Konami's original Metal Gear games were groundbreaking for their time and UnMetal is here to provide a comedic take on those classics.
UnMetal stars Jesse Fox who's wrongfully imprisoned in a military compound and must escape. The story is told through Jesse explaining the events to an interrogation officer as well as someone who he's riding in a car with and he has the tendency to exaggerate and make stuff up which is often hilarious. Not only that, he'll occasionally recall what happened which presents you with options and whatever you pick, you'll have to live with so if you choose something that results in a daunting scenario materializing then you must deal with it. All of this comes together to make a hilarious campaign that's filled with great gags such as a moment that seems ripped straight from The Benny Hill Show. On top of that, everything is voiced which makes each moment funnier, especially with the Solid Snake sound-alike.
When it comes to graphics, everything looks okay although I had to crank the brightness up in the options menu to maximum so I could actually work out my surroundings which are often exceptionally dark. Speaking of which, the environments are rather utilitarian and the same can be said about the character sprites and portraits as nothing really stands out as particularly noteworthy or substandard.
UnMetal is played as you would expect from an overhead stealth game with 2D visuals. Your basic attack is a melee punch that can take out patrolling guards in a few wallops and you can also roll to dodge bullets. As you progress, you'll unlock a vast arsenal of weaponry such as a flamethrower, a gun, and even a chloroform-soaked rag but try not to use that on yourself. Even though all of these weapons are cool, you can't actually kill anyone as Jesse promised he wouldn't so if you end up wounding a guard, you then have to use your own healing items to patch them up. This means that non-lethal weapons are surprisingly more feasible which is quite interesting.
You don't just sneak around and take out guards, though, as UnMetal features plenty of puzzle-like scenarios that force you to use your wits and expansive inventory to surpass. For example, you can combine 4 barrels with a wooden pallet to make a bridge or gasoline, an empty bottle, and a handkerchief to make a Molotov cocktail. This inventory system is rather clever, especially when you discover an extra weapon that you can use. I also enjoyed the secret areas that you can discover via false walls which reward you with permanent upgrades. These components made UnMetal feel less like Metal Gear which is good because it certainly has its own gameplay identity.
I should mention that a lot of scenarios require trial and error to master which I found to frequently make the overall experience feel uneven and rough at parts. For example, if you enter one particular room without wearing a special suit, it'll alert the guards and they'll quickly dispatch you but how are you supposed to know that before you enter the room? I guess you'll remember after you try again. The same could be said for some bosses as they may end your life in one hit because you won't know what's coming unless you tried the boss already. That actually leads me to a similar point; one-hit deaths can be super-annoying, especially when they come as a surprise.
UnMetal is a hilarious spoof of the Metal Gear series that manages to forge its own identity through clever inventory-based puzzles. With that in mind, it's hard not to get frustrated whenever you bite the dust due to some unexpected shenanigans.
- + Fun stealth gameplay with plenty of enjoyable puzzle-like scenarios
- + Excellent sense of humour throughout
- + Nifty inventory system
- - Many moments require multiple attempts until you figure out what to do
- - Surprise deaths can be irritating