This week marks the release of the first promised story DLC for Metal Gear Rising Revengeance, Jetstream and if for some reason you don’t have this game by now then check out my review and reevaluate your choices in life. That is unless you’re not a fan of fun hack and slash games, or it’s against your religion or something.
In Jetstream we finally get to play as one of the coolest swordsmen in the history of video games, Samuel Rodriguez, the mysterious samurai from Metal Gear Rising’s original campaign. The story is set before the events of Metal Gear Rising. There’s no real explanation to what’s going on, it just sets up the action with a short display of Sam’s badassery and puts your right into the mix. Metal Gear Rising’s story was already on the sketchy side but this DLC leaves many more questions than answers and I really hope we get to see some of these plot lines fleshed out a bit.
The gameplay in Metal Gear Rising was already superb and playing as Sam was equally, if not maybe more fun. Sam is a different beast. He’s not just a cut and paste Raiden with a few new moves… he requires you to play him differently, and it might be a little awkward at first, but once you get the hang of it you’ll be dishing out some devastating combos and slicing up your foes – all with a smile.
A cool new addition is Sam’s ability to charge his heavy attacks. You can charge each variation of his heavy move in his combos, and while it sounds like something you may not use since it leave you almost wide open, it’s the key to Sam’s awesomeness and will be your main tool of destruction. Quickdraw slashes aside, Sam’s attacks are much slower than Raiden’s. He also has a shorter parry window and lower damage output. It may have just been me getting used to the character, but Sam’s campaign feels much tougher than most of Raiden’s missions, especially the boss fights.
On the upside, Sam has a taunt that allows you to deal extra damage to enemies and bosses. After insulting their ancestors the AI will become more aggressive, their moves deal chip damage through your parry, they get a damage boost and their attack pattern will change.To make up for this, Platinum gave Sam a much better evade and maneuverability, Sam has a fast dodge roll as well as a double jump and an air dash. Sam still uses Zan-Datsu just like Raiden but with a twist, you can also charge his heavy swing while blade mode is active, making for some pretty cool air combos and awesome ways to finish someone off .
The only issues I have with Jetstream are the same issues I had with the original campaign. The camera problems are back in full force, and they are more of an issue with Sam’s reduced parry timing. Dodging doesn’t help in that situation either since 9 times out of 10 the camera will just reset to another bad spot.
Then there’s the length, even though my game clock said I beat it in 58 minutes I know I spent at least that on the final boss, even so the DLC is horribly short, which is a damn shame considering how fun it is to play as Sam. The fact that it reuses the same stage assets from the main game, and then have the nerve to drop in a “Hmm … These sewers look familiar” line poking fun at themselves for the sloppy job feels like bit of an insult with this$10 price tag.
There are a few VR Missions, health and energy upgrades for you to find, as well as a handful of hidden fights for you to undertake to stretch our your experience, but I was still left wanting more game to play.
Those slight issues aside, everything and more that I loved from the core game was there. If you’re still playing the game, going for your Perfect S Rank run, or you’re a Sam fanboy/girl, then do yourself a favor and pick up the DLC. Casual fans may be turned off by the length but it does have a high replay value. I play my favorite missions from Metal Gear Rising every now and then because its so much damn fun, now I’ll just have to add this one to my routine.