Slicing Your Way to Success in Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance

Metal Gear Rising Revengeance
Image used with permission by copyright holder.

Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance can be quite challenging for newcomers. Many players initially struggle with the game’s unique combat mechanics. However, the difficulty spike is not as steep as it appears. In retrospect, you’ll realize that with the right preparation, you can overcome any obstacle that comes your way.

Mastering the Art of Combat

Strike, Strike, PARRY

In Metal Gear Rising, there is no specific block button. Instead, you have a parry move that requires good timing, though perfection is not necessary. Parrying is one of your most valuable skills, especially when facing late-game bosses. To parry, quickly flick the left stick in the direction of the attacking enemy while simultaneously performing a light attack. If done early, you’ll see Raiden raise his sword to block. The goal, however, is to time your parry perfectly and initiate a counter, leaving your opponent vulnerable to a finishing move (indicated by an on-screen button prompt).

Image used with permission by copyright holder.

Timing-based parry systems can be intimidating for those unfamiliar with combo-heavy fighting games. However, the entry barrier here is lower than expected. While parrying is not foolproof, it is crucial for improving your survivability, even against occasional unblockable attacks.

Blade Mode And Strategic Dismemberment

Blade Mode, another challenging feature in Metal Gear Rising, allows you to sever limbs and perform finishers. When Raiden’s fuel cell gauge is full (located below his health bar), you can activate Blade Mode by pressing and holding the left trigger. This transforms the left analog stick into a control for directional sword swipes. Light and heavy attack commands also work in Blade Mode, allowing you to stand in one place and deliver rapid slices.

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When in Blade Mode with a full fuel cell gauge, the action slows down significantly, giving you time to execute precise strikes. Weak enemies will have red-bordered hit boxes in vital areas, indicating vulnerability to finishing attacks. Adjust the plane of your sword slash using the left analog stick (right analog controls the camera) and release it to perform a swipe across the hit box. If done correctly, a button prompt will appear, allowing Raiden to tear out the enemy’s robo-spine and gain bonus BP (Revengeance’s upgrade currency). Crushing a robo-spine replenishes Raiden’s health and fuel cell gauges, enabling you to swiftly dispatch weaker foes without prior softening. While attacking regularly can recharge your fuel cell gauge, it is significantly slower than a successful Zan-Datsu.

All The Pretty Colors

Metal Gear Rising provides visual cues that aid combat. A red glint flashes across the screen to warn of an incoming enemy attack, prompting you to prepare for a parry or quickly evade. Each foe has unique attack patterns, so mastering their rhythm allows for more effective parrying and countering. Watch out for enemies illuminated with a yellow glow, as this indicates an unblockable attack. While standard grunts pose a lesser threat, larger foes like Mastiffs frequently unleash unblockable attacks that can quickly deplete your health if not avoided.

As you weaken stronger enemies, certain parts of their bodies will glow blue. When the blue glow extends to the torso, it signifies that the enemy is vulnerable to a Zan-Datsu finisher. If only a limb is glowing blue, you can sever it to further weaken the enemy. With Raiden’s fuel cell recharging quickly, it’s often worthwhile to use some of it to dismember an enemy, especially when facing more formidable adversaries.

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Metal Gear Rising Revengeance preview 1

Keep an eye out for sudden slow-motion moments with a blue filter overlay during certain boss fights, successful parry-counters, or initiating finishing moves. These moments indicate an opportunity to engage Blade Mode, provided your fuel cell gauge is full. The Zan-Datsu attack works similarly, although some enemies lack vital organs to slice across and can be taken down by chopping them apart.

Augmenting Reality


Pressing up on the D-pad at any time activates Raiden’s AR (Augmented Reality) view. This ability has no meter, allowing you to use it freely, even while moving. Attacking with your sword or using Ninja Dash deactivates AR view, but otherwise, you are free to explore. Aside from highlighting enemies and threats, the AR view helps identify collectibles, item boxes, and other pickups, even if they’re behind walls. Don’t hesitate to use this feature when exploring new areas or after defeating a group of enemies to ensure you haven’t missed anything.

Tools Of The Trade

As you progress through Revengeance, you’ll earn BP that can be spent on customizing Raiden’s abilities and appearance. On your first playthrough, it’s recommended to focus your spending on enhancing attack potential. Improve Raiden’s sword and one other weapon, such as the Pole Arm, which is both the first secondary weapon you obtain and quite powerful. Consider investing in combo skills, particularly the air parry, which allows you to block while airborne.

metal gear rising wii u

Remember to conserve resources, especially secondary projectile weapons. Health and fuel cell recharge pickups are relatively common, but rocket launcher ammo and grenades are scarcer. Save these resources for significant challenges like bosses and mini-bosses. Additionally, ensure you always have your health recharge item (“Repair Nanopaste”) equipped in your support item slot. It automatically activates when your health reaches zero, but you can also use it manually by pressing down on the D-pad.

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Lastly, while stealth play is not the main focus of Metal Gear Rising, seize opportunities to approach certain situations stealthily. Although engaging enemies in open combat yields greater rewards, some sections become less difficult when approached cautiously. Stealth strikes always lead to Zan-Datsu opportunities, so activate Blade Mode when the screen turns blue, assuming your fuel cell gauge is full.

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