Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance is a 2013 hack and slash story-driven game filled with humour, philosophical and political thought and over the top gruesome action. It was developed by PlatinumGames and Kojima Productions, and is considered to be unique compared to other Metal Gear games in the series, especially in the design of its combat system. 

The game starts with an optional tutorial section, aimed at introducing the basics of the games movement and combat mechanics. More importantly the main protagonist “Raiden” is introduced by “Doktor” to the “Blade Mode” mechanic, which allows Raiden to deliver accurate powerful cuts through the use of his specially engineered HF (High Frequency) sword. When in “Blade Mode”, if the screen goes blue or an enemy is knocked off their feet then time slows down and Raiden is given a period of time to hack and cut away at his enemies, when enough energy is generated the ability can offer a takedown through the use of a red square appearing on screen and the words Zandatsu” (meaning “Cut and Take”) show, and is able to defeat nearly any enemy in the game. 

Zandatsu, also offers Raiden the opportunity to take the health of his enemies, in return giving him more health and a recharged energy bar, the animation for this is brutal as Raiden rips out his defeated foes life essence and crushes it within his grasp, causing Raiden’s combat effectiveness to increase while simultaneously giving confidence back to the player. 

Boss fights within MGR:R really does justice to demonstrate Raiden’s fighting ability. Notably, for me, the Monsoon boss fight, which tests the player to use all the skills they have picked up so far in order to survive. Monsoon’s use of tossing massive rubble of debris at Raiden making the player make good use of the Blade Mode ability to cut through the attacks. This kind of attack gets even harder later on in the game, especially with opponents such as Senator Armstrong or Sundowner whose main defence system is his shield which protects the Boss from Raiden’s attacks and can perform deadly counterattacks to Raiden if he gets too close. Blade Modes is used to slice through Sundowners shield, in doing so Raiden has a lot more freedom to inflict more damage, ultimately making the boss fight easier. Additionally, Blade Mode is useful against enemies which surround you, as the slow-motion effect makes it so Raiden can attack enemies simultaneously even if it doesn’t guarantee the use of Zandatsu, it can still damage enemies enough to stagger them, personally, I used this a fair bit throughout my run through as it gave me chance to gain distance from the enemy attacks. 

Overall, MGR:R’s combat system makes the game all the better, as traditional Metal Gear games use guns and stealth as part of their combat, while MGR:R does make use of some firearms and some bits of stealth, it definitely would not be as engaging and fun of a game without the use of Raiden and his sword. For that reason Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance does the hack and slash, action story genre proud.

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