There is no denying that Hideo Kojima took a huge leap of faith by entrusting Platinum Games with the Metal Gear license. Choosing a studio known for pure action gameplay surely raised a red alert box above most fans’ heads, but they proved everyone wrong when Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance launched last year to critical praise. Now, with an updated version carving its own niche in the PC marketplace, those who missed out have been given the definitive version of the first pure action experience in this legendary franchise.
Taking place after the events of Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots, Revengeance tasks Raiden with running security for the African prime minister, N’mani. Pretty quickly, though, things fall apart as the president’s convoy is attacked by a group of terrorists, sending everything into chaos. During Raiden’s attempt to rescue the president, he is critically wounded by the deadly Jetstream Sam. Then, three weeks later, Raiden wakes up with a complete cybernetic overhaul and a singular objective in mind: revengeance.
If you are looking for a classic Metal Gear Solid experience, then sheath your gamepad now and walk away. Go ahead, walk away, because you are certainly not in the right place. Revengeance‘s heart and soul relies on a surplus of frenetic action. Luckily, though, the shift into a purely action-based experience has created a hugely entertaining hack ‘n’ slash title. Seriously, this is the type of blade combat you were craving ever since Grey Fox massacred a hall full of soldiers in Metal Gear Solid.
Even with the sheer focus on combat, Revengeance manages to avoid the trappings of mindless action games by providing emergent gameplay that rewards the studious player. Investing a small chunk of time allows you to gain a deeper understanding of the subtleties in the game’s combat system. Timing and flow are key to becoming the efficient killer Raiden is made out to be and tapping into the concept of an offensive/defensive will have you leaving a trail of bodies behind after a few play sessions. It’s important to note, however, that playing the game with a mouse and keyboard just isn’t the same as using a gamepad.
Gaining a strong foothold in battle is crucial for achieving a powerful rhythm to your combat, and successfully eliminating enemies with speed and efficiency allows you to rapidly build your fuel cell energy. This precious resource grants Raiden the ability to enter Blade Mode, which is the heart of Revengeance’s combat system. Activating the precision cutting mode grants players the freedom to target specific parts of an enemy’s body via the analog stick. Lopping off limbs and heads becomes second nature as time slows to a crawl. Of course, mashing the face buttons on your gamepad unleashes a flurry of slices that are just as effective.
Capitalizing on the opportunities provided by Blade Mode is imperative once you learn how to perform the Zandatsu technique. This will create a red hit box for you to slice through, which separates your enemy from their neon blue nano spine. Collecting this precious resource in combat grants a fresh batch of electrolytes that fill your health and fuel cell meter. This makes flowing in and out of blade mode imperative to keeping the pace of combat moving forward and ensuring you never trap yourself in a corner without the required energy to slice your way out.
After you chop up the final boss for your Zandatsu stew, a range of options are available to explore. Playing through the game a second time on a higher difficulty will provide a greater challenge for those aiming to perfect their skills. If you happen to be looking for something a little bit different, though, then you’re in luck, because the PC version certainly delivers. Packing in both story DLC expansions, Jetstream Sam and Blade Wolf, you gain an additional few hours of gameplay. Sure, they aren’t full length campaigns, but playing as the respective characters of each pack makes for some welcomed diversity. Additionally, over fifty VR Missions are included that offer instant action for you to test your reflexes and skill. These are perfect for those times when you just happen to have the desire to remove a few arms and legs and then call it a night.
All in all, the PC port of Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance is a great package that provides substantial improvements to both frame rate and visuals. The game simply feels and plays better than its console counterparts and consolidating all of the previous DLC into a single offering effectively makes this the definitive version to purchase. Unless of course you’ve already purchased it on a console.
This review is based on the PC version of the game, which we were provided with.