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I went and picked up Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance last night (obviously), and after putting in a little bit of time with it I decided Iíd do a quick first impressions blog before inevitably doing a full on review of the game.* Obviously Iím not done with the game yet, but I wanted to cover a few things. I also kind of wrote this on a whim because I originally wanted to share my opinions about this game with someone I knew was a fan of hack and slashers & Metal Gear titles, only to be told that I apparently wasn't a reliable source of information for this game - for reasons that were never explained. So I decided to share my opinion with people who actually give a shit about what I have to say.

Time is on my side
One thing thatís being bounced around in a few reviews for this game is that itís a 5ish hour long game. After my first sit-down with this game, I can confidently say that thereís no way this is only a 5 hour game. I put 4 hours of real-time gameplay into Rising last night and I still feel like I have a good ways to go in the game, and my actual in game clock only said Iíd logged about 2 hours of game time so far. The game feels like it's on pace to be about an 8-9 hour title.

I think a lot of reviewers simply looked at the game time clock that they get in the game and used that as their basis for how long this game is. The problem is that the in game clock you get for missions and such doesnít take into account the time spent with cut-scenes, codec conversations, and apparently doesnít factor in deaths/continues, so itís only accumulating raw gameplay time from checkpoint to checkpoint. If Rising is 5 or so hours of pure gameplay then I can be perfectly content with that. Hell, if you skip the cutscenes in Metal Gear Solid 4 you can beat that game in even less than five hours.

Storytime
So far Risingís story isnít going to win any awards, but I can safely say that the story isnít bad. Itís got appropriate amounts of Kojima-ish cheese, a little bit of Platinum cheese, and by Metal Gear standards is actually a pretty straight forward story. To be perfectly honest having a straight forward Metal Gear story actually feels rather refreshing, especially considering that Raidenís last starring role was in the overly intricate Metal Gear Solid 2.

Everything so far still feels like an extension of the Metal Gear universe as well. Nothing has stood out so far that really made me go ďthis doesnít belong hereĒ. Thereíve been a few moments that made me smile in the same silly ways Devil May Cry 3 or Vanquish did, and in general Rising seems to openly embrace the fact that the Metal Gear universe is pretty preposterous and over the top. No complaints will come from me for that. And so far Risingís story doesnít feel as insultingly derivative or poorly structured as DmCís was.



Time to play the game
Iím enjoying the hell out of the actual gameplay so far. Iím not going to go into too much detail, but thereís a depth and intricacy to this game that Iím very much enjoying so far. Iím also noticing a bunch of things that have been polished up from the demo as well.

A few people have expressed camera control issues; honestly I havenít really encountered any glaring camera issues so far. Iím wondering if the people who are having slight issues with the gameís camera are using the lock-on mechanic at all. Iíve been using that a majority of the time in combat and perhaps thatís whatís been keeping my camera issues at bay.

Iíve heard a couple people complain about the lack of a dodge at the start of the game and how the dodge is activated in this game. Yeah, it would be nice if the dodge was a tad easier to execute, but honestly I havenít really had a situation in the game where Iíve needed to use it. The game feels a lot more structured around using your parry instead of relying on a dodge like most other hack and slashers out there. The only time Iíve even remotely considered using the dodge at all was when an enemy grenade was thrown into my vicinity, however using Ninja Run generally seems to be the better option in this scenario since you get out of the way just as fast and also deflect bullets away from you.

Iím currently doing my first run through of the game on normal mode. Normal mode seems a tad on the easy side for me, granted Iím a wily old veteran of these types of games at this point. However, normal difficulty still has moments where things can quickly get out of hand and get rather challenging. Iíve seen the ďGame OverĒ screen a few times already, so the game thus far I guess feels adequately challenging and I look forward to eventually challenging the harder difficulties.

Overall
Iím having a blast with Revengeance thus far and as of right now Iíd give it a recommendation. If you really want to play the DmC vs MGR card, my primary input is that thus far Iíve had more fun in MGR than DmC. If anything happens in the later portions of the game that changes my opinion Iíll be sure to point it out come my inevitable full review of the game. But thus far I feel like I spent my $60 bucks well.

*If youíre wondering where my ďofficialĒ review for DmC is, to be perfectly honest Iíve gotten super hung up on my review of the gameís story. The problem is that DmCís story has kind of a similar problem that The Dark Knight Rises has, the more you think about the story the more you realize itís an absolute mess.
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