Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance is the first Metal Gear titled console game to occur outside of the main Metal Gear series canon. The protagonist is Raiden, formerly a fast-paced action game featuring Raiden, the protagonist of Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty and a supporting character in Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots, in events that take place fours years after Metal Gear Solid 4.
Originally, Hideo Kojima was supposed to produce the game, but unlike most other titles in the mainline Metal Gear series he would not take on the role of director. Kojima had initially said that this game would be created by some of his younger Metal Gear team staff. During production of this game, Kojima was busy writing and directing the PSP side story, Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker. It was announced on the Kojima Productions Report that the game will utilize a different engine than the one used in Guns of the Patriots.
After having trouble combining the traditional stealth gameplay of the MGS series with the new Raiden's swordplay, Kojima cancelled the project, but later revived it with Platinum Games as the main development studio. Platinum used their own engine to make it into a more action-oriented title, but Kojima's team at FOX Studios still held control over story and cutscene elements.
An interview with Konami's Yuji Korekado and Platinum Games' Atsushi Inaba confirmed that the game is considered canon within the Metal Gear Solid universe.
There are staples of gameplay from previous Metal Gear Solid titles, like the Soliton Radar and alert systems. Raiden can perform one-button stealth kills on some enemies from behind and from above if he has not been detected. Raiden even has access to a codec that can be used to communicate with his teammates for optional extra information and manually save his game.
However, most of the gameplay revolves around hack-and-slashing action, making use of two buttons that use Raiden's hands or feet to grip a powerful High-Frequency Sword that can cut through enemies and even some objects. Along with standard attacks is also use of a "Free Sword Mode" that lets the player control their slashes using the right stick and make their attacks more powerful, but limits range. Through cutting enemies in Free Sword Mode, the player can also gain Zandatsu ("cut and take" in Japanese) points which allows Raiden to refill his health and free sword meter by absorbing fluids from the spines of dead enemy cyborgs.
After each section, the player is graded on their performance including time taken, highest combo, and number of Zandatsu achieved.
Set four years after the events of Metal Gear Solid 4. The Sons of the Patriots (SOP) system has been destroyed by FOXALIVE, but the remnants of the paramilitary corporations (PMCs) still pose a threat to order in various hotspots around the globe. Private Military Security Companies (PMSC) have sprung up to help provide stability for VIPs around the world, and Raiden has joined one of them to help provide for his family while staying out of direct combat.
At the start of the game, Raiden is an employee of Maverick Security Consulting, Inc, a PMSC based in Colorado, USA. He is part of a Maverick team providing security for the new Prime Minister of a developing African nation, named N'Mani. However, cyborg assassins appear out of nowhere and attack the convoy. Raiden attempts to take them out, but N'Mani is kidnapped by them.
Raiden follows the attackers and tries to reach the Prime Minister in time, but he ends up getting into a fight with another cyborg ninja named Samuel Rodriguez, who takes out his left eye and leaves him for dead. Maverick manages to rescue Raiden from the site but N'Mani is killed, his last words begging Raiden to destroy Desperado.
With the help of Herr Doktor, Maverick builds a new armored suit for Raiden and dispatches him to Sukhimi, the capital of the Russian border territory of Abkhazia. Samuel's employer, Desperado Enforcement LLC, has been instrumental in overthrowing the legitimate government of Abkhazia, and Maverick has been hired to save what's left of the country's leaders. Raiden, however, seeks revenge on Samuel for the physical and emotional scars he left on his body.
- Raiden -- The main character of the story. A former child soldier from Liberia who was nicknamed "The Grim Reaper" for his actions on the battlefield, later involved in the incident involving Arsenal Gear, and somehow turned into a cyborg ninja between that incident and the Sons of the Patriots. Now he works providing security, training and consulting for VIPs as an employee of Maverick.
- Boris -- Russian security consultant who oversees the Maverick PMSC.
- Kevin Washington -- Former soldier who provides support for Raiden as a member of Maverick.
- Courtney -- Communications specialist who also provides support for Raiden and Maverick. Saves game data.
- Herr Doktor -- German scientist and brilliant researcher with fond memories of his home country before the Berlin Wall came down. Studies and develops cyborg technology and weapons. Saved Raiden's life by building a new cyborg body for him. Provides extra weaponry and equipment for Raiden in-game in exchange for the data found in the left arm of each cyborg soldier.
