Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance is an action game for the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and PC set after the events of Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots. The protagonist of Rising is Raiden, formerly the main protagonist of Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty and a supporting character in Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots.
Originally, Hideo Kojima was supposed to produce the game, but unlike most other titles in the mainline Metal Gear series he would not take on the role of director. Kojima had initially said that the game would be created by some of his younger Metal Gear team staff. During production of this game, Kojima was busy writing and directing the PSP side story, Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker. It was announced on the Kojima Productions Report that the game will utilize a different engine than the one used in Guns of the Patriots.
After having trouble combining the traditional stealth gameplay of the MGS series with the Raiden’s swordplay, Kojima cancelled the project, but later revived it with Platinum Games as the main development studio. Platinum used their own engine to make it into a more action-oriented title, but Kojima’s team at FOX Studios still held control over story and cutscene elements.
An interview with series creator Hideo Kojima confirmed that the game is considered a spin-off that is “not part of the Metal Gear Solid series”, although it is considered part of the same universe, and thus “canon”.
There are staples of gameplay from previous Metal Gear Solid titles, like the Soliton Radar and alert systems. Raiden can perform one-button stealth kills on some enemies from behind and from above if he has not been detected. Raiden even has access to a codec that can be used to communicate with his teammates for optional extra information and manually save his game.
However, most of the gameplay revolves around hack-and-slashing action, making use of two buttons that use Raiden’s hands or feet to grip a powerful High-Frequency Sword that can cut through enemies and even some objects. Along with standard attacks is also use of a “Free Sword Mode” that lets the player control their slashes using the right stick and make their attacks more powerful, but limits range. Through cutting enemies in Free Sword Mode, the player can also gain Zandatsu (“cut and take” in Japanese) points which allows Raiden to refill his health and free sword meter by absorbing fluids from the spines of dead enemy cyborgs.
Like other games by developer Platinum Games the game also features a parry or blocking system, only in this game the only way to block oncoming enemy attacks is to parry the attack with a light attack in the enemies direction. Time the parry correctly and the enemy will be set up for Raiden to quickly enter into “blade mode” in which time slows down and Raiden is able to slice his enemy into bits and pieces in the aforementioned Free Sword Mode.
After each section, the player is graded on their performance including time taken, highest combo, and number of Zandatsu achieved.
Set four years after the events of Metal Gear Solid 4. The Sons of the Patriots (SOP) system has been destroyed by FOXALIVE, but the remnants of the paramilitary corporations (PMCs) still pose a threat to order in various hotspots around the globe. Private Military Security Companies (PMSC) have sprung up to help provide stability for VIPs around the world, and Raiden has joined one of them to help provide for his family while staying out of direct combat.
At the start of the game, Raiden is an employee of Maverick Security Consulting, Inc, a PMSC based in Colorado. He is part of a Maverick team providing security for the new Prime Minister of a developing African nation, named N’Mani. However, cyborg assassins appear out of nowhere and attack the convoy. Raiden attempts to take them out, but N’Mani is kidnapped by them.
Raiden follows the attackers and tries to reach the Prime Minister in time, but he ends up getting into a fight with another cyborg ninja named Samuel Rodriguez, who takes out his left eye and leaves him for dead. Maverick manages to rescue Raiden from the site but N’Mani is killed, his last words begging Raiden to destroy Desperado.
With the help of Herr Doktor, Maverick builds a new armored suit for Raiden and dispatches him to Sukhimi, the capital of the Russian border territory of Abkhazia. Samuel’s employer, Desperado Enforcement LLC, has been instrumental in overthrowing the legitimate government of Abkhazia, and Maverick has been hired to save what’s left of the country’s leaders. Raiden, however, seeks revenge on Samuel for the physical and emotional scars he left on his body.
Nevertheless, while in Abkhazia Raiden encounters and defeats Desperado’s IF Prototype LQ-84i and proceeds to send what’s left to Maverick for further study. Resulting in it’s eventual repair and reprogramming, to serve as a ally of sorts whom now goes by the designation of Bladewolf. After defeating the leader of stationed Desperado forces, Mistral, her client, the Abkhazian liberation extremist Andrey Dolzaev, commits suicide by blowing up a power pylon with himself on it.
