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Metal Gear Rising Revengeance: E3 demo slices up rivals and cubes critics

Hands-on with Platinum's pleasant surprise

With its ridiculous subtitle, madcap setting and fan-defying desertion of the series' stealthy roots, it's easy to groan about Metal Gear Rising Revengeance - but we *defy* anyone to care when you're slicing up a car finer than processed cat food in thrilling slow motion.

Bottom line: Platinum Games' - of Bayonetta fame - MGS spin off makes you feel amazing. *Amazing*. It's one of those game whose sheer mechanics make you smile, and burn long in the memory long after you've put down the pad. It's just so much *fun*, you almost feel ashamed for E3's parade of identikit shooters with their lumpen, derivative controls and curiously sterile Hollywood action.

20 seconds into our hands-on, we're squaring up to a cardboard cut out. Ok, it doesn't *sound* exciting, but tap L2 to draw your high frequency blade and you can use the left stick to target any point of your foe using a tiny crosshair. Focus on, say, its head, and you use the right stick to sweep your blade, a bit like swinging in Tiger Woods. On a sheerly physical level, it's intuitive and fun - targets split precisely where you cut them - but the really good bit comes when you experiment.

Zoom

Precision slicing is *fine*, but if you waggle the right stick in all directions, Raiden weaves his blade in a frenzy, cutting precisely where the blade hits. Better yet, the action seems to slow down as you whip your blade around faster, creating a gut tightening intensity. When you release L2, the action whips into real-time and you get to see the results of your actions. In this case, a cardboard man sliced finer than confetti. It's quite possible to score 97 hit slice combos, or even higher.

The opening section is a grand tutorial, and in no time you've moved from slicing cardboard foes to *cars*. The effect is the same - a frenzied mega swipe, and the car collapses into cubes, a bit like the infamous laser grid scene in the largely turgid Resident Evil movie.

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