If you were to tell me that in 2021 that there will be 2D stealth action video game, I would say that you were wrong. UnMetal is not only that game, but it is also a great experience.
UnMetal is a unique take on the genre where the inspiration comes from Metal Gear for the MSX. The story of UnMetal is told by a commando named Jesse Fox who becomes a prisoner after he is wrongly accused of committing a crime. He must find a way out of a military compound where he is trapped. He finds that there is more at stake here than just a simple arrest. What at first appears to be a conventional espionage story soon develops into a satire of action movie and game concepts. He must use everything at his disposal to reach the bottom of the situation, including his wits and fists.
There are nine chapters in UnMetal. If you played Metal Gear Solid: Ghost Babel for the Gameboy Color, you get the idea on how this is structured. Sneak and hide away from the guards while you solve puzzles that moves the story forward and encounter the boss of the chapter.
During my time with UnMetal, There were some interesting gameplay mechanics that I believe surpassed MSX’s Metal Gear and Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake. Jesse Fox is able to hide behind walls, roll forward, combine weapons and items, carry guards, and search for guards belongings. When you are close to going to another part of the screen, there will be red arrows that will indicate where the guards are on the next screen. The bigger the arrow, the closer they are to you.
Speaking of the guards, there were times that you can hear their conversations that could give you clues depending on the situation. This is also expanded during the story as some of the multiple dialogue choices you can choose from can make select situations easy or hard. For example, before one of the boss battles, I was given three options on a question. I choose one of the options and the battle was difficult. When I went for another option when I tried again, it was less difficult. But It however, was not more easier. I like the decision of putting these sudden decision making choices in UnMetal.
Each time you level up, you can choose which statistic can also be leveled up too. The list of items and weapons are a ton to find and choose from. You will also have to figure out which items to combine to progress the story. Something I will add too based on my experience, is that there were times that I used the radio for conversations and the guards that were close to me actually heard it. I was accustomed to the way the system worked in Metal Gear so it caught me by surprise be on UnMetal.
I finished UnMetal’s story at around 16 hours and it also took me an additional 30 hours to 100% UnMetal’s challenges. For an independent game that takes inspiration from the classic Metal Gear series, the developers went above and beyond to bring back the authentic stealth experience back to 2D. UnMetal is truly a fun game and is totally worth the money!