The Metal Gear series is certainly taking a different approach when it comes to story and gameplay. It used to be all about special agent Snake sneaking around without being seen. Now, Raiden seems to be taking the role, and he does things a little differently. I tried to go into this with an open mind, but after Guns of the Patriots they started to get boring, and after Sons of Liberty I never thought Raiden was that worthy of being a main character. However, I’m stunned at how much I enjoyed this game. Well, sort of.
Four years after the events of Guns of the Patriots, Raiden is part of a security company where they train armies and protect VIPs. Africa has just recovered from a civil war and it looks like peace may actually be a reality with the likes of the current Prime Minister thanks to Raiden and his team helping keep the peace. That, however, doesn’t last very long as the Prime Minister is kidnapped by a terrorist group known as Desperado Enterprise. Raiden barley manages to survive the fight against them, but gains a new armor to help with his next encounter.
The story was pretty simple and straight to the point, but lacked in getting information out in certain areas. There is a super power trying to start a new World War and Raiden needs to stop them; same old Metal Gear we’ve seen before. However, presentation was done a little differently. The dialogue is still just as corny, and Raiden pulling the whole Batman voice midway was a little annoying, but there weren’t hour long cut scenes between fifteen minutes of gameplay which was one of the downfalls of the series. They would always over analyze things so it was nice they didn’t do that this time around. That didn’t mean they needed to make the game so short though. You could literally finish this in one day. There are other things you can do, like VR missions or try to upgrade your character in the hardest settings, but if you are looking to play the game once it won’t be long.
Like the story, the gameplay is taken in a different direction. This isn’t based on stealth like previously releases, but on hacking and slashing. Raiden wields a katana that he uses to slice and dice through his enemies in regular combat, and blade mode where everything is put into slow motion. Objects such as cars, boxes and rubble can be thrown or be in your way, but you can cut through them like butter. There are different weapons you can carry, like a staff made of robotic arms, and sub weapons like rockets or grenades. Ninja dash allows Raiden to move at a quick speed over obstacles and dodge bullets. While there is a variety of moves that can be used with each weapon, it was still short compared to other hack and slash games. I found myself using the same moves and it didn’t have that many upgrades to allow increase.
The graphics were very clean and nicely polished. Things could get a little flashy at times, but overall nicely done. I was also pretty surprised by the music, but that may have been due to this part of the series moving more towards action then stealth. Everything is fast paced so it would only make sense to do that with the music as well, and it worked.
I am actually very shocked to say that I actually enjoyed this. I was losing interest in the Metal Gear series and Raiden wasn’t a character I enjoyed that much. I’m not saying the game is perfect, it does have its flaws, and it is very short. However, it is a move in the right direction and I am looking forward to the next release.