Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance is an installment in the Metal Gear series and set four years after the events of Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots. The gameplay is very different from most of the other games in the series, with fast-paced action gameplay similar to Platinum Games’ own MadWorld or the Devil May Cry series. The protagonist is the cyborg ninja Raiden, who was previously the main character in Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty. After the shadow organization The Patriots was destroyed in MGS4, the various private military companies have turned into developing cyborg superhumans. Raiden is one of them, working mostly in security for PMC Maverick Securities with his colleagues Boris, Courtney, Doktor, Kevin and Sunny. During one of the assignments securing the safety of an African prime minister, the rival PMC Desperado Enterprises interferes and kills the politician. Raiden is badly damaged, but eventually returns to investigate Desperado’s plans. Through different chapters Raiden has to defeat the members and various cyborgs as powerful as himself.
The gameplay is based on hack-and-slash. Raiden’s primary weapon is a high-frequency blade used to string together combos based on light and heavy attacks. Later on other weapons can be acquired after defeating bosses for new attacks. Secondary weapons can be picked up for other attacks, such as rocket launchers, missiles and grenades. He can also enter a bullet time blade mode where very precise slices can be executed. This is used to target and cut off specific limbs, as well as perform a zandatsu. The latter enables him to cut off and retrieve body parts that contain digital information or items, or grab the enemy’s power units that resembles a blue spine. When performed successfully, all health and fuel cells are restored. These fuel cells are required to activate the blade mode, but the bar can also be filled by collecting electrolytes from defeated enemies and through general attacks. Blade mode is also used to destroy parts of the environment or to remove an enemy’s armor. In additional a ninja mode can be activated to run much faster, deflect incoming bullets and initiate other attacks such as dashes and slides. These can further be strung together by jumping into the air to continue the combo. This ninja mode is also used in the same way as in Assassin’s Creed III to run, jump, slide and climb automatically over and under obstacles and buildings. Eventually the ripper mode is acquired with more power to access the blade mode.
Compared to the earlier games stealth is of minor importance. Levels consist of different linear sections with some minor exploration. At certain moments it is possible to approach an enemy from behind to do a ninja kill, attack with a one-hit kill from above, or to sneak past security cameras. Later on drum cans and cardboard boxes can be used to hide as well. Raiden can also throw a photo frame to create a holographic distraction. A visor can be activated to view items chests in the environment, the next goal and the position of enemies. Many levels have cut-scenes and interactive sequences, sometimes with quick time events, that have Raiden run over bridges and walls, or hopping from one rocket to another to engage a helicopter in the air, often with over-the-top violence.
While playing a separate menu is used to communicate with the other team members. The in-game currency consists of battle points that can be spent on new body armor, better health and fuel abilities, enhancements for weapons, and new skills that provide additional moves in general or for specific weapons. While playing hidden chests can be located to unlock up to 30 virtual reality missions that are played outside the story mode. Other hidden chests offer concept art through a collection menu.