Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance Xbox 360 Preview

Konami took some time this week to show off the latest build of the long awaited Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance.  There are worse ways to spend a couple of nice days than at the Santa Monica beach, even if that time is spent locked away playing video games.  Revengeance marks the first time that a Metal Gear game will debut on the Xbox 360.  Though ports of Metal Gear games have eventually made it the GameCube and the original Xbox, they have typically been at least timed Playstation exclusives.

Metal Gear Rising was available to play at the E3 Expo in Los Angeles over the summer and since then, a demo has been released with The Zone of the Enders HD Collection for Playstation 3.  As it turns out, what was previously playable is the beginning part of Chapter 2.  The demo does a pretty good job of giving players a taste of what is to come in this fairly drastic departure from typical Metal Gear gameplay without giving much of the general premise away.

Those familiar with Metal Gear Solid are aware of the geo-political themes and narrative that could be taken as preachiness.  For the most part, those messages are more subtle, at least until the end.  This is in part due to the story not having been written by Hideo Kojima and some further distance because the game was put together by Platinum Games.  Considering the new action format featuring Raiden, the still lengthy narrative has been trimmed down to maintain the new action game’s pacing.

Speaking of Platinum Games, Revengeance plays like what you would expect from one of their games.  There are light and heavy combos to string together and to finish everything off, the blade mode that allows players to control the direction of blade strikes with the analog stick.  These strikes let you cut your foes into a hundred pieces.  The screen will let you know how many cuts and pieces your attack netted in.  It’s not just playing slap chop with the baddies though.  Exposing and grabbing their cortex offers health bonuses and removing the arm of certain foes results in additional intel perks.

Platinum Games has helped Kojima Productions make a really fun ninja game in the great traditions of Devil May Cry, Ninja Gaiden and their own Bayonetta.   Raiden starts the journey with standard blade but his journey offers plenty to add to his arsenal.  There are outfits and secondary weapons to be earned and the in-game currency allows for upgrades and new moves to be purchased between levels.  Attack strength and health upgrades should definitely be your focus as bosses and mini-bosses offer quite a challenge when playing at all but the easy difficulty setting.

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