- Bladewolf -- IF Prototype LQ-84i K-9000, a dog-like robot with a small chainsaw attached to its tail. Nicknamed "Bladewolf." Bladewolf has an autonomous artificial intelligence that allows it to analyze the best way to carry out orders but is incapable of disobeying them. First encounters Raiden as a boss character in Abkhazia, later joins him after Raiden defeats the robot and Maverick reprograms it.
- Samuel Rodriguez -- a cyborg ninja who works for Desperado.
- N'Mani -- Newly-elected Prime Minister of a developing African nation who seeks to lead his people on a more peaceful path. Ends up tortured and later killed by Desperado early on in the game to set an example. His last words include begging Raiden to avenge his death.
- High-Frequency Blade ("HF Blade") -- Raiden's default weapon, a long, thin katana that uses vibrations to cut through tougher solid objects a normal blade cannot. This blade has stayed with him since MGS2 and 4.
- Stun Blade -- A hard weapon infused with an electric current containing 2 million volts of energy. This sword is capable of temporarily stunning some enemy cyborgs and UGs. Also contains a standard blade for finishing them off.
- Armor Breaker -- Modeled after the old "Kabutowari" swords from feudal Japan, a heavy sword that can break through the armor of heavier enemies and allow for easier zandatsu.
- HF Machete -- A smaller, lighter blade modeled after a normal South American machete. Not as strong as others, but lets Raiden accomplish much faster combos.
- L'etranger -- A large polearm composed of literal "arms" taken from multiple Scarabs combined together. Useful in clearing larger groups of enemies. Can be obtained after defeating Mistral.
- Tactical Sai ("Dystopia") -- A sai that uses magnetic force generated from the wielder's body to quickly close in on their target and dice them up. Paired with Raiden's standard blade, can be used to yank targets towards Raiden, or vice-versa. Can be obtained after defeating Monsoon.
- Pincer Blades ("Bloodlust") -- A large double-bladed sword formed from a pair of giant machetes. Capable of tearing through weaker enemies in one swing. Can be obtained after defeating Sundowner.
- Maya -- A special blade wielded by Samuel Rodriguez, carried in a sheath that looks like the body of a gun.
- Snake Spirit (DLC) -- A wooden sword that contains the voice of the legendary Solid Snake, which talks to Raiden while it's swung.
- Fox Blade (DLC) -- Gray Fox's ("HF Blade") Chokutō from Metal Gear Solid.
Raiden can reportedly unlock costumes and hairstyles that have different affects in game. Some of them are DLC.
- Cyborg -- Raiden's default black armor after events in the game force Herr Doktor to transplant what's left of his original body into a new outfit.
- White Battle Armor (DLC) -- Allows Raiden to carry more health items
- Inferno Red Armor (DLC) -- Raises Raiden's grenade-carrying capacity by five.
- Commando Suit Armor (DLC) -- Lets Raiden carry more missiles.
- Cyborg Ninja (DLC) -- Gray Fox's original armor from Metal Gear Solid.
- Mariachi Uniform -- A pancho and sombrero draped over Raiden's default suit. Purchased by Raiden at a Mexican souvenir shop in a misguided attempt to blend in with the locals.
- Metal Gear Solid 4 Armor (DLC) -- Raiden's look from (MGS 4).
Metal Gear Solid: Rising was first hinted at during Hideo Kojima's debut 2009 Game Developers Conference appearance in San Francisco and specifically while delivering his keynote presentation. It detailed the long development process of the Metal Gear franchise all the way up to Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots and ended with his concluding remarks which were geared towards the future of the series. A floating mock-up spelling-out "The Next MGS", prominently featured a Raiden-esque cyborg character alluding to the series new direction.
Metal Gear Solid: Rising was then officially announced at Microsoft's E3 '09 press conference. A teaser trailer was released by series' director Hideo Kojima, although Kojima was supposed to only serve as the executive producer for the game. Rising was initially only announced for the Xbox 360 but was later confirmed for the PlayStation 3 as well as the Games for Windows Live platform.
After a year long silence, Metal Gear Solid: Rising was once again shown at Microsoft's press conference. Hideo Kojima came on stage and then "passed the torch" to Rising's producer, Shigenbu Matsuyama. He then explained that the game is based on "Zan-Datsu". In Japanese, "Zan" (斬) means "to cut" and "Datsu" (奪) means "to take by force". Then a trailer was shown. The first part of the trailer showed Raiden infiltrating an enemy base and cutting a rather beefy cybernetic enemy to shreds, apparently absorbing energy of some kind from a dismembered segment of one of the robot's two spines. Then the trailer showed actual gameplay footage, in which the player takes control of Raiden and fights through a village similar to the one found in chapter two of Metal Gear Solid 4. The gameplay from the trailer suggests that Rising is far more focused on action, combat, and melee than the previous Metal Gear Solid games. Also, from the trailer, it looks like the player will be able to control how Raiden uses his sword in different ways, ranging from gorily and efficiently dismembering his opponents to benignly chopping a watermelon (a reference to the famous scene from MGS4 in which a Gekko confuses a box full of watermelons for Old Snake) into handy slices.
