Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance – an action game, but with great potential

I’ve been skeptical about Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance ever since it was first announced. It was clear that it would be a departure from the Metal Gear (Solid) formula, that it would be an action game about Ninja Raiden cutting people up in Ninja Gaiden style, rather than a Metal Gear game that focuses on stealth. They even changed the name itself from Metal Gear Solid: Rising to Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance – the Solid part disappeared altogether because Kojima wanted to deliver a message to fans – this is NOT a Metal Gear Solid game in anything but the setting and some characters.

After the project was handed over to PlatinumGames, the studio that’s now home to Shinji Mikami, Resident Evil creator, and Hideki Kamiya, director of Devil May Cry and Okami, as well as others from the former Capcom Clover staff, a studio that has already made a name for itself in the action genre (they’re the makers of well-received games like Bayonetta and Vanquish), it was clear that the goal was to create a solid action game in the Metal Gear universe with the new, badass Raiden as the star – nothing more, nothing less.

And, when I received the Zone of the Enders HD collection last week, it was more than clear that the first content I’d tackle would be the Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance demo included on the disc.

Metal Gear Rising Revengeance Title Screen

Game: Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance
Developer: PlatinumGames
Platforms: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
Expected release: February 2013
Territories: All
Price: $59.99

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Magnificent Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes trailer

I know I am almost 2 weeks late with my comments on this, but it only became available to the public after I had gone on vacation. On the event celebrating the 25th Anniversary of the best series in gaming – the Metal Gear series, Kojima showed a breath-taking trailer of the new and upcoming game in the saga – Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes. In the off-chance that you haven’t seen it, here it is:

The most important story bits, with my short comments:

  • Cipher references, Paz and Chico have been captured – this means the ties with Peace Walker will be strong
  • Big Boss is aging – the game will most likely take place some 8-10 years after Peace Walker
  • Young kid in a cage shown – might be Chico, but, considering the game takes place a while after Peace Walker, Chico must’ve grown up! So it must be little Solid Snake! There has been very strong evidence that child Solid Snake will be in the next Metal Gear chapter
  • “From FOX, two phantoms were born”, FOX vs. XOF – Big Boss has the FOX logo on his shoulder, while the seemingly bad guys have XOF emblems on their equipment and machinery, in an opposing colour scheme (the fox is also facing right instead of left). Could the quote be referring to The Boss’ legacy, and Big Boss and Zero’s respective takes on it?
  • Mysterious man with a burned face, wearing a fedora shown as the likely villain of the game (leader of the XOF guys) – who could it be? Maybe Zero, considering the above thoughts? Or maybe just someone working for him?
  • “Army without a nation” still mentioned – Big Boss is probably still working towards his grand mission, even if he is part of FOX (could also be using FOX for his purposes)

Other details:

  • Uses the FOX engine – the new engine Kojima has been talking about for a while now
  • Runs on PC with specs comparable to PS3/360 – considering the dated hardware, it looks very impressive – the rain, the visual details, the character models (especially Big Boss)
  • PS3 and 360 logos appear at the end – seems like the game will come out on PS3/360, probably as one of the last big titles on those systems. Still, I’m having a hard time buying it – with PS4/720 reportedly launching around the holiday season of 2013, it would make much more sense to develop such a massive game on the new platforms.

As a whole, I am impressed… Very impressed, and very excited. I’d like to learn more about Big Boss, about his motives, about how Outer Heaven came to be. This game seems like it will offer a lot, maybe all those details. I am also pleased that Kojima is keeping his word regarding Metal Gear Solid 4 being the end of the saga, chronologically. That way, Metal Gear is keeping its artistic integrity, while still releasing games filling the gap between Solid 3 and the original Metal Gear.

Video Game Music of the Week – 02-08.07.2012

By popular demand, here is another Metal Gear song, this time from Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots – the amazing conclusion to the best saga in gaming, the Metal Gear saga. The song I’ve chosen is composed by Harry Gregson-Williams and is named as the game’s subtitle – “Guns of the Patriots”. And part of this theme is surely quite familiar to everyone who has as much as put the disc inside their PS3. 🙂

Composer: Harry Gregson-Williams
Game: Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots
Song: Guns of the Patriots

Next week’s song will not be from Metal Gear, that’s a promise. 🙂

Video Game Music of the Week – 25.06-01.07.2012

Metal Gear is still the theme of the series, this week I’ve chosen an amazing song from the incredibly emotional Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater – my personal favourite Metal Gear game and the first one where the player got the privilege to control the legendary soldier, Big Boss. It’s Starsailor’s “Way to Fall.”

