Metal Gear Rising: Demo Impressions

Posted by Mikey2D (218 posts) -
Demo Impressions

I'd been waiting to play the Metal Gear Rising demo since it was first announced way back when. I hadn't picked up the Zone of Enders HD collection (which offered the demo early). So I was happy to see it pop up on my xbox live the other night. After it downloaded, I got stuck in.

I think the demo was just right in its length and content. It gave you just enough to get interested and warranted a second and third playthough in order to really get a feel for the controls. You take out a few of the usual cannon fodder grunts, you get introduced to the next rung of that ladder curtosy of the gecko's and finally you get a taste for the bosses in the form of chainsaw weilding robotic dog, IF prototype LQ84i.

At first glance I thought this was Crying Wolf. Thankfully not.

The game - now a third person hack and slash - is certainly a change of pace from your usual Metal Gear Solid gameplay. But with Platinum games at the helm I was pretty confident they would produce a glorious combat system that would hopefully rival Bayonetta's. Raiden has upped his game since Metal Gear Solid 2. From being 'that other guy' in the Metal Gear series, Raiden is now one of the most bad ass cyborg ninja's of all time. If you remember back to those crazy cutscenes in Metal Gear Solid 4, which saw Raiden take down a ton of Gecko's - Metal Gear Rising tries to emulate that madness.

On my first playthrough, I was a bit concerned with the lack of a dodge button which was your veritable bread and butter throughout Bayonetta. But instead Raiden seems to have a parry move performed by hitting forward and the X button, this puts Raiden into a brace like pose and an attack simply gets rejected and pushed away. Timing is rather crucial with this system and after getting the hang of it, I found myself liking it, seeing it as quite skill based in its execution. Perhaps via the upgrade system which the game will feature, we will be able to purchase a dodge mechanic - but if not, I doubt I'll lose any sleep over it.

The level on display during the demo wasn't perhaps the most interesting of locations, curtosy of war torn environment painted in brown - but hopefully the rest of the game offers some more variety.

The cutting mechanics are nice - but not all that far removed from those found within 2009's Afro Samurai. What is great though - is that during Raiden's 'big' moves - say from countering an attack perfectly, there are opportunities during your counter attack to use the precision cutting to turn your foes into sliced bread and beyond - you could (if quick enough) turn them to croutons.

The cast of characters - are interesting enough - not perhaps to the level of Drebin and many others within the original MGS series, but not without their own merits. I limited myself to one or two codec calls - wanting such conversations to be fresh upon playing the full game.

And then there's that soundtrack.

I really hope the full game continues to have music similar to that in the demo - combat seemed to alter the track and it would evolve during your actions in combat - a counter attack seemingly kicking in the beat just at the right time to make the score feel like that of a well crafted movies hitting at just the right moment.

All in all - I was throughly impressed with the demo and see myself picking this game up upon release. The content is a step away from the 'norm' if there is such a thing in the MGS universe, but its a spin off that looks to offer exactly what I'd want out of such an experience.

How did everyone else feel about the demo? Will you be picking the game up on release day?

#1 Posted by Mikey2D (218 posts) -
Demo Impressions

I'd been waiting to play the Metal Gear Rising demo since it was first announced way back when. I hadn't picked up the Zone of Enders HD collection (which offered the demo early). So I was happy to see it pop up on my xbox live the other night. After it downloaded, I got stuck in.

I think the demo was just right in its length and content. It gave you just enough to get interested and warranted a second and third playthough in order to really get a feel for the controls. You take out a few of the usual cannon fodder grunts, you get introduced to the next rung of that ladder curtosy of the gecko's and finally you get a taste for the bosses in the form of chainsaw weilding robotic dog, IF prototype LQ84i.

At first glance I thought this was Crying Wolf. Thankfully not.

The game - now a third person hack and slash - is certainly a change of pace from your usual Metal Gear Solid gameplay. But with Platinum games at the helm I was pretty confident they would produce a glorious combat system that would hopefully rival Bayonetta's. Raiden has upped his game since Metal Gear Solid 2. From being 'that other guy' in the Metal Gear series, Raiden is now one of the most bad ass cyborg ninja's of all time. If you remember back to those crazy cutscenes in Metal Gear Solid 4, which saw Raiden take down a ton of Gecko's - Metal Gear Rising tries to emulate that madness.

On my first playthrough, I was a bit concerned with the lack of a dodge button which was your veritable bread and butter throughout Bayonetta. But instead Raiden seems to have a parry move performed by hitting forward and the X button, this puts Raiden into a brace like pose and an attack simply gets rejected and pushed away. Timing is rather crucial with this system and after getting the hang of it, I found myself liking it, seeing it as quite skill based in its execution. Perhaps via the upgrade system which the game will feature, we will be able to purchase a dodge mechanic - but if not, I doubt I'll lose any sleep over it.

