One thing that is nice about GamerSushi is that we’re not compelled to review each and every game that comes out. Sure, we do review a large chunk of the big-name releases each year, but there isn’t that pressure to get our written thoughts up on day one.
That kind of explains why there hasn’t, and will never be, an official GamerSushi review of Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, unless one of the other Editors wants to take a stab at it. While Revengeance has achieved some critical acclaim the consensus didn’t gel with my experience.
Way back, I wrote a quick post for a “What We’re Playing” Monday about Revengeance, and by that point I had just finished the tutorial level and the first real chapter. My opinion on the game was fairly positive, but that went downhill extremely quickly when I reached the second level.
The first thing that threw me off is that Revengeance throws an enemy at you that is extremely difficult, if not outright impossible, to counter, something that the game teaches you is essential to winning fights. It’s also worth noting that this level is set up to be a “stealth mission” in a game where previously I had fought a Metal Gear RAY in a one-on-one battle and destroyed a refinery. Given the tone that was established by the previous encounters, stealth wasn’t high on my list of things I wanted to do in this game. I wanted to fight cyborgs with a sword and do ridiculous combos.
It’s too bad that these enemies in the beginning of the second level aren’t staggered by your attacks and will interrupt your flow whenever they feel like it. It’s easy to sneak up behind them and get a one-hit stealth kill on them, but by that point the other enemy in the corridor has seen you and it’s time for another slog.
Once you’re past the opening section of the second level (which does, admittedly, have a highlight in Raiden wearing a sombrero and a poncho to “blend in”), the game constantly tells you to be stealthy, but never really gives you the opportunity to do so. The first room you go through is wide open area with no cover, so unless you can chain stealth-kills I don’t really know how I was supposed to get through it undetected. True, it doesn’t really matter that you don’t have to be stealthy, but when a game gives me an objective, I’d like to follow it.
The final boss for that level is also aggravating as it was the first fight where Revengeance’s camera really got on my nerves. I was actually looking at the boss for a small percentage of the fight; the rest of the time I ran around trying to avoid getting run over because I couldn’t see which angle I was being attacked from.
Even though the second level took me a couple days to get through, I eventually summoned the will to make it about halfway through the fourth level before giving up. True, I’d heard that Revengeance was a short game, but I couldn’t muster the motivation to continue. When the game allows you to fight human enemies and the parry system is actually effective, the combat is brutal and fun. Unfortunately, the controls are so touchy that this is only the case for a small amount of the fights. The rest of the time you’re getting hit by those Metal Gears with the shapely legs or pummeled from off-screen while you vainly try and counter or set up a combo.
Character actions games have never been my cup of tea, and I suppose Revengeance is no different. A terrible camera combined with enemies that run counter to how the game has taught you the fights will go in addition to touchy controls and a steep learning curve (seriously, this game has a wealth of combat options that it never bothers to go over. I had beaten the third level before I realized there was a dodge move) means that I will never complete Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance and it would be unfair of me to give it a proper review.
If you were waiting eagerly for our MGR review, well, that’s why it isn’t happening. I’ve seen a couple positive things from some readers about this game since it’s come out, so do you think I should give it another try? Any tips for a struggling cyborg ninja? Has anyone’s experience been the same as my own? Go!