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No matter how you feel about Metal Gear Solid as a concept, Revengeance is not that game. This is a completely different beast to the languished, stealthy story driven experience that the series is so well known for. In fact this game is like the angry brother of the Metal Gear family, fast, violent and extremely stylised, Revengeance is aiming to inject some much needed energy into the universe.
The game follows Raiden, a once human cyborg who is running a protection detail for an African ambassador until a rogue group of terrorists ruin his day and leave him down an arm and an eye during the games breathtaking prologue. Following his defeat Raiden is patched up, given an upgrade and sent back out into the field, now hell bent on taking down the people responsible, a private military company known as Desperado Enterprises. Though as a story it may seem a bit simple, this is just setting the pace for what's to come.
From the moment the first cut scene ends and your hands grip the controller, you are aware that your character is an (almost) unstoppable killing machine. Attacks string together seamlessly and players will find that once a rhythm is established, it is hard not to become addicted to the brutal slice and dice nature of the combat. Not only are you given pages of combos and plenty of blocking and dodging options, but the combat highlight comes in the form of an ability to slow down time, line up a deadly string of slices and rend your enemies into mince meat. This move is used for not only basic combat but also tactically by removing limbs to weaken enemies and as a defensive technique when dealing with waves of oncoming foes or the occasional missile strike.
If you're worried all of this will make things too easy, don't be. In true Platinum Games style, Revengeance is designed to test even the toughest trophy hunters and even on normal will have you working for every kill. The controls may be well-designed but the AI is painfully efficient at punishing you for sloppy fighting. Your enemies are varied, each with their own strengths and weaknesses, plus the variation keeps you engaged and even when you are fighting a large group of plebs, you find yourself using the time to practice and hone your strategies.
Though Platinum has worked magic on the fighting, director Hideo Kojima has also weaved a great balance between story and action. Leaving his trademark 90-minute cut scenes behind, he has focused instead on pushing everything into a tight, streamlined experience. Fans of the series will be happy to know nothing is missing, the game has all of his usual passionate dialogue, jaw-dropping cinematics and political agendas (this time, without those hours of sneaking in between). Metal Gear fans will also be happy to know the game earns its title. It maintains the humour and in-jokes of any other MGS experience and also offers a wink here and there for those that know where to look for it.
As a whole, Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance delivers some of the best moments seen in the action adventure genre since God of War. Every set piece and cut scene is designed to take you on a roller-coaster ride through this crazy futuristic war-zone. The game is a great collaboration effort between two amazing studios and the result looks like one that will blow everyone away. Though it is aimed at the hardcore audience, Revengeance remains accessible and is worth a look for any who dare. Do not miss this title.