The Challenges Of Creating Metal Gear Rising’s “Blade Mode”

By Ishaan . February 16, 2013 . 12:30pm


Takashi Wagatsuma, the programmer at PlatinumGames who programmed Metal Gear Rising’s Blade Mode feature (above), says he was given the following guidelines during the creation of the feature:


  • Have a heavy focus on response, allowing the player to shred the enemy to pieces with their katana.
  • Let the player be able to carefully adjust the positioning and angle at which they want to cut.
  • Give enemies a weak point that, when cut by the player, gives the player a chance steal energy from the area they cut (a.k.a. “Zandatsu”).


While developing Blade Mode in line with these guidelines, a number of questions were raised by the development team, which caused heated debate among the team and a considerable amount of trial and error during development. Some of these were:


  • How the left and right sticks should be used to control character movement, camera movement, and the angle and positioning of your katana.
  • Should strikes in Blade Mode follow after the player’s motions, or should they be focused on camera direction?
  • When entering Blade Mode, should the camera angle shift to where the player is facing, or to focus on the enemy? Or should it not shift at all?
  • When the player uses Blade Mode to cut several things successively, in order to not overstrain the game’s system, what minimum amount of time do we need to allow between strikes?


Here’s the solution Platinum eventually settled on, Wagatsuma says:


The right stick in Blade Mode is used to rotate the angle at which Raiden will cut, while the left stick is used to adjust where Raiden is facing and the cut’s elevation. Using both sticks allows the player complete control over where to slice their sword.


Bringing the stick from the outside to the center (by releasing your hold) will cause Raiden to slice across the line appearing on the screen. Moving the stick in a direct line will cause Raiden to slice after a certain distance has been input; the □ and △ (X and Y for 360) will cause horizontal and vertical strikes, respectively.


When the player enters Blade Mode, we wanted our priorities to be on letting the player swiftly cut where they aim. To do this, we made sure the first strike in Blade Mode always follows the path displayed by the line on the player’s screen.


Furthermore, pushing down on the left stick while in Blade Mode will cause the camera to stay fixed in position and enable the player to move Raiden.


The same PlatinumGames blog post that details this information also provides some insight into Raiden’s ability to cut an opponent from any angle. Check it out here.


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  • FitzpatrickPhillips

    3 more days hrnngh

  • ragingmerifes

    Things I learned after this:
    1. This game is awesome;
    2. Making a free realistic cutting simulator in a game with realistic graphics is tough/
    3. I was born in January, 01, 1954

    • British_Otaku

      You may be correct on all three points but you need a bit more life
      experience before you decide to judge a title prior to it’s release. I
      was born January 1st 1883 and can confirm your points still.

      Off topic – It’s terrible when you are old enough that you may as well
      scroll to the top or the age choice interface focuses on years which
      chances are you wouldn’t be navigating a computer at all. 3 year old or younger… >_>

      • Bloodios

        …Whoa! You were born more than a hundred years ago?!

        • ragingmerifes

          He is british, so maybe he is a Time Lord.

  • Göran Isacson

    Did not know you could hold down the stick to move Raiden around- might have to try that out, see if it helps or is a good idea in general.

  • Reive

    The only problems I have with this is that the the click the left stick to move around is a hold and not a toggle, making it extremely difficult to use, and that the blade mode shifts to the direction Raiden is facing instead of the camera.

  • Tails the Foxhound

    It looks easy, but it sounds really complicated. I wish I had a Wiimote (edit: or I guess I should say Move) option instead. :s

  • O.O

    I was born on jan/1/2010 therefore i am not suitable to watch this video LOL!!

    • SunOatBoatMatadorQuattro

      Hey you write pretty well for your age. By the way lots of people born on January 1.

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