This edition of Critical Reception examines online reaction to Platinum Games' cyborg ninja-starring action game Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, which reviewers describe as "a thrilling and engaging experience." Revengeance currently earns a score of 82 out of 100 at Metacritic.com.
Giant Bomb's Jeff Gerstmann gives Revengeance4 out of 5 stars. "Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance is an odd split, taking the concepts and a couple of characters from Kojima Productions' Metal Gear franchise and slamming them into a character action game developed by PlatinumGames, the studio that's increasingly known for being one of the best producers of this sort of hack-and-slash, combo-crazy action," he notes.
Gerstmann continues: "The resulting mix is a game that tempers some of KojiPro's penchant for long-winded cutscenes by flooding it full of enemy cyborgs that are just begging for you to cut them into hundreds of tiny bits while also reigning in some of Platinum's wilder narrative tendencies."
Gerstmann finds that the combat system is skillfully implemented. "The combat in Rising isn't the most complex combat that Platinum has produced, but it strikes a rewarding balance between mashing on the attack buttons like a crazy person and using proper skill to to take out your foes more selectively," he notes.
"I found Metal Gear Rising to be a thrilling and engaging experience," he praises. "The swordplay is fun, and it's really fascinating to see the different spots where either Kojima's or Platinum's signature styles shine through. [...] If you're a value-minded individual that doesn't tend to replay games, Metal Gear Rising will only make you angry. But if seeing the state of the post-MGS4 world while slicing your way through everything that gets in your way sounds like a good time, well, that's because it is."
Conrad Zimmerman at Destructoid scores Revengeance at 9 out of 10. "Revengeance is like a mirror's reflection of the Metal Gear formula in that it offers both stealth and combat, but places a reversed focus and value on them," he observes. "Many combat encounters can be circumvented using stealth techniques, but just as Metal Gear Solid can be said to be at its worst when fighting against its combat mechanics, Raiden isn't built to sneak.
"...Passing up on combat means passing up on a whole lot of fun," Zimmerman assures. "On all but the easiest setting, the pace of fighting is frantic. Enemy patterns are nicely varied and they're usually smart enough to get out of the way of Raiden's blade, practicing a healthy defensive posture when not attacking. They're more than willing to take advantage of openings, not at all ashamed to gang up, and crowd control plays a big role. Many counters open up execution moves performed via quick-time event which can outright kill smaller cyborgs and cripple unmanned gears."
Game Informer's Joe Juba rates Revengeance at 7.75 out of 10. "Combat is entertaining, but 'style over substance' is the defining theme," Juba warns. "The graphics are fantastic, the moves look cool, and the framerate is smooth, but battles arenít demanding. Raiden has a decent selection of special attacks, but the lack of variety in enemies and encounters means that you arenít required to master them. Basic button mashing is usually fine, since few foes need to be approached with specific tactics. The formula for success gets old quickly: slash away until you see an enemy telegraph an attack, block, and resume slashing."
He adds, "Iím a longtime Metal Gear fan, and Bayonetta is one of my favorite games of this generation, so I was elated when Konami and Platinum Games announced their partnership for Revengeance," Juba concludes. "However, this title isnít Bayonetta wearing a Metal Gear skin; whether you are hoping for a meaningful expansion of the Metal Gear universe or a gratifying action experience, Revengeance falls short. Brutalizing cyborgs and hacking giant mechs to pieces is fun, but the restrictive design and lack of precision keep Raiden from capturing the best of both worlds."