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The Next Level In Gaming

It was a fair while ago when MGS: Rising was announced, with the news that it would be the first Metal Gear Solid title to go multi-platform – perhaps due to the amount of Xbox 360 owners who hoped Metal Gear Solid 4 would eventually be ported. However, the announcement didn’t really tell us much at all – just an image of MGS4‘s version of Raiden with the words “Lightning Bolt Action”. It was said the game would be more hack n’ slash based, but to be honest all we could do was wait.

However, E3 has finally given us some real news on the subject. Kojima came on stage to proudly present “The Next MGS”. Keeping with what little word we already had on the game, it looks like the title will indeed have more some of the most impressive melee combat seen so far – and we got a small glimpse into what we can expect. Starting with a more CG looking video, we first see Raiden taking on some kind of armoured soldier – possibly not human but more than likely some kind of cyber-human hybrid, not unlike the B&B Corps from MGS4. We then proceed to watch as Raiden cuts him in half, and pulls out some kind of synthetic spinal cord. He then crushes it in his hand, apparently draining it of power. What does this mean? Well, apparently but the term “zan-datsu” meaning cut and take has been emphasised, and it seems part of the game will revolve around collecting life, energy, parts, ammunition, items, and even information in a similar manner – most of which have obvious uses, but one or two being more intriguing. The one that catches my eye is “parts”, perhaps suggesting some kind of customisation may be apparent in the game. Information may be more for the sake of story progression, perhaps finding out passcodes or other data – but that’s merely me thinking aloud for now.

After cinematic introduction, we see a bit more in depth gameplay. The area featured shows a city-like area, reminiscent of Metal Gear Solid 4‘s earlier chapters. Thankfully, it’s looking as though the same level of quality has gone into the detail, so we could be looking at something quite impressive. As a fan of both MGS and hack n’ slash titles, the game play looks pretty exciting. Wielding his high-frequency blade, Raiden can be seen executing quick combos. But better yet, we see a lot of potential for exactly what the blade will be able to do. This is only a sneak-peek, but it seems the environment will be destructible, showing him cutting pillars clean in two, resulting in a collapsing structure that crushes some enemies.

The main focus, however, is the new cutting ability. Using a sort of bullet-time slow motion feature, the video shows us that Raiden has the ability to take his time with precise slices, giving the player control over a geometrical plane that shows the exact angle of the cut, and allowing them to execute slashes with extreme precision – cutting limbs of of enemies in mid air, and even slicing a melon into increasingly smaller pieces. It really looks very precise, and I’m not sure we’ve seen swordplay quite this controlled in a game before. And being part of the Metal Gear Solid franchise, I expect we’ll be something of high quality.

That’s all the video shows, but we do know more than that. One of my major concerns is that the title would lose one of MGS‘s best features – stealth gameplay. However, it seems that the game will allow a degree of flexibility over how you play it, still retaining stealth elements – so I can see some exciting ninja-style infiltration in the works. Raiden’s upgraded frame will apparently give him boosted agility so we could even see some new stealth techniques we have yet to have seen in the series so far. He will apparently have access to “sub-weapons”, so I’m sure that there will be more aspects to combat than we know so far. We have no idea whether he will get any type of projectile weapon, however – so we’ll have to wait and see if it’s all going to be up-close and personal, or perhaps have some more “Snake-like” elements. Hopefully we’ll be seeing some hand-to-hand combat in there too, which doesn’t sound too far of a stretch.

As far as plot is concerned – little is known at the moment except that it is set before MGS4, with Raiden looking a little more dishevelled than we saw him before – the game should show a bit of his transformation, and hopefully cover some parts of his involvement before Guns of the Patriots. Although I would like to see the game heavily-story based (although not as much as that of MGS4) I have a feeling that the plot will be one that works on it’s own to a fair degree – what with the new Xbox 360 market that can’t guarantee players will have had access to the fourth instalment. MGs2 was released on the original Xbox, however – so hopefully it will have a few connections here and there as to his involvement in the general time line of the series.

There’s no solid information on exactly what we can expect from this new and exciting title, but everything we do know sounds as though it’s going to be something special. The swordplay looks as though it will be quite unique, and as long as the game continues to keep feeling like a Metal Gear Solid title in spirit, perhaps the Raiden-haters from the days of MGS2 will finally enjoy playing as him. I for one am excited – lets just hope Kojima Productions get the ratio of stealth, action and storyline just right.

Check out the E3 trailer below.

-Leon

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Leon On June - 28 - 2010

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