Saturday, 14 July 2012

My Views on the Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance Arguments [E3 2012]

Let's get one thing out of the way before I say another word regarding the topic of this post: Metal Gear Rising: Revenegeance looks like an excellent game from what we've seen of it thus far. Stating that Platinum Games' spin-off to one of the most legendary video game series of all-time is looking terrible, purely because it has next to no relation to the main titles in the Metal Gear Saga, is quite simply a cynical, biased statement from the sort of tawpie who probably shouldn't be playing tactical espionage action games in the first place. Although, these declarations are not without reason; The aforementioned fact that, while it looks to be an excellent experience in terms of gameplay when it's finally released early 2013, it doesn't really seem to be part of the Metal Gear universe and canon despite claims that it is. Thinking about it further, this isn't exactly a fact since the story does fit in the time line, but the world this game portrays is a far cry from the likes of Shadow Moses and Groznyj Grad. Let's begin listing the odd differences found in this portrayal of Metal Gear, starting with the main character, Raiden. There's always going to be someone complaining that Hideo Kojima's story is a convoluted mishmash of randomness, but few can deny that the characters found within his complex tale are mostly likeable slices of brilliance in the form of virtual humans and the oddly well explained supernatural. Raiden was one such character - The key word in this sentence being 'was'.

Raiden can still maintain his 'badass' persona in Platinum's spin-off, but he's lost some personality in the process.
Mind you, Raiden actually started out as a bit of a snob, but rightly due to reasons that shouldn't be explained for the purposes of avoiding spoiling 2002's Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty. Without spoiling anything whatsoever, the once annoying protagonist of the first MGS release on Sony's second major console became rather likeable towards the end of the game, but it was in 2008s excellent PS3 debut, Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots, that Raiden's true colours glistened through. In the series' last home console release, the once snobby 20-something had transformed into, simply put, a total badass. Typically in this modern age of third-person shooters and first-person shooters and what have you, characters like Gears of War's Marcus Phoenix are considered suitable to fit under this title, but even if the muscular blockhead did, he'd be hundreds of classes below Raiden. Unfortunately with the gameplay-focused Metal Gear Rising, the character who made the transition from unfitting protagonist to gallant cybernetic warrior has now grown a bit stale, fitting more under the true definition of badass according to; A difficult to deal with, mean-tempered character. Raiden may have a reason to be angry in his latest appearance, but he found himself in the same situation in Guns of the Patriots and I remember him maintaining a level-headed nature in that release no matter what happened to him or his comrades. And he got his arms decapitated. That's rough. Rising's portrayal of Raiden, on the other end of what I like to call the 'badass spectrum', is an insane cyborg Hell-bent on justice in a war-bound, bleak future.

If anyone can make a good hack 'n' slash, it's Platinum Games. With little involvement from Kojima Productions, however, this certainly ain't like no Metal Gear that's ever come before.
Of course, there's a chance that Metal Gear Rising might once again see Raiden going through the same process he did in his PS2 debut, making yet another transition due to... certain reasons. Again, I'm trying my hardest not to spoil things here. Regardless, nothing can sway Rising's ectopic nature away when it comes to the setting of the game. Again, this aspect doesn't in any way look like something to complain about, or even something overly bland, it's just not the sort of thing you'd expect from Metal Gear. Granted, MGS4 was set in a war-torn future where nano-machines controlled everything from war economy to mooing Gekko, but Rising's world takes things a bit too far. The raging battle in Rising seems a lot less sophisticated, at least judging from the overly action-packed trailers. This game is clearly being developed by Platinum, the subsidiary of the late Clover Studios (before they split and ended up making Okami) who brought us the excellent ultra-violent beat 'em up MadWorld and soon enough, it's spiritual sequel Anarchy Reigns (which you may be seeing an article on here in the blog some time soon). This action element of Metal Gear has always been sophisticated and clever, with the occasional epic set-piece and brilliant boss fight turning things up an notch on numerous occasions. I don't think I'll ever forget the incredible Shagohod chase sequence at the end of Snake Eater or the final battle of the entire Solid series chronologically, quite possibly the greatest boss ever seen in a videogame. Like the warring environments a wrecked Raiden finds himself in, the action loses its sophistication in Rising, not to say slicing up helicopters, Gekko and watermelons with the clever 1:1 slicing mechanic doesn't look fun.

Despite all I've said in the past few paragraphs, Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance looks anything but charmless. Granted, you'd never hear a Depeche Mode song in a typical Metal Gear trailer, nor would you see non-stop, not too well thought out action sequences, but none of this stuff looks bad or in any way generic. The 1:1 slicing I mentioned previously looks unique and satisfying, and the excessive gore you'd expect from Platinum only compliments this. This game is a spin-off through and through, and while it's one I'd eliminate from the main series canon if I were to revise entire Metal Gear saga, I can't stress enough that Rising is most certainly going to be a hit when it drops in the first quarter of next year, at least judging from what we've seen of it. Even if it turns out pants, we still have the recently confirmed Metal Gear Solid 5 to look forward to (a game which I'm absolutely certain will follow on from Peace Walker and Snake Eater). I haven't gone ridiculously in-depth about the core game in this post, but you can expect a possible preview of Metal Gear Rising not too long before the title is released. For now, though, look forward to future pieces (of which there are many coming this month) and have a nice day!

No comments: