Most of the new surrounding the Metal Gear name of late has had to do with the Phantom Pain announcement trailer, and whether it is or isn’t in fact Metal Gear Solid 5. But lest we forget, Snake and Big Boss aren’t the only important characters holding the fate of the game’s universe in their hands.

Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance will be taking the fiction in a new direction, courtesy of the cyber-ninja Raiden leading the story told by Platinum Games. Today we have a look at Rising‘s North American box art, providing what we’ve come to expect from the slash-happy marketing.

For some of the most devoted and die-hard fans of the series, Revengeance has plenty of work to do before it’s believed to be a solid game, let alone a valid entry in the Metal Gear canon. All that skepticism despite Hideo Kojima’s support for the studio and project, not to mention him voicing his hopes that Rising will spawn a sequel.

Of course, the developers at Platinum Game haven’t let that slow them down or temper their enthusiasm, crafting a plot and characters that appear to be as outlandish and faithfully-portrayed as any Metal Gear title, most recently seen in a veritable short film of a story trailer. But where Metal Gear Solid favored stealth and precision, Raiden approaches combat encounters somewhat differently than Snake.

We can credit Platinum Games with that tweak, as any lengthy sample of Revengeance gameplay features more than a little blood-splattering and eviscerating, more often than not coming as a result of Raiden’s signature sword. It’s that sword that takes center stage on the North American box art, and we’re inclined to think it’s earned the spot. Have a look:

(click to enlarge)

Metal Gear Rising Revengeance Cover

Raiden’s blade won’t just be a flashy extension of the cyber-ninja aesthetic he’s been designed around, but will make possible a range of attacks and unique modes to dole out the most damage. Anyone doubting the blade’s precision (as well as its ability to turn entire vehicles to ribbons) need only watch the game’s opening tutorial for proof.

Wild slicing and dicing may sound like heresy to some under the Metal Gear name, but we’re not ready to condemn it just yet. Showing those who aren’t already hardcore devotees of the series that there is more than stealth to work with, and that Platinum’s signature brand of adrenaline-fueled carnage can be enriched with a dose of Metal Gear lore is a good thing.

At best, more gamers will be drawn to the parent property; at worst, Platinum will deliver a polished action game. Who loses in that equation?

We’ll have our chance for a final verdict when Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance is released on February 19, 2013 for the PS3 and Xbox 360.

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Source: Konami (via vg24/7)