One of the first things you should know about Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance is that it's more challenging than other reviews have claimed. This is especially true for the last two bosses which are some of the most frustrating boss fights I've ever faced.
The good news is, there's a method to the madness even in the most infuriating battles. Although it felt cheap on occasion, the game truly is fair. The boss encounters just happen to be more difficult than what you may have gotten used to this generation. The final boss was an excruciatingly long affair but after all was said and done, it was satisfying and worth every cuss word that came out of me.
Revengeance is an all-out action game from start to finish, save for the long but skippable cutscenes. What I hate about most hack & slash games is the overly long running around from point A to point B and Revengeance keeps that to a minimum. There are also no frustrating platforming sequences or annoying puzzles that serve no purpose other than to artificially lengthen the game.
In terms of the controls, Revengeance sticks to industry standards for the most part. You have the light and heavy attacks but what separates it from the pack is the parrying system. There is no dedicated block button. Instead, you press the light attack button combined with a directional input towards your attacker.
It does take some getting used to but once you nail it, and I promise there will come a moment during the game when the parry system finally clicks, you'll wonder why this type of blocking has not been the standard for the genre. What it does is make the swordplay feel like swordplay. It creates a connection between you and your sword that isn't possible with a traditional block button. Blocking never felt this satisfying and you'll feel like a true ninja.
One word of advice. You have to upgrade Raiden to get the sidestep ability. Do that as early as you can. The maneuver is invaluable in most situations. Also, the game won't tell you how to sidestep, so here's a freebie. It's square and X for the PS3 or X and A for the 360.
Then there's "blade mode," which has been the driving force behind the marketing campaign from the day Revengeance was first announced. It's a great addition and not merely a gimmick. It enhances your connection to your sword as it allows you to slice however way you see fit. Its availability is perfectly balanced. The bottom line is that if you fight well, you'd be able to integrate blade mode seamlessly into the flow of each battle. The game also requires its use in most boss fights but it never feels forced.
Revengeance may not be the Metal Gear game you knew but it stands among the best action games of all time. It has a feel of its own and manages to be unique despite the abundance of hack and slash games available today. Don't forget to click on the video to see the game in action!