Fun Loving Criminals
Chapter three takes Raiden to Mexico and it's here we're handed some brief Metal Gear humour. While comedy in the mainline Metal Gear games is somewhat understated, Rising makes it a point of regularly cracking jokes and delivering gags.
For instance, to make himself inconspicuous in Mexico, Raiden puts on a disguise - a mariachi uniform complete with comically large hat and poncho. Unsurprisingly, he's the centre of attention on the streets, but hams it up by shouting "adios amigos" at befuddled onlookers before disappearing into the sewers.
The humour adds levity to what is otherwise quite a preachy and po-faced game. Complementing the comedy is a cast of characters with that unmistakable Metal Gear quirk. Boris, founder of Maverick, is a jolly Russian and always up for a tussle. IT wiz Courtney has a habit of spilling her coffee, so mission controller Kevin is constantly seen moving her cup around. George, a runaway who Raiden finds wandering the sewers of Mexico, has a jarring Guyanese accent and frequently uses the word "Skunt".
Rising makes an attempt at getting a serious message across too and - from what we've seen - doesn't fall flat on its face. In chapter four, Raiden makes his way to the US to face Sam, the cyborg ninja responsible for his humiliating defeat in Africa. Now on Raiden's home turf, the ethical line dividing Raiden and his enemies becomes blurred as the player is made to think about their wanton killing. These are unmistakably the fingerprints of Kojima, adding an emotional context to that game that, although a well-trodden subject in the series, is nevertheless welcomed.
The Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance project has much to be encouraged about. While its not flawless, the core mechanics are robust and the satisfying cutting mechanic leaves a lasting impression. Between this and DmC, fans of third person action games are going to be well served in the early months of 2013.