951th played so far

Genre: Shoot ‘Em Up
Platform: Gamecube/Playstation 2/Xbox
Year of Release: 2003
Developer: Swingin’ Ape Studio
Publisher: Vivendi Universal Games

I don’t quite know where this game will go. In my head, I’m expecting another action platformer, something Jak and Daxter in gameplay, with more of an aesthetic of Rocket: Robot on Wheels, and clearly a lot more shooting. It looks a bit dirty and gritty, but I’m not sure how that’ll hold up.

Our Thoughts

Sometimes you get some odd associations with games, and I’m sure that for this one the association will be that of listening to Ed Gamble talk to Paul Chowdry about Taskmaster as I played through a few of the later levels I played. I’m not sure whether it really had an influence, but it felt like it kept me going a bit. The game plays like a 3D semi-platformer with a lot of shooting for decent parts of it, but then there are the fights – each room has a big bunch of enemies that you need to kill, often several groups at a time with some of them respawning for some time. It’s why it was good to have a distraction there as the shooting got boring enough after a while.

The levels are fairly linear, but there’s a decent amount of secrets hidden – upgrades and extra weapons and so on, with collect-a-thons to really get those. The large firefights or recurring enemies popping up are what ruins it – even if the rewards are limited, the exploration was more interesting than these ongoing firefights that went on too long.

The aesthetics of the game sound boring – a mine that is filled with robot workers and now robot enemies. It makes for some interesting exaggerated areas and so far it was a decent enough aesthetic to make the game work. It’s a fairly standard conceit that the game doesn’t do anything special with, but it gives room for robot-based shenanigans like controlling other robots for a little while as they perform tasks while you stay safely out of the way. It’s a neat system to works well.

Final Thoughts

While I feel Metal Arms has a world I want to explore, I did struggle with the amount of firefights that stopped adding to the game at  a certain point – cut the number in half and you’d still have a fun game, just while being able to breeze through. There’s enough there in the game to keep going, though, and I do want to see what more the game will offer.