A Case For Metal Gear Rising [Updated With Extended Revengance Trailer!]

By Chris Davis on December 12th, 2011 (19 comments)

A pity: those cyborgs were just three days away from retirement.

Saturday afternoon we brought you the leaked Metal Gear Rising: Revengance trailer.  The response was, well, mixed at best, some advocating for Platinum Games' over-the-top game design style while others lamenting the original tech demo.  I found it to look quite fun in a way that could surpass the Ninja Gaiden series, my go-to slice-and-dice experience.  For the naysayers however I ask that you keep an open mind about the new vision of Rising because you really have no other choice: the original vision of Rising was cancelled last year.

Yes, you read that right.  18 months ago Rising was revealed to the world and while it looked competent during E3 2010, looking back, I find myself having trouble figuring out how you can take that tech demo and make it into a proper, AAA Metal Gear experience.

Take a look at the E3 2010 trailer.

Playing as Raiden was something you definitely didn't want to do until the first few trailers for Metal Gear Solid 4 came out.  Suddenly, and without warning, one of the most bashed characters from last generation became the most wanted of this generation in a transformation that turned him from wannabe Snake pansy into a sword-wielding, amazing badass.  The trailer above and his scenes in MGS4 reflect that but the thing that I guess people (including myself up until yesterday) didn't seem to realize is that the MGS saga has been about an underdog character having to take on an almost impossible task to save the world.  Snake was a character faced with a series of superpowered foes and hundreds of minions who could very easily put him in his place.  He was the hero that rose to prominence in each game by starting out with nothing and became stronger over time.

Raiden on the other hand, as the character we saw in MGS4, is the exact opposite of Snake.  As a cyborg, Raiden is capable of incredible feats that push him beyond the capabilities of any normal human being.  He's perfect for his own game.  However, as a Metal Gear Solid title, he would be incredibly overpowered, nigh gamebreaking.  I mean, look at the trailer from E3 2010.  Did it look like any of those enemies stood a chance?  A pillar of game design is having a system that can, at the minimum, meet or exceeed the player in terms of skill and keep him/her in check.  That certainly wouldn't have been possible in the tech demo we saw last year and given that Kojima productions staff made multiple tech demos to try and find a way to do so it clearly wouldn't work with a design based on Metal Gear Solid 4.

Another thing that comes to mind about Rising is that it was originally set to be a Metal Gear Solid title.  Having those three words in its name implies a lot of things, most prominent among them being a focus on stealth gameplay.  As powerful as Raiden was in that tech demo it certainly would have been an almost impossible task to keep the player from decimating everything in his/her path.  Sneaking would all but be negated when you have the capacity to be an unstoppable killing machine and Snake was never such a character.  Raiden can be that and more.  Ask yourself this: do you really believe that, had Raiden been a playable character in Metal Gear Solid 4, you would have played him in the same manner as you did Snake?  From what we can tell the tech demo was based heavily around MGS4's gameplay so, given just how powerful he is, I think you'll bow your head with me and say "no."

Looking at the new trailer I can't help but feel that you actually get to do almost everything you wanted to and more.  Chop enemies into tiny bits?  Check.  Environmental destruction?  You saw that car get sliced up, right?  Check.  Fast-paced combat?  Definite check.

The largest complaint to be found seems to be the change in style.  Given that the project was handed off to Platinum I think it's fair to suggest that they've either heavily modified the MGS4 engine if not switched to a new one altogether.  Is that inherently a bad thing?  Sure, it may look a bit different and some of the designs certainly differ from their MGS4 counterparts (the Ray unit with a sword-esque arm stands out) but it still looks like a Metal Gear title given the enemy designs and the environments.  Rising's fiction is set years after MGS4, not between 2 and 4 like it was in the original tech demo so it's fair that the enemies present would be quite different.

Platinum is capable of complimenting Raiden's gameplay demands by providing a game with challenges only a cyborg ninja could take on.  I think what most of the naysayers are saying that they want a new Metal Gear title but specifically desire a new Metal Gear Solid.  With Post-MGS2 Raiden as the main character this simply doesn't seem possible to me.  Raiden was originally meant to be a character who could replace Snake as the protagonist and and his revisioning three years ago made this impossible within the scope of Metal Gear Solid's core game design.  With a new Metal Gear series though Raiden has a chance to shine and his new nature allows him to explore a world beyond Solid Snake like Kojima meant to last generation.

Platinum Games has made strides this generation by providing us gaming experiences far different from what we've ever experienced before.  I personally look forward to seeing what they can bring to the series and perhaps forever take the crown of the third-person hack-n-slash genre.

Plus, think about this: with Kojima Productions producing instead of developing, this frees them up for a new project.  Zone of the Enders 3 anyone?

UPDATE

Here's a newly released extended trailer for Revengance.  You only get a few seconds more footage of the Ray fight at 1:39 but the ending is what you want to stay tuned for as it show off Raiden cutting a cardboard box in half with a hiding enemy inside remaining intact.  Gimmick, or is the cutting just as precise as it was in the original tech demo?

