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The Metal Slug series, known for its 2D side-scrolling action has a long history with instalments and ports that have spanned several consoles including the Neo-Geo, Saturn, PSone, PS2, DS, PSP and the Xbox. After much time on many consoles, the series has made its way to Steam after receiving overwhelming support from worldwide fans with the release of Metal Slug 3.

There is a grand total of five missions that can be played in Arcade mode or Mission Mode. While Mission Mode gives you the option of playing from any stage, the arcade mode starts from the very beginning of the game. The cast of heroes is back with Marco, Eri, Tarma and Fio ready for combat action. Controls are not limited to the keyboard as Metal Slug can be played with a gamepad controller which is by far the superior and better choice.

Throughout each mission, you can obtain secondary weapons by rescuing hostages and POWs as you engage your enemies. Attacking your foes up close results in an melee attack with either your gun or a quickly drawn knife. The weapons arsenal includes heavy machine guns, shotguns, enemy chasers, iron-lizards, flamethrowers, rocket launchers and more. On top of that, heavy artillery and vehicles can be found like the Slug Driller, Slug Mariner, Elephant Slug, Ostrich Slug, Slug