The level on display during the demo wasn't perhaps the most interesting of locations, curtosy of war torn environment painted in brown - but hopefully the rest of the game offers some more variety.

The cutting mechanics are nice - but not all that far removed from those found within 2009's Afro Samurai. What is great though - is that during Raiden's 'big' moves - say from countering an attack perfectly, there are opportunities during your counter attack to use the precision cutting to turn your foes into sliced bread and beyond - you could (if quick enough) turn them to croutons.

The cast of characters - are interesting enough - not perhaps to the level of Drebin and many others within the original MGS series, but not without their own merits. I limited myself to one or two codec calls - wanting such conversations to be fresh upon playing the full game.

And then there's that soundtrack.

I really hope the full game continues to have music similar to that in the demo - combat seemed to alter the track and it would evolve during your actions in combat - a counter attack seemingly kicking in the beat just at the right time to make the score feel like that of a well crafted movies hitting at just the right moment.

All in all - I was throughly impressed with the demo and see myself picking this game up upon release. The content is a step away from the 'norm' if there is such a thing in the MGS universe, but its a spin off that looks to offer exactly what I'd want out of such an experience.

How did everyone else feel about the demo? Will you be picking the game up on release day?

#2 Posted by xyzygy (10030 posts) -

I loved the demo. I can't wait to see what sort of awesome upgrades you can get for Raiden. I pre-ordered the game so I'll have a sweet Grey Fox skin :)

#3 Posted by Klei (1768 posts) -

I loved the gameplay, but I must admit that I dislike platinum game's visual artists. I fear it's going to be like Vanquish all over again. Cool gameplay, bad characters, bad voice acting and overall lack of color. Everything looks so bland and washed out.

#4 Posted by EuanDewar (5032 posts) -

i liked it but i needed a dodge button, the parrying was not enough for me

#5 Posted by Demoskinos (15017 posts) -

@EuanDewar said:

i liked it but i needed a dodge button, the parrying was not enough for me

Same, get rid of Blade Mode and give me a dodge button and I'd be more likely to give this a whirl.

#6 Posted by PSNgamesun (411 posts) -

I didn't like gameplay and the presentation seems like its going to be a dumb game. It does not feel like im doing anything to the enemies, it feels empty, I really don't know how to explain it lol. Also I feel there are better hack and slash games that are going to come out this year like DMC & GOW as well as Bayonetta 2(hoping it comes out this year).

#7 Edited by project343 (2833 posts) -

@Klei said:

I loved the gameplay, but I must admit that I dislike platinum game's visual artists. I fear it's going to be like Vanquish all over again. Cool gameplay, bad characters, bad voice acting and overall lack of color. Everything looks so bland and washed out.

Metal Gear is bland and washed out.

Platinum has games like Bayonetta and the incredibly visually distinct Mad World behind them. This just seems like them being faithful to that ugly-ass aesthetic.

#8 Posted by Ramone (2975 posts) -

I really couldn't get used to the parry system, the timing felt extremely arbitrary.

#9 Posted by Klei (1768 posts) -

@project343 said:

@Klei said:

I loved the gameplay, but I must admit that I dislike platinum game's visual artists. I fear it's going to be like Vanquish all over again. Cool gameplay, bad characters, bad voice acting and overall lack of color. Everything looks so bland and washed out.

Metal Gear is bland and washed out.

Platinum has games like Bayonetta and the incredibly visually distinct Mad World behind them. This just seems like them being faithful to that ugly-ass aesthetic.

I agree. But Vanquish is bland and washed out visually.

#10 Posted by Shookems (474 posts) -

The parry system feels super wonky. I really wish there was a dodge or a block button, or at least a dedicated button for the parry.

#11 Posted by Oldirtybearon (4851 posts) -

Oh thank Christ I'm not just an idiot. There really isn't a dodge button.

The game really needs a dodge button, fyi.

Online
#12 Posted by BigBoss1911 (2495 posts) -

Why is the AI so dumb in this game? Really the only thing I enjoyed about the demo was the slow-mo sword play and the boss battle. A dodge button would help.

#13 Posted by Icemael (6339 posts) -

@Mikey2D: @EuanDewar: @Demoskinos: @Shookems: @Oldirtybearon: @BigBoss1911: The parry is functionally the equivalent of the dodge in Bayonetta, but there's also an actual dodge move, performed by pressing jump + light attack. By default Raiden dodges backwards, but if you press left or right he'll jump in that direction. The demo's tutorials doesn't tell you about this though.

The secret to making parrying easier, by the way, is to not use the analogue stick too much while attacking. I had a real hard time parrying when I kept pushing the stick in the direction of the enemy I was attacking, but then I stopped doing that parrying became easy as shit. When you're close to an enemy and slashing away, try not to touch the analogue stick unless it's necessary (which is pretty much only when you want to do a dodge, a parry or a special attack that requires a directional input, like the launcher).

#14 Posted by Demoskinos (15017 posts) -

@Icemael: Oh I know but its not a very effective dodge at all so ends up parrying is the most effective defensive option almost well... always at least in the demo.

#15 Posted by tyler1285 (178 posts) -

If you parry with the right timing Raiden will counter attack. I don't know if anyone has mentioned that yet, but there is definitely some depth up in here.

#16 Posted by Icemael (6339 posts) -

@Demoskinos: I didn't find the dodge very useful either, but after watching this video I realize just need to get better at it:

Seems like it's a lot better than the parry once you get it down.

#17 Posted by Mikey2D (218 posts) -

@Icemael:Thanks duder! I'll have to try that out. It's odd that they wouldn't share the dodge button information in the tutorial.

To be honest - after a second play through, the countering felt a lot more natural and I had it down pretty good.

@tyler1285: I knew of the counter attacks (which are awesome and brutal) you just have to get that timing down then its great fun. As I said in my original post you can go into cutting mode during those counters and really go to town on the enemy. Great stuff.

#18 Posted by Sanious (793 posts) -

Video with ZanDatsu ("Blade mode") cancelling to extend the combos.

#19 Posted by Mikey2D (218 posts) -

@Sanious:Some of those combos look incredible :P Love the break dancing one at around 48 seconds :D

#20 Posted by Shookems (474 posts) -

@Icemael: Would have been nice for the game to communicate ANY of this

#21 Posted by MurderBunny (56 posts) -

@Shookems said:

@Icemael: Would have been nice for the game to communicate ANY of this

That it would be.

The DEMO became a million times better i had learnt a few of the moves that they do not explain.

#22 Posted by Shookems (474 posts) -

@MurderBunny: I am still pretty hopeful for this game, even though the demo turned me off a bit

#23 Edited by Seppli (10251 posts) -

MGS's trademark hammy and over-the-top story telling and characters don't really work for me anymore, though I can still ironically appreciate it - for the insane stupid fun it is. The gameplay however is cool, for lack of a better word. Stylish action indeed, and likely enough of a hook to get my time and money at some point this year.

I'm a bit at odds with the execution-centric nature of combat gameplay. It relies heavily on input-execution, rather than just execution. I don't interact directly with set actions on defined buttons, but rather with moves, that demand execution first. A very Japanese way of creating gameplay depth, but not my preference. It's the same thing I didn't like about Bayonetta, because I'll never take such a game seriously enough to master all these moves, with the result that the game feels too random and chaotic - and somewhat out of my control.

Regardless of this preference, as a whole the game feels entirely novel and fresh, and that's more than I can say about almost all big retail games - that alone already makes it worth playing. Looking forward to seeing how the final product is received, and eventually playing it for myself.

#24 Posted by MonkeyKing1969 (2895 posts) -

To be honest I don't think I could adapt to the game play. There is a place for flashy games, but sometimes I just want things to make sense.

#25 Edited by Willtron (243 posts) -

The actual feeling of slashing dudes up was rad, but the camera control was fucking awful. Almost any time I tried to use the right stick to slash, things would just go horribly awry. Even using the face buttons and the left stick was a bitch. Honestly, the camera ate a dick and completely ruined the game for me. It succccckeddd.

#26 Posted by bearshamanbro (284 posts) -

Demo doesn't explain much. Had a lot of fun with it, but only after figuring out everything it doesn't tell you. After looking up some things online and playing through the demo a few times, the gameplay became much more fluid. Some things I've seen some on here mention and just thought I'd pass on some things I figured out.
 
1. There is a dodge, it's X + Square. You can also input a direction to control which direction to dodge, otherwise you just do a standard dodge.
2. In blade mode, you don't have to use the analog, you can you us the face buttons. X and Y execute vertical and horizontal slashes in Blade Mode. You might be need to use the analog if you're trying to line up a specific slash like cutting the arm off, but otherwise you can usually bypass the analog stick.
3. Ninja Run, hold down R1 to ninja run. This deflect bullets, auto-jump over things, and give you access to a few moves out of it. The most over-powered move in the demo is probably Ninja Run, press Y to slide and then active Blade Mode to finish off.
 
After learning the whole repitoire the combat really opened up. At first I was going around parrying and staying sort-of stationary. With ninja run and dodge you can really play with more of a flow like Ninja Gaiden and be really mobile.

#27 Posted by HeyImPhoenix (169 posts) -

I really enjoyed it and it made me glad I have preordered it!

#28 Posted by TranceQuina (149 posts) -

I played the demo and was kind of underwhelmed.  With all this new info I'll have to give it another go.  As a Platinum fan, I've been excited for the game and would like to stay that way.

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