Metal Gear Solid: Rising Digital Foundry

Face-Off: Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance

It's been an unusually rocky road for a Metal Gear project, but with Platinum Games' capable coders and designers taking the mantle from Kojima Productions, Rising has at last broken away from the threat of development hell and gone gold for both PS3 and 360. With the swift change of developer, we also see a major shift in approach to its design specifics, especially compared to the game's original unveiling at Microsoft's E3 2009 conference. Where before we had the "Zan-Datsu" slicing mechanic weave into a slower-paced, stealthier game locked to 30FPS, we now have in its place a frenetic 60FPS action title built in a mould closer to that of Bayonetta's - though with key uses of the original slicing concept.

This bullet-point mechanic allows Raiden to slice through object geometry to generate tinier, independent chunks - ranging from incidental objects such as crates, to giant bridge structures with multiple supports. Implemented by Platinum Games' system programmer Tsuyoshi Odera, the system as it appears in the final game has no direct link to the one seen in Kojima Productions' original E3 demo. He explains that "at first, our engine wasn't capable of doing something like cutting through an opponent anywhere. I looked at official trailers and other game data from Metal Gear Solid: Rising and tried to make our engine fit with what I saw." Due to memory constraints on both consoles, it also proved necessary for the speed of Raiden's slicing animations to be carefully measured while in this mode, avoiding too many chunks being created in quick succession.

As such, Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance is designed from the ground up through Platinum Games' in-house engine, and as with Vanquish, PS3 serves as the lead platform here. Our tentative analysis of the demo code showed great promise in taking this approach, with the only notable differences between the PS3 and 360 versions being the higher quality video assets on Sony's platform, and the lack of v-sync for the Microsoft sampler. Other contrasts included the use of a percentage closer filtering (PCF) technique on PS3, resulting in rougher looking shadows from a distance, but otherwise it turned out to be a close call indeed.

Read more