Metal Slug may not be a particularly active franchise today, but it’s undoubtedly one of the most influential side-scrolling shoot ‘em ups of all time.
Hundreds of shovelware Metal Slug clones exist on the Play Store and Metal Soldiers 2 is one of them.
As to be expected, the game does not seem to offer anything that wasn’t already included in the original game.
So, whether this game is worth your time or not is going to be determined by how good of a copy it is of Metal Slug. Let’s take a look and find out.
Metal Soldiers 2 is a generic shoot ‘em up and plays like one too.
The goal in every level is simple, kill everything in your way and reach the end.
There are different weapons that you can pick from the ground and they all have limited ammo.
Now and then, the game will let you board a vehicle that's mounted with weapons, allowing you to breeze through enemies quite easily.
You can purchase grenades, vehicles, and power-ups at the beginning of every level with in-game money if you don’t want to rely on finding them randomly.
But whether it’s the tutorial, a boss fight, or the 50th level of the game – everything feels exactly the same. The enemies mostly behave alike and there are very few enemy types in general even from a visual standpoint.
The AI of the game is laughably bad as enemies often struggle to find their way to you and get stuck on the edge of places in a moonwalking animation. When they do find their way to you, either they fall off-screen to their deaths or it’s very easy to just stand in one corner and kill everyone without breaking a sweat because the basic enemy has a low gunshot range.
Aside from the normal levels, you unlock boss fights and ‘Endless’ levels as you progress through the game’s campaign.
The boss fights are, you guessed it, very easy to fight too if you just play along with their pattern. There is no originality to them and they do not pose a challenge either. Even though some of the bosses have special designs that make them seem like a massive challenge – they just shoot random bullets like any other enemy for the most part.
The game has unlockable playable characters, but they don’t play any differently from each other. And lastly, Metal Soldiers 2 has game-breaking bugs which force you to restart levels as you simply can’t progress forward at times. This usually happens if your character gets stuck in a crouching stance, or the game refuses to move the camera to where you need to go next.
Due to the long list of bugs, inept AI, criminally uninspired game design, and unapologetic repetition – Metal Soldiers 2 is not an entertaining game to play.
If all of that wasn’t enough, the game tries its best to make you spend real-world money at every chance that it gets. For example, you’re allowed to watch an ad to revive your character but it’s very inconsistent and disappears as an option most of the time. The only other option that you’re given is to spend some money on microtransactions, otherwise, your progress gets wasted.
For a game that isn’t worth your time as a free experience, it’s almost offensive that it demands that you empty your wallet for it.
The graphics of Metal Soldiers 2 are pretty decent.
The animations are good, the environments look fine, and the design of the vehicles and characters are not bad either, although very generic.
It does suffer from aesthetic repetition since the same environments keep repeating in far too many levels and the enemies lack variety.
The UI of the game is okay. There’s nothing bad about it but it’s not creative or neat either. It just does the basic job of letting you play the game and that’s about it.
The polish of the game is terrible. The game can be outright broken at times and the AI is pretty bad too.
The sound design is very repetitive. In the hours of me playing the game, I only noticed two different tunes and they are separated by normal levels and boss fights. Both are poorly looped and it became unbearable after some time, which led to me muting the game’s background music.
The sound effects are not high-quality either, but that’s not out of place for the game as a whole.
There are video games that are original but not very fun to play. You can still respect them to some extent due to their originality, even if you feel that the vision was poorly executed.
Metal Soldiers 2 does not have that excuse since it’s a direct rip-off of Metal Slug and it leaves out everything that made the original game entertaining. It’s a very basic shoot ‘em up with game-breaking bugs. It’s playable, sort of. But not much besides that.