By – John Williamson

Metal Gear Rising PC Review He

Platinum Games has been a harbinger of creativity and spectacular cinematic sequences in the spectacle fighter genre.  Their back catalogue contains a number of inventive and visionary games including Bayonetta, Vanquish and The Wonderful 101.  This developer like many other Japanese studios, focused their efforts on the console market because PC gaming is undeniably niche in Japan.  However, the climate is gradually changing as PC gamers demonstrate their passion for obscure and often misunderstood Japanese games.  Recent unique Japanese titles such as 99 Spirits, Usagi Yojimbo: Way of The Ronin and now Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance have exploded onto the PC storefront.  Usually the Metal Gear series concentrates on stealth and covert operations.  In direct contrast to this, Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance is a veritable cornucopia of thrilling zan-datsu or “cut and take” gameplay elements which allows the player to decapitate enemies.

The story is a rather clichéd and predictable affair which occurs approximately 4 years after the events of Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots.  You play as Raiden who has been hired via a military contract to restore peace in an African nation blighted by civil war and anarchy.  As the events unfold, your rival PMC group decides to take Prime Minister N’mani hostage and instigate a profitable war.  Your foes at first appear mysterious and mischievous but it is clear that their primary concern is to financially benefit from the misery and eradication of the nation’s populace.  You must stop them at all costs and protect those who are too weak to fend for themselves.  Raiden works alongside a team which has a wide array of expertise in various fields. Unfortunately, most of these individuals are pretty forgettable and speak in a stereotypical manner.  For instance, your instructor, Boris Vyacheslavovich Popov converses in a ludicrous soviet accent which is hard to take seriously.  Another minor problem is you cannot skip the lengthy cutscenes which may annoy players during a second playthrough.  The plot has a propensity to outstays its welcome and disrupt the combat’s pacing.

The subpar story is not a major issue in this game as your enjoyment predominantly revolves around the sublime combat system.  Fighting relies on four key concepts which are light attacks, strong blows, parrying and blade mode.  Light attacks are used to successfully damage enemies in early stages while they are healthy and prone to make counterattacks.  Heavier attacks are riskier but they inflict a substantial amount of harm which leads to longer and more devastating combos.  Combining these light and heavy strikes is the best approach when dealing with a large concentration of adversaries.

Metal Gear Rising PC Review

Metal Gear Rising is unique from the point of view that there isn’t an option to block incoming attacks.  The alternative is a parrying mechanic which requires timing and practice to successfully evade brutal onslaughts.  You have to predict an enemy’s movement and perfectly press the light strike button and direction of oncoming attacks.  Parrying requires a lot of skill and eliminates random button mashing as you are forced to press it once at the appropriate moment.  If you mistime this defensive move, Raiden will become vulnerable to a signature ambush.  I cannot emphasis enough that parrying and knowing when to make an offensive move is imperative to your success.

The blade mode dramatically slows down time and allows you to devour an enemy for a limited period.  This is particularly useful during boss fights where you can target crucial weak spots. However, slicing into more robust opponents demands a patient and persistent attitude.  For example, larger bosses are built on a herculean scale consisting of heavy armour and a formidable array of weaponry.  The blade mode also utilizes Fuel Cell energy which depletes fairly quickly. It is advisable to use this option sparingly and during moments where it becomes plausible that you can destroy key targets.  Fuel Cell energy is restored through standard attacks so you must plan a strategy based on momentum.  Certain adversaries contain left hand IDs which replenish your health if you destroy them.  These are the medpacks within the game and give you a small chance of surviving against those devastating bosses.

Another powerful attack you can employ is the Ninja Run.  This ability is used to transcend precarious objects and perform sliding attacks.  These moves are handy when attempting to obliterate an enemy from a distance.  Using this method, you can quickly eliminate scores of soldiers without too much difficulty.   Sliding around is a useful tool when you need to avoid stomping attacks.  Mechs utilize their heavy legs to propel you backwards and inflict severe damage.  The Ninja Run performs well as an offensive and defensive attack method.

