Just like Solid Snake, this past week I managed to infiltrate Koj*ma Headquarters to get a look at the next installment of the Metal Gear Solid series. Let's take a look:
Remember Sons of Liberty? Remember how you were excited to play as Solid Snake again, and all the trailers and screens implied that you would? And then Koj*ma put in some new effeminate character named Raiden instead? Well, he's done it again. But in reverse.
Yes, everything about Rising makes you think it's going to be about Raiden, but that's just what Hideo Koj*ma wants you to think. The story begins immediately after the events of Sons of Liberty, as Raiden is left standing in a ruined Manhattan, having just killed his adoptive father in a sword fight or something. Raiden goes to the apartment he shares with his pregnant robot girlfriend Rose, and finds out that she was Laughing Octopus disguised as Decoy Octopus disguised as Rose the entire time, and that she's here to kill him to hide any evidence that the US was involved with the Big Shell/Arsenal Gear incident.
Raiden escapes the apartment complex and goes into hiding with Otacon, who wets himself. Raiden and Otacon have a conversation and decide that the only survivors of the Big Shell incident are themselves, Snake, and Olga's daughter. Raiden decides to go after Sunny while Otacon goes to warn Snake about the danger.
The cutscene ends, and then I got to see some of the gameplay.
Meanwhile, Snake is infiltrating a grocery store to get some food, because he gets tired of eating nothing but rations all the time. This serves as the tutorial stage, where Snake must avoid security cameras and sneak past the checkout aisle with some macaroni, because he never actually got paid for that Shadow Moses gig.
Snake is back to the PS2 control scheme, because of course in terms of story continuity he hasn't learned how to aim and move at the same time yet. This is in order to increase the "challenge". Higher difficulties will change the control interface rather than enemy count or damage taken: for example, "Big Boss Extreme" will remove analog stick functionality, as well as forcing the player to hold down the start button before inputting any commands.
Snake is attacked by a new Metal Gear as he leaves the grocery store: Metal Gear Diet. Otacon appears and helps Snake escape in an armored motorcycle, and then follows the standard Metal Gear Motorcycle Rail Shooting Scene (MGMRSS). Otacon explains that Ocelot is sending Octopus after them in order to cover up the existence of the Patriots.
Meanwhile, Raiden finds Sunny in the care of the real Rose, who has never seen him before in her life. Raiden becomes depressed and jumps off the balcony of the building, shattering his body. He is recovered by Patriot agents and given his new robotic body, but he needs special fluid to survive.
The Patriots contact Snake through Campbell, telling him that they have his friend and that he must collect the fluid from a heavily guarded remote South African camp. The fluid will be used both to power Raiden's new body and to power the new Gecco the Patriots are working on. Snake agrees on the condition that they release Raiden, Rose, and Sunny if he does.
Here's where things fall apart a bit. As we all know, Rising is going to be a multiplatform game, on the 360 as well as the PS3. Unfortunately, the two consoles are not the same, and Koj*ma had to make some concessions to fit his huge game onto the weaker 360. Take a look at these screens, both of the same part of the game, on the 360 and the PS3:
I guess it's only to be expected, but I really was hoping for more on the Xbox 360 end, even if Koj*ima has to put the game on two or three cartridges to get the same experience. As it is, I overheard Koj*ma say that the 360 version will be the same price as the PS3 version, which to me seems a bit unfair as the Xbox version won't be getting the multiplayer.
Anyway, that's all I was able to see and hear before I was caught and removed by the guards. I was threatened with court martial if I ever spoke a word of what I had seen to anybody, but screw it.
*Well, it could be real. We never know with Koj*ma.