Revengeance is Not a Word


Raiden has always been a controversial character. His debut performance in Metal Gear Solid 2 was at the expense of a protagonist, Solid Snake, who was well loved by gamers. With his flowing, golden locks, androgynous appearance and a sneaking suit that hugged his buttocks far too tightly, Raiden was the antithesis of the chain smoking, rugged and gravel voiced hero that we were pining for. Hideo Kojima teased us with the tanker prelude where Snake took centre stage, only to whisk him away and relegate him to background character for the majority of the game.

Reaction to Raiden's surprise inclusion was overwhelmingly negative, and alongside a narrative that was at times incomprehensible he helped sour many on what was still an excellent game. Even Kojima Productions couldn't pass up the opportunity to mock Raiden, parodying him in Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater with Raikov, a Russian major, to whom he bore a strong resemblance and who happened to be Colonel Volgin's secret lover. MGS4 was kinder to Raiden, as he appeared in a cybernetic exoskeleton and wielded a katana that cut through steel; he became a cyborg badass that was the polar opposite of his original incarnation.

The last few days have seen Raiden return to controversy, as he has found himself smack bang in the middle of a web of lies and a Metal Gear spin-off that has attracted a very mixed, yet passionate response from fans. It was revealed at last weekend’s VGAs that Kojima productions' Metal Gear Solid: Rising is now Platinum Games' Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance. An impressive trailer revealed a game that looked nothing like the Metal Gear Solids of the past, as Platinum Games have not been shy in putting their stamp on it. It has since been revealed that Rising is not simply an existing project handed over to a new developer, but that the original concept was secretly canned at an unspecified time in the past, only to be revived when PG expressed an interest and started it almost from scratch.

Platinum Games had long been rumoured to be developing Rising - rumours that Kojima avoided and PG denied in an interview last summer - but it was still a surprise to most of us when their role was confirmed. Nonsensical sub headings aside – a rumour that the two studios considered merging and creating Kojinum Games has been confirmed only in my head - the announcement set the interwebs alight with panic, excitement and despair that have led to both Hideo Kojima and PG's Atsushi Inaba becoming rather vocal, following months of silence. Inaba jumped to the games defence on twitter, accepting that public reaction had been mixed, establishing PG’s reverence for MGS but making it clear that they wanted to create something different, which they certainly appear to have done.

Super soldier fights massive robot. I saw a lot of Vanquish in the Rising trailer

The bombastic trailer throws series convention to the wind, shedding the serious overtones of the Solid franchise and replacing it with eighties fonts, head-on combat and electric guitar riffs. These changes have left purists questioning the use of the Metal Gear moniker, though it is important that we make the distinction between Metal Gear Solid, a canon to which Rising does not belong, and Metal Gear. Revengeance (I already loath that word) is a standalone, spin off and we shouldn't limit PG's aspirations by trying to tie it down where it doesn’t quite belong.

I am somewhat torn with Rising. Although I was luke warm to the prospect of another Raiden led entry, as a huge fan of the series I was still looking forward to a new MGS and intrigued by a fresh combat model. Part of me feels like Revengeance is a misuse use of the series - I had to swallow a bit of sick when I first saw Raiden flip a metal gear with one hand - but from what the trailer revealed, this is far more Platinum Games than a continuation of what came before. I saw a lot of Vanquish in the teaser - a really fun game, but also a very shallow one - that makes me think this has the potential to a be a hugely entertaining outing, but strictly on PG's terms.

I don't necessarily share the enthusiasm that many show for this unique developer, as Mad World and the forthcoming Anarchy Reigns hold no interest, and I thought Bayonetta was an uneven adventure that was far too quirky for its own good. PG's lack of interest in character development and a penchant for terrible voice acting and dialogue does make me wonder why they would be chosen to breathe life into a dead Rising, when script and dialogue has always been a key element of Kojima's games.

When I play Revengeance - and I will play it - I'll try to judge it on its own merits, as an OTT action game that happens to have borrowed a title and a few characters from a series that I love – a familiarity that I'll try not to hold against it. Who knows, it may turn out to be a perfect palette cleanser for the franchise and the nudge that Kojima needs to get moving on the game I really want, Metal Gear Solid 5.

