We review Metal Gear Solid: Revengeance, an exclusive Nvidia Shield remake of the original PS3 and Xbox 360 game that takes a whopping great sword to the franchise’s stealthy mechanics, with massively entertaining results.
Despite being a big fan of the first three Metal Gear Solid games, I somehow missed Revengeance when it hit consoles back at the beginning of 2013. Thankfully the full game is now available on Shield devices, and although the £25 asking price makes this one of the most expensive Android titles out there, it’s still a gloriously over-the-top action title with some of the most entertaining swordplay of any game ever released.
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Revengeance’s hero is Raiden, now in fully cyborged form after a wee bit of experimental tinkering, but with the same gorgeous bleach-blond locks that flow majestically as he hacks and slashes through foes. It’s obviously tough finding any steady work when you look like the love child of a J-pop superstar and an HP desktop printer, but Raiden’s making ends meet with a spot of defence contracting for an African country. Problem is, the Prime Minister he was paid to protect has just been kidnapped by a malevolent organisation, and he doesn’t know why.
This nefarious act kick-starts a fresh new adventure, which sees Raiden fighting his way through an army of fellow cyborgs to uncover the truth and get his revenge. And while there are optionally stealthy elements to the game, such as the ability to sneak up on foes and drop on them for some instant-skewer action, the bulk of Revengeance sees you going toe-to-toe with your enemies.
Thankfully Revengeance’s swordplay is seriously entertaining, with a slick block-and-counter-attack mechanic that rivals fellow action titles like the Batman franchise. After a little bit of practice, you’ll be able to take on three or four foes at one time and highly-skilled opponents, without breaking a sweat. And there’s even a cool ‘Blade Mode’ which gives you total control over your sword slashes while slowing down time.
One thing Revengeance does really well, just like the Devil May Cry and Beretta games, is making you feel seriously boss. With just a couple of button pushes you can make Raiden slide, leap and slash all over the place in a pleasingly fluid manner, and any spectators will immediately want to make sweet, passionate love to your body. There’s even a cheaty ‘Ninja Run’ mode that automatically helps Raiden to make inch-perfect leaps across chasms and so on, which looks great but takes all of the challenge out of pursuit set pieces.
Still, you have to admire Revengeance’s chutzpah. Most games would save the battle against the seemingly invincible fifty-foot missile-firing robot for the climax, but here it’s one of the very first fights. If you don’t fist pump the air during the scene where you dash down a collapsing clock tower before slashing the bugger in half, then you possibly have no soul. And there are many, many memorable boss fights scattered throughout the game, not to mention a whole bunch of VR missions to bulk up the already generous playing time.
You can pick up Metal Gear Solid: Revengeance for Nvidia Shield right now, for £24.99.