Metal Gear Rising: Revengence Hands-On Preview

By John Wippersteg on July 4, 2012, 2:29PM EDT

Metal Gear Rising: Revengence is yet another Metal Gear game where the main character being isn't Solid Snake - instead, it's Raiden. The game was first announced in 2009 as Metal Gear Solid: Rising and after a lot of silence and speculation; Kojima Productions announced that they could not get the game to work correctly so they were handing development over to Platinum Games. After playing the demo provided at E3, this seems to have been a good choice.

The primary focus of the initial trailer was a free cutting system that would allow the player to cut anything they wanted, in any way they wanted. This system is well implemented in the game, although it remains to be seen just how much of the environment can be sliced up. The cutting system is extremely well thought out and is executed simply by holding L2 and using the right stick like you would a sword. It takes a few minutes to get the feeling down but after that it feels so natural and easy to do.

The demo they had us play was a simple tutorial type mission that highlighted how to do the swordplay as well as standard movement and combat options. One of the interesting things they highlighted was how you can combo normal button pushing combat to break an enemy's guard and then slice him with the sword. If you sliced a highlighted area then you were able to rip out the core of the robot which would be beneficial later on. They also highlighted some stealth kill type manoeuvres from rooftops and behind to highlight that while the stealth elements were somewhat removed, it is still a playable option if that is how you are so inclined. However unlike past Metal Gear games it will not be possible to complete the game by not killing people, or so the demo made it seem.

The other mechanic they were demonstrating was the ninja run, which was basically a free running option in the Assassin's Creed vein. This was shown only in two small segments; a classic run across the bridge before it breaks segment and the final boss fight of the demo which was a Helicopter. The fight against the helicopter basically boiled down to, grab rocket launcher from one side of a small enclosed area, fire it at the helicopter, run to the other side and fire that one, rinse and repeat. This ended with the helicopter firing a bunch of rockets at you and you free running from one rocket to another before using the free cutting system to slice the helicopter to bits. It was a fun and satisfying ending to a somewhat mundane boss experience, but it was an early level so it's hard to judge the game's boss fights from that.

The game looks and feels like a classic Metal Gear game. One small scene in the demo had a bad guy hiding in a box that had to be sliced open to get a key. It certainly seems like this has the potential to be another top flight game from the Metal Gear Franchise.

Metal Gear Rising: Revengence will be available holiday season 2012 on both Xbox 360 and PS3.

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