Metal Gear Rising: why it really is a Metal Gear
For all that makes Rising different to Kojima’s classics, there’s something that makes it eerily similar. There’s the way Raiden has taken on Snake’s speech patterns, the VR training room, the way your support crew talk just a little too much. There are also the
call-backs to past games – the failed Virtuous Mission, the way every boss has a reason to have given up their humanity, and the way Raiden is given an eye patch like Big Boss and Old Snake before him.
Then there’s the role of LQ-84i. In many ways, LQ-84i is Rising’s Gray Fox – the first game’s original Cyborg Ninja. Known more simply as Bladewolf, the conflicted AI-controlled drone is Rising’s first boss fight and the climax of Platinum’s TGS demo. Rather than demanding you “HURT HIM MORE!” the broken machine is sent back to Doktor for repairs after you vanquish it. Once back on the battlefield, Bladewolf will handily scout ahead, report back on enemy movements and be another voice on Raiden’s Codec.
But first he needs reassembling. Every boss fight ends with Raiden’s Blade Mode, as Korekado demonstrates when he plugs in his own controller to demo another boss fight Konami didn’t show at TGS. An upgraded Raiden goes toe-to-toe with the multi-armed Mistral and her army of the Dwarf Gekkos (the football-sized pests Old Snake met in the ruins of Shadow Moses) using bigger combos, new aerial attacks and moves torn straight from Bayonetta.
Leaping from the roof of an industrial building into the burning ruins of a refinery, Raiden uses his upgraded combos to wear down Mistral’s guard until he can strike through her staff. KA-SLICE! Backed into a corner, she’s doused with nitrogen, freezing her to the spot ready for a final Blade Mode combo. It’s up to you whether to turn her into neat cubes, remove her head, or recover that left arm with one perfect chop.
Plus, after every boss fight, Raiden takes the boss’ weapon for his own. At TGS, selected punters were given limited access to this demo, but here at Kojima Productions I play it again and again – first aggressively, then stealthily, then just to experiment with Raiden’s combos. It would be rude not to faff about with grenades and rocket launchers, too. Equally, I have to have once last playthrough where I turn the environment to shish kebab. Whatever way you to choose to play Revengeance, it holds up like a real Metal Gear game should – Raiden really can cut it, after all.
“We can’t keep telling the fans that aren’t convinced to please check out the game and think that we can make them love it,” says Saito “It’s something we have to put into the game. I believe our passion and the world we’ve created with Kojima Productions will match exactly what the past Metal Gears have created. If you love Metal Gear it’s not a gamble – if you buy it and play it, you’ll see that Revengeance is part of the saga and that it is included in the Metal Gear world.”
“When Kojima decided to send the game over to Platinum Games, it was definitely a dark time for our team,” says Korekado. “We put a lot of effort into it and [spent] a lot of time on it, so a lot of the guys were in a dark hole. I wanted to continue the game’s
development internally, but Kojima wanted to move it forward and develop it outside.
It was very frustrating, but something I had to move forward with. Even now I remember giving the first presentation to Platinum with mixed feelings.” But, as Korekado explains, the project couldn’t have reached completion in the hands of Kojima Productions alone.
“Without Platinum we weren’t even sure Rising could be published,” he continues. “When our old Metal Gear Solid: Rising team looked at the Tokyo Game Show demo, they all agreed it was great, and was definitely something Kojima Studios couldn’t do alone. The passion overflows from Platinum’s games. It’s the same for Kojima Productions – when you feel it, you want to feel more. That’s what makes a Metal Gear game.” Prepare to be convinced come 22 February.