After the fall of the Patriots and their System, Raiden AKA Jack begins working at a PMC that takes pride in not just making a profit but also being morally right. On an assignment that should have increased stability and peace in Africa, they are attacked by another PMC named Desperado, with Raiden being defeated by a swordman named Jetstream Sam. However, Raiden isn’t done yet. He survives and gets a host of upgrades to his cyborg body, which he then uses to go on the offensive against Desperado, revealing a massive conspiracy in typical Metal Gear fashion, but sticking to his morals and principles despite what comes his way.
Metal Gear Solid Rising: Revengeance was a character action game that was originally given birth to at Kojima Productions, but was eventually taken over by Platinum Studios who had a good amount more experience with character action. What came out was a game that had a lot of the elements of a standard character action game, but a lot of more unique elements carried through as well. The base combat is somewhat standard for character action, the main difference being that there is no blocking, and the only way to defend against attacks is to either dodge them or parry them. I felt parrying was rather finicky, as while the attacks are advertised adequately which makes the timing fair, you also need to be moving the analog stick in the enemies direction, which was a much more annoying, especially with the awkward camera. There are a lot of complaints about the camera in this game, though this was the only place I felt it really had an impact. Another key element is blade mode, where you can control the exact slice of the blade to cut enemies and if done properly with smaller enemies regain full health. This felt like a mostly gimmicky feature at first, but was put to very good use during some of the later boss battles, and hence something that due to it’s good implementation was very cool. The bosses were all pretty great as well, though the final boss having so many pointless stages was somewhat annoying. There were actually a lot of pointless QTE like moments, because while I’m willing to forgive the annoying blade time moments, the rest like climbing up walls and such were very much unnecessary, though I suppose expected for Platinum. There was also some other elements such as platforming, though just holding a trigger made most of it auto, as well as some simple stealth, as it just has to be there in some form in Metal Gear, and a super mode called Jack the Ripper where you can easily cut down anyone. Overall, the combat was solid as should be expected of Platinum, and better than any of their other games that I’ve played, but not exceptional for the character action genre.
In terms of story, while continuing off of MGS4, it felt very detached. While it still had similar themes, the tone and style were completely different, as were most of the characters. Raiden was tremendously different. He definitely made some progress from MGS2 to MGS4, but here he gets a major shift to pretty much an action hero, possessing an anti-hero element edge in the form of Jack the Ripper, which I thought was cool though it was also somewhat strange. His cyborg design was great as well, though it certainly makes you wonder how he can keep going back to being human. The new side characters completely supporting him for the most part were very flat and boring. The key exception to that being Blade Wolf, who is originally an enemy, but becomes a loyal and pretty awesome friend. Actually, compared to his allies, pretty much all of the major enemies in this game are rather colorful and interesting, from Mistral to Jetstream Sam. Armstrong especially was surprising and while somewhat insane was legitimately awesome. As for the other returning characters, Sunny was adorable and it was nice to see her doing well. And that’s pretty much it, in that there were no other returning characters as far as I can recall. Rose and their son are briefly mentioned as being safe in New Zealand, and that’s all we here about them. The plot was incredibly cliche and completely lacking Kojima’s signature convolution that I personally enjoyed a tremendous deal, but it was somewhat decent due to the interesting bosses.
The graphics were decent enough for the time, though the art style was somewhat generic and while there were a couple stand out designs most of them were pretty boring. The random Easter Eggs were quite nice though, in typical Metal Gear fashion. The soundtrack was tremendously different from standard Metal Gear, with a lot of vocal rock, but while it was certainly different, so is the game, and I felt it fitting and enjoyed it.
In regards to DLC: Jet Stream Sam was a pain to play as, his story felt lacking, and pretty much everything was reused. In regards to Blade Wolf, he was decent to play as but still lacking compared to Raiden, but had a decent story considering the size and had at least an original boss. Overall the reuse of old content combined with being too short to really be able to learn the characters without replaying multiple times were the biggest flaws of both DLCs.
A game that is very different from typical Metal Gear of course, but still sticks to many of the themes and is overall a very solid character action game.