Mercenary Kings first launched a few years ago on other platforms and was warmly received by those wanting a little nostalgia trip back to the days of Metal Slug, the new Reloaded version adds a few bells and whistles to the package, but does it still stand up on Switch?
The aim of the game is to complete basic missions, mostly by getting from one side of the map to the other in one piece and killing lots of enemies along the way and collecting everything you can to use later on. Basic puzzles in the form of buttons and doors are placed around the platform based game arenas to add a little variety, but for the most part it’s good old fashioned shooting, looting and platforming. Some missions might ask you to rendezvous with a person and others might ask you to collect specific items, but they all come down to the same pattern of getting from A to B while shooting everything in sight.
The hub level is where you’ll end up once you complete each section. This is where all those collected bits and pieces come into play. You can build and upgrade weapons here using the money and items to help you get through the later levels as well as gaining health and equipment. It’s a nice touch that adds a little much needed variety to the game, which otherwise gets a little samey after a while.
Story-wise, this is Saturday morning kids cartoon stuff, an evil organisation called CLAW (Cybernetic Loyal Active Weapon clan) need to be stopped and your lifeless body just happens to have been ‘upgraded’ with a secret formula in order to make you a super soldier, ready to take them on. That’s about it and, to be honest, that’s all we need as an excuse to go out there and expel loads of ammo.
The original game suffered with slow controls and, unfortunately, it’s the same here. There’s plenty of fun to be had but the slow characters aren’t as noticeable in multiplayer as they are on your own, so it really excels when others are playing with you. There’s still some enjoyment to be had in single player if you don’t mind the slow pace and the constant need to collect loot in order to upgrade your weapons enough to take on the tougher enemies.