There is a saying that Raiden says in the first few minutes of the game: “One sword keeps another in the sheath”. Thankfully, this phrase means nothing to what you will be doing in the game cause if it did, there’d be nothing to cut up. And in Revengeance, there is plenty to slice and dice.
Revengeance takes place 4 years after Metal Gear Solid 4. And even though the Patriots’ program was taken down, the world is still far from peace. Many private military corporations have been constructed to keep terrorist actions under control. Raiden, the main protagonist now working for PMC corporation Maverick, is assisting the Prime Minister of Africa to bring stability to the continent. But things go awry rather quickly as they’re well defended convoy is attacked. The Prime Minister is kidnapped and it’s Raiden’s job to rescue him. These are only the opening moments to what will lead our cyborg hero on a path of carnage.
Raiden has come a long way since Metal Gear Solid 2 with the majority of fans not liking him for the sole reason that he substituted legendary Solid Snake for almost the entire game. But with MGS4, he was transformed into a badass. And now with this spinoff release, we may finally use this cold blooded killer for the first time the way he was meant to be used.
The combat in Revengeance is very fast paced. And if you don’t have quick reactions, you’ll be kissing the pavement many times. But with Raiden’s flashy move-set, you should have no problem doing the same to your enemies. Your attacks consist of light and strong attacks which you can switch back and forth instantly. Raiden shows almost no openings for an enemy to attack back. But if someone does manage to break through somehow, our cyborg friend can block incoming attacks by simply pressing the analog stick towards the incoming attacker and the weak attack simultaneously. It’s strange that they couldn’t just put a block button into the controls, cause this method of defense can bring out two outcomes: a successful block or an unwanted attack with your face hitting the floor.
Don’t be fooled now. All the enemies in the game are very aggressive, even on normal difficulty. It can be real easy to lose your focus during battle for everything that can be happening on screen. Not only that, but the camera can also be a pain as it tries to move frantically with the action and sometimes can’t keep up with Raiden. My advice for the camera: don’t get backed up to a wall or you’re in for a world of hurt.
There is also one more piece of weaponry at Raiden’s disposal that steals the entire show: blade mode. By holding the left trigger, the camera positions itself behind Raiden as he readies his blade to cut anything in front of him. In this mode, you are free to cut the enemy or object in front of you as you see fit, and as much as you like. The sight of seeing your enemy being chopped up into a million pieces is extremely satisfying. But blade mode isn’t only for entertainment purposes. After the opening chapter and attaining his new body, Raiden must replenish his fuel cells. To do so, he must cut his enemies up to reveal a shiny blue spine. After exposing it, simply press the action button and watch both your health and blade mode meter replenish to its max as Raiden destroys the spine in his hand. Although used a lot throughout the game, it never gets old.
Metal Gear Solid fans may be let down a bit with its story though. Even though the game contains plenty of dialogue if you listen to the codec conversations, it just doesn’t catch the magic as the Solid games did. A lot of the dialogue just feels like fan service in most parts. And a lot of the characters you meet in story mode aren’t as rememorable either. But there is a bunch of easter eggs that veteran fans will be able to recognize. Cardboard boxes and pin up posters of Japanese women are just a shred of them.
Even though story mode lasts about 6 hours on a regular playthrough, Revengeance delivers solid, hardcore action that many action-adventure fans will love. And newcomers don’t need to worry much about knowing previous storylines and can jump right in with no problem. With much replay value, difficult VR missions and many other unlockables and upgrades, this game will leave with cyborg bloodlust.
Rating: 8 out of 10