Tags: Metal Gear Solid Rising, Kojima Productions, Revengeance, Platinum Games

Chris Davis

I am 4Player's video and feature producer. I've been writing about games for years and I enjoy every minute of it. I'm pro-developer and I have a few friends who have gone on to successful careers in the industry. I may only be an amateur but I've got things to say.

Comment!
  • Dimensaur 2 years, 9 months ago

    Agreed. As hard of a pill as it is for some people to swallow I believe making Rising a character action game was the best possible outcome for the title. Seeing the backlash that the title has been getting for not being a Stealth title, it makes me wonder if people had forgotten what Raiden was capable of in MGS4. (SPOILERS) The Raiden who stopped a giant ship after cutting off his own arm. The Raiden that wiped the floor with an entire room full of some of the more powerful soldiers in the game using a sword held in his teeth. It makes sense for the character to take this direction. A Solid title with Raiden as the protagonist will not work IMO. Speaking of which one of the things I think causing so much of this backlash is the trailer still being labeled as Metal Gear Solid Rising rather than Metal Gear Rising. That combined with the fact that people cannot dissociate the Solid moniker from Metal Gear anyways gives this game no extra leeway.

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    • Legendofsnack 2 years, 9 months ago

      I agree with what you are saying. For myself, I was hoping that MGS: Rising, would be telling the story between 2 and 4, where Raiden saves Sunny. That was my biggest issue on the change they made. Now that the Solid is taken out of the title, it's a totally new game. As you mentioned in your post about the feats Raiden accomplished, it makes sense to place him in a new game that show cases his power. I am still confused as to when Revengeance is going to be set, whether it is after the events of MGS4, or before (even if they don't focus on the story arch between 2 and 4, I can still see this time period as a possibility). With all that in mind, if we take into account this is an action game, not a stealth game, it could be pretty damn good. It will be interesting to see how, or if, they continue this Rising series after they release this upcoming game.

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    • Wexaverrada 8 months, 3 weeks ago

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  • Fodie 2 years, 9 months ago

    I of course think this an awesome direction to take. But, I'm always wrong when comes to anything I like.

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  • Muddy_Donuts 2 years, 9 months ago

    This reminds me of the DMC, DmC fiasco. Except Platinum games are known to make good action games, while Ninja Theory are not. As a big Metal Gear fan I am anticipating this, but I guess being a Platinum games fan myself, helps soften the blow.

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  • WingZero 2 years, 9 months ago

    I didn't quite like where Rising was going from the start. Sure...the precision slicing of a watermelon was cool and the ability to damage the environment was nice, but it looks like the new trailer portraits the game more of a hack-and-slash than what was promised. I'm a little disappointed, but I'll keep looking and hoping for any goodies from this game.

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  • Sei 2 years, 9 months ago

    It's Platinum Games. And Platinum Games has Hideki Kamiya. How can this fail? Sure he's not the lead, but his opinion should have some sort of impact in this game when it comes to design and development.

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  • lemith 2 years, 9 months ago

    I prefer their new goal of a character action game,

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  • roughplague 2 years, 9 months ago

    I think this type of game definetly fits the raiden character and his appearance in 4, myself I could've imagined a blend between this and stealth, but it would be a lot different, and I think this direction they've instead taken it makes sense. The only negative I saw in the trailer was the look of it, not that vanquish looked bad per-say, but it's something about the effects and lighting they use that just makes it look kind of..cheap. jugstaposed to the high quality clean textures and amazing lighting, as well as the unique style of metal gear solid 4. other than that, I am excited for this game, love the metal gear solid series and the look of raiden (even tho he looks even more typical anime cyborg ninja in this with his spiky hair and the band over his eye) and I love Bayonetta and vanquish, which this seems like a blend of, and I can't wait to see more!

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    • roughplague 2 years, 9 months ago

      I also wonder how they tie this game in storywise, because I think we all remember the end for raiden in mgs4 [SPOILERS FOR MGS4!] where he was not a cyborg ninja at all, but being put together again after getting to fucked up by the end of 4, looking human as he is reunited with his wife and son. [END SPOILERS]

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      • J52 2 years, 9 months ago

        They live in a world where the economy is based on constant war and Raiden's a pretty fucked-up guy. There's your answer.

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  • mydawghatesme 2 years, 9 months ago

    I had a constant look of bewilderment while reading this article. I think I've realized over the past few weeks that me and Chris just don't agree at all when it comes to video games and the industry. First, the idea of being able to kill enemies with a well timed slice would not of made the experience too easy. It actually made way for the possibility to have huge amounts of enemies attacking at the same time. Imagine having around 100 enemy troops swarming around you while you strategically dodge and slice your way through them. It would be fucking awesome! Second, you thinking that MGS: Rising would of been impossible to beat without killing anyone is incorrect. Shortly after the release of the E3 demo it was revealed that you could in fact beat the game without killing anyone. http://ps3.ign.com/articles/111/1114418p1.html Third, since they are saying this game takes place years after MGS4 they are ultimately fucking up the timeline. Why is Raiden back into cyborg ninja? Why is Vamp back? Did the end of MGS4 basically not happen? This is fucking up all kinds of continuity in a franchise that holds it's story in such a high regard. Lastly, When I read this: " For the naysayers however I ask that you keep an open mind about the new vision of Rising because you really have no other choice: the original vision of Rising was cancelled last year." I instantly knew I was gonna hate this article. Pretty dick way to start out on a story to try and give a case for a game. You basically alienated everyone you were trying to persuade there.