Composer: Starsailor
Performer: Starsailor
Game: Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater
Song: Way to Fall

Video Game Music of the Week – 18-24.06.2012

Metal Gear is a really special series for many gamers. What I often like to point out that it was already amazing even before it went 3D with Metal Gear Solid in 1998… Already in 1990, with Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake, Kojima had laid out the foundation for what would become one of the most thrilling sagas in gaming. It is an amazing game even today, and it’s mind-blowing how ahead of its time it was. Hidden for many years from non-Japanese gamers, the MSX gem resurfaced with Metal Gear Solid 3: Subsistence, where the original two games were included (if with some alterations to the character names and faces). Subsistence was quite rare, but with the MGS3 HD version, part of the Metal Gear Solid HD Collection, you can now easily play it (although it’s always best to see the MSX version with Snake looking a lot like Mel Gibson).

The soundtrack was one of the reasons why Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake was so awesome. “Frequency 140.85” is the song from it that I’ve chosen for this week.

Composers: KONAMI KuKeiHa CLUB
Game: Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake
Song: Frequency 140.85

Metal Gear Solid 5 speculations by PSM3 magazine

Big Boss wants you

Today, I have come across a very interesting article by PSM3 magazine, concerning the next Metal Gear Solid game. Some interesting assumptions are made based on existing data, and they all seem to make a lot of sense.

The main points are as follows (of course, keep in mind this is just speculation):

  • You’ll play as Big Boss
  • The game will take place between 1974 and 1980
  • It will be set in Africa
  • Gray Fox will make a return, possibly the young Naomi will be featured, as well
  • The game will examine the foundation of Outer Heaven and Big Boss’ war against the Patriots
  • It will be open-world and will be built for next-generation consoles and possibly PC
  • It will use the “Fox Engine”
  • Kojima’s often mentioned “Project Ogre” may be Metal Gear Solid 5
  • Child Solid Snake may make an appearance

Source (WARNING: THE LINKED ARTICLE CONTAINS MASSIVE SPOILERS FOR THE ENTIRE METAL GEAR FRANCHISE): http://www.computerandvideogames.com/345106/metal-gear-solid-5-whats-next-for-metal-gear/

I’ve gotta say I’m very excited about this. I am certainly interested to see how things continue to develop after Peace Walker and before Metal Gear, and I’d love to play as Big Boss on a full-fledged console game again. Africa and Gray Fox make perfect sense, as we know the location of Outer Heaven from the original Metal Gear. Witnessing the animosity and open conflict between Big Boss and The Patriots should be incredible. And Solid Snake as a child? Wow, that could really be epic, especially if the relationship between Big Boss and him is shown.

The Fox Engine will allow for very impressive graphics, of course, but the open-world idea is even more intriguing. Perhaps it would expand on the “missions” notion in Peace Walker, allowing for many side missions alongside the main quest. An open-world environment could potentially even allow for conducting military operations with Big Boss’ men on a larger scale, opening up so many possibilities. And I would LOVE for Metal Gear Solid to come back to PC… It’s a huge shame the latest games abandoned it.

While I do believe many of these assumptions may be accurate, I am also really looking forward to some actual news on Metal Gear Solid 5. It is not unlikely we’ll get some in less than 2 months at E3!

Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker

One cannot avoid the feeling of sadness when a great story ends. In addition to the awe at the conclusion, one feels the bittersweet disappointment that now all the secrets have been unveiled and all the dots – connected. That is how I felt when I finished Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots – the final chapter of my favourite game series. Everything came together nicely, there was nothing more to be added… But Peace Walker proved that wrong.

Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker

Game: Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker
Developer: Kojima Productions
Platforms: PlayStation Portable; PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 (as part of Metal Gear Solid HD Collection)
Releases: 2010 (PSP), 2011 (PS3/Xbox 360), 2012 (PS3/Xbox 360 – Europe)
Territories: All

Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker is the latest installment in the ground-breaking tactical espionage action series by Hideo Kojima. Built for the PSP, it is superior in every way to its handheld predecessor, Portable Ops, and Kojima himself and his trusty team were the ones working on its development from beginning to end (as opposed to the overseer role Kojima had with Portable Ops). Furthermore, with the game coming to consoles as part of the HD collection (and that was the version I played, too), it proved to be ambitious and well-made enough that one barely sees differences from the full-blown console Metal Gear Solid titles.

Fans of the series will certainly love this one, and even people completely new to it will be pleased. Peace Walker keeps the core gameplay we’ve come to know and love, and also takes some interesting new approaches that help the game feel fresh and exciting even to Metal Gear veterans. And it’s another chapter of the story of Big Boss – one of the most badass, awe-inspiring game characters to have ever existed.

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