In the new game (hilariously subtitled) “Metal Gear Revengeance,” you kill a lot of evil people in amazingly bloody, vivisection ways. To justify this bloodlust, the game has created terrorists so evil they are … harvesting children’s organs!
What the what?
Usually, “Metal Gear” games are sleuth-action spy games. That means normally you portray a super-cool black-ops agent who slinks around swamps or lairs and quietly kills one evil guard after another en route to eliminating nefarious terrorists.
But this new “Metal Gear Rising Revengeance” is different. It’s way faster, a sword-swinging, absurd-on-purpose, hack-and-slasher — and it is blooody.
It’s so gory, you decapitate hordes of evil ninjas, but you also magically stop time to vivisect them, cutting off their hands, faces, legs, whatever, in itsy bits.
It’s so bloody, the beginning of the game gives you a load of dialogue to justify this Titanic of carnage, when a character says: The samurai’s code instructs one to take a life to save other lives.
And so you portray this American samurai ninja hero Raiden in streets and warehouses and Japanese gardens. You must defeat pro-war terrorists wreaking havoc on civilization.
These terrorist jerkwads come in different shapes and sizes. They are humans; giant mechanized monsters (the size of five-story buildings); cyborgs (part human-part machine); cyborgs wearing jetpacks; armed robot lions; little round bombs that chase you on their little robot legs; and other military cyborgs.
You press one button to sprint super fast at them, and then you push other buttons to slash them with your sword.
Slash, slash, run, run. The action moves entertainingly quickly.
Is there a moral to this story? Sure, as long as you enjoy the game’s thesis that war actions are carried out by scared brutes with few other life options.
If you are a “Metal Gear” fanatic, you can take solace in sneaking up on quite a few guards, pressing a button, and shoving a blood-splattering sword through their rib cage in slow motion.
Did I mention this game is bloody?
Altogether, this is a very good game — fluid, intuitive, fun, silly in a good way — but it does have drawbacks.
Drawback No. 1: Sometimes the camera angle gets stuck on the wrong thing, and I fight a cyborg who isn’t even on my TV screen.
Drawback No. 2: A few battles are frustratingly designed, such as an early one involving a hard-to-slice helicopter.
The biggest drawback may be the game’s shortness. It can be beaten in a handful of hours.
I spent $60 to buy this game. I wish I’d spent $25 on this game.
I do love the kitschy subtitle “Revengeance.”
But here’s the dumb thing. Once you earn achievements, the game unlocks tutorial levels for you to play — even though you are already beating the game to unlock those tutorials.
What kind of geek wants to unlock tutorials? I’m a dork, not a geek, so someone please explain the appeal of geeky tutorials, thank you.
(“Metal Gear Rising Revengeance” by Konami retails for $60 for PS 3, Xbox 360 — Plays fun. Looks very good. Easy to challenging, depending on settings you choose. Rated “M” for blood, gore, intense violence, strong language. Three out of four stars.)
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Doug Elfman is an entertainment writer for the Las Vegas (NV) Review-Journal. Contact him at DElfman@reviewjournal.com