Here Are Some Tips On Playing Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance

There's a part early on in Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance where you're going to want to give up. Please don't. It's not your fault that you might be stuck; It's Platinum's. And don't worry, you're not the only one. Myself and Kotaku colleagues Kirk Hamilton and Chris Person all hit the same ridiculously hard moment and had the same reaction: "What the hell, Raiden? How the eff are we supposed to get past Blade Wolf?!"

The three of us talked about it in an email exchange over the weekend and, while we all like the game, our discussion highlights some of the stupefying design choices that make Revengeance feel more obtuse than it should. So, resist that impulse to fling your controller across the room and read the following exchange between Kirk, Chris and me. (Note: We all played on the Xbox 360.) It might help you out. If nothing else, you'll know that you're not alone in screaming at the screen.

***

Kirk:

No bullshit, I need help with Metal Gear Rising. I can't even get past the first actual fight where you have to defeat the two two-legged walker guys. What am I missing with this combat system? Is it about relying on counters? Is there a way to move quickly from target to target? I feel so slow and ungainly, and I can't keep track of what the eff is going on. I keep getting blindsided and countering feels very touchy. But, for some reason I can't do the damn VR training missions because they're locked past number 3.

Is there really no dodge button?

Tips would be welcome! Explain to me how this game becomes do-able.

***

Evan:

First off: the game is terrible about teaching you its systems. I have a whole graf about that in the review.

So, this is the Blade Wolf boss fight you're talking about? If so, then, yes, that's mostly a parrying fight. Normal parry is direction + X, I think there's one that just neutral (no directional input) + X and you have a dodge move that's A+X that should help. You will screw yourself in the fight if you try to do too much.

Also, you should have enough health refreshes to win out. They can kick in automatically if you select the repair nanopaste (all the way to the left, and then up or down until you find it) in your inventory.

I took out the two Walkers by just doing jumping, running slash attacks.

That Blade Wolf fight is unconscionably hard for how early it comes and how little you know about actually playing the game at that point. I played it for two nights straight — wailing all the time — until it clicked. But, it makes the stuff that comes later feel easier by comparison.

This game isn't as good as DmC when it comes to combat switching, whether it's targeting or weapons. But it's kind of more timing-based, especially with the parry. So, keep all of that in mind.

***

Chris:

Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance's system is so cryptic and confusing it's not surprising that you're feeling stuck. The game literally explains nothing to you and that part of the game is particularly punishing.

  1. Parrying is everything. Directional parrying specifically. Dodging and blocking aren't really your friends. When the screen illuminates red, press the directional button towards the attack and press x, this will allow for a brief window where Raiden parries. The game will then sometimes allow you to go into Blade Mode and cut off all the limbs. There's actually a kinda real dodge in this game. It's the X+A button upgrade move. What the game DOESN'T explain to you is that it actually functions as a side-step parry attack and not just a jump-back move. So try directional button+X+A when an attack is going down against you. Raiden will side-step and parry.

    You can also save in this game at any time, anywhere by talking to the blonde woman in the codec conversation. I guess they thought this was a cryptic Kojima joke.

    Pressing up enters you into a scanner mode (Something they ALSO don't tell you about until later). This not only reveals enemy heat-signatures, but also treasure chests and destroyable walls.

    You can target lock-on with right-bumper. (They ALSO don't tell you that.)

    Left and right on the d-pad will allow you to equip and select secondary weapons (Grenades, Rocket Launchers) and left bumper will allow you to use them.

    Pressing down directional button on the d-pad will let you use a health pack. Whoops, that was probably important info too.

    Blade Mode energy is underneath your health. It is replenished by ripping out the spines of enemies and by simple attacking. Half of the challenge is recognising when you can slice enemies apart and when you can't.

    A really simple dial-a-combo if your blade mode energy is up is to do the sliding ninja-run attack then entering blade mode. It should allow you to quickly cut up normal enemies fairly quick if you're good at it, while at the same time replenishing your energy.

    You can cut off specific limbs by aiming with the right analogue stick. This is important if you see an enemy with a red left hand, but also if you're trying to specifically cut through a core to get at their spine. It's not as fast as button mashing, but it's more precise. Also, you get different point values based on HOW you cut up the enemy.

Evan and I were talking about this a lot. I know the fight specifically, but believe me that the game does get better when you figure out exactly how the hell to play it.

That said, in the words of Dan Savage, "it gets better".

***

Kirk:

You guys are lifesavers because holy frack, some of this is CRAZY that they don't tell you.

You can hit "down" on the d-pad to replenish health? You can set it to automatically replenish health?? There's an unlockable dodge move?

Jesus Christ! How do they get away with not telling you any of that, then pitting you against such a tough boss?

I was actually stuck in the first fight against the two robot walkers, but NOW I'm stuck in that boss fight. I'll try to use all the stuff you guys said and try again.

I can't believe there's like... seriously one fight against two dudes, then suddenly you're up against huge monsters and bosses. Looking forward to the pacing evening out, but then again, this is a Platinum game. Their pacing is a bit different.

Yeah I'd imagine it gets better — I mean I love the sheer audacity of the game, and it makes me want to replay Bayonetta — but yeah, I also think like, damn it's not a bad thing for a game to welcome you a bit like DmC does.

***

Chris:

I kinda feel... mixed about how they decided to not tell you these things. On the one hand, I have an absurd love of Ninja Gaiden for the Xbox and God Hand for the PS2, so a lot of the "You'll kinda just have to figure this crap out for yourself" element dovetails with both of those experiences as well as Kojima's love of self-discovering things about the game. But for the most part, it comes off as lazy, confrontational design.

Man, God Hand. This game reminds me a lot of God Hand.


Comments

    Did the Blade Wolf boss change much from the demo? I know that the game was meant to have changed quite a bit since the demo came out, but he didn't seem impossible, plus the demo does nothing but tell you to parry through the entire boss fight.

      He's the same when you fight him, its later he's different....I don't care if that's a spoiler.

      Agreed. Also I thought the game tells you about the AR vision where you have the screenshot with it, which is about 5-10 min in once the prologue is over. Or was that demo only as well?

        Yeah the demo definitely told you about using the AR, so no idea if that bit is still in the game.

      My thoughts reading this article. I played the demo without any problems.

      You're right, it definitely does tell you to parry, but when I played the demo I understood that parry was 'direction and X' and that was it. So it would scream PARRY! at me and I would scream back WHAT THE EVERLIVING HELL IS PARRY I AM TRYING TO PARRY YOU ASSHOLE and then I would cry and turn off my console.

    Does the manual not have controls (if there is one)? Tbh, I can only think of it as a good thing to throw you in the deep end at the start. Tutorial levels get on my nerves. That said, if they're not teaching, or at least referencing skills that are necessary to actually progress through the game with and are not just single button presses (plus/minus a direction) or are contextual, that is a bit annoying

      Dark souls is the best game ever made apparently because of terrible tutorials

        Don't be a dickhead. You exaggerated and put words in people's mouths. You must be new to the internet, people usually aren't dickheads about things here.

    I'm up to chapter 4 and didn't have a clue about the dodge move. The 'monsoon' boss was even more frustrating than blade wolf and almost had me looking for a guide.

    Glad I'm not alone in my frustration, lol. The problem is that not only do you rely on the mostly locked, unlabelled VR missions to learn some of this... Even if you fail to say, parry in VR, or you fail blade mode and just attack the enemies to death in trying to perfect it... VR moves on. You have to reload the whole sequence and learn yourself :-/

    And precisely, the game barely tells you anything before it throws a beast at you that requires good knowledge of the combat system which you probably don't have... Even when it does tell you something, it does so in a manner so brief and without solidifying or practise that you never truly master it.

    I'm sure it'll be amazing when I know how to play properly, but the complete lack of guidance to some rather necessary specifics on combat is kinda jarring, lol

    My advice to anyone having trouble: play the demo, preferably multiple times. Apparently the demo tells you the basics a lot better than the actual game does.
    i failed to notice the game not telling me things coz i already knew them from the demo, I actually skipped the tutorial and all dialogue until after the bladewolf fight (not including the prologue)

    spam square, while holding towards the bad guy to block. still a good game though

      Just spam square while tapping forwards each time. Holding down the direction... does... nothing... I spent an hour or two on Blade Wolf because I didn't get that. Then he was incredibly easy. (I was playing on hard)

    this game is all about parrying and timing your attacks ;) the game is very easy when you learn how to parry :D except for the last boss (Armstrong)... need some brains for him too! LOVE the game! Can't wait for DLCs and the sequel or will it be a prequel??....

    Might have missed this in all the comments but... w/e. If you hit select then choose Help, you will find some useful info.

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