I’ve said, since I got my Sonic Team logo tattoo, that if I hadn’t gone with Sonic for permanent ink/nerd-cred I would have paid respect to Kojima-san by getting a Foxhound tattoo. So when Metal Gear Rising was first shown, I found myself a little leery, to say the least, at the concept of breaking the entire Metal Gear/tactical espionage genre being cast to the way-side in favor of a ridiculous, over-the-top action/adventure title.
Gradually, over a series of gameplay videos and action vignettes, though I’ve been won over by the premise of a Raiden-centric video game that features action and combat over subtly and stealth.
To be fair, I didn’t have to have my arm twisted to forcefully. For a long while now I’ve been enjoying ridiculous action titles like Devil May Cry and Bayonetta. The only point where I found myself putting on my skeptical pants was the point in which the Metal Gear name was associated… How I was able to hurdle myself over the fanboy-ism of that roadblock though was in the fact that Metal Gear has always had some pretty spectacularly over-the-top cinematic. The only difference in Metal Gear Rising is in the fact that those cinematics as playable now.
During PAX Prime 2012 I had multiple options to go hands-on with Metal Gear Rising. The game was playable on the showfloor, in Konami’s private media suite, and after hours at their 25th Anniversary Party at the Hard Rock Café.
Each time I played it I was won over by some new aspect. On the show floor it was the cinematic experience of Raiden ramping himself up along a trail of rockets being fired downwards by an attack helicopter, ending with its evitable destruction as the game’s precision based sword attack was utilized to dice the mechanized enemy into about a hundred separate pieces.
In the media suite, with a more laid-back and casual approach to playing through the demo, it was all about exploring the game’s precision cutting mechanic to slice up watermelons, palm trees, barrels and cars in as many unique and interesting ways as the game would allow.
At the 25th Anniversary party it was all about dicking around and entertaining the hordes of people present, namely by harassing a cat with a katana.
Each and every experience unique, and all taking place within the same 15 minutes of gameplay offered by the demo that everyone at PAX had opportunity for.
At the end of it all, I have to say that I’m looking forward, very much, to the idea of a Metal Gear game with Raiden as the main character, with ridiculous cut-scenes that we now get to play out, and a sword mechanic that will allow me to cut bad-guys into several hundred thing slices of meat-product. But I’m going to be approaching this title cautiously as a fanboy, in the same way that the modern era of Bond hasn’t really been more than a series of great action flicks that happen to share the title with the Ian Fleming films of my youth… Metal Gear Rising is looking to be a kick-ass action adventure with a unique tool-set that just happens to share a title with the tactical espionage action quadrilogy of yore.