It Slices. It Dices.

Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance is as far removed as a game can get from the core Metal Gear series. A few games have offered different takes, but nearly every one eventually came back to the series’ core stealth gameplay. In comparison, Metal Gear Rising is all about combat, placing fast-paced action over patient play.

Metal Gear Rising features Raiden, the character everyone hated until he became a cyber ninja in Metal Gear Solid 4. Set after MGS4, Metal Gear Rising takes place in a world where cybernetic technology is the norm. Without the Patriots system helping to control global power, the popularity of cybernetics has led to conflicts as groups try to gain control of cybernetic trade. The fall of the Patriots has also led to Private Military Companies splintering into rogue factions, pulling organized crime into an already unstable situation.

As revealed at past E3’s, everything revolves around using Raiden’s sword to hack through objects in the environment. Raiden can pull off a number of imprecise quick cuts, though the real fun comes with slower, precision-aimed cuts.

Much of Metal Gear Rising’s different direction can be attributed to its developer, Platinum Games, the same studio behind Bayonetta and Vanquish. Similar to those two fan-favorite series, Metal Gear Rising is incredibly fast and fluid. While using rapid attacks, Raiden can hack through nearly anything and pull off a number of stylishly impressive combos. Just imagine a playable version of Raiden’s first big appearance in MGS4, and you have a decent idea of the style of play rapid attacks offer.

The downside to fast attacks is the lack of precision, which is where ZanDatsu cut mechanic comes in handy. Of the two attack styles, ZanDatsu is the more impressive based solely on the amount of precision you get with each cut. After activating the mode, Raiden enters a sort of “bullet time,” prompting a blue bar to appear. The bar acts as a targeting reticule, giving you control over each of Raiden’s sword slices. You can slice off individual body parts (arms, legs… you name it), causing enemies to drop their guns or simply flop on the ground on legless stumps (no word on if they’ll continue to taunt you post dissection). It’s a brutal, somewhat sadistic mechanic, but is also really cool – especially when you use the powers to cut watermelons into tiny slices.

Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance still has a ways to go before its 2013 release, but so far looks promising.