SO WHY THE HELL IS HE BACK? The answer is that he isnít. Not quite. Early on in the trailer, a character who looks to be the main antagonist is revealed, and he looks like Vamp. Sort of. Skin tone, face shape, the beard of a 16 year old; he has a few defining characteristics of Raidenís nemesis, as well as a noticeable face scar that Vamp never had. My question to Platinum is, if this character is not the Vamp we know and despise, why make them look so similar? Considering the Metal Gear seriesí plots of clones, biotechnological enhancements and mind-controlling arms, it isnít too far-fetched that this new character may have a bit of Vamp in him somewhere. This may even be a good thing if it brings that familiar wacky character development into the game. More likely it's an indication of the vacancy of ideas for fresh villains and the consequent need to resurrect an enemy who already had one of the most satisfying deaths in gaming.
So the plot is mostly a 50/50 deal at this point. There is one aspect hinted at in the trailer that I am very interested in though. Raidenís schizophrenic rant at the end of the trailer suggests that his ĎJack The Ripperí persona (left over from his youth as a child soldier) may have returned, enabling all sorts of split personality plotlines. To be completely immodest, this is an idea I had in mind for Rising since itís E3 reveal. I envisioned a Ďrage modeí where Raiden enters into his Jack persona for a power boost, but Iíll let Platinum deal with the technicalities. Handled correctly (by which I mean not letting Raiden slip into his whiny bitch persona from MGS2) this could be some smart storytelling that is on par with the MGS series.
The Final Verdict
When it comes down to it, Revengeance is not adding up to be a traditional Metal Gear game. Logic tells us fans that this means that it is going to be a bad Metal Gear game. Itís going to miss out on a lot of story elements that should be told, it shows a concerning lack of stealth, and if Iím honest it looks like the setting and the plot is going to be very similar to MGS4, which is obviously well tread ground.
Strip Metal Gear from the title, however, and you have Bayonetta crossed with Vanquish. Hurrah? Two fine games, though not without their flaws, that when mixed together will give a strong hack and slash experience that will probably ensure a solid score in the reviews. Thatís the problem though. This is not a new IP. In fact, itís the furthest thing possible from that. Metal Gear is a series with an incredibly strong and innovative history, and Platinum Games are going to have to respect that. Ultimately, this entry into the Metal Gear franchise is an unpredictable one. Itís safe to say that the title Revengeance has already knocked a point off either way though.