I played this demo: Some of it is awesome.

#1 Edited by I_smell (3924 posts) -

MGS2 is one of my favourite games, and sadly I never played 4 because I don't have a PlayStation 3.  
I won't bring this up again, but I wanna say up-front that I liked Raiden in MGS2 when he was a VR-trained rookie with no field experience, and was kind of shocked and confused by basically everything. I think making him an eyepatch robot ninja samurai really sucks the personality out of him and spoils that character. I think he's cheesy and dumb.

COMBAT

The combat animations look very cool! Raiden slashes with the X button, and clips the sword onto his FOOT, then kick-slashes with the Y button. He flicks the sword from hands to feet all the time and it's really funny to watch.
X is wide-attack and Y is a focused strong-attack. I play a lot of combat games, but I couldn't figure out any recognisable combos here. 
You can pick up grenades or bazooka ammo to use in combat, but they took so long to aim and throw that I didn't really want to use them.
There is no button to lock aim on a target, and you cannot change direction mid-combo. I flailed around with the camera in the wrong direction a lot, thinking "STOP KICKING! JUST TURN AROUND! I CAN'T SEE WHO'S ATTACKING ME!"
You can sprint by holding the Right-Trigger, and it was a lot of fun to sprint around and whip the sword left and right without losing speed. Especially because your standard attacks will slash things in half.

SLASHING THINGS IN HALF

Pressing up on the D-pad will activate Detective Mode. This highlights enemies in red, and slash-able background props in blue, revealing what you can and cannot slash in half. In the tutorial section I slashed a watermelon into 230 pieces, causing the framerate to drop to literally about 1. After that though, enemies would explode after you slash them a few times, and background props will fade out.
 
I was dissapointed with the physics on slashed objects. Whether they were the size of an entire bridge, or a little crate, they'd just bobble around on the floor. I found a secret path that lead me upstairs in a lobby, and I found my way to the chandelier on the cieling. I was totally ready to chop it off and have all this expensive glass come crashing down, but instead it just floated down like a bit of cardboard and stopped when it hit the floor, making no noise, then faded out.
Sprinting around and snapping off trees feels great, and chopping up an enemy into multiple pieces is cool, but I really often got a weak, slow, Garrys Mod version of what I expected to happen.
Also I found the precision slicing difficult to use. Aiming your slash took too long to actually be useful in combat, and there's a delay between when you flick the stick and when Raiden slashes onscreen. Again: It was fun to sprint around and casually chop cars in half. I leaned on entering precision-slicing, and then just mashing X to cut horizontally and Y to cut vertically.
 
Using precision-slicing in combat made me really wish there was a button to just snap to the closest enemy. Also I wish it reached further, as I slashed around 3ft away from a guy a bit too often.

CHARACTERS

If you wanna try an optional codec conversation, this demo is DENSE with those. I had 4 characters to speak to, and every time I tried it they all had some tangent to go on about PMCs, or memories of old missions they'd been on, or the boss I was fighting or whether or not I wanted to save. The codec conversations felt 90% of the way to being a legit Metal Gear game- my only hangup being that I couldn't spin the windows around or zoom in or do any dumb shit like that.
I felt like the characters were really corny. Metal Gear has plenty of archetypes and anime tropes in it, but this was less elegant with those. Your rival is named "JETSTREAM SAM" and your save girl's personality is that she's the clumsy one, uh-oh, don't spill that coffee clumsy girl!!! These characters would fit right into Vanquish.

YOU CAN GET STEALTH KILLS

If you can sneak up behind someone without them seeing, you can instant-kill them. The inability to walk, crouch, lean against walls or do anything else sneaky makes this a strangely isolated addition to the game. 
 
My doctor friend (named "Doktor") told me a couple times to collect enemies' left hands. That sounds fun, but I'm not sure how to pick them up exactly.
The best parts of this demo were when I felt like I was playing a game in the Metal Gear universe, which was fairly often! The downside is that the slicing and combat falls a bit short of what I think the designers had in mind. It feels great, sometimes... Maybe they didn't have enough time or budget to refine everything, or maybe the hardware isn't there yet- maybe it's just the demo and in the full game that chandelier will crash around and be awesome! WHO KNOWS!?!?!?!?!?!?!?
 
On the flipside, Zone of Enders 2 in HD is fucking cool as shit!
#2 Edited by GunstarRed (5309 posts) -

My only real complaint with the demo is that you can't slice the cat at the start of the level. I did find the controls a little awkward to begin with and clicking the stick to run up walls was strange at first, but two or three times through it and it all clicks. The combat is pretty damn good, I love the way you can do that sliding sword-foot-attack. The timing on the parrying is also a little weird.

I still haven't played the ZoE HD games.

#3 Edited by I_smell (3924 posts) -

If an enemy is going to attack you and you parry them, Raiden will enter a parry stance until they attack. Meaning if you parry 2 seconds too early, he'll stand and wait to be hit, then successfully parry. 
It is definately a strange choice for a parrying system.
 
Side-note: I saw some pretty crazy enemies in a trailer recently, and this game really looks to deliver in the field of nutty creative ideas.

#4 Posted by JacDG (2127 posts) -

I was skeptical at first, but the more I see of it the more I like it.

#5 Edited by maskedarcstrike (701 posts) -

@i_smell: I don't know what the final version is like but what I got from the demo is that when your in combat the game is freaking awesome.

When you are not, some of the game's lesser qualities really start to show. Environments look like they are straight out of DMC 1 for PS2, etc.

Edit: you can clearly tell they spent most of the consoles memory on character modeling and animations rather than environments. While this is fine due to technical constraints I just don't know how I feel about it.

Thinking back to Vanquish and the troubled development of Rising I think Vanquish will probably be a far a more polished title overall than Rising ever will.

And I think Rising's combat is freaking awesome. It just has some........ environment issues, but again we're at the end of a console generation and this is old tech.

#6 Edited by GetEveryone (4455 posts) -

This was an absolutely hilarious read. Good stuff.

#7 Posted by Humanity (9604 posts) -

The slicing is definitely fun and obviously the singular element they built the entire game around - but I'm just worried the gameplay will get monotonous quite early on. It's already somewhat annoying that slicing doodes on the regular is just a hit but if you STUN them well now they are cuttable because videogame arbitrary rulesets.

#8 Posted by Nilazz (613 posts) -

I had some problems with the camera and I apparently suck at parrying, other than that I had a good time with it.

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