“Like Metal Slug but cooler.“
That’s the thought I had and probably the thought all of you will have when you play Mercenary Kings, which you all totally should. I’ve been playing the early-access build for a while now so here are some thoughts on it.
I can’t really define what about the game makes it “cooler” per se. The obvious answer would be the art style and the sprite work of Paul Robertson is fantastic as always, excessively emotive and sexy like his previous works. Still the gameplay; a sidescrolling run and gun sort of game exactly like the previous game I mentioned earlier and plays just as well, could also be cool. After all the original Metal Slug games were cool, and the 80s action movies the games got their inspirations from were also cool. Naturally that would make Kings cool by association and like 20% sexier just from Paul Robertson’s artwork. In truth, the whole thing bleeds cool.
However, if they’re essentially the same why is Mercenary Kings cooler? Maybe it’s the RPG elements of item gathering and weapon crafting, or that you can explore an entire jungle to go reconnaissance and supply hunting that makes it cool? Maybe it’s the simple addition of a roll button? It certainly makes it more fun. Or it could be the reload mechanic that forces you to time your button presses to successfully refill your gun while adding an extra bit of difficulty to what is usually second nature. Maybe I also just like that the female character sort of reminds me of Revy from Black Lagoon and that alone makes it cooler for me.
Well enough of my aimless ramble, I think I basically explained all the reasons why Mercenary Kings is at least different than other run and gun shooters, and if none of what I thought was cool appealed to you, then maybe the fact that despite all of its differences, it’s the same feeling I get playing Mercenary Kings I get from putting 50 cents into the Metal Slug arcade cabinet at the pizzeria near my Cousin’s home. Exciting, familiar, with a warm fuzzy feeling getting a satisfying headshot in Mercenary Kings, if only for the sprite animation.
Because there is a sprite animation for a headshot.