And you will know my name is Raiden… when I lay my Revengeance upon you!
Let's not mince words, Revengeance is a dumb title. A really dumb title. So it's a good thing that everything else in the E3 playable demo for Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance is totally awesome. The patchwork Frankengame that Platinum revived from the Kojima Productions corpse is a badass monster.
If there was one thing that I was worried about when I heard that Platinum was taking over Metal Gear Rising, it was that the cool stuff, in the footage shown for the game originally, would be gone. (But then again, this is Platinum, so the reverse could be more plausible.) The demo opens with a training section that allows Raiden to slice a watermelon a million different ways, and then rip out their power cores and crush them to steal their energy. Nuff said.
The amazing mechanic at the core of the game is "Cut Mode", which allows you to slow time to a crawl and slice through an object or person at any angle. It actually counts the number of ways you bisect the object/person/dead person. The training has a V.R. environment sprung around Raiden, as he cuts through cardboard cutouts, some with cheesy '80s hostages, before moving onto the aforementioned cyborgs. Nick Tan says Raiden would be a Fruit Ninja master if everything were fruit. I add Cut the Rope.
Cut mode isn't always effective against enemies, the transition of which was a little unclear, at which point it becomes necessary to enter into the kind of hack-and-slash combat Platinum is known for. It didn't engender the psychopathic glee I felt when I slashed two cyborgs to ribbons at the same time, but fell into a rhythm of clubbing them to death with fast repeated strikes. It's still fun, but it's sort of like driving a sports car after traveling by jetpack. Seriously, even Patrick Bateman doesn't have this much fun cutting people up.
The game's brand manager mentioned that, going forward, the focus on the game by Platinum is to give the player the experience of being the Raiden of the cinematics in Metal Gear Solid 4, and putting that speed and agility in the hands of the player. It feels like that's a success from this early view. This does mean that, yes, this is not the subtle stealth espionage action of Metal Gears of the past, but that's why they dropped the "Solid" and put "Rising" in its place. Maybe, in the grand universal scheme of things, the game needs a subtitle as dumb as Revengeance to balance how awesome the rest of it is so far.
Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance is expected to slice and dice in early 2013.