Can Rising surpass Metal Gear Solid 4? Is a game a Metal Gear Solid game when the main character is not Solid Snake? Has Platnium Games done justice to this series with the release of Rising? Do I need to watch ridiculously long cutscenes like in Metal Gear Solid 4? I sense an enemy approaching, can I use my lovable box to hide myself from the enemy? Read on and find the answers to these and other questions.
The story takes place 4 years after the events of MSG4, in 2018. Instead of playing the now legendary Solid Snake, you take the role of the "sidekick" Raiden who just happens to be a cyborg. Raiden is currently working for a PMC, or Private Military Company, know as Maverick Enterprises in order to raise money for his family.
The main antagonists are members of a rival PMC known as Desperado Enterprises. Some of the members include Samuel Rodriguez, who is Raiden's rival and a 3 person unit known as the "Winds of Destruction". They comprise Desperado's virtual leader Sundowner, an advanced cyborg swordfighter, Mistral, a female cyborg possessing multiple arms and wields a whip-like weapon, and Monsoon, a ninja with segmented body parts.
My first thoughts when I heard about Rising was, "How can you surpass Metal Gear Solid 4?" I thought this simply because MGS4 had accomplished so much when it was released back in 2008. I do not know how Rising is able to surpass its predecessor in various aspects but to my amazement Rising has done just that and more. I truly expected that MGS4 had pushed the PS3's graphics capabilities to its limits, and I am not a technical person or anything. To my surprise, Rising has once again raised the bar on what the PS3 is able to handle.
The cutscenes are exceptional and while watching them, you will think that you are watching a movie at your local theater, instead of your own home. The cutscenes are all relatively short and come nowhere near the length of Metal Gear Solid 4's. In Rising, you are quite literally able to cut anything you want to. Regardless of how big or how small you cut something, it will look exceptionally well. A good example of this is when I cut down a palm tree what was near me. Whoops, I made a mistake, did I say cut? Pardon me, I meant that I pulverized the tree into around 600 or more pieces. Every time you cut something, the game tells you how many pieces you are cutting the given object into.
Rising is not your typical Metal Gear Solid game when it comes to gameplay. Whereas all of the previous titles focused on stealth and generally silent battles, Rising has done a 180 degrees in the opposite direction. Generally, when games try something new, it has a complete failure. However, I am very happy that Rising decided to do something new and they sure have succeeded in doing it quite well. I am frankly awestruck at just how nimble Raiden can be while fighting. I know that Raiden is a cyborg and all but as a fellow male, it sometimes hurts me watching all the movements and positions that no male is capable of accomplishing without hurting themselves.
Anyway, fighting is a rocking good time and you will never get tired of watching Raiden fight. Press the attack buttons a few times and you will see the standard blade attacks. Continue pressing the attack buttons and Raiden will drop his blade and catch it with his foot to continue attacking. Raiden seems to be a ballerina who is dancing on stage, be it a stage filled with blood and body parts, both organic and inorganic, flying every which way. Also, in homage to its predecessors, you are able to hide yourself, in either a box or oil barrel, from approaching enemies.
Another area that sets Rising apart is that you are able to earn points and use them to level up. After every fight, you get BP, or battle points, from the various objectives you accomplish in your fights. For example, the number of combos you are able to accomplish, take no damage, finish the fight fast and so forth. The fighting mechanic is very Platinum Games and I find it awesome. You are able to use these BP in a number of areas. You are able to purchase items to increase both your health bar and fuel cell bar. Use can also use your BP to buy new attacks or unique weapons. If you are tired of the default set of attacks, you can buy more attacks to add to your arsenal. After you kill the 4 main enemies, you are later able to purchase their unique weapons.
If you have previously seen or have heard about any of the previous Metal Gear Solid titles and have thought "stealth and silent battles are not for me" then I suggest you go buy and play Rising. Even if you have played any of the previous titles, I myself have played MGS4, you will still enjoy Rising. I say this because Rising does something so different in this series and still is able to keep those aspects that have made the previous titles instant classics. I have high expectations that anyone who plays this game will enjoy it as much as me.