With just about a week to go until the game’s release, Metal Gear Rising Revengeance is promising a whopping amount of action, more than fans usually expect from the series. But you can thank the developers at Platinum Games for that, as they’re injecting its hard-hitting dose of action with Raiden, the cybernetic character who’s been making the rounds for years, and finally gets a chance to shine.
Before you jump in, you’ll want to know a thing or two about weapons. When you first start the game, your basic weapon will be Raiden’s traditional sword, the High-Frequency Blade, which he can use for quick melee strikes, as well as precision cutting when you activate Blade Mode. He can also mix his feet into the action, with some well-placed kicks that combine with his sword strikes to create an effortless flow of attacks. It’s really something special to see.
You can upgrade his weapons accordingly – something you can do with all weapons within the Metal gear Rising universe. You’ll earn various BP points that you can use to improve a number of attributes, with seven different options available – the HF Blade, the Armor Breaker (where you’ll need to strike in certain sections on enemies if they’re wearing shielding), the Stun Blade (which lets you strike at baddies before delivering a cinematic final blow), the HF Machete (which comes with a handy, yet humorous, civilian disguise, so enemies don’t see you coming), and two “secret” ones you’ll discover over the course of the game.
Over the course of the game, however, you’ll pick up some additional tools, swiped from end bosses that you’ll take on throughout the game. There are only three particular ones we can talk about at the moment, but each of them bring something new to Raiden’s fighting tactics, whether it’s adding range or special abilities that make him even more effective in sending enemy soldiers to their doom. Let’s look at each one and see what they have to offer…
Pole Arm, aka “L’Etranger”
What appears to be a rather large bo staff is actually a fine range weapon, one that offers flexibility in ways that other weapons cannot match. See, the Pole Arm can actually be bent at times, when you want to put together quick-strike combos to hit enemies on the ground, but it can also retain its straightforward lengthy shape, which not only makes it useful for striking someone on the ground with a quick vault, but also allows Raiden to spin around with it, planting it while he swoops in deadly circles with his feet.
With its upgrade capabilities, you can also open up the range on the Pole Arm, hitting even more guys from a distance and adding to combo capabilities, such as putting Raiden into a breakdancing spin that hits pretty much anything within his path. (It’s not really breakdancing, but that’s what it resembles.) You have to get used to the combos that you can put together with it, yet it’s an excellent weapon to become familiar with, and one that can turn the tide, no matter how heavily surrounded you get.
Tactical Sai, aka Dystopia
The Tactical Sai may look like a pair of small weapons, but they shouldn’t be taken for granted. Utilizing these to their fullest potential, you can do quite a bit of damage with them, especially when you open up grapple abilities. You can yank an enemy off an airborne vehicle (or…bird?) and move in to strike them, or zoom yourself in to a locked-on target and strike from above. They combine with your sword attacks to make a deadly combination, making them essential for moving on later in the game.
Pincer Blades, aka Bloodlust
Finally, there’s the pincer blades, and these really open up the elements of combat within Metal Gear Rising Revengeance. These twin swords, which can be locked together as sort of a lengthy set of nunchucks, are a lot slower in attack technique than the other weapons within the game, but all the more with it with their built-in power. Your strikes slowly come around, hitting everything within their range. And you can chain attacks together in combos as well, so while your enemy is reeling from the first hit, you can deliver the second, leaving mere fragments of whatever you’ve managed to chop up.
As you can see, Raiden has no shortage of powerful weapons to use during his quest, and the fact you can level them up to a maximum effect…well, that should leave you giggling in delight as you chop away. You’ll see for yourself when Metal Gear Rising Revengeance hits stores on February 19th for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.