by Christopher Coke
reviewed on PC
Watch Out, Bobby Flay…
The most unique addition Revengeance brings to the fore is Blade Mode. Once you dispatch enough enemies to charge your fuel cells, Blade Mode can be activated to trigger Zandatsu, a combat technique which slows time and allow you to set the angle of each sword swing. This is important because Zandatsu is the primary way of regaining health. Precise cuts must be made to sever the cybernetic spine (or, in the case of upgrades, the left hand) of enemies so their power can be absorbed.
The game does a terrible job of explaining this and relies instead on a series of VR training missions. This is a less than ideal system to say the least. Entering a VR mission requires you to exit the campaign, lose any progress you might have made, and generally spend five minutes on the refresher a simple help file could have accomplished.
Using Blade Mode, Revengeance becomes something of a cutting simulator. Raiden can freely chop his environment into little bits, which is separate from the organ-severing Zandatsu. That requires full fuel cells, but if you would rather just a car or a tree into a delightful little puzzle, the world is your oyster from the get-go. There is a morbid pleasure to using these skills on enemies, however. Never before has a game allowed you to cut your foe into three dozen pieces in slow motion. Well gamers, that time has come.
Error Code: Camp
For all of the fun Platinum Games has packed in, Revengeance does have a tendency to degrade into eyeroll-worthy campiness. With the exception of the bulging American, most of the main players are disturbingly beautiful. Somehow, someway, the developers have managed to sexify their cyborgs. Now, you can only see their face, because apparently that is all you need to still be considered human, but every time Raiden stood still in a cutscene I expected to hear a fan kick in off-screen to make his hair blow in the wind. It continues a long-standing Eastern trend of creating heroes that could also sell underwear if their fortunes went sour.
These characters also feel one-note and flat. Raiden is a gruff hero who loses an eye and keeps on kicking ass. The evil Samuel Rodriguez likes killing because, well, why not? He is mad at Raiden for denying his sword its true purpose, which we must assume is drinking the blood of the innocent and pillaging poor villages. At Midnight. On Halloween.
Thankfully, these are but small pills in a game where story is but a veneer. Still, it would have been nice to see a little more creativity throughout this six-hour campaign.
Twenty minutes into Revengeance, you are sliding down a cathedral, dodging missile barrages, and effortlessly leaping onto a hundred-foot monster’s back. That is when it clicks: this is a game with style to spare. Never again does it feel like anything less than a high definition portrait in excess. The campaign is a little too short, and the story is almost laughable, but held against the sheer outrageousness of its tightly tuned combat encounters, these issues can be forgiven. Revengeance isn’t a perfect game but it sure is a fun one, and it made the jump to PC with ease.
Excellent combat and incredibly creative encounters, truly challenging.
Passable story with clichéd characters, poorly implemented tutorial.