Metal Gear Rising PC Review

While Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance contains one of the finest combat engines I’ve ever played, the experience is sorely let down by an atrocious camera.  Your opponents approach at a ferocious pace and in patterns which you must watch and learn from.  Often the camera automatically reverts to a position where you can’t even see your enemies.  During boss fights, I experienced a wealth of frustration as the camera locked to walls and other areas with a narrow field of view. When using the camera manually it is important to keep your viewpoint positioned directly ahead.  This is often an arduous task as the fast paced action is hard to keep up with whilst moving the camera yourself.

The gameplay in Metal Gear Rising Revengeance every so often references back to its stealthy roots from earlier titles.  It is possible to covertly approach weaker foes and kill them with a single strike providing you haven’t been spotted.  This is a cogent tactic when dealing with stray enemies who pose a risk to your health.  During one mission, you can climb into a cardboard box to avoid detection and bypass any confrontation.  This is a major throwback to Metal Gear Solid 2 which had the player hiding in boxes, cupboards and other environmental objects..  Playing via stealth obviously isn’t encouraged but the option is there during specific missions.

Alongside the base game, there are a number of VR missions to complete which add replayability.  Some of these missions are hidden throughout the main game and others are available from the start.  They are training exercises which test your skills and aptitude against set times.  Most of these objectives involves incapacitating a number of enemies and seeing how long it takes. The competitive instinct and desire to beat people in your friend’s list keeps you playing for a large amount of time.

Metal Gear Rising PC Review

Technically, Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance does have a few minor issues but the optimization is tremendous.  On maximum settings using an overclocked GTX 670, I attained a flawless frame rate of 60fps which never dropped below 59.9.  The game employs Vsync by default and eliminates screen tearing completely without affecting performance levels.  However, there are a few caveats to the port which may deter those with a higher end PC.  The frame rate is hard locked to 60fps and the maximum supported resolution is 1920×1080.  As as result, if you own a 2560×1440 or larger panel, the game is unplayable at your native resolution.  Speaking of resolutions, the options available are pretty slim if you use a 16:10 monitor.  You can only choose between 1024×768 and 1680×1050.  The texture quality is also a bit suspect and looks ugly when you zoom into walls.  Thankfully, the action is so intense that you rarely notice these flaws.

I would begrudgingly recommend the use of a 360 controller.  Sadly, the frantic combat which requires quick reactions doesn’t integrate well with a keyboard and mouse setup.  Using the mouse is difficult as the developers decided to ignore this control method and terrible mouse acceleration issues are present.  You simply cannot use an analog stick as a point of reference for the mouse.  As much as I love the fact these games are finally being made available for the PC, I find it frustrating we are still experiencing these types of problems.  On a more positive note, you can fully rebind the keys.

Another serious issue is the regional restrictions imposed by Konami which limits Russian and South American customers from activating their code in another region.  Cross region gifting has been disabled with the flag  “AllowCrossRegionTradingAndGiftingNo.”  At the time of launch, a number of countries couldn’t even buy this game including Ireland and Japan.  Fortunately, this issue has now been resolved and allows customers from those territories to purchase the game.  Region locking is never acceptable and violates the open nature of PC gaming.

Metal Gear Rising PC Review

Conclusion – Is It Worth The Money?

Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance provides a spectacular and thrilling ride which easily surpasses similar games currently on PC. The fluid and extravagant combat is extraordinarily satisfying and on a scale I’ve never seen before.  It is frustrating that the incessant camera problems plague your immersion but you generally adjust to this after a few hours playtime.  The reverse mouse acceleration is a big hinderance if you prefer that control method.  This game is not for the faint-hearted and will test your mettle especially on harder difficulties.  The PC version has its limitations but is well optimized and should run at 60fps for most people.  Platinum Games has excelled itself once again and made an impeccable spectacle fighting game.  Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance is undoubtedly worth the price point of $29.99 or your regional equivalent.

Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance – Technical Summary:

Metal Gear Rising PC Review Sum

  • Time Played – 12 Hours
  • Widescreen Support – Yes, Limited 16:10
  • Resolution Played – 1920×1080
  • Windowed Mode – Yes
  • FOV Slider – No
  • 5.1 Audio Support – Yes
  • Bugs/Crashes – None
  • Control Scheme – Keyboard and Mouse, Xbox 360 Controller
  • DRM – Steamworks
  • System Specs – AMD X6 II 1090T @ 4.01Ghz, 8GB RAM, Nvidia GTX 670 OC 2GB
  • Game Acquisition Method – Review Copy
  • Availability – Gamersgate, Amazon
  • Demo – No
  • Save Game Location – %USERPROFILE%\Documents\MGR\SaveData\
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  • stika

    I have a 16×10 monitor at 1440×900. So that means I’m limited to 1024×768? Yikes!

