Thanks to its unique cutting mechanic, Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance certainly leaves a lasting impression. By slicing enemies into pieces, Platinum Games’ upcoming action game is one of the most violent games ever created. Certainly, that’s cause for concern, especially in countries like Japan where anti-violence censorship is more commonplace.
Oddly, one way of circumventing strict restrictions on gore is to avoid violence on humans. By having players fight cyborgs exclusively, the team has figured a way to make a violent game that won’t be banned in Japan.
“It did help us out with ratings and restrictions,” Kojima Productions lead programmer Yuji Korekado told Shacknews. However, he says that censorship wasn’t the primary reason for making Raiden fight cyborgs. “From the beginning, we always to script out that it was a battle between cyborgs… what came first was the design and the fact that we wanted to have cyborgs. Since Raiden is a cyborg, we all wanted him to fight other cyborgs with overt human capabilities and have great fights that don’t restrict them to human-like conditions.”
Interestingly, the first few chapters of Revengeance make sure to emphasize that the cyborgs are still human beings. Raiden cavalierly dismisses the idea of cold-bloodedly killing his opposition, noting that they chose their fate by throwing their lot in with the terrorists. However, Raiden starts to learn that war is rarely black-and-white and that the underlings he cuts through may not be the consciously evil people he originally made them out to be. Raiden starts questioning whether it’s right to kill and that led me to ask what types of moral questions players could expect to ask themselves over the course of the story.
“This doesn’t pertain just to Raiden, but in Raiden’s case, he’s fighting for his own will,” Korekado explained. “All the boss characters and enemies around them have their own motives and will–why they became cyborgs and are fighting against Raiden. And after battling those bosses and enemies and hearing their ideologies, why they became cyborgs, why they’re fighting, and to have Raiden think about it and compare the two, we want the players to understand both sides and make their own choices. Raiden makes his own, but we want the players to know why Raiden’s doing this and why the enemy’s doing this, as well.”