Raiden is then instructed by Maverick to head to Guadalajara alongside Bladewolf, to investigate a research facility with a potential Desperado tie. There he meets an orphan named George whose brain was going to be extracted alongside several other children for a nefarious purpose. The facility was inspected by an elite member of Desperado named Sundowner alongside a Senator from Colorado and backer of World Marshal PMC named Steven Armstrong. It’s revealed that the two PMCs plan to place the extracted orphans brains into cybernetic bodies as a way to create a new breed of obedient slave soldiers.
Raiden proceeds to rescue George and the other orphans, and rushes back to Colorado to deal with World Marshal. Raiden abruptly resigns from Maverick to keep any potential fallout off his company as he plans to undergo a solo raid in Denver, massacring several DPD cops and Desperado soldiers in the process. Maverick still decides to aid Raiden, albeit unofficially.
Throughout his battles, Raiden becomes conflicted with his actions however and starts turning into his “Jack The Ripper” persona after encountering Samuel once again alongside his comrade Monsoon in front of World Marshall’s Denver facility. Raiden unleashes his Jack the Ripper persona to kill Monsoon while Samuel leaves to report back to Armstrong. When confronting Sundowner, however Raiden learns that Armstrong was using Desperado to hold off Raiden while he started Operation Tecumseh; through this terrorist act Armstrong attempts to murder the President of the United States while he is doing peace talks in Pakistan to ensure his ultimate goal of another War on Terror.
Unable to get any direct help from Maverick, Raiden decides to turn to a company by the name of Solis to get to Pakistan in time to thwart the Senator’s treasonous plot. Raiden is stopped however by Samuel in the Badlands and the two have their final duel. Following Raiden’s victory he continues to Solis to find help from an old friend, Sunny Emmerich who now works for Solis and helps him reach the Pakistani air base. Raiden arrives in Pakistan and stops Armstrong who is piloting the new Metal Gear Excelsus.
Excelsus is then eventually destroyed by Raiden, yet Armstrong himself ends up being more of a challenge, almost too much for Raiden to handle alone in single combat even. So before being abruptly defeated and killed by Armstrong’s raw nano-machine fueled strength, Bladewolf brings Raiden Samuel’s sword which he uses to finally finish off Armstrong for good.
With Armstrong’s plan now thwarted and Desperado also in ruins, World Marshall is all that remains between Raiden and a resolution. Raiden opts not to return to Maverick and to instead work alone, fighting his own personal war now. He is also seen in a more human form with a red left eye, hinting that Maverick managed to have his old human-like cyborg body rebuilt for him, and had his left eye fully replaced with a cybernetic one. Raiden then encounters four soldiers in an ambush at an undisclosed place, only to smirk as he unveils a stealth-equipped weapons case.
The weapons in the game are separated into Main Weapons that can replace Raiden’s HF Blade, and Unique Weapons that merely replace the Y/Triangle button attacks with the equipped weapon when activated. Unique Weapons can be bought in-game after defeating the bosses who wield them. Main weapons can be obtained in various ways. There are also “sub-weapons” that can be obtained from item boxes and drops.
Raiden can reportedly unlock costumes and hairstyles that have different affects in game. Some of them are DLC.
Metal Gear Solid: Rising was first hinted at during Hideo Kojima’s debut 2009 Game Developers Conference appearance in San Francisco and specifically while delivering his keynote presentation. It detailed the long development process of the Metal Gear franchise all the way up to Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots and ended with his concluding remarks which were geared towards the future of the series. A floating mock-up spelling-out “The Next MGS”, prominently featured a Raiden-esque cyborg character alluding to the series new direction.
Metal Gear Solid: Rising was then officially announced at Microsoft’s E3 ’09 press conference. A teaser trailer was released by series’ director Hideo Kojima, although Kojima was supposed to only serve as the executive producer for the game. Rising was initially only announced for the Xbox 360 but was later confirmed for the PlayStation 3 as well as the Games for Windows Live platform.
