(Konami for Xbox 360)
By Mike Delano
Like its cyborg protagonist, Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance is a fascinating hybrid. A collaborative effort between the Metal Gear traditionalists at Kojima Productions and the rebel-minded super-talent at Platinum Games, it’s a successful and exciting marriage of the two styles. As Metal Gear Solid 2‘s wuss-turned-badass robo terror Raiden, you’ll slice through incredible setpiece after incredible setpiece with his hyper-charged katana as you deliver questionable justice to the private military company responsible for kidnapping and training child soldiers. Rather than try to force equal amounts of Metal Gear’s stealth-focused gameplay and Platinum’s action-heavy expertise into Revengeance, the developers wisely chose one of the two potential directions: This is a Platinum action game with Metal Gear elements layered on top. And that makes it a richer, more varied experience, since while the meat of the game is limb-shredding melee action, at any moment you could be engaging in some light stealth sequences or find yourself enjoying one of the franchises’ legendary, fantastically melodramatic cutscenes. And, of course, Revengeance nails the one thing that the two development houses both excel at: incredible boss battles. From the sleek character design and back stories of the primary villains to calling up your comrades on the codec for battle tips in the heat of combat, these are the moments that define the game and deliver on the tantalizing promise of these two talented studios combining their powers.