Enemy design is top notch creating multilayered fights that require constant thought as to which enemy is currently your target and how best to counter his or her attacks. Enemy class types are interesting; I knew I was in for a treat when I fought a cybernetic gorilla that fought with drop kicks and sleeper holds. While one-on-one fights can be very satisfying, one on many can be tough to keep track of because of a finicky camera & tight quarters at times, but besting several enemies, stylishly at that, rewards the player with a sense of accomplishment that few combat games these days can muster.
Then there are the bosses, which take the game’s combat to the next level. As much as some enemies might require the player to adjust to color cues, bosses require players to study how they work and adapt appropriately. The personification of each boss shines through in their encounters. A jingoistic American will fight like a running back while the silent samurai type will need to be met with similar restraint.
Draped loosely around Rising is a story that deals with Raiden’s belief that he needs to rely on a code of protecting the weak to justify his kills, and not just kill for the sake of killing. This gives a sense of false purpose to the story, much like in countless video games where we maim, shoot, and otherwise murder our opponents in the tradition of trying to beat the game.
There is a twist in the game’s story though, where Raiden is questioned about the nature of his motives. He, and the player, are told to think more about just who the enemies they have been killing really are. The twist doesn’t feel tacked on and Raiden’s answer is appropriate.