Metal Assault Hands-On Preview
A hands-on preview of the upcoming side-scrolling, MMO action game that plays out very similar to SNK's popualr Metal Slug series.
This Isn't Metal Slug...But It's Close
Aeria Games and SesiSoft have teamed together to bring gamers a truly unique and original MMO that breaks all the traditions usually associated with the MMO genre: Metal Assault is a side-scrolling MMO action game with customizable weapons, characters and a lot of the typical RPG qualities associated with the MMO genre. The biggest difference between Metal Assault and other games in the genre, however, is that Metal Assault takes full advantage of its side-scrolling, action-oriented roots. The game plays out almost identically to SNK Playmore’s arcade shooter, Metal Slug, and you can find out just what the game is all about in this Metal Assault preview.
The game features four playable characters:
Carl, a small soldier with moderate HP, MP, SP and speed. Carl is an overall decent character good enough with all the basics.
Burton is a tank, high HP and moderate to low MP and SP. Burton can take a lot of shots and give a lot of damage, making him great for frontal assaults.
Marie has lower HP but everything else is high. Marie is supposedly good for sniping since focused sniper shots require SP.
Ai is the fourth character out of the group and has high SP and MP with moderately high HP. Next to Carl Ai has some of the best stats out of the four characters.
For the most part, the character you choose is mostly for cosmetic purposes, with the exception of specialty skills. Most of everything else can be altered and modified with in-game leveling, equipment and boosts. There are some moderate alterations that can be made to each of the characters when creating a character at the start of the game, but the options are rather limited. Once inside the game players can purchase new clothes from vendors or earn new outfits by completing missions.
Weapons And Equipment
The game has a surprisingly steep cache of weapons to choose from, with assault rifles, shotguns, sniper rifles, pistols, rocket launchers and explosives all making the cut. Within each category there is a multitude of weapons to choose from, all of which must be unlocked using a neat little License System.
The License System is a numerical based experience or currency counter that adds up every time a player gets a kill using a specific weapon. Players can stock up License points and then use the points to unlock new weapons by adding points into a specific category.
For example, in order to use the Benelli shotgun you may have to have your shotgun license at level 5 rookie. This means that you need to distribute enough points into the license system until your shotgun level is at level 5, which will then enable you to purchase that weapon from the store.
Zombies, Zombies And More…Soldiers?
Metal Assault has several different modes of play that range from PvE to PvP. The Player-vs-Environment modes consist of a mission-based scenario mode that sees players traveling from one area to the next, ala Metal Slug-style, dispatching of foes in classic side-scrolling fashion.
The cooperative mission-based mode allows for players to get acquainted with the varying game mechanics, including learning how to parachute from a high fall or lobbing grenades into a machine gunner’s nest. There’s also quite a bit of platforming in this mode, which is a nice break-away from the typical run-and-gun mechanics littered throughout the rest of the game. The mission mode requires players to complete a level in order to unlock a new level and difficulty for the previous level, allowing for more points, money and experience to be earned.
For players who aren’t keen on fighting enemy soldiers in increasingly difficult battle scenarios, you’ll find that there’s plenty of non-stop action to be had in the game’s progressive and defensive zombie modes. There are three zombie modes at this present time, including two of which that take place in a forest area where up to 16 players can team together to prevent the zombies from over-running the base. The third zombie mode is called Death Escape, and sees up to 16 players teaming together to escape out of a warehouse facility and get to the roof of the building, similar to the hospital escape in Alliance of Valiant Arms. All the zombie modes are immensely fun and strikingly intense.
PvP Is Not For The Squamish
As it stands, there are about two handfuls worth of multiplayer competitive maps and a few modes that can be played across some of these maps. The main modes include Capture the Base, which is almost like Capture the Flag except players must capture and hold the base until time runs out, much like Skull Ball in Halo. The standard Deathmatch modes are also present with players going head-to-head against each other with vehicles being present in some of the larger stages.
Again, much like Metal Slug the vehicles include a turret cannon, a bi-pedal mech-walker, a tank and a plane. With the exception of the mech and the turret, all the other vehicles support multiple players but also run the risk of multiple players all dying if the vehicle is destroyed.
Metal Assault sports crafting, item unlocks, clans and plenty of replayability as it stands. It will be very interesting to see what else Aeria Games and crew add to the game when it finally enters open beta. For more MMO previews and reviews be sure to check them out right here at Bright Hub.