a tremendous relief when it felt exactly as I'd hoped it would. Better even. Precise, sharp, tangible, malleable. It felt tremendous. I loved it instantly.

In Metal Gear Rising you control the flick of the sword. Flick the right stick to ready it, let go and it flies in the opposite direction. You can be deliberate and precise with your strokes, or spam a superb flurry of strikes and feel amazing.

It's a mechanic that encourages performance, and that's what's so special about it. Time slows down, for a few seconds you're safe from the hordes of enemies in the periphery, you're allowed to slice and dice however you please -- the pacing is yours to control.

Then time speeds up, you get to see the results of your handiwork -- the object you were slicing, be it machine, wood or flesh, accurately reflects the punishment it just took. Limbs fly off, cars get cleaved in twain, watermelons reduced to perfect square cubes. Metal Gear Rising gives you that incredible feeling of competence. You are the master of violence, and your handiwork yields perfect results.

———

I get the distinct impression that before Metal Gear Rising was passed over to Platinum Games, the slice mechanic was already rigid and in place. Most likely Platinum was brought in to fill the blanks, to create the game that would be built around the performance aspect -- the nuts and bolts of it.

They chose wisely.

Metal Gear Rising has a simple combat system, at least at first glance. It has heavy attack/light attack dynamics, it has jumps, it has parries -- so far so generic -- but it feels seamless, and when you add the slo-mo slicage as a point of difference the whole system just feels like an incredible slick package.

Time will tell if it gets tiresome, but I doubt it. Platinum Games is masterful in its ability to make simple core mechanics feel endlessly repeatable. Bayonetta's Witch Time, Vanquish's Slide Boost -- Platinum is the best in the business at stretching unique characteristics to their limits and providing brilliant playgrounds in which to exploit them.

Whilst playing Metal Gear Rising I asked myself a lot of questions.

'I wonder if I can chop the legs off enemies and keep them alive?'

I'm a sadist, and a terrible human being -- but yes. The answer to that question was 'yes'.

'I wonder if I can chop a car in half?'

Yes.

'I wonder if I can scythe the base of this Ferris Wheel and have it fall over and take out those enemies?'

Incredibly, the answer to that question was also yes.

'I wonder if I can chop this bridge down?'

'I wonder if I can take this guy's arm off?'

'I wonder if I can slice and dice a Helicopter?'

'I wonder if...'


Comments

    While this is all fair and good, there is one question more important than all the rest.......

    CAN I HIDE INSIDE A CARDBOARD BOX?!

    'I wonder if I can slice and dice a Helicopter?' Didn't this one already get answered, the answer being no? The last preview I read had a boss fight against a helicopter where you hacked away not at at a helicopter but at a helicopters life gauge. I really want to like this game but a lot of it really does just sound too generic.

      I dunno, but I saw a video of Raiden slicing a helicopter into parts.

      I'm not sure if that's their own version of a finishing move AFTER what you've described though.

    It doesn't matter. There is no way in hell that this will get classified here in Australia.

      Well, it won't be released until next year, anyway, so by then we should have a rating to handle it. Even if not, we got Afro Samurai (similar mechanic, if somewhat stylised), so I don't see any problem with this getting through. Then again, we lost Dark Sector initially, so it could go either way. In any event, we should have the rating to rate it appropriately. Whether Platinum is aware of this and holds off applying until after it's in place is another matter...

      The whole "cyborg" business probably makes it easier. The enemies probably don't bleed red.

        Serious? They even show red blood in the screenshots above!

      What does Australian ratings have to do with games anyway? Or are you telling me some people still choose to pay extra to buy locally?

      human soldiers from the game were removed and replaced by cyborgs to avoid censorship issues so no. japan also is quite heavy on censorship in games

    I wonder if you can do a no-kill run?

      That could be alot of fun "disarming" enemys...

        The HF Blade in MGS2 had a non-lethal mode, so maybe they'll retain it.

      I do remember Hideo at some point mentioning that he never likes to reward violence and that it would be possible to do a no-kill run (sorry, don't have a reference). But I can't remember if that was before he handed the game to Platinum. I also wondered that same question- it really does not look possible with what direction the game has taken.

    I have a question.
    "Revengeance".
    why.jpg

    Oh, I guess that's more of an image than a question. Disregard.

      My question would be why did u make up a word? couldn't you decide between revenge and vengeance? I think this new word is not as good as either revenge or vengeance.

        It's already been used before.... by the KKK.

        Nice choice, right?

    The more I see of this game, the more inclined I am to ignore its stupid name. To paraphrase Shakespeare: "Would a rose by any other name be as freakishly awesome-looking?"

      I think they went with 'Revengeance' because there is going to be so much revenge in the game, that the words revenge or vengeance alone simply wouldn't do it justice by themselves...

        I was hoping they'd change it to 'Ruddvenge' - but I gues that word will have to wait for some other time!

        I just really hope if there's a sequel, it's called 'Revengenance'. The extra syllable really gives it that ring.

      they could have at least made it Re-Vengance

    Like any other self-respecting Metal Gear fan, I'll be playing this as soon as possible. And if it gets refused classification - that's fine, I have a PS3.
    It's a downer that others may not have access to it but I have an internet connection and a credit card - I doubt it'll be much of a problem tracking this one down.

      region free blu-ray FTW.. better than piracy..

      As a self-respecting Metal Gear fanboy, I will be picking this game up when I see it in a shop for under 20 bucks. Maybe.

      I do enjoy Platinum games, but I have a good feeling that this game's story/world will mildly irritate me and the monies are tight right now. Plus, I'll be busy trying for the MGS4 Platinum anyways.

    I wonder if the story is any good...

      This is almost as important as the box question

    I think the real question here is going to be:

    Are the classification board going to be a little bitch again and ban van MGS:Rising?

    I much prefer the new Rising over the old, I just hope Kojima's team are working on the story...
    The only downsides I've seen so far are the lacking graphics and animations.

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