UnMetal Is A Satirical Spiritual Successor To Metal Gear That You Need To Play
Developed by @unepic_fran and published by Versus Evil, UnMetal is probably one of the most unexpected games I’ve played this Summer. It’s essentially the “Hot Shots” to Kojima’s “Top Gun.” It closely follows the top-down stealth formula of Konami’s 8-bit Metal Gear titles. However, don’t go into this expecting a weighty commentary on the perils of nuclear proliferation and military states. Much like Solid Snake’s signature mullet, UnMetal is serious business at first glance. However, once you get a glimpse at what’s going on behind the scenes, you’ll find a satirical stealth action game that keeps its tongue planted firmly in its cheek and its boot pressed against your funnybone. Featuring hilarious writing coupled with surprisingly engaging gameplay, it’s a sneaking mission no Metal Gear fan can refuse.
Taking The Fight To Those Fami-commie Bastards
Set in 1972, UnMetal puts players in the fatigues of Jesse Fox, a Toyota-driving, Soviet-attack-chopper-stealing commando who finds himself imprisoned for a crime he didn’t commit. If you’ve ever played any of the 8-bit Metal Gear games, you’ll be right at home here as you sneak from cover to cover and avoid searchlights while silently taking down heavily armed guards.
During my time with the preview build, I got to experience UnMetal‘s first three chapters. These took me from the outskirts of a military brig, deep into a trap-filled sewer, and into the heart of a Soviet military base. Each area was surprisingly large and featured its own environmental puzzles to solve and bosses to battle. Sneaking feels right and responsive. And while the game borrows the aesthetic of the earlier entries in the Metal Gear series, it actually incorporates some elements from more modern stealth titles, which keeps the action feeling fresh.
For example, you can search the bodies of fallen enemies and carry them to help avoid detection. Additionally, you can knock on walls to lure guards away from their comrades and even provide medical care to them to keep them from bleeding out and ruining your pacifist run – it’s all cool stuff! Add a basic crafting component to this, and you have a game that’s elements belie its 8-bit aesthetic.
As you explore the environments, you’ll come across a wide variety of items. These range from a radio that functions like Snake’s Codec in MGS to snotty handkerchiefs that you can use to stifle bleeding wounds and even giant chunks of meat to lure away hungry attack dogs. The way many of these items are implemented occasionally makes UnMetal feel just as much like a point-and-click adventure game from the SCUMM era as it does a stealth action game.
With an entire army after you, eventually, you’re going to need more than your fists to get by. During my time with the game, I came across a handful of tools to help level the playing field. You can channel your inner doomsday version of Dennis The Menace with a slingshot that lobs balls of depleted uranium for non-lethal takedowns. Or, if push comes to shove, you can use a pistol to dispatch your enemies. The only problem with this method is it you’ll need to use your own medkits to resuscitate them, less you risk stoking the ire of the base’s nurse. My favorite, however, was a flamethrower that I found in the sewers. It’s an absolute weapon of mass destruction that can leave hundreds of flesh-munching rats (or ferocious sewer monsters) burned to a crisp.
And You Thought Psycho Mantis Had Issues
UnMetal‘s protagonist Jesse Fox doesn’t have the best memory, though he’d never admit it. Thankfully, his stubborn nature results in some rather hilarious moments throughout the game as he recounts his mission to his interrogators in the present day. For example, without fail, he insists every single male NPC he encounters was named “Mike.” However, his spotty memory isn’t just reserved for the cutscenes. You’ll often be able to choose from multiple options during dialog, which creates some totally over-the-top scenarios, such as thousands of sheep appearing out of thin air in the middle of a heavily fortified base or even how many writhing tentacles that aforementioned sewer monster has during his boss fight.
I enjoyed this so much that I found myself loading my old save files just to see how much my decisions could change each scene. And honestly, I think you will too, thanks to UnMetal‘s exceptionally cheeky writing.
If you’re a fan of Metal Gear with a good sense of humor, UnMetal is a game you can’t afford to miss. With tight, retro-inspired stealth gameplay and bitingly funny writing, it’s a satirical sneaking mission that demands your attention.
If that sounds up your alley, keep an eye out for UnMetal when it sneaks its way onto consoles and PC this summer.
What do you think of the look of the game? Are you looking forward to bagging some commie bastards when the game releases? We love to hear what you think. So sound off in the comments below and let us know.