E3 2012 Gets Metal Gear Rising Playable Demo

 

This summer’s E3 showcase will usher in an uncertain new era – that of a stealth-free Metal Gear playable demo.

The franchise Powers-That-Be whose 1999 PlayStation debut ushered in an action-gaming revolution and made a Sony icon of a flawed Nintendo title’s protagonist has apparently decided that Solid Snake and Co. have stuck long enough with what brought them to gaming history’s dance. Metal Gear Solid creator Hideo Kojima confirmed during a recent Famitsu interview – in turn, picked up by Andriasang.com – that the anticipated Metal Gear Rising Revengeance will make its playable debut during this June’s E3, that the upcoming sequel has ditched the franchise’s signature stealth mechanics . . . . and that he will not be developing the project alongside annointed successor studio Platinum Games.

It’s enough that this MGS installment will be focused largely upon not the great Solid Snake, but Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons Of Liberty‘s pretty-boy ninja Raiden. It’s equally groundbreaking that this will be the first original MGS installment to be released on a Microsoft console (the Metal Gear Solid HD Collection aside, of course.) But sometimes, people and things reach points wherein the only remaining major evolution is to do something wholly out-of-character. Hence, Kojima consulted with his staff and concurred with them that stealth mechanics didn’t fit an anticipated more frenetic and action-filled style.

That’s certainly a bold decision, even for a franchise that has never nailed its feet to the beaten path – whether its experiments in story structure or game-play have panned out ultimately or not. Still, “different” isn’t always “better.”

Raiden isn’t exactly a fan favorite in the first place.  In fact, his reign over nearly Metal Gear Solid 2‘s entire story turned off more than a few die-hards  who since have deemed that installment the line’s weakest offering yet. But it’s a fifty-fifty gamble whether the MGS faithful will readily adopt a more straight-forward approach rather than one that makes them reliant upon diversion, stealth, evasion and subduing the opposition bloodlessly. After all, for every Resident Evil 4 that outgrows a series’ trust old shoes and trades up for some new boots, there are Silent Hill sequels that abandoned not just everything a game has been, but as ironically Konami discovered, everything that made a game a developer’s enduring legacy.

Here’s hoping that before Platinum Games casts out the bathwater, they’ve made sure the baby’s safely removed.

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