Comments

  1. "Super soldier fights massive robot. I saw a lot of Vanquish in the Rising trailer"

    i also saw a lot of vanquish in it and that's why it went from day one purchase to wait and see. i was extremely disappointed to hear platinum developing it. i can't stand their games. bayonetta was ok but the rest, meh. sounds like metal gear cash in. hideo should have just let it die.

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  2. I'm always interested in trying something a bit different, so I'll give it a go. PG aren't my favourite developer, but they do always make visually interesting games, so at the very least Rising will have that going for it.
    Cheers

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  3. my opinion: take away the Metal Gear name and you have a solid game here, it doesnt have the MG soul or is even related to MG. the only reason you can add this to the MG series (spin off or not) is because it features Raiden and Metal gear ray. I hate what Platinum games has turned MG into, nothing against them but I wont be picking this up because its not a MG to me and its really not my type of game.
    I'm sure they will make a great game but from what i see its a hack n' slash arcade beat 'em up, MG is a stealth game with shooter elements, ofcourse you alway have to add in those wacky moments... I wont ruin any for anybody but let me just mention the "snake beater" trophy, lol.
    I too saw alot of Platinum's style taking over the game, really not sure how to feel about that cause it is there game and like I said I dont think it will be a bad game. I played and enjoyed Vanquish, it was a fast paced arcade shooter with a shit story. it was a tight game but overall felt very thin and something I didnt care to revisit. it remains one of the few games I've only ever played once but like I said it was a good game and I'm not gonna knock it just because I wasnt digging it.
    so in the end, no MGR for me and seriously disappointed Hideo would let this happen to a series he has shown over and over again that he just cant let go and I understand that. he wants his baby to get across what he imagined but I never thought he would have let this happen.
    I am looking forward to your review and I will look up the story once the game is out just because it is in the MG series but overall I'm sad what has been done to it and that I wont be picking up the next MG game.
    great blog, sorry for the overly long comment

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  4. sorry if my comment seemed jerkish. i wrote it after i lost all my ps3 save data. i got a new ps3 and i put my old 320GB HD into my new one and tried to restore the data but my backup must have been corrupted because it says there is nothing there. so as it stands all my save data is gone.

    now that i have a cooler head let me try again. not happy about it but it's not fair to write it off after only watching a trailer. will still pick it up because i love metal gear and don't hate raiden like most people. i think the game will either be totally awesome or a complete trainwreck. i don't think hideo would let a bad game come out with the name metal gear attached to it though, so i have i hope.

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  5. @ Daydream D - I agree, i don't think the MG tag really adds much to it, at least for me, especially when it is applied so loosely. If I enjoy it, it wont be because its MG, but because its a fun action game.

    I'm also surprised that Kjoima relinquished control of Rising.

    @ superfriar - Didn't seem jerkish at all. I felt like putting my fist through the TV screen when I lost all my PS3 saves!

    I couldve warned you about transferring HDD's. A PS3 will automatically format any drive when it is inserted and wipe it clean, and there is no way around it. I learnt that unfortuante fact when I tried to move my old drive from my broken ps3 to my new one.

    Didn't you have cloud saves with your PS+? Anyway, commiserations.

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  6. THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! i totally forgot i had cloud saves. i was so upset i didn't even think about it.

    i knew about the reformating before i started so i backed up my HD to a portable one. it just didn't work. i've done it before and had no problems.

    THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!

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  7. Ha! Glad I could be of assistance

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  8. I feel like the odd man out since I'm a pretty big fan of both Bayonetta and Vanquish. That being said, I was disappointed that Metal Gear Rising died before it's time. I was really looking forward to seeing what kind of action game Rising was going to be. Now we'll never know. Revegeance will be a Platinum Games action game, and I will reserve judgement until I actually play it. However I WILL play it. PG has built up enough good will with me, where I'll give any game they put out a shot. I'd rather see a sequel to Bayonetta however...

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  9. Everyone I know loves Bayonetta, but I just couldn't see it. It wasn't a bad game, but i had a lot of smaller issues with it that made completing it feel like too much of a chore.

    I think Rising will be a fun game, just not what we were expecting when it was announced 2+ years ago. If nothing else, vanquish was entertaining and Bayonetta certainly had its moments.

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