5 reasons why Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance is worth revisiting in 2022 (and 5 reasons why it doesn't hold up)

Slash and dice every foe that stands in your way (Image via Konami)
Slash and dice every foe that stands in your way (Image via Konami)

Konami's Metal Gear series has been dormant since 2015's Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain (minus 2018's controversial spin-off Survive). The series is renowned for its deep narrative, rich characters, and of course, stealth gameplay.

However, the 2013's canon spin-off hack and slash entry from Platinum Games took things in the opposite direction; instead of sneaky takedowns, it focuses on adrenaline-pumping, in-your-face action that rarely slows down.

Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance (MGRR) has seen a recent resurgence in popularity as per Twitter account PlayTracker. The reason? As MGRR's villain Monsoon would say: "Memes. The DNA of the soul".

The whacky nature of the game and immediately likable antagonists continue to keep the game's spirit alive even to this day. So here's why the game deserves to be replayed even almost a decade after its release, but also a few reasons why it isn't an ageless gem.

Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance is a unique game even in its genre

5 ways it is a must-play for newcomers as well as both fans of character action games and the Metal Gear series.

1) The amazing gameplay


If there's one thing MGRR is known for, it's the hack and slash gameplay. Players control protagonist Raiden, a sword-wielding cyborg ninja who can slice and dice objects in the environment accurately into ribbons.

The combat is flashy, yes, but the parry mechanics and various weapons aiding in different playstyles (e.g., crowd control) lend a semblance of depth to the gory action. There's not much that's more satisfying than cleanly slicing a goon's torso in half, and it continues to be entertaining until the credits roll.

2) The personable characters


The Metal Gear series is known for its richly written characters. While MGRR doesn't rise to that level, it manages to introduce its own cast of likable characters, including villains.

From the maniacal Sundowner and cheeky Jetstream Sam to even minor characters like the kidnapped kid George - most characters have some pull towards them. Raiden's own interactions with each of these NPCs also liven up the experience to be engrossing enough.

3) The banger soundtrack


After the gameplay, this is the next reason one should buy and experience MGRR. Vocal-backed tracks such as 'I Am My Own Master Now,' 'The Only Thing I Know For Real,' and 'Rules of Nature' are some of the highlights of the game. 'It Has To Be This Way' is also a fan favorite and is often meme'd about.

Many of these tracks also feature during boss fights. These 1v1 encounters against threatening enemies test the players' combat and parrying skills, further heightened by stellar background music.

4) It respects the series' roots and builds upon it


As a Metal Gear game, and a canon one at that, it takes place at the end of the chronology, specifically four years after the PS3 exclusive Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots.

With the Patriots no longer active, Raiden's narrative takes a more personal turn as he must take down a militant group called Desperado. It also has several nods to the franchise, like the Snake Easter egg.

5) It's by the team behind modern classics like Bayonetta and NieR: Automata

Platinum Games is at the forefront of the current scene when it comes to Japanese character action games. MGRR is one of their more popular entries and came about as a collaboration between them and franchise owner Konami.

The game was originally intended to be developed in-house but was eventually outsourced under Platinum - and that was a good decision, too, given they are the masters of the genre.

5 ways the game falls short in 2022

1) Tacked on segments feel like a chore

Advanced invisibility (Image via Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance)
Advanced invisibility (Image via Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance)

Given that this is an action game, there is no use for stealth. However, some mechanics and segments still let players take a sneaky approach. Raiden can put on a cardboard box and waddle past patrolling cyborgs - a neat nod to the main Metal Gear series.

It's not necessary as players can just cut their way across, but achievement hunters will find themselves at the short end with some obtuse achievements, like going through a poorly lit section without enhanced vision to see in the dark.

2) The camera can be problematic

There are a variety of action set pieces (Image via Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance)
There are a variety of action set pieces (Image via Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance)

A good camera is key to a consistent action game experience. MGRR's camera angles often have a mind of their own as they tend to fixate on Raiden's direction. This can especially become an issue in tight spaces and even some set pieces. It's not enough to take away from the game's fun factor, but it's definitely a major flaw.

3) Level design is forgettable


A large portion of the game is linear, seeing Raiden traverse across corridors and rooms. There is some opportunity for exploration, but besides that, the levels are boring, with only enemy encounters and the occasional set-piece helping break the monotony of going from point A to B. Nothing noteworthy but not particularly attention-grabbing either.

4) The visuals are a tad dated now


MGRR is almost 10 years old now, so it's understandably dated from a visual standpoint. But honestly, even back then, it wasn't a looker. Dull and bland environments are made up of greys, browns, and blacks. The same applies to most enemies.

5) The story is only a means to carry the experience


Although the game is part of Metal Gear, the narrative isn't something particularly unforgettable. It has its moments, but they are built up by the aiding cast rather than the strength of the story itself. It does what it sets out to do, too, and that's what matters.

Especially since it is an action game - who plays an over-the-top slasher for narrative? But for what it is, it is still an enjoyable ride made even more fun thanks to the insane pace and fun gameplay.

Note: The article is subjective and reflects the author's opinion.