After a year long silence, Metal Gear Solid: Rising was once again shown at Microsoft’s press conference. Hideo Kojima came on stage and then “passed the torch” to Rising’s producer, Shigenbu Matsuyama. He then explained that the game is based on “Zan-Datsu”. In Japanese, “Zan” (斬) means “to cut” and “Datsu” (奪) means “to take by force”. Then a trailer was shown. The first part of the trailer showed Raiden infiltrating an enemy base and cutting a rather beefy cybernetic enemy to shreds, apparently absorbing energy of some kind from a dismembered segment of one of the robot’s two spines. Then the trailer showed actual gameplay footage, in which the player takes control of Raiden and fights through a village similar to the one found in chapter two of Metal Gear Solid 4. The gameplay from the trailer suggests that Rising is far more focused on action, combat, and melee than the previous Metal Gear Solid games. Also, from the trailer, it looks like the player will be able to control how Raiden uses his sword in different ways, ranging from gorily and efficiently dismembering his opponents to benignly chopping a watermelon (a reference to the famous scene from MGS4 in which a Gekko confuses a box full of watermelons for Old Snake) into handy slices.
In spite of numerous plot ideas and a variety of scenarios thought out for the game, Kojima Productions was still finding it extremely difficult to design a game mostly around the inherent concept of cutting things. The project was silently cancelled in late 2010 due to lack of foreword momentum and whilst Kojima had considered moving the project to developers abroad, mainly of a Western nature he felt that a Japanese developer would still be more suited to produce a sword focused, ninja action game. In early 2011, Kojima chose to approach Tatsuya Minami, president & CEO of Platinum Games about reviving the cancelled project with them. Platinum Games accepted the challenge and took over development with Atsushi Inaba as producer, reworking the game from the bottom up using their own engine, whilst Kojima Productions handling cutscenes and story elements, revising the story to now take place after Metal Gear Solid 4 to reflect the new development style. This new revision, now given the title Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, was first revealed via a trailer initially intended to exclusively premiere on the Spike Video Game Awards on December 10, 2011 though it was leaked online hours before its scheduled appearance.
The VGA reveal trailer has also revealed that Raiden will once again be voiced by Quinton Flynn, who had been previously quoted, saying Konami had yet to contact him regarding the game. The game’s title was changed to Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance to reflect that it isn’t part of the main Metal Gear Solid series, but is instead a spin-off that takes place after Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots. Kojima also confirmed Rising will run at sixty frames per second, a requirement he personally requested to Platinum Games during the initial talks of their involvement.
A January issue of the Japanese gaming publication Famitsu, wrote that Rising would be playable at the 2012 Electronic Entertainment Expo.
This particular issue of Famitsu also featured a conversation between Kojima and Platinum Games’ CEO Tatsuya Minami and producer Atsushi Inaba. The three again reflected on how Platinum came to be involved in the Rising project.
Minami recalled that when the offer first came through he thought it was a joke. In response to his Kojima said: “Even though we were serious, we didn’t get a response, so we asked a second time one year later.” When they finally spoke out about the collaboration, Kojima said it all started during Sony’s Vita announcement press conference.
The subject then quickly shifted to Rising’s previous iteration, and it’s divisive stealth component being the first thing Platinum tossed out from the game when taking over the project, revealed by Minami. Kojima then admitted that his staff felt that stealth and high speed action did not go well with one another, and that he personally did not want a stealth component in the game either. Nevertheless, reminding everyone-else once again that he has no direct involvement in development whatsoever.
As well as the standard edition there are two additional versions available: The “limited edition” ( U.S. Version) (EU Version) and the “Premium Package”/ “Premium Package Konami Style Special Edition” (JP Versions). The (EU version) in particular will also come with the same White Armored Raiden action figure by Play Arts that is bundled with the (Japanese version), as well as a code to unlock the White Battle Armor in the game, an armor that allows players to carry more recovery items.
The Premium Package & (Konami Style SKU) contain much more then the Limited Edition, but all editions will include one or more of the following: