One of the most entertaining demos I played at PAX this year was with everybody’s favorite Japanese developer that’s obsessed with putting white men in form-fitting pants: Konami!
And I did enjoy looking at Raiden’s shapely butt, almost as much as I enjoyed slashing up my opponents into meaty, bite-sized chunks in slow motion. Maybe it gets old eventually, but if it does, I don’t want to know.
The demo took me through a lengthy tutorial, giving me time to get used to the game’s “blade mode.” Blade mode is the slow-motion slashing party I described earlier. The motion is so slow that it gives you time to decide which at which angle you want to cut your opponent in half, move the cursor to the precise degree, and slice them open fifty times before they can blink. I know Raiden is a cyborg ninja, but I think Konami may have made him a little bit too ridiculously unstoppable. How am I supposed to believe that Snake could beat this guy now?
I’m not even finished. After guiding you through turning some humans into bloody mush, they toss you into a battle with a helicopter. They tell you to use some missiles to bring it down, but I just jumped onto a nearby structure and blade-moded that thing half to death. At one point it started firing missiles at me, and I somehow put some combination of buttons together to make Raiden jump from missile to missile up to the helicopter to deliver one final blow with his sword. I did this without even trying.
As far as I can tell from the tutorial, Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance is 95% spectacle. Now, it was only a tutorial, so chances are it gets much more difficult later. Hard to imagine how. Maybe 47 helicopters attack you at once? The game just seems to want to play for you. One segment showed off Raiden’s fast running technique, in which you had to run across a collapsing bridge. As long as you hold down the run button, Raiden automatically jumps over obstacles. You just sit back and watch the action unfold. Revengeance may just pioneer a whole new video game genre: interactive action movie!
Still, as I said earlier, I found it immensely entertaining. No matter how ridiculous it may be, few things are cooler than a ninja taking down a helicopter with nothing but his sword.