Kojima Productions creative producer Yuji Korekado has confessed that he was reluctant to relinquish control of the Metal Gear Rising project to Bayonetta developer PlatinumGames, but now feels the handover is for the best.
First conceived in 2008, Rising underwent a troubled development as junior staffers struggled to function in the absence of series creator Hideo Kojima. The project was put on indefinite hold in 2010, only to be reannounced as a collaboration with Platinum in 2011. "When Kojima Productions decided to send the game to Platinum, it was definitely a dark period," Korekado told OXM. "People had put a lot of effort in, and they were in a dark hole.
"When Platinum visited the studio to get an update on the game, I was asked to present the current status to them," he continued. "It was a very complex emotion: I wanted to keep developing the game internally, but Kojima wanted to move it forward. It was frustrating but I had to move forward with it."
"Fortunately for me, I was able to participate in the development even after it went to Platinum. After I realised it was going to go forward, I cut off all my sour feelings and just got on with the work. When I saw the first Revengeance trailer, I realised it was something that Kojima Productions couldn't have done - and that was something I felt great about."
A fast-paced hack-and-slasher, Revengeance has little in common with Metal Gear Solid at a glance, but Korekado insists that it's founded on the same creative priorities. "Where Metal Gear comes in is that we give the player the freedom to tackle things in different ways to best get that feeling of cutting.
"Whether you want to lurk back and be sneaky or tackle it right up front as an action game, when you start cutting, you begin expanding and having more options from there."
One of Revengeance's core features is a Blade Mode system in which frontman Raiden dices enemies in slow motion. Players orient each slice with the right stick in order to target weak spots, earning health and energy boosts in the process. You can do this to the environment, too, if you're feeling especially savage.
"It's all about options," Korekado concluded. "Having different outlets and different situations for the player to enjoy. This is what feels like Metal Gear."
Check out our most recent Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance preview if you've yet to have the pleasure, and pick up a copy of issue 92 for more up to date musings. The very next issue of OXM is out tomorrow.