Platinum Games makes for an interesting choice of developer for Revengeance. While they are no Ubisoft or EA in terms of scale, they do have strong, frantic, over-the-top titles like Bayonetta and Vanquish under their belt, as well as key players who worked on the amazing Viewtiful Joe and Okami series. This is a studio with some amazing talent. In many respects, their style matches Kojima’s quirkiness and innovative thinking, and of course the distinct Japanese flair. Despite that, there’s no denying that a fundamental aspect of the entire Metal Gear series is stealth gameplay; something Kojima did very well. Platinum Games, meanwhile, are not just inexperienced with this aspect of the series, they specialise in exactly the opposite type of gameplay. This points us in two likely directions. Either that Rising will be stripped bare of all stealth elements, or if they are present they will not match the usual quality of the signature Metal Gear style. Anybody who remembers being caught by tell-tale footprints in the snow, or sneaking up behind enemies to collect their dog tags at gunpoint, or hearing that chilling ‘bloop!’ as they were detected by an enemy; will be aware of the issue this will present.
It may be fortunate then, that Platinum have made it clear that they are playing to their strengths rather than awkwardly trying to imitate the genius of Kojima. In the debut trailer alone, Raiden jumps off a speeding train and wall runs along the inside of a tunnel as part of an adrenaline filled scenario. He then picks up a Metal Gear RAY, previously one of the most advanced , huge, robo-organic mass murder machines in the series (and the subject of some amazing boss battles) like it’s a mere fly, before leaping 80 feet in the air and slicing it in half.
Now, we already knew from MGS4 that Raiden is super strong; he stopped Ocelot’s gigantic ship, Outer Haven, from crushing Snake simply by pushing it back. But this was a dramatic, tense moment, at the climax of the game, and Raiden even loses his arms (and nothing else, for some unexplainable reason) in the process of being crushed by the ship. In the trailer, Raiden deals with RAY so flippantly he might as well be filing his tax returns. While undeniably ravishing, this is clearly not a 'traditional' Metal Gear construct, and it points Revengeance in a direction that doesn’t treat violence or stealth in the same way at all.
When first revealed, Rising was apparently going to tell of the recovery of Sunny Gurlucovich, from the Illuminati style Patriots, by Raiden and Snake. Several other events between the two even numbered games were also to be outlined, namely why Raiden turned into a cyborg ninja, his recovery of Big Boss’s body, and his messy breakup with his fan favourite girlfriend, Rose. Well I liked her annoying, incessant whining at least...and the ability to jiggle her breasts with the sixaxis in MGS4 may have drawn me towards her. Perhaps. However, Rising will now seemingly skip that plotline entirely, instead being set after MGS4, leaving everybody in the dark as to what the plot will contain. There’s been talk of Raiden going back to work for PMCs or private contractors, in a battlefield where soldiers are being increasingly augmented by technology, a la Deus Ex. Now that’s definitely an interesting plot, but I don't think it will be anywhere near as strong as a tale that’s woven around what fans already know and love, and actually want to find out about the series.