If you haven’t heard by now Metal Gear Solid: Rising has resurfaced under its new name “Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance” and with it a new developer, Platinum Games. The guys that made Bayonetta and Vanquish.
Now obviously since it’s being headed up by a new developer it’s undergone a lot of changes. Some of which have caused rabid fans to throw hissy fits all across the interwebs.
Now this is understandable, if there’s one thing you can count on it’s a fans overwhelming hatred of change. But is it really all that different from prior MGS games? In terms of tone I mean. Kojima has pegged the game as being “lightning bolt action” as appose to “tactical espionage action” so it’s to be expected that this isn’t going to play like a traditional MGS game. However it’s the tone that seems to have everyone in an uproar. But from what I can tell it doesn’t seem all that different from before.
The MGS franchise has always been tongue in cheek as far the seriousness of it all is concerned, even going as far as to breaking the fourth wall on a few occasions. Now let’s recount some of the events that have transpired throughout the Metal Gear Saga and see whether this entry is consistent.
Big Boss (or Naked Snake) battles the Shagohod abroad a motorcycle wielding a machine gun with unlimited ammo and proceeds to shoot it with RPGs as Vulgan begins siphoning his own electrical energy to power and manoeuvre it.
While battling a seemingly endless amount of gun-touting soldiers with a katana (with concussive properties) Raiden faces off against 25 prototype Metal Gear Rays using his trusty Stinger missiles. Luckily ammo materialises every now and then to even the odds.
Old Snake carries on Big Bosses legacy and rides backseat (with a woman approaching her 70s at the helm) fending off attacks from unmanned drones following the will of a girl so tormented she’s able to manifest two vocal cords that work in tandem.
I could do this all day... Point being the Metal Gear franchise is and has always been... Dumb, but knowingly so. I came to terms with this around the time Snake started riding rockets in the MGS1 remake Twin Snakes. Now granted this too is a game being outsourced to another developer but the cut scenes were originally intended to be faithful recreations of those found in the original PS1 game. But Kojima wasn’t happy and asked them to go back and go overboard, and so they did.
It seems fans are in denial and feel betrayed that Kojima has forsaken Rising and soiled the MGS franchise by letting Platinum Games do with it as they please. But Kojima productions are still producing the game, meaning nothing goes in without their say so. In fact it was their decision to go back and start virtually from scratch because what they had just wasn’t working. What they showed at E3 was interesting, and precision watermelon cutting was humorous the first time you see it. But it was obvious that this was a game in the process of finding itself. The action seemed stiff and imprecise and the ability to choose what angle you cut from didn’t seem necessary. (They seemed pretty dead after the first cut anyway)
It's clear Kojima or whoever is distancing the game from the “core” franchise by rebranding it as Metal Gear Rising. (Much like they did with Acid) But to me that seems unnecessary. I think what makes people so angry is imagining what could have been. A game where Raiden has to use his survival instincts (some of which he displayed in 4) and stealth to overcome overwhelming odds would have been interesting but it’s clear that’s not what this game was ever meant to be.
The Metal Gear Solid games have built up a reputation for toying with the emotions of their fanbase, there was a lot of backlash when Raiden was thrown into the fray but it was refreshing to view things from an outsider’s perspective. Taking the series to the 60s and letting you play as Big Boss, the man that set everything in motion was a great twist and really managed to expand the universe and the motivations of the characters within. In Metal Gear Solid 4 fans were finally reunited with Snake but not “Solid” Snake “Old” Snake, this too was unacceptable. But this transformation really allowed snake to reassess his role in all of this, the metal gears, whether he serves any other purpose in life besides ending lives... In a game that places so much emphasis on cinematic and emotional weight this really added more layers to the game.
If there's one thing we can all agree on by now it's that the MGS saga is crazy, but it’s always delivered. With or without Kojima’s involvement. There’s never really been a “bad” MGS game. Sure you could argue as to why you didn’t like certain aspects of each game but as a whole they were well made and with an open mind, fun. Assuming you like longwinded cut scenes, weird characters and a needlessly convoluted plot. (I’m guessing you do otherwise you wouldn’t be reading this) So let’s give Rising, Platinum Games and Kojima Productions the benefit of a doubt and shut the hell up until it gets released, and hopefully enjoy it. And if not nobody’s making you play it, and I’m sure if there even is an MGS5 they won’t be referencing MGR anyway, so it’s up to you whether or not you even want to acknowledge it.