I am about to say something radical guys, I like Raiden. I like him as a character, I like him as a ninja, and I like him as a protagonist. Now to say something less radical. I like Platinum Games. Though I have never beaten one of their games, I have enjoyed all the time I have spent with them. So imagine my dismay when I did not enjoy my time with Metal Gear Rising Revengeance .
My demo began about mid way through a mission and so I was not treated to the tutorial explaining the controls, but they were not hard to figure out. Raiden has your standard light attack, heavy attack, block, dodge, etc. What he has beyond that is a function called Blade Mode. During Blade Mode your right stick acts as a sort of sword slingshot; as you pull back on the stick a projection of the blade trajectory is shown, and upon releasing the stick the blade travels through that path, and your enemies. Fighting normal soldiers was arguably the most fun I had with the demo, considering everything else felt stiff and unwieldy.
The last half of my demo with Revengeance was spent failing to cross a bridge and then beating up a helicopter. As soon as you start crossing the bridge it starts collapsing and you start running. Now, I have played games before, I have run off my fair share of collapsing bridges, but I probably ran through that section ten or more times. The problem was that ,even though Raiden looks and fights like a ninja, he by no means moves like one. On this bridge there were broken down cars and in order to survive you had to avoid them, simple. But instead of jumping over them, like any self respecting ninja would have done, you had to run around them. Why you ask? Because Raiden jumps like an idiot.
When you press the jump button Raiden does a super high spin flip that ends in him coming back down about three inches from where he once stood. Sure, he would probably be great a ninja basketball dunking but for jumping past cars in a timely manner, this method does not work. I wish that this was an exaggeration but it really is not, you move forward so little with each jump it almost seems pointless to have a jump button in there at all. So now I had to navigate the cars on the bridge, of which there were three, and die repeatedly as I get caught on them. I sure feel like a deadly cyber ninja now.
Eventually I was able to make my way off the bridge, except wait; no I died yet again. This time it was not skill, or a lack there of, on my part, it was UI. At the very end of the bridge a QTE is activated and you must jam on the Triangle(Y) button the avoid death. The problem was that when the prompt came up, it was unclear that I was supposed to beat on that button, instead of just pressing it once. Behind the button prompt was a slightly pulsating orange circle, and I mean very slightly, so I guess I should have known. But in the chaos of missile fire, ninja electricity, and falling debris it was a little tough to tell the difference between slightly pulsating and not pulsating. So as a coup de grâce to my unending bridge turmoil I died from a poorly executed QTE, great.
Once I finally crossed the bridge I had to fight a helicopter, with a sword. Yeah, games are dumb, it is ok. This last section of the demo was a mix of things I enjoyed from Revengeance, and things I did not. On one hand I could wail on the attack buttons on the helicopter. On the other hand I usually had to chase the chopper across disconnected platforms, which means I had to jump, a lot. Chasing this boss around the designated arena with a jump that felt like gravity was tippled was not fun, not at all.
I still have high hopes for Revengeance, but I can not ignore the problems that got into may way during the demo. I wanted to have fun, I wanted to believe that this game would be good, despite the development issues. But if the demo I played is any indication of the coming game, I am afraid. It has the potential to be a fantastic gem, but it also has the potential to be a pile of trash.