This is an upcoming article from the KnightsofGaming.com, a site I write for that is devoted entirely to how awesome video games are, I wanted to share it here since it’s rare I ever get to write opinion pieces these days, enjoy!
You may look at the title of this piece and wonder why I’m writing an article about a game that was released several months ago, why I’m just now singing its praise. Well, it’s because this piece isn’t a review, since a review would suggest I’m able to pick fault with the game and I found it impossible to criticise what I’m positive is the cure for eye cancer in video game form. I’m writing this article to explain, objectively why Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance is the game of the 2013 and I wanted to make my case while the entire internet has a collective hard on for BioShock Infinite.
Because the sheer size of the internet’s happiness boner has eclipsed one of the finest gaming experiences of recent times, but you don’t need to take my word for it, here are 4 objective reasons why. Obviously, this article contains spoilers.
4. The soundtrack actually works
The Metal Gear Rising soundtrack is like having someone fuck your ears with a dick made out of kick ass guitar riffs. It’s so beyond perfect dubbing it over an episode of Dragonball Z changes Frieza’s dialogue. But it’s not just the soundtrack, it’s how it’s used, for example the Final Fantasy games have had praised thrown at them for decades because of how good the music is, however, never, in any game have I ever seen music used to enhance gameplay like I have in Metal Gear Rising.
For example, one boss fight involves you fighting a giant mobile gundam spider robot (more on that later) during the fight scene there is recurring orchestral riff in the background of the fight, as you lop off the giant spider robots legs, that’s when the power vocals kick in. This happens in every end of level fight, just as you’re about to do something boss, the vocals erupt in the background to tell you that whatever you’re fighting is about to have it’s face cut to shit.
You’d think this would get old, but no, it never does because it’s physically impossible to hate being told that you’re a fucking cyborg badass. It is never not satisfying to cut cyborg ninja into steel wool as a guitar solo snakes it way out of your screen seconds after you just ran up a fucking statue to flying kick that motherfucker into the side of a building.
Seriously, if you take one thing away from this article let it be the song, Stains of Time, I can personally guarantee that it will be 4 minutes well spent. But the real meat of Metal Gear Rising comes from …
3. Boss battles that don’t treat you like an idiot
The level boss has taken a hit in recent video game releases, they’re either nonexistent or just a souped up version of a normal enemy and more often than not they’re never really challenging, even on the harder difficulties all that usually happens is that the game will up their health and make them do more damage to you. This sucks for two reasons, one it completely ruins the how awesome the playable character is, why is Master Chief considered such a badass when a single grunt on legendary mode can soak up more damage than he can? And two, you’re never given a chance to do anything cool, instead you’re forced to simply hack away until they drop dead from blood loss, which again ruins how awesome the playable character is supposed to be. That right there is shitty games design.
Straight off the bat, there is no level boss in the Metal Gear Rising you can’t kill within a few minutes, even on the hardest difficulty, as long as you’re a boss with the parry function. Which makes sense, if you’re giving the player control of a cyborg ninja who within the first 10 minutes of gameplay arm-bars a Metal Gear Ray (you actually do that), you don’t expect to see that guy spend 30 minutes hacking away at a human sized opponent, regardless of how tough they are, you the player are supposed to be tougher, or at the very least, more skilled.
You can say that this makes the game shorter, but then again, if your idea of a good game is one where you hit the same enemy over and over again with attacks that seemingly have no effect until the die, go play Final Fantasy. There aren’t words to describe how refreshing it is to have a game that instead of making it so the enemy simply sponges the damage you dish out, has them fight better, forcing you as a player to get better at blocking, dodging and parrying as opposed to simply rinsing and repeating the same 3 moves until their health drops to zero.
But games are all about story, right? Well Metal Gear Rising …
2. Has a story you don’t have to give a shit about
The story of a game is supposed to draw you in, keep you hooked and make you want to see the game through to the end. Metal Gear Rising doesn’t, your antagonists are people with huge shit eating grins who within 30 seconds of being on-screen make you want to rage punch them so hard you could shit bone fragments.
Then do you know what the game does? It lets you do exactly that, every time an enemy mocks you for being a pussy or taunts you with their insultingly not cut to shit face, you fight them and are given the option to smack them down so hard they the Rock follows you on Twitter.
That’s not to say the game doesn’t have story or character development, wanna know what you motivation is? Your entire mission, nay your only goal in the entire game is to rescue a bunch of stolen orphan brains that are being used for evil and cut the fuck out of anyone that gets in your way. That’s like someone threw the script to every single 80’s action movie ever written into the Wu Tang name generator and gave it a katana. If you want to, if you really want to, there’s a wealth of information about the world you’re cutting into pieces, there’s back story for every character, but you’re never once forced to do any of this, if you want to just slap Sundowner (the guy pictured) right in his melon, you can do that and be rewarded for it, because as long as you rescue those brains, no one gives a shit.
But the main reason this should be everyone’s game of 2013 is simple.
1. It’s pure escapism
At their core, all video games are a form of escapism, Halo lets you step into the shoes of a Space Marine, Tekken lets you beat the shit out of a bear and Tomb Raider lets you feel what it’s like to actually be inside of a woman.
Raiden, the protagonist of Metal Gear Rising, was originally featured in Metal Gear Solid 2, the whole reason for this was so, we as a player could see the badass that was Solid Snake from a third person perspective. In effect, Raiden was you, the player, an inexperienced character whose only real training came from virtual reality training trying to step into the shoes of an impossibly badass archetype. Which Raiden accomplishes in spades by becoming a fucking cyborg ninja.
He’s the embodiment of us, as players wanting to be ridiculously over the top awesome in every way regardless of whether or not it makes sense. Metal Gear Rising lets you fist fight a US Senator on top of a giant spider robot that you seconds earlier literally just suplexed and beat to death with its own arm.
I remember pitching that as a cure for erectile dysfunction and they told me it couldn’t be done purely because of the immediate and present danger it presented to every single vagina on Earth if such an image was allowed to be shown and they show that shit in Metal Gear Rising in HD. You fight a robot wolf with a chainsaw for a tail, you have a cyborg samurai fight to the death in the desert, you stop missiles by cutting them in half, you deflect a direct hit from a 700 ton war machine with a katana then cut its face off. Those aren’t video game set pieces, they’re things 10 year olds dream up when they watch anime for the first time and someone out there has put them into a video game that you can play and the main character is a guy who was literally designed to embody the people playing games, someone who wants to be fucking awesome. So they let him be just that and let you come along for the ride.
I will never say that BioShock Infinite isn’t a great game, but only one game released this year has let me dick punch a US senator while lightning exploded from my hands and when I pick up a game, that’s all I really want. To do something awesome I could never do in real life.