Cast your mind back to the early days of the year 2013. You had just gotten home from school, the hype from The Avengers hitting the big screen hadn’t died down yet, people weren’t coughing up a lung and you had really enjoyed your time playing through such fantastic games as Borderlands 2, Mass Effect 3 and Dishonored. But little did you know you were about to be smacked in the face with a new game. A game that would last a decade simply thanks to the internet sharing funny gifs. A game that defied the RULES OF NATURE!
Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance is, as it’s name would suggest, a game set in the Metal Gear universe. Though unlike the mainline games where you mostly play as Solid Snake making use of tactical close quarter combat as you stealth your way through the games; you instead play as Raiden who first appeared in Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, the young, hot headed, silver haired cyborg ninja samurai, wielding a high frequency blade in the shape of a katana. If you thought this game was going to be serious in any way, shape, or form, boy… you must feel dumb now. Revengeance was developed by Platinum Games of Bayonetta fame and later Nier: Automata. Games that go big on the combos, big on the story and, most importantly, big on the fun.
Being a Metal Gear game, you would expect some insightful and thought-provoking themes and story. Well… there’s definitely a story in there. MGR brings up points about post 9/11 geopolitics, but it’s swiftly forgotten as you get your arse beat by a nanomachine charged US Senator on top of a giant walking spider tank that you just had a sword fight with. Same goes for when the nihilistic cyborg boss starts preaching about his “kill or be killed” philosophy and you can look to your right and see a henchman playing with a stray cat. The point is that this is a game not meant for you to scratch your chin at and go “huh, they have a point”. This is a game where the story takes a backseat to the over-the-top stupid fun gameplay.
As stated above, Revengeance isn’t a tactical stealth and espionage game like it’s predecessors. The game throws all that out the window for fun and insane hack and slash gameplay. That being said, there is still some stealth mechanics left in the game. The famous cardboard box makes a return, allowing you to sneak past a group of unsuspecting enemies. Plus, Raiden has always been a master of disguise.
Sporting a smart cut system that allows you to slash anything and damn near everything, your job is to cut your way through hordes of PMC cyborgs as you try to stop a new war from starting. The controls are smooth as silk and highly responsive, allowing you to snap onto enemies with ease.
The gameplay is also very easy to pick up, you can either button mash your way to success, or work on parrying and unlock combos for new ways to dish out damage. The real challenge comes when facing down the bosses. Each boss has their own unique combat style and tricks to watch out for. They aren’t Dark Souls levels of hard, but it’s wise to study their patterns all the same and learn to parry.
Being a game from 2013, the visuals aren’t much to sing praise about nowadays. That being said, visuals in video games have gone from “have we put enough brown in here?” to “have we put enough glare in here?”. The visuals aren’t pretty, but they’re far from horrible. They’re just aged and by not looking too hard at the visuals you can focus on your next target to juggle.
Now this is where the game truly shines. MGR has some of the best and most hype tracks when it comes to boss music. This music isn’t symphonic and you won’t hear it being sung by angels in a choir, instead its soundtrack is perfect to work out to as it makes you feel damn near invincible. Even many people not familiar with the game know a few of it’s tracks, namely “It Has to be This Way”, “The Only Thing I Know For Real” and “Rules of Nature”.
“It Has to be This Way”
“The Only Thing I Know for Real”
“Rules of Nature”
But those are just the tip of the iceberg. Every track you hear when fighting bosses are absolute bangers. The devs even made a wise choice when creating the fights; during the first half of the fight you will only hear the instrumentals of the song, but once you get to that second half the lyrics kick in. Hearing those lyrics gives you a renewed sense to fight on and kick some arse. It’s sad though that one of the best tracks in the game “The Hot Wind Blowing” is locked to one of the DLCs.
“The Hot Wind Blowing”
We’ve now seen what has made MGR such an amazing game to play, but all the dumb gameplay and killer tracks are not the reason for MGR to hit it’s renaissance. No, that’s one thing and one thing only.
Never have I ever seen a game with so much meme potential, and the internet thought so too. Armstrong saying “nanomachines, son”, Sundowner becoming fucking invincible, Jetstream Sam’s shit-eating grin, Raiden opening up the internet and even Monsoon commenting on some “exquisite” memes, there’s barely a cutscene in this game that lacks any potential for memeage. When the game first came out, you would see “Nanomachines, Son” posted everywhere. Then it died off for quite a while, only having the odd meme pop up every now and then. In the last year or so, MGR memes have skyrocketed to the point you won’t go a day without scrolling past one. Even if MGR isn’t the focal point of the meme, it’s now often used as a delivery device for the meme’s punchline. MGR has entered a new age of memery, it has transcended memes and become a vessel that other memes latch onto. In the words of Senator Armstrong himself, “We’re making the mother of all memes here Jack, can’t fret over every loss of story.”
In less than 10 years, MGR turned from a stupid fun game to being an icon in internet history. In a world full of games that try to be thought provoking or convey a message or political view, it’s nice to find one shining example of fun among the lot. A game focused on dumb, super fun gameplay, over the top boss fights, a soundtrack that has no legal right to slap so hard and unintentionally becoming one of the best places to find memes to date. So lets raise a glass to the developers, for their exquisite game that deserves the remaster treatment. And lets put our hands together and celebrate this fantastic game, may its legacy live on and it’s memes never die.
So, why should you play it?
- It’s cheap (it’s 9 years old, just buy it already)
- You want to listen to the most hype soundtrack out there
- You want a change from story driven games and just want something to play something fun
- You enjoy a good hack and slash
But why shouldn’t you play it?
- No reason
- No seriously, just go buy and play this game
- Standing here, I realise
- You were just like me, trying to make history
- But who’s to judge, the right from wrong?