Thursday, February 28, 2013

Hayter! HAYYYYYTEEEERR!

Platinum's fingerprints are all over Metal Gear Rising. Leave out the weighty exposition and forced humor and it could pass for a sequel to Vanquish, and I mean that is the best possible way. The name 'Metal Gear' means something. It means sneaking around and nonsensical codec conversations. It means struggling with the controls and hiding in a cardboard box. It means that at some point David Hayter will need to be called for his services as you know who. I have a feeling that the last part is not going to happen. There is no bait and switch here like there was in Metal Gear Solid 2, but as of right now it doesn't feel like a Metal Gear game. It doesn't feel as good as Vanquish or Bayonetta, either, and that is where a few problems pop up.

Kojima's fingers are all over Rising as well. There are over the top cut scenes filled with angst. The one boss I have fought so far was equal parts sexy and menacing. Raiden is still a whiny bitch. For the most part this union between Konami and Platinum works well. What Kojima likes doesn't detract from what Platinum is good at: making fast paced action games with the notable exception of there not being a lock on button. Rising moves fast and without the ability to lock the view on a particular enemy things get lost. The camera tries to keep up but gets stuck on walls far to easily. For all I know there is a lock on button and I just cannot find it because the game does a terrible job of telling the player how to do things. I purchased several new moves and could figure out who to do them. Only at the end of the night when I backed out to the main menu did I stumble across a moves list. Too many cooks syndrome, just not to the same point of Aliens Colonial Marines, thankfully (a game that I cannot wait to play...).

It is more of a best of for both companies than a worst of. Getting around the lack of lock on can be done. Learning new moves by trial and error isn't much fun but it is possible. Still, Rising does not feel like a Metal Gear game. In the first ten minutes a metal gear ray shows up and Raiden kills it, on his own, with a sword. This both cheapens the eponymous metal gear but it sets an impossibly high bar for Raiden. Later in the same chapter when he has his arm chopped off by a boss that cannot be defeated the player is left wondering what the hell just happened to the guy who was leaping hundreds of feet in the air, slicing a giant robot to pieces with a weapon that was clearly not long enough to do so.

Rising looks good, plays well enough with a few annoyances, and is filled with Metal Gear fan service. But it isn't Metal Gear. This is Raiden Rising or Vanquish 1.5 or Bayonetta with a dude this time. I guess that I just miss Snake.



Upon further review, there is a lock on button. The game just never tells you. I am not the only one who couldn't find it.

I am not pleased.

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