    • John Williamson

      Yep, you will have to play at sub non-native resolution which will probably look horrific. The only saving grace is that a mod might become available to manually adjust towards a custom resolution. Thanks for the comment!

    • Adam Ames

      John is talking about full support, as in flawless presentation without stretching or black bars.

      In Metal Gear, non-16:9 resolutions are Anamorphic. PCGamingWiki and Widescreen Gaming Forum have more detailed information.

  • Matt K

    “Fortunately, this issue has now been resolved and allows customers from those territories to purchase the game.”

    Alas, this is not entirely true. Those of us in Japan are still unable to buy this Japanese game. It’s not even a one off. The majority of games with Japanese developers and/or publishers cannot be bought in Japan. And an increasing number of these, like the upcoming Strider game, carry Japanese language localisations.

    So why then, are they not available for purchase in the one region that would actually need said localisation!? Sadly, the answer is simply because they don’t want money from the growing number of PC gamers in Japan. =(

    • Adam Ames

      Is there no release date for the Japanese version yet?

      This makes absolutely no sense.

      • Matt K

        For the PC? Never. Japanese developers/publishers don’t want to support the system =(

        Right now there are only three Japanese publishers that do support us:

        Capcom — Very partially. Mainly only IPs owned by their US arm. And this has only been recently. We can purchase Lost Planet 3, but not Lost Planet 2. We can purchase all Resident Evil games released after Resident Evil 5, but not the ones before (including Resident Evil 5). And “budget” release, such as Strider, is not made available. Sad to say, but for Capcom, this is an improvement.

        Square Enix — A few years back their CEO, upon complaints from gamers over Twitter, instructed Valve to make all their games sold on Steam available in Japan. But this is still a battle. As most recent titles are once again not available (Thief for example became restricted as soon as it was available for pre-order). None of the old titles recently released, Anachronox, etc., are available on Steam (but are available from GOG and GamersGate). The only exception is Hitman Contracts as I, and others, were able to raise this directly with the developers on Twitter. That resulted in the restriction being lifted. Square, unfortunately, no longer listen. So its expected that most games will be restricted again. It’s a shame as they gave us Tomb Raider in an uncensored US import form months before the JPN release. I wish they’d do that again.

        Bethesda Japan — The only publisher that still makes all of their titles available in Japan. Not only that, but they still listen to their customers. Most recent example is the release of Skyrim. The original plan was to release it Japanese only. But after several of us informed them via Twitter that we wanted English and that Steam is set up to allow this (even when it requires different builds), they made that possible.

        All the other Japanese publishers will have nothing to do with it. The Japanese PC version of Dark Souls even went so far to have Steam stripped out of it. And the some say that such keys can’t even be added to Steam.

        • John Williamson

          Thanks for such a detailed and well-written response Matt. Outside the restricted territories it is difficult to determine the complete picture without correspondence from someone who has personally dealt with these issues. I will update the review in light of this evidence and add a bit more info about Japanese regional restrictions. Thanks again for your contribution.

  • DreadPirateR

    Nice review, think you covered everything. I will get this when on sale 🙂

    • John Williamson

      Thank you! Yeah it is definitely worth a try, and if the camera/controls bother you, a low price point might be the best bet!

  • Pile of Pooh

    Which of these things is not like the other?

    1) True PC Gaming
    2) non-optimized console ports

    So much for the mission. Bye.

    • Adam Ames

      John was up front and honest about his time with the game. He went into detail about the mouse and 16:10 issues. John can only speak about what his experiences were and not those of others who may have a different outlook depending on their setup. Some PC gamers hate the fact that proper KB/M support is still an issue and will not support any developer regardless of the content. Others do not see this as a deal breaker if the surrounding game is good.

      If you look at our content, you will see we try extremely hard to make sure the reader gets all available information before making a purchase. The rest is up to you.