Release Date: April 9th, 2013
Developer: Platinum Games, Kojima Productions
Rating: M for Mature
Download: $9.99, 800 Microsoft Points
Platforms: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 (Played on PS3)
Back in February, I reveled in the fun-yet-extremely-difficult Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance. I enjoyed nearly everything about it and I was pretty excited knowing the honorable Brazilian cyborg, Jetstream Sam, would eventually get his own playable chapter. Simply titled Jetstream, it sets out to shed some light on his past. Now that it has finally come out, is it any good?
Yes and sadly no.
Let’s talk about the best feature first. Allow me to emphasize that you get to play as Jetstream Freaking Sam. He’s just as fun to play as he is to fight in the main story. He’s no rehashed carbon copy of Raiden either. The best way to describe him gameplay-wise is “Dante”. He has a taunt which causes enemies to raise their offense but dropping their defense, a double-jump as well as an air dash for more aerial maneuvers, and charged moves to weave into your standard sword swings. His ninja-running speed is also faster than that of Raiden’s and further differentiates the two cyborg swordsmen. Hell, he even has a move that let’s him manually sheathe and unsheathe his blade which is something I’ve wanted Raiden to do from the beginning. Sam’s moveset is something to be played around with and I have no doubt diehard fans will find new crazy combos to pull off.
Now, there’s a reason I specified that diehard fans will play the hell out of the DLC. That’s because it’s sadly made for them alone. The ground you tread and enemies you fight in Jetstream are all too familiar.
Here is where the buyer remorse starts to kick in a bit. Past Sam’s distinct combat system, five new VR Missions, five hidden data storages to unlock more artwork, higher difficulty on all modes, and fresh new dialogue with some good cutscenes, it seems there’s nothing else that was created exclusively for this chapter within the Metal Gear Rising structure. You go through the same building Raiden scaled to fight Sundowner in the main story. You fight old enemies from the base game along another LQ-84i, another Metal Gear RAY, and Armstrong once again. The story is basically Sam going through Desperado HQ to confront Armstrong and if you’ve played the main game, you can guess how it ends. And that’s it.
There are no new weapons, enemy types, codecs, boss battles, or even worthwhile Easter Eggs to be found in Jetstream. You can’t even use Sam to play through the main game. In fact, the only thing from Jetstream that carries over to the main game is BP. All the chapter does is hint at Sam’s actual origins as a warrior but focuses more on how he ended up at Desperado. For such a great character, he’s not given any new challenges that we haven’t already faced as Raiden. Why couldn’t we have some new dangerous Metal Gear to fight that only Sam’s eyes have seen? Why couldn’t we play through the story of how Sam single-handedly took down a bunch of mob enforcers with only his sword? Why couldn’t we fight Raiden himself in the Badlands? There was massive potential for where they could have taken Sam as a character but instead, Jetstream tells us mostly what we already know about him and recycles Raiden’s previous adversaries for Sam to fight.
It really pains me to be in distaste towards this DLC. I was really looking forward to what could have been brought forth with Sam but the most notable thing present is his fighting style and not much else. Metal Gear Rising is one of the few games I’ve played in recent history that makes me care enough about its narrative and characters to want more than just a rehashed mission with a new character that passes itself off as an expansion. Like I mentioned before, I can only recommend Jetstream to diehards of the game and those looking for an even more challenging set of missions than those offered in the main game. If at some point it goes on sale, only then can I recommend it to everyone to try out. If you’re fine with fighting the recycled but more aggressive enemies and bosses with Sam, then blowing ten bucks on it may not hurt. Whatever your decision is on getting Jetstream, please watch some gameplay of it first and determine if it’s worth your time.
Overall, while I did have fun for those few hours, I was just left wanting much more. I wasn’t expecting a whole new game, but rather only that the potential behind Sam to be executed better while expanding properly on his past as well as the Metal Gear lore. I’d hate for this to be the last we ever see of Jetstream Sam, so I’m hoping that at one point we get another chance to join him on more worthwhile adventures. I’m also hoping Bladewolf’s upcoming DLC will be much stronger.