Metal Gear Rising Revengeance Preview: Must Slice Things
One of the longest lines in all of E3 and one of the more controversial games available for the hands-on experience was Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance. This game takes place nine years after MGS4 (not between 2 and 4 as originally intended) and instead of playing as Snake, you become cyborg ninja Raiden. Snake and other familiar characters may appear, but Konami couldn't confirm at this time.
The game is somewhat controversial because of the bold move Platinum Games took is by switching the focus from stealth to action. Stealth still plays a role, though. I snuck up on two guys and took them down without anyone else noticing. Holding down the right trigger, meanwhile, lets you quietly "ninja run." However, more emphasis is place on fluid, balls-to-the-wall combat. Many fans I spoke to were bothered by this, as stealth is what Metal Gear has been so known for, but I can safely say Metal Gear Rising had my favorite combat mechanics of any game I played at E3.
In Revengeance, Raiden's katana can cut through anything to bloody, exhilarating effect. It's most entertaining to use it in Blade Mode, activated with the top left trigger. This lets you free slice with the right analog stick. And BOY did I free slice. I loved finishing enemies by slow motion chopping them into pieces, like bullet time with a katana, getting more points for every rapid-fire slice.
You won't just be chopping up soldiers. In my demo, I destroyed some metal bars to get an item and in the preview, I also saw some impressive helicopter choppage. I LOVE ZAN-DATSU, MUST SLICE ALL OF THE THINGS ALL OF THE TIME!! Sadly, Blade Mode drains energy from Raiden, a necessary and realistic move, but one that means we can't slice all of the things all of the time. Still, I'll take it where I can get it.
Since I haven't played much of the Metal Gear series, the massive genre change doesn't bother me. In fact, I was so delighted by the unadulterated fun of Blade Mode, I feel like I might become a defender of the switch, but it'll be interesting to see how long time fans of the series react to the full game when it's released for Xbox 360 and PS3 next year.
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