Ever since Metal Gear Rising showed its new direction for the game, fans have been waiting for a chance to try out the game for themselves. Now with the Zone of the Enders HD Collection Konami has included the TGS 2012 demo in English on the collection and it does not disappoint. It is rare that a demo can cause this much anticipation, but when it comes to the next Metal Gear game fans are willing to do whatever it takes.
The demo starts you off right after Raiden has gained his new cyborg suit and has you sneaking through a new group of bad guys. Much like Metal Gear Solid 4 Private Military Companies (PMCs) are a major part of war still. Without getting into any spoilers here, the demo has a block of text at the beginning setting up the world of Rising and how Raiden got his new cyborg suit.
The story is as over the top and crazy as you would expect from any other Metal Gear game even in the small slice this demo gives you. Still it doesn't throw tons info at you in cutscenes for those who don't really want that and for those who do there is the new codec system. If you felt like the codec was wasted in MGS4, Rising wants to fix that by having multiple characters with all sorts of conversations to have with Raiden. When it comes to the story, the demo gives a hardcore Metal Gear fan like me hope that Rising has what it takes to tell a different story, but still have fun with itself.
When you get past all the story and watermelon slicing lessons the game is all about the gameplay. Rising is like controlled chaos where you can be slicing through all sorts of enemies or structures and actually have you sneaking past any obstacle in your way however you want. It is a bit tempting to just want to ninja run all through the wide open environments, but that will get you spotted and have reinforcements on you in a heartbeat. Platinum Games really found a good way to fit stealth into a Metal Gear all about slicing things into hundreds of pieces.
Cutting is surprisingly more complected when it comes to mastering blade mode. Blade mode has you moving the camera and adjust where you will be cutting through. By the end of the demo you get a hold of what it takes to line up cuts in the right places making battles much easier. In a game where you play as an over the top super powered cyborg ninja you never feel like you are too strong or weak in battles thankfully. The lack of a dodge mechanic like most third person action games have brings a lot of challenge when it comes to fighting multiple enemies or a boss. Your only change to survive is to perry all incoming attacks and get the timing just right.
Besides being one of the riskiest Metal Gear game ideas since Metal Gear Solid Risk Edition, Rising also challenges the way most other games in it's genre play and innovates in ways most people wouldn't expect. How the rest of the games bosses turn out will be interesting since the idea of the boss at the end of this demo was cool he didn't have that "WOW" factor you expect to see in most Metal Gear boss battles. The robotic AI controlled dog you need to take down feels more like a mini boss then something you would save for the end of a demo like this, which was a bit of a let down.
This demo did it's job perfectly and made me wanting to come back for more and play through it two more time after finishing it. The Metal Gear Rising demo gives you enough content not to complain, but also something new and different to look forward to in 2013. Platinum Games show off a very promising slice of what seems to meld stealth and action gameplay better than any game in the series past.