Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance

Blockbuster franchise swaps stealth for swordplay in this action-packed spin-off

Stealth has always been the cornerstone of Hideo Kojima's Metal Gear Solid franchise. Sneaking around and avoiding detection is its entire raison d'être. Or at least it was, until now. Trust us – this isn't your typical Metal Gear... outing.

Developed by Platinum Games, Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance has more in common with that studio's earlier cult hit Bayonetta than the franchise it has spun out of. Taking control of the katana-wielding cyborg Raiden, this third-person action game wastes no time in making it perfectly clear that your role here isn't to evade danger, but to rush into it head-first and savour every moment.

Indeed, the big gameplay innovation is the free-cutting 'Blade Mode'. Knock your foes off balance by parrying their attacks at the perfect moment and you can slice away at will, controlling your blade with the directional stick, before being treated to the sight of them being chopped into gory slices of viscera. Make no mistake about it, this is an extremely bloody game – albeit one that never takes its violence too seriously (despite plenty of the series' trademark cod-philosophical dialogue about the nature of war). It's also one that looks and sounds utterly fantastic, whether its during the frequent and lengthy cut scenes or the manically-paced game itself.

Konami, Xbox 360/PS3, £50 Approx, On sale now