Metal Gear Rising Revengeance is one of those spin-off titles that works, shying away from the stealth tactics of Solid Snake and instead telling Raiden’s side of the story. First introduced in Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, Raiden is a fantastic warrior, capable of slicing through objects with precision thanks to aggressive training in his younger years, back when he was known as “Jack the Ripper”.
He’ll need every bit of that training, since he’s up against the Desperado group, a team of techno mercenaries who are ruthless when it comes to getting their way. The game chronicles Raiden’s clashes with each member of the group, and the eventual showdown that could very well change the tide of the world, depending on the victor.
With our latest Spoiler Alert, we discuss the story behind this battle, and, as you might guess, spoilers are ahead, so read at your own peril…
When the story opens, Raiden is working for a protective group called Maverick, whose latest client is African Prime Minister N’Mani. But, right on cue, the Desperado group shows up in spades. As Raiden holds off the soldiers invading N’Mani’s patrol, Sundowner – the bigger member of the Desperado group – manages to kidnap and kill him. In hot pursuit, Raiden manages to catch up to the faction, only to run into Samuel Rodriguez, an equally powered soldier. The two fight atop a train, but Samuel manages to get the upper hand, slicing Raiden’s cyborg body to pieces and leaving him for dead.
After replacing his armor with a new, more powerful set (thanks to the help of those at Maverick), Raiden sets out to Abkhazia, where the Desperado group is planning a military coup. He infiltrates without hesitation, managing to cut down enemy forces, consisting of walkers and soldiers. He runs into a prototype wolf robot named AI LQ-84i, but after defeating it, he sees tendencies in its conflict over actions, allowing its AI to be reconstructed and turning it into a smart ally named Bladewolf.
As it’s being rebuilt, Raiden gets to a military compound and finds a liberation extremist Andrey Dolzaev, who may have a hand in the building of Desperado’s components. Before he can investigate, however, a member of that group, Mistral, shows up to fight. After a prolonged battle sequence taking place throughout the compound, Raiden is able to freeze her using contents from a nearby canister, and shatters her to pieces. Dolzaev, not willing to spill the beans about the tech, kills himself shortly thereafter by igniting an oil tank.
From there, Maverick sends Raiden, along with the reconfigured Bladewolf, down to Guadalajara to investigate another plant. This time, though, things take a twist for the personal, as an orphan named George appears. He’s the subject of a scientific study, one that would have brains extracted from children and sent to America. Sundowner is one of the people behind the facility’s research, alongside World Marshal ally Steven Armstrong, who works closely with the Desperado group. Their goal is to take these children and make them into killers, using a similar virtual reality program that conditioned Raiden when he was growing up – turning him into “Jack the Ripper”.
Raiden manages to rescue George and the other kids, taking them back to Maverick to keep them safe. In an effort to keep them safe, he “resigns” from Maverick and decides to work alone, even though they continue to support him. He makes his way to the World Marshal’s headquarters, based in Denver, where he encounters enemy forces and manages to take them down with ease. However, his armor soon comes into conflict with him over his killing measures, leaving him in a weakened state when he faces off against Samuel, who appears alongside another cybernetic member of Desperado, Monsoon. Raiden reverts back to his “Jack the Ripper” style and fights Monsoon, eventually cutting through objects thrown at him and finishing him off.
He then makes his way through the World Marshal’s HQ, disabling vital equipment and eventually coming face-to-face with Sundowner on the roof. Despite powerful shielding and brutal strength, Raiden manages to overcome this bulky warrior, but not before he learns that the whole thing was a distraction. Senator Armstrong is already knee deep in another mission, called Operation Tecumseh. It’s essentially a plan to assassinate the President, as he’s making a trip to Pakistan for peace negotiations. His death would assure a war between the countries – which is what Desperado and Armstrong want.
Using light speed technology supplied by the Solis company, Raiden manages to make his way to Pakistan in a short amount of time, where he runs across Samuel once again. However, this time, he’s ready for the man that damaged him beforehand, thanks to some help from Bladewolf. He defeats him in a brutal battle, and then heads to the Shabhazabad Air Base in Pakistan (with the help of his ally Sunny), where Armstrong reveals his greatest weapon – a massive Metal gear robot named Excelsius.
Raiden duels with the beast and eventually brings it crashing down (with the help of its own blade, no less), and Armstrong emerges from the wreckage, revealing that he’s not done yet. He’s managed to use nano-machines to make himself strong and nearly invincible, and he beats Raiden to a pulp. Just when he looks like he’ll be finished off, Bladewolf appears, helping Raiden resurrect his “Jack the Ripper” persona once more so he can battle him. Despite heavily thrown objects and fiery attacks, Raiden manages to overcome Armstrong’s efforts, he overcomes him, ripping the Senator’s heart from his chest and smashing it in his hand.
With the president safe and sound and the children recovering from the World Marshal’s tactics, Raiden manages to turn the tide in battle. In the story’s conclusion, Maverick moves forward with its cyborg business, and Bladewolf keeps a close eye on George and Sunny while living in Solis. However, World Marshal remains in business, with their assets ripe for the picking, and Raiden, choosing not to put Maverick in danger, works on his own. The game ends with him standing in a city street, about to face off against a group of soldiers, and muttering the words, “I have my own war to fight.” (Sequel, yes?)
This is a wonderful action game, and though the story does go into silliness at times (at one point, the doctor suggests you take a digital piece of equipment known as a “DOOMP”), that’s just the nature that the developers at Platinum Games intended. Short but sweet, this game is a blast.
Metal Gear Rising Revengeance is available now for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.