Hey everybody, my name is Hirokazu Takeuchi, and I’m in charge of character animation in Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance. I’m starting to worry that this katana I’ve been swinging around at my desk every day during development is going to cut somebody.
Gameplay in MGR centers on a concept other games haven’t touched; the freedom to cut any part of an enemy. From an animation standpoint, it took considerable trial and error to get this to work.
This blog is about some of those animations; in particular, what happens when an enemy is chopped up via Blade Mode, and how they react to that.
Up until now, most games that had dismemberment systems only allowed things to be cut in a predetermined fashion. Slicing the enemy in two, for example, would usually mean simply creating one animation of the upper body separating from the lower half.
We, however, have given the player freedom. We don’t know where they’re going to cut. They could choose to cut off a leg or an arm… they could cut horizontally, vertically, diagonally…
At the starting stages of development, there were different ways we tried to express this endless amount of possible reactions through procedural animations. Heads would fly or just plop off without relying on any canned animations.
Ultimately, though, these programmed reactions just couldn’t cross the threshold to become something we thought fully conveyed the intensity of the action, so we decided to undertake the slow, daunting task of creating animations for every thinkable dismemberment possibility.
We’d cut the enemy one way, add an animation, cut from a different angle, add another animation, repeating this process until the end of development, until we eventually were satisfied with the array of reactions we were able to get from each enemy.
These are only a fraction of the different reactions you will see in the game:
[wpvideo E8u6LIeP w=500]
We tried creating as many animations per character as possible in order to give you the most satisfying gameplay experience we could, so cut from any direction you can think of and you will see scores of different reactions from each enemy character.
So start thinking about all the different angles you want to try out while waiting for the release!