Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance
Posted by Alyssa
When Metal Gear Solid was released on PSX, its combination of solid, smart gameplay and deep storyline made director Hideo Kojima a respected name among gamers. Followed by the success of three sequels and several portable renditions, it seemed that Kojima could do no wrong.
As such, fans of Metal Gear have been eagerly awaiting this week’s release of the next-gen spinoff, “Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance.”
The game mashes Ghost in a Shell with Ninja Gaiden in a hack-and-slash beat-em-up with surprising depth. Starring the cyborg, Raiden (one of the central characters from Metal Gear Solid 2 and 4), Kojima took Metal Gear Rising in a new direction, providing fast-paced action and crisp, cutting-edge graphics, Rising was a step away from the tactical, thoughtful, “don’t get spotted or else” gameplay that fans fell in love with.
It was a bold move that, in the end, didn’t work.
Rising is clearly not just a cash-in. What the game does well, it does extremely well. The graphics are absolutely gorgeous, rendering every environment, every gory, blood-splattered kill in gruesome, beautiful detail. The storyline, while simple, contains surprising depth beneath the surface. You could write a book on the themes and undertones therein: Men transforming into machines, the use of people and machines as tools of war, tools of justice, tools of the powerful, all very thought-provoking.
The fault of the game isn’t in how it was planned, how it was written or how it was presented…it was in the game play. Repetitive and somewhat simple, the game perhaps wanders too far from its roots. There’s no sense of accomplishment, no satisfaction in using your tools or your wits to defeat enemies in this game–only the empty satisfaction that comes with leaving a slew of dismembered corpses in your wake and proceeding to the next level.
Throughout my playthrough, I never experienced any feeling of urgency, or paused even a moment to consider how I’d approach a situation. The solution to almost any problem, I found, was simply cutting my way through it, or dodging it entirely.
It was a worthy effort, and I think it took a bit of courage for a legend in the gaming industry like Kojima to try something new. But while I don’t have an issue with the hack-and-slash genre, I can simply say that this has been done before, and it’s been done better.