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    • Chris Davis 2 years, 9 months ago

      Hey dawg, A couple of points. 1. I agree that wading your way through 100 enemies would be cool. However, in the scope of Raiden I don't see him being able to do so in a stealthy manner. Snake yes, Raiden no. When given power in a video game most people are going to exploit it with only the die-hard being willing to stick to a certain goal. An MGS game staring a cyborg Raiden like in MGS4 would not be a stealth game no matter who develops the game. 2. I never said that it would be impossible to do a no-kill run. I'd personally love to see it appear in the game but there was no demonstration of it being possible in the original tech demo and I don't know if Platinum's ideas for the game can provide such an option. I finished MGS 2 and 3 over the past few weeks doing no-kill runs but Raiden doesn't seem like the kind of character (post-MGS2) to be forgiving. 3. It's not messing with continuity: it's forging new story after MGS4 without interfering with the core storyline. Platinum and Kojima Productions can fill that in without harming the storyline events that preceded it. Even then the Metal Gear Acid titles weren't considered canon so why can't Rising be the same case? 4. I can't say anything other than the fact that what I typed is true: there's no way you can get around the fact that the original vision was cancelled last year. I'm sorry to put it in such a blunt manner but that's the fact of the matter and I don't think anything the community says can change this new version of the game. Considering the community feedback was generally strongly opposed to this new Metal Gear title I felt it would be nice to have someone arguing for the game. I'm sorry that we seem to be on opposite sides of a Rising but I think that it could be great. Just give it some thought.

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      • The Cineaste 2 years, 9 months ago

        I don't think he meant that the game would lack stealth. Anyone who saw the original tech demo would never say the game would have stealth elements. It's the lack of precision, smoothness, and strategy present in that first tech demo that caught everyone's eye. That is what's missing from this reiteration of the game: smoothness and uniqueness in a sword fighting game. But now, we see this generic vision of the game that abandons any sort of strategy or innovation that might have been present in the game's original format and instead replaces it with atypical hack-and-slash gameplay similar to Bayonetta. Not saying Bayonetta is a bad game, by any means. It's just that going that path is abandoning a much more original and ambitious take on both the MGS series and sword-fighting gameplay. I mean, c'mon. The animations seem to shift instead of smoothly transitioning like in the original tech demo. Combat seems to be focused on generic, long chain combos instead of that aforementioned strategy in the combat. All in all, it stopped looking unique and interesting as an MGS title and became simply another of Platinum's games. Not saying their style is bad, but it doesn't fit in a series that intended to do something much more out of the box. Oh, and don't tell me that slicing and dicing into little squares is similar as to what the tech demo was showing. To me, it looked like a long slash combo or something.

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  • Xerotwo 2 years, 9 months ago

    From what people have been saying that there might be a possibility that Hideki Kamiya is not directing this. But, who knows since initially PlatinumGames "denied" that they were with Kojima Prod. for Rising. The gameplay mechanics feel more action paced than being stuck with a stealthy approach, and I'd agree that Raiden's more of the slice-n'-dice type of character. If he was to have the stealthy approach in this game, what's the point of it when you can slice everything in your path, even environments? (Possible MGS4 spoilers) In MGS4, we get to see Raiden do all of these sweet moves without the use of stealth. I can see why they chose to remake the game from the ground up with that concept in mind. I can't really see Kojima Prod. go far with their initial ideas, since they are limited to a one-slash-one-kill concept. It could make the game too easy since there's no challenge or anything to make the game difficult.

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  • Muddy_Donuts 2 years, 9 months ago

    I would be interested in what you think of that new making of documentary for Rising? Maybe a follow up article? ;)

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    • Muddy_Donuts 2 years, 9 months ago

      For an actual opinion on the game itself, I honestly do not see why people are so attached to that tech demo. Kojima Productions had a vision and they talked the talk but, they had nothing to show for it. Why hate the direction the game is going, when the direction they had intended for never came into fruition? I understand that the concept sounded cool, but it was just that, a concept. That project that we all wanted never existed. We should not be upset that this is the game we are getting, we should be upset that Kojima Productions are not competent enough to deliver on what they promised us in the first place, when in reality they ended up having nothing to show for it. Kojima Productions are still handling the story as well, so the only logical argument that I see is the absence of stealth. And that absence of stealth is fine because this game is called Metal Gear Rising, not Metal Gear Solid. But anyways let the Platinum Cycle commence!

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  • New Kojima Productions Video Explains Rising&#8217 2 years, 9 months ago

    [...] bashed it quite hard, questioning whether it deserved to even be called a Metal Gear game.  I made my case for the game on Monday on why I thought Rising could be an excellent entry in the franchise and I hope that, if [...]

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  • Comradebearjew 2 years, 9 months ago

    It looks pretty crazy, in a good way.

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