This "Metal Gear Solid" spin-off is fast, bloody fun.

User Rating: 8 | Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance PS3

Platinum Games' "Metal Gear Solid: Revengeance" is a hack n' slash game similar to their own "Bayonetta". Fast, violent and over-the-top, it takes place four years after MGS IV and features Raiden as the title character. As the game begins, we learn that he is now working for a Private Military Company (PMC) called Maverick Securities. While acting as a bodyguard for an African Prime Minister, Raiden is attacked by a rival PMC (Desperado) that destabilizes nations through terrorism. They end up defeating him and killing the prime minister. Weeks later, an upgraded Raiden and his support team learn that Desperado are attempting to stage a military coup in another nation. So Raiden is sent in and ends up gaining an ally in a cyborg dog which he renames Bladewolf.

The combo heavy combat in "Revengeance" recalls "Devil May Cry 3", "Ninja Gaiden" and "Shinobi". While gameplay mainly consists of running and slicing everything, there are some stealth moments. As the player progresses, Raiden inherits different weapons and abilities that can be upgraded. Additionally, some of the series' quirky staples such as exclamation marks and cardboard boxes appear. And just like in previous MGS titles, there is a heavy emphasis on cutscenes, but some players might be put off by the extreme violence shown in them. The game also includes numerous tutorials and challenges in a VR setting.

Visually, the graphics are on par with "Metal Gear Solid IV", while the framerate is smooth. Unfortunately, as with many titles of this type, the camera can be a bit of a problem. You'll occasionally need to adjust it to keep up with Raiden's movements. But overall, this MGS spin-off should please fans of the franchise. It successfully blends fast, bloody ninja action with the world of Solid Snake. I'd give it an 8 out of 10.