It’s taken awhile but PC gamers will finally get a taste of the slice and dice action of Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance that enthralled console gamers since last February. Developer PlatinumGames makes the Revengeance port worth the wait by bundling the game with numerous extras, updated graphics and three DLC packages that were separate console purchases.
Under Platinum’s development eye, Revengeance’s main protagonist Raiden is an essentially different character who sports a high-frequency energy sword, cybernetics, and a darker demeanor. This new model of Raiden is a samurai-like warrior who works for a private military company that is tasked with protecting an African dignitary. When travelling in a motorcade, the dignitary gets kidnapped and you’re thrust into a tight action game whose campaign moves as quickly as its excellent fighting system. Combat wise you only get two attacks which are heavy and light, so while you won’t have to memorize endless strings of combos you will need to be skillful at parrying. Raiden can pick up and use a variety of weapons including rocket launchers and anti-aircraft missiles but his primary form of defense is his high-tech sword. While making an accessible game that anyone can pick up and play seemed to be Platinum’s goal, there are some levels of complexity to Revengeance. For example, the innovative new ‘free slicing’ blade mode allows you to slash your sword at any angle using the right analogue stick, which is not only highly precise but gives a real visceral feeling of holding and wielding a sword. If you keep the energy bar filled up you can engage a slow motion bullet time effect that allows you to slice an enemy into dozens of pieces in an instant.
The next level of combat is the parry attack, which is often the only way to beat tougher enemies and involves you pushing towards a target as you perform a standard attack (there is no passive guard move). The window for a standard, rather than ‘perfect’, parry is fairly wide but it’s still a difficult move to pull off at first. The craziest move in the game is when Raiden performs what is called a Zandatsu. A Zandastu happens when Raiden has sliced an enemy into ribbons, grabs their spine before they’ve hit the ground, and absorbs its energy, fully restoring his health. It’s an incredibly dope move, and beautifully animated. You’d be wise to play Revengeance with a controller instead of using the keyboard and mouse as they don’t enable the melee combat’s precision and finesse offered by a controller. If there’s one drawback to this game it’s the camera that often jerks around erratically when you’re in the midst of a fight. This is a problem when groups of enemies are coming at you from all angles as Raiden can get lost in his own chaos from time to time. On some occasions Raiden will get knocked across the screen and attempting to gather your whereabouts as an enemy pummels you from off camera can lead to some frustrating moments. Fortunately the camera gripes don’t deter from the overall fine job PlatimumGames has done with this port and the improved performance on the PC makes this a refined upgrade over the console version.
The XXL Endgame
Revengeance has one of the best combat systems of recent years, with multiple layers and plenty of scope for experimentation making it one of the most thrilling, theatrical action games on PC. Sure the camera can be a bit wonky at times but the bottom line is Revengeance is a dope experience and for only $30, you can’t go wrong. —Written by DJ Rhude (@DJRhude)
XXL Rating: L