Platinum Games Takes Over
In spite of numerous plot ideas and a variety of scenarios thought out for the game, Kojima Productions was still finding it extremely difficult to design a game mostly around the inherent concept of cutting things. The project was silently cancelled in late 2010 due to lack of foreword momentum and whilst Kojima had considered moving the project to developers abroad, mainly of a Western nature he felt that a Japanese developer would still be more suited to produce a sword focused, ninja action game. In early 2011, Kojima chose to approach Tatsuya Minami, president & CEO of Platinum Games about reviving the cancelled project with them. Platinum Games accepted the challenge and took over development with Atsushi Inaba as producer, reworking the game from the bottom up using their own engine, whilst Kojima Productions handling cutscenes and story elements, revising the story to now take place after Metal Gear Solid 4 to reflect the new development style. This new revision, now given the title Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, was first revealed via a trailer initially intended to exclusively premiere on the Spike Video Game Awards on December 10, 2011 though it was leaked online hours before its scheduled appearance.
The VGA reveal trailer has also revealed that Raiden will once again be voiced by Quinton Flynn, who had been previously quoted, saying Konami had yet to contact him regarding the game. The game's title was changed to Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance to reflect that it isn't part of the main Metal Gear Solid series, but is instead a spin-off that takes place after Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots. Kojima also confirmed Rising will run at sixty frames per second, a requirement he personally requested to Platinum Games during the initial talks of their involvement.
A January issue of the Japanese gaming publication Famitsu, wrote that Rising would be playable at the 2012 Electronic Entertainment Expo.
This particular issue of Famitsu also featured a conversation between Kojima and Platinum Games' CEO Tatsuya Minami and producer Atsushi Inaba. The three again reflected on how Platinum came to be involved in the Rising project.
Minami recalled that when the offer first came through he thought it was a joke. In response to his Kojima said: "Even though we were serious, we didn't get a response, so we asked a second time one year later." When they finally spoke out about the collaboration, Kojima said it all started during Sony's Vita announcement press conference.
The subject then quickly shifted to Rising's previous iteration, and it's divisive stealth component being the first thing Platinum tossed out from the game when taking over the project, revealed by Minami. Kojima then admitted that his staff felt that stealth and high speed action did not go well with one another, and that he personally did not want a stealth component in the game either. Nevertheless, reminding everyone-else once again that he has no direct involvement in development whatsoever.
Pre-order BonusesOriginal Cyborg Ninja (Costume) as it appears in Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance
- Original Cyborg Ninja (DLC), and Artbook-GameStop(U.S.)
- Red Inferno Armor (DLC), allows Raiden to carry extra grenades -Amazon(U.S.)
- White Battle Armor (DLC), allows Raiden to carry extra healing items -Best Buy(U.S.)
- Exclusive Instrumental Soundtrack -Walmart(U.S.)
- Commando Armor (DLC), allows Raiden to carry more missiles -(EU)(JP)
- Set of Five Limited-Edition Metal Gear Rising trading cards -(JP Pre-Order Bonus)
As well as the standard edition there are two additional versions available: The "limited edition" ( U.S. Version) (EU Version) and the "Premium Package"/ "Premium Package Konami Style Special Edition" (JP Versions). The (EU version) in particular will also come with the same White Armored Raiden action figure by Play Arts that is bundled with the (Japanese version), as well as a code to unlock the White Battle Armor in the game, an armor that allows players to carry more recovery items.
The Premium Package & (Konami Style SKU) contain much more then the Limited Edition, but all editions will include one or more of the following:
- Raiden figure (EU Limited Edition) (JP Konami SKU)
- Art Book (JP Premium Packages) (EU Pre-Order Bonus) (U.S. Pre-Order Bonus)
- Official Soundtrack (JP Premium Packages) (U.S. Limited Edition)
- Cyborg Ninja DLC (JP Premium Packages) ( All EU Copies) (U.S. Pre-Order Bonus)
- 2 Dwarf Gekko magnet figures (JP Premium Package)
- Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance - Steelbook (U.S. Limited Edition) (EU Pre-Order Bonus) (JP Premium Packages)
- High Frequency Plasma Lamp (U.S. Limited Edition)