It’s time to talk about cherry blossoms. And how they relate to downloadable content.
Cherry blossoms are just starting to bloom here in New York. Coincidentally, the Jetstream Sam DLC for Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance was recently released, too, and it lets you play as one of the game’s villains in a standalone campaign. There’s a connection. The cybernetic, sword-wielding warriors of Revengeance are pretty much samurai and some of the game happens in amongst flowering cherry blossoms.
Dating back to feudal Japanese times, cherry blossoms have represented the fleeting nature of beauty and life. They come seemingly out of nowhere, bursting out the branches of seemingly dead trees in explosions of pink, white and other colors. Those same delicate flowers will be gone in a few weeks, leaving behind only fond memories.
Too bad you won’t be able to say the same about the Jetstream Sam DLC.
Oh, it starts off promisingly enough. Sam, all smirks and accent, pulls up to the headquarters of one of the game’s big private security outfits and artfully slices a few goons into bloody mist. When the cutscene ended, I started to get excited for the new weapons this freshly baked chunk of game would dole out. Maybe some new locales, too?
No. None of that. The Jetstream Sam DLC is one of the thinnest, chintziest add-ons I’ve ever played, and I was stunned when what I thought was going to be the crescendo of the first act turned out to be the end of the whole thing.
It took me about two hours to finish the Jetstream Sam add-on and that’s accounting for the playtime I spent fighting the DLC’s bosses over and over. You could definitely blow though this add-on in less time. So, yeah, cherry blossoms.
But the thing about cherry blossoms that makes them so beloved is that they’re beautiful. And while the JSS add-on isn’t bad-looking, it does blatantly re-use environments and bosses from the main campaign in pretty ugly fashion. Sam does have different moves and his own animations but tactically he’s more limited than Raiden. He doesn’t have Raiden’s slide move nor does he ever get to wield other blades in his all-too-short turn in the spotlight.
You do get some new VR missions, though, and some of the dialogue fleshes out Sam’s backstory a bit. And it’s mildly pleasurable to hear some primary characters from the campaign blather on again in the game’s overcooked fashion. Still, those aren’t enough to justify the DLC’s $10 asking price. But—when compared with, say, the beefier and better-made Virgil’s Downfall DLC for DmC—this add-on amounts to nothing more than a piece of monetized déjà vu. You’d better off watching some Let’s Play videos than putting down cash for this.