So, Revengeance isn’t a word. Urban Dictionary took a crack at defining it, but this bizarre portmanteau between ‘revenge’ and ‘vengeance’ is very much a statement of intent about how unashamedly silly this spin-off from the brilliant Metal Gear Solid property is.
Within 15 minutes, your character, former Metal Gear Solid 2 antichrist Raiden, is juggling a robot about as tall as a church and slapping bullets out of the air with an electric sword. It’s a game where you can slice up almost everything in its world – cars, fruit and of course, people – into hundreds of disgusting pieces. Revengeance is an anime-infused, knowingly daft ninja simulation, a pleasantly ludicrous and cathartic experience that is only let down by its short length.
Revengeance sees Bayonetta developer Platinum apply that game’s disciplines to Metal Gear Solid, as well as its quite glorious universe of over-detailed synthetic mech things, weird humour and relentless technobabble. Those idiosyncratic elements that fans have always loved about Metal Gear are on overdrive here. The story is amusing fluff for aficionados and probably quite funny, if admittedly inconsequential, for those new to the series as well.
What has universal appeal is the combat, which is extremely fast-paced and impressive to look at. Raiden will slice up missiles, cut enemies in half so they’re left wiggling angrily on the floor and free-run over environments – it’s like playing as a superhero, with a kind of raw feeling to cutting up enemies that lets you pick the angle you’re slicing them at by twisting the right stick. A bit sadistic on paper, maybe, but simply rather funny within the context of Revengeance. There’s a tangible and satisfying learning curve to understanding how the counterattack works, too, which is central to every encounter.
At around six or seven hours long, and with little to muck around with after, it definitely lacks value for £40. That’s the only thing keeping it from the highest score, however – this is a developer mixing the type of game it’s best at with a franchise that’s been strangely elusive during the past five years.
Against first impressions towards the vaguely stupid title, Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance is a smartly executed and broadly engaging spin-off.