Developer Platinum Games
Platform PS3, PC
Release Date TBC Feb 2013
We were very lucky to have been invited by Konami recently to get a look at the upcoming MGS title. Originally announced way back in 2009 this spin off will feature the cybernetic-ally enhanced ninja Raiden. Having undergone its own difficulties involving a silent cancellation, then a change of developer from Kojima to Platinum Games which brought with it a change in setting and gameplay style.
Platinum Games have a history of creating games that are over the top, fast paced and action packed. They really have their own style as seen in both Vanquish and Bayonetta which are two of the bigger titles that Platinum have worked on recently and both couldn’t be further from what we expect from a MGS title so it was great to finally get our hands on the game and to see exactly what they have done in with the franchise.
The first thing we noticed is that this is a mix-mash of two idea’s, it is very much still set in the MGS world with all its art styling and direction but it also incorporates Platinum’s love for over the top action. Stealth in the traditional sense has pretty much gone out the window and this time the cardboard boxes are only being used by cowering enemies hiding from you.
Instead Raiden relies on speed and skill to remain unseen but he is still well equipped to deal with a screen full of alerted guards. The demo was an introduction to the game so it started out with some easy tutorials slashing through dangerous watermelons. Things are ramped up then to provide some VR enemies this is just to get you used to the new controls.
The game play mechanic is quite interesting, it is a hack and slash game in the traditional sense (the normal face buttons work in the traditional way heavy/light attacks) but the game’s unique selling point is the use of the right stick to deliver precision control over the blade.
Holding the L1 buttons locks you into a slow-mo (bullet time) setting, then with the right stick you have an ability to deliver precision slicing in any of the 360 degrees available on the analogue stick. Because you are in bullet time you can deliver multiple blows in a fraction of a second then release L1 and stand back as the enemies’ slide apart into gruesome pieces right in front of you.
Raiden’s Katana is incredibly powerful and during our play time we managed to take down an Apache helicopter with just a sword! Raiden sprints at the Apache runs up along the missiles it has shot at you and slices the Apache apart with just your sword and in this one sentence we manage to sums up the whole experience, yes it is mental but it is fun too.
From our time with the game it has pricked our interest, it couldn’t be further from the other MGS games and that might not be a bad thing especially as Kojima has announced a new more traditional MGS game is in the pipeline maybe there is space for this title.
The right stick controls take some time to get used to and it is still remains to be seen if a full campaign can maintain our interest but it looks fun and doesn’t take itself too seriously so for the moment roll on February.