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Revengeance is a Metal Gear spin-off

SINCE first arriving decades ago the Metal Gear games have evolved enormously.

The original concept revolved around good use of technology and stealth to infiltrate often enormously hostile areas.

You were regularly outnumbered and had to make judicious use of your discretion if you wanted to survive. This is patently not the case with this latest game to sport the Metal Gear name.

Indeed apart from having a ridiculous title, Revengeance is in many ways a Metal Gear game that has lost its traditional roots.

This is not to say this latest effort is a poor game, it is just not something that is easily identified as being true to Metal Gear's essence.

What we have is a spin off from the traditional series and the story is miles away from the core Metal Gear narrative.

In Revengeance you are trying to stop a typically nefarious private weapons company from capturing orphans and harvesting their brains.

These are then used to power a growing cohort of cyborg soldiers. It sounds horrible and given the game is only set in the near future it is also rather implausible, but the premise gives you an excuse to go up against hordes of automatons in sword swinging melee. Revengeance isn't in any way subtle, but the game is still a lot of fun as long as you don't mind your action served up with lashings of tomato sauce.

Another way that this game is different from more recent Metal Gear epics is that it doesn't take its story too seriously. Instead the story is presented using snappy and often funny segues. Indeed Revengeance seems to have a sense of humour at times. Certainly the comic mariachi outfit you don for no real reason at all is worth a wry smile.

In the game you get to slice and dice like a possessed Ginsu wielding maniac, as you control a cyborg ninja.

Unlike other Metal Gear games Revengeance eschews gun play and instead challenges you to focus on a sword wielding system that is awkward at first. In Revengeance you must parry as well as strike if you are to survive and timing these defensive strokes can be really difficult at first.

The game will throw decent numbers of hostile soldiers your way too. Targeting these simultaneously while also trying to defend isn't something that feels natural initially.

That said once you get the hang of these core gameplay elements you will appreciate the game's extremely violent, yet enjoyable, melee system. You can prevail by mindlessly hacking and slashing the hordes of futuristic cyborg soldiers arrayed to deprive you of breathing privileges. However, the game really shifts gears when you use the devastating "blade mode'' special system. Blade mode works simply by rewarding you with a powered up slow motion attack system that is devastating to behold and delightfully enjoyable to employ. Once you have fought for a while successfully you can unleash devastation in blade mode and it is impressive to watch.

Revengeance is also superbly animated and the use of light and movement at times borders on artful if it were also not so gory. The game completely ignores any friends you might have by being a single player only adventure, but is purer for it. A fast paced and admittedly short sci-fi fuelled adventure that dishes out a solid adrenalin rush.

Metal Gear Solid: Revengeance

Format: PS3 / Xbox 360

Rating: M15+

Price: $89.95

Score: 7/10

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