A day or so ago, I bought my copy of "Zone of the Enders HD Collection" happily ethused to relive one of my favorite mecha games. On the box was an advertisement for the "Metal Gear Solid Rising: Revengeance" demo. At first, I wasn't too excited or even all that curious. But after playing a bit of "Z.O.E." I figured well might as well give it a try. As a note/disclaimer, I do not know -anything- about Metal Gear lore or the story. Just to make sure fans of the series are not mad at me for this. I had to do some digging for names and such.
The demo is on the disk but requires an install from the disk. As it is a hefty 3,000+ MB for installation. That alone made my eyes go wide. I was sure in for a nice, decently lengthened demo. It takes a few minutes to install and all. One thing to note is that the demo is -not- standalone. Meaning you need the "Z.O.E. HD" disk to run it. Also, another surprise. I tilted my head thinking "Well, I guess since it was on the disk to install it needs the disk to run it." A bit peculiar, nonethless I ventured forth into the "MGSR: Revengeance" title screen.
Raiden, cybernetic tech sword wielding assassin, his eye ablaze with red as the title screen glazes in front of him. For a title screen it's pretty awesome. Certainly made me excited. It was then I realized why the demo requires the disk because the visuals are stunning, much like MGS 4.
The demo gives an option for difficulty, since I had no confidence to go on "normal" I chose "easy". The game opens up with a text screen lightly touching what Raiden has been up to since Metal Gear Solid 4. I merely surmised that from what I had seen from cutscenes of MGS 4. Anyway the game opens with a first person view of a training room and a man named "Boris" giving Raiden the heads up of his training as he has to get a feel for his new shiny cybernetic body. Boris, I have to say, looks like Haggar from Final Fight, just with a really awesome Russian accent. Seriously, he does. Anyway, he instructs the player on how to use Blade Mode. Which I must say, is difficult at first. It takes some getting used to. In the training area there is the famous watermelon slicing demo previewed in the first "MGSR: Revengeance" trailer, which is fun to try out. The controls feel tight, regular sword swings and heavy kicks with hidden feet blades feel powerful and pack a good wallop. After finishing it graded my performance then I was introduced to a cutscene.
Here they introduce Boris in his full form, Kevin and Courtney. Kevin is the African American joker of the group. He seems pretty cool, certainly lightens the mood of the seriousness. Courtney, the busty blonde data analyst of the group, who doesn't have much of a personality. She seems sweet and the innocent one among them. And "Doktor", a scientist who likes getting his hands on left arms of cyborg enemies for their intel in exchange he gives Raiden upgrades. As all of this goes on Raiden is strapped into a large plane that is carrying him to his target location where they think his nemesis might show up, and Raiden comments he will be ready. After reaching the island, where Raiden makes a pretty epic arrival jumping onto some water as it slowly splashes and falls around him while he quickly jumps again onto the mainland.
Boris introduces the codec menu, where players can upgrade and save through Courtney. After some platforming the first group of enemies shows up unexpectedly showing off their Predator-inspired invisible stealth camouflage. Combat with actual NPCs is quite a treat, seeing their animations as they are hit. And their reactions to being chopped up into small bits in blade mode is really awesome. One thing to note, enemies will have a red square eminating in blade mode that when sliced through a player will have a button prompt to rip out their spine then Raiden will crush it to replenish health. This is something I find to be delightfully brutal as well as in interesting mechanic. After that short fight, another cutscene where Kevin jokes off and questions Raiden's morality by reminding him cyborgs are still human. Raiden quickly refutes that by saying that if they kill innocents for money then they deserve it. Quite noble and heroic. For a cyborg ninja assassin.
And the demo continues and introduces an AR mode where Raiden can see all of his enemies, as to give a sense of tactical maneuvering between enemies. It looks cool, but I didn't feel this sense of tactical need as it was very easy to just dispatch everyone, and when I did attack someone everyone else was alerted.
Another one of the bipedal anemies from MGS 4 returns and just as big. Here they introduce the pary move, which requires timing and good timing at that.
Continuing on, Raiden enters a building and hears a voice. Suddenly the walls are cut by a chainsaw that barely misses his chin. Here the boss for the demo is revealed a certain prototype of Crying Wolf with hyper intelligence tells Raiden it is here to well kill Raiden. This scene is particularly interesting as Raiden and the talking Crying Wolf have a sort of existential debate over the meaning of life. It's quick and doesn't last long but it's quite funny.
This fight is pretty tough, as the Crying Wolf protoype leaps back and forth with nimble grace and speed. His chainsaw tail whips with fury. Damage him enough and he will retreat calling in back up. Which is a good opportunity to get some health if Raiden falls low on health. After slicing his health low enough, the player will be prompted with a button press prompt that gives the really gratifying finishing blow. Thus ending the demo.
The game does feel pretty smooth. Raiden can only jump once, but there might be a double jump in the final product. As I said, as a person with no knowledge of Metal Gear, the game does seem pretty fun. There can't be any final verdict as it was a demo. Hopefully a downloadable one will be released soon. Until then, I'm fairly impressed by what I experienced and can only hope that the actual game satisfies fans of the Metal Gear franchise.