Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance – Jetstream Sam DLC: The Kotaku Review

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Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance – Jetstream Sam DLC: The  Kotaku Review


It’s time to talk about cherry blossoms. And how they relate to downloadable content. Cherry blossoms are just starting to bloom here in New York. Coincidentally, the Jetstream Sam DLC for Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance was recently released, too, and it lets you play as one of the game’s villains in a standalone campaign.

Revengeance

Dating back to feudal Japanese times, cherry blossoms have represented the fleeting nature of beauty and life. They come seemingly out of nowhere, bursting out the branches of seemingly dead trees in explosions of pink, white and other colours. Those same delicate flowers will be gone in a few weeks, leaving behind only fond memories.

Too bad you won’t be able to say the same about the Jetstream Sam DLC.

Oh, it starts off promisingly enough. Sam, all smirks and accent, pulls up to the headquarters of one of the game’s big private security outfits and artfully slices a few goons into bloody mist. When the cutscene ended, I started to get excited for the new weapons this freshly baked chunk of game would dole out. Maybe some new locales, too?

No. None of that. The Jetstream Sam DLC is one of the thinnest, chintziest add-ons I’ve ever played, and I was stunned when what I thought was going to be the crescendo of the first act turned out to be the end of the whole thing.

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Jetstream Sam

But the thing about cherry blossoms that makes them so beloved is that they’re beautiful. And while the JSS add-on isn’t bad-looking, it does blatantly re-use environments and bosses from the main campaign in pretty ugly fashion. Sam does have different moves and his own animations but tactically he’s more limited than Raiden. He doesn’t have Raiden’s slide move nor does he ever get to wield other blades in his all-too-short turn in the spotlight.

You do get some new VR missions, though, and some of the dialogue fleshes out Sam’s backstory a bit. And it’s mildly pleasurable to hear some primary characters from the campaign blather on again in the game’s overcooked fashion. Still, those aren’t enough to justify the DLC’s $US10 asking price. But — when compared with, say, the beefier and better-made Virgil’s Downfall DLC for DmC — this add-on amounts to nothing more than a piece of monetised déjà vu. You’d better off watching some Let’s Play videos than putting down cash for this.

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Comments

  • It just proves how little most reviewers pay attention to gameplay design in action games, that he would call the vergil dlc “better-made”.

    Sam plays with an all new moveset that offers an extremely different way to play the game. It’s not just some shallow re-skin that offers nothing new. It’s different where it counts, in the gameplay. Despite re-using assets, the way Sam plays is extremely refreshing. It’s so different that you will feel terrible when you start, even if you’ve beaten the game on revengenance difficulty with Raiden. But soon you figure out exactly what Platinum have crafted here, which is a brand new twist that changes the way you approach every enemy.

    Don’t buy this dlc if you only played through MGR once. You probably weren’t that invested in the gameplay, and probably won’t notice a difference when you play as Sam. Like this reviewer. But if you fully explored Raiden’s moveset and are versed in action-game nuance, this DLC is a beautiful reminder of why Platinum are the best in the business.

    • The reviewer mentioned that Sam played differently from Raiden. Blantantly.

      “Sam does have different moves and his own animations but tactically he’s more limited than Raiden. He doesn’t have Raiden’s slide move nor does he ever get to wield other blades in his all-too-short turn in the spotlight.”

      And he’s right. Despite the gameplay changes, it’s a fucking short DLC, and considering how much it cost it’s not worth it, and I’m a die-hard MGS fan who has palyed through MGR several time. So don’t pull out bullshit like “you weren’t invested in the gameplay” and act like you’re the only one who got the differences.

      • He doesn’t mention how those differences actually change the experience. He just complains that because the moves are different, he can’t use the same tactics as he did with Raiden. If anything, Sam’s limitations offer much more tactful play than Raiden did. Raiden allowed you to easily just combo enemies to death, but Sam’s charge and taunt centric moves force you to create space with his dodge and time individual attacks more carefully. I don’t think the reviewer understood how Sam’s unique differences actually enhanced the gameplay.

        • That doesn’t change the fact that the DLC is short and reuses assets. Which is the main gripe here, which you don’t seem to understand.

          • I guess this will be a tough sell for anyone who is in it for more content, and not necessarily better content. But this dlc has more substance than what you normally see. New assets have limited novelty. A good example is the vergil dlc. It’s got a new enemy, but it has no meaningful effect on the way you play the game. What Sam’s dlc does is much more valuable, as it changes the core of the game, while tweaking existing boss and enemy behaviors to complement it, so that the entire game feels and plays differently. Though you’re fighting the same enemies and bosses from the vanilla game, every approach to these encounters is different. To me, that’s a more valuable offering than what DmC did, which was give people more of the same, but with a different coat of paint. Re-used assets and short-length may be the main gripe, but it was obviously not the developer’s priority. I would hope that a reviewer would not miss that completely.

          • It doesn’t change the fact that it’s $10 for an hour or two of gameplay. That is not good value for money. It doesn’t matter if the gameplay is good, if the DLC is too short to show it off then what’s the point? Gameplay is not the whole package.

            Speaking as to the rest of it…the story was a letdown. Sam goes to World Marshall, fights a bunch of bosses, Monsoon says “you should totally join us because these other things you did that are only mentioned in this sentance didn’t make a change,” you go up to the roof after doing a fetch quest, fight Armstrong, then you end up joining him just because he cut your arm off. So it’s literally pointless as it reveals nothing of importance that the main game didn’t tell you.

            So it’s short, it’s story is a single paragraph that wastes potential, it reuses everything from Rising proper bar some new cutscenes and voice overs, it gives you a new character with a different playstyle and completely wastes it by preventing any form of customisation or allowing for any other kind of playstyle. And the best you can come up with to defend it is “the gameplay has changed so that completely justifies the wasted plot and insulting short length and a price tag $5 too high. Why put so much time and effort into making a new character and gameplay if you’re barely giving players a chance to make the most of it?

            You know what would have justified the price tag? IF they threw in another chapter showing Sam fighting some of the drug cartels in his backstory and giving more opportinties to show off his personality before he decides to take on World Marshall. More gameplay, an actual story, and creating something new instead of so blatantly reusing all the assets from Revengeance.

          • ^ what happens when MGS fans play games that are not MGS. Yes I would rather my $10 went toward a well designed game rather than one with more story related bells and whistles. Sue me. This dlc isn’t made by Kojima, it’s by Platinum. Platinum fans want replayability and gameplay depth, not padded out cutscenes or character exposition. Just admit that what you got was more of what made MGR a great action game, and not what you had originally expected from a game with Metal Gear in the title. But don’t complain that it’s not value for money, when what you value is literally worthless to others.

          • It’s not good value for money. $10 for a 1-2 DLC is not good value for money in any game period. There’s also a reason why Kojima Productions helped with the story and had veto rights on anything in development.

            And you say “more character exposition” as if there was any. There is no character development at all; Sam shows up planning to kill Armstrong, holds that view all the way until the end of the game when he fights Armstrong, and the exchange goes like this;

            Armstrong: You should totally work for me.
            Sam: No way!
            *They fight, Sam wins except Armstrong ends up kicking his ass after the boss fight*
            Armstrong: So, you should totally work for me.
            Sam: Okay.

            This is still a Metal Gear game, and the entire franchise has been about good storytelling. Rising had good storytelling. This DLC didn’t, and insisting that just because it has good gameplay that makes up for it’s lack of plot or it’s short length compared to what other DLC packs deliver is just ludicirious.

  • Platinum games are all about replaying, arcade-style. It may only take you an hour to get through and you’d be well within your rights to complain and say it’s not worth it. But this DLC is not for you, it’s for the score chasers, the folks who loved Vanquish even though it was “only” 7 hours because it was the best 7 hours of gaming all year and it was 7 hours they could play again and again and enjoy every time.

    If you’re concerned about the length of a Platinum game, then it’s probably not for you.

    • The only problem with that is that, when you look at it Revengeance wasn’t that long a game, but it offered a lot of options that makes replayablity more enjoyable as you can do things differently, you could try and do an all ninja-kill run, or swap weapons and do a no-kill run, there’s was ungrades, unlockables, all that good stuff to keep striving for.

      Jetstream Sam had none of that, which was stupid considering all of it worked well in Revengeance, so why try fixing something that isn’t broken?

      And of course, there’s the lack of story. You don’t make a character as interesting as Sam was then utterly waste him. This was an interesting story to tell since Sam was the only one of the Winds of Destruction who wasn’t just interested in battle for battle’s sake and was the odd man out of the villians. This was a chance to show how the anti-hero the codec calls descibed turned out the way he did, and from Plantinum’s storytelling on this DLC, it went like this:

      Villians: You should work for us.
      Sam: No, I’m going to kill you
      *They fight*
      Villians: You should work for us.
      Sam: Okay.

      It’s not rocket science, and considering how good the story of the main game was there’s no excuse for this one to be lacking.

    • Yep. One of his tricks is putting the sword in the sheath and shooting it out to get that extra amount of speed. Although it doesn’t make a lot of sense in this DLC since he lacks the cybernetic arm to catch the sword without ripping every muscle in his arm, but he uses the gun-sheath exactly once to hit some asshole cop in the face so it’s a moot point.

  • I just went through this on the weekend and loved it. As an avid Revengeance fan it was great returning. The different moveset takes some getting used to. I’m sure in subsequent playthroughs I’ll be the one doing the majority of the killing 😉

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