Metal Assault is a run and gun shooter developed and published by Aeria Games. It adds an RPG spin on traditional run and gun shoot-em-ups, while being reminiscent of games such as Metal Slug.
System - 5/10
Metal Assault has low requirements, making it easy for anyone to run it smoothly. There are a couple of channels of course to alleviate lag and overcrowding. But those are about the only positive things I can say in this category. There are no resolution options, you simply get a fixed resolution and a windowed/fullscreen mode. Graphic tweaking is very limited, and mainly for aesthetic changes. Worst of all, the item/skill hotkeys are locked into place, along with a few other buttons! It should be a crime to be unable to set hotkeys! Making matters worse, Metal Assault suffers from a good deal of technical problems and some connection problems, such as disconnections. It doesn't render it unplayable, but it definitely will annoy you.
Graphics - 8/10
A strange combination of sprites and cartoony graphics are used in Metal Assault. Sometimes, it looks great, but more often than not, it'll seem like something is off. The sprites themselves are pretty nice, and the cartoonish part mostly look good, but they do have clashes in art styles. The icons look absolutely fantastic, and the interface is great too. I suppose the greatest complaint here is that the graphics are inconsistent.
Gameplay - 14/20
It's easy to compare Metal Assault to games like Soldat, Metal Slug, and Contra. The gameplay is simple; you run around on map shooting things on a 2D scale. You have a rifle, pistol, shotgun, sniper, and rocket launcher at your disposal, along with a few miscellaneous explosives and gadgets like mines and grenades. On some occasions, you can even drive vehicles! You can jump, climb ladders, drop down platforms, crawl, and roll to dodge bullets.
Guess what the best weapons are?
You have a choice of 4 characters to play as, each with different stats and unique skills. After that, you have a large variety of weapons with different stats to suit your needs. Your weapons can have their stats upgraded, and can be modified, but weapon modification isn't currently in the game. Armor does what you think you would do, but it's nice to see that they all change your look in game.
There are three game modes, two of which are PvE and the other PvP. Mission mode is where you and your party run through maps together to complete an objective, whether it's getting to the end of the map, collecting items, or destroying something. Co-op mode is where you and up to 15 other players take on oncoming hoards of enemies in different scenarios. Lastly, battle mode is where you face off against other players.
Mission mode is generally where you'll be playing to complete quests, but many of the quests are unclear in which map to complete, and what exactly to do, likely due to poor translation. The maps are all pretty bland, but it's still fun to gun through them. Co-op mode on the other hand, feels a bit more enjoyable, mowing down large amounts of enemies is pretty satisfying. PvP is where things take a dip. While it is probably the most enjoyable and timeless mode, the balance leaves a bad taste. Many of the maps are terribly made, and the way they're set up often allows the team with the momentum to camp the other team. Snipers and rockets are used in great effect, and when they're not, rifles are resorted to.
Guilds are supported along with guild wars, but no auction house. Fortunately, there's a shop system in place. Weapon skill level is required to use better weapons, and the EXP points are gained by playing co-op and battle. You can distribute them however you like, but of course, you'll find yourself devoting most of it to one or two weapons in order to keep up with everyone else. Quests are shown on the map for easy access, and there's even a small tracker that'll allow you to navigate to them. Cash shop is there, but currently unavailable.
Mowing down zombies with guns never seems to get boring.
Controls are a bit iffy, which is a big concern in a game like this. While aiming works well, moving around can be annoying. The way the game handles climbing is horrid, accidental climbing will happen often, and then getting off the ladder is a slow, painful process. Jumping doesn't seem to flow well, and rolling feels a bit...funny. Moving up ramps where you can drop through them can be annoying as well, as the game appears to move you up or down them faster than normal, and even appears to attempt to move you all the way down or up, when you just want to move a bit over on the ramp.
Audio - 7/10
Nothing notable about music or sound effects. I can't say neither are good or bad, but I do enjoy that robotic voice that says the name of the weapon you switched to.
The game is good fun, but suffers from some rather annoying flaws and quirks in the gameplay. Luckily, most of them are the type of things that are fixed or improved upon, so let's see what OBT has in store for us.
Overall - 34/50