Sunday, January 12, 2014

Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance (PC) review

This weekend, I was tasked with reviewing the recent PC port of Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, and with getting through an entire written article without ever misspelling the word "revengeance," which I'm still not entirely confident that I pulled off. You can read it here.

My opinion on the game itself is (I would hope) adequately discussed there, but I wanted to take a second to brush upon the technical aspects of the PC version. My own build consists of an i5-2500K and a GTX 570. Sounds pretty middle-of-the-road, considering that the 760 is now roughly the price that I spent on my own video card a couple of years ago, but I play games at 1920x1080, and pretty much every recent, top-shelf PC title that I've played on the thing (this would include BioShock Infinite, Remember Me and Saints Row IV) has been able to run on max settings at a steady 60fps. The only game to really put it to work was Metro: Last Light, which still looked pretty stunning on my build.

With all of that in mind, I had no trouble whatsoever playing Revengeance. The game was locked at 50fps for me, which I find totally acceptable. More importantly, I had the Fraps counter running in the corner for the entire campaign and the game never once dropped a single frame. That's pretty vital when you're dealing with a game like Revengeance that's designed to be fast, smooth and clean. Framerate drops would kill an experience like this and Platinum seems to have dodged that bullet.

Some of the pickier PC enthusiasts are getting upset because the framerate can't exceed 60 or because the resolution doesn't go any higher than 1080p or whatever. I get where this is coming from; you dump a lot of money into something like a Titan or a 120Hz-capable monitor, you want to take advantage of it. But assuming that the horror stories surrounding the Steam version of Dark Souls are to be believed, this audience has already seen just how difficult PC porting can be, how out-of-touch developers are with what players here is looking for, and how horrendously this process can go wrong.

Considering all of that, for a first go, I thought Platinum did a perfectly decent job with this transition. And even if you're having more issues playing Revengeance on Steam than I did (and I've heard reports of it happening), bear in mind that PC game development is a notoriously inexact science. That we're even getting a relatively high-quality Japanese character action game on this platform is something of a minor miracle, and that Platinum avoided so many pitfalls on their first try, and that they responded so quickly to the always-online requirement that turned out to be an innocent bug, gives me promise for their future on PC. So be patient, and in the meantime, enjoy this solid port of an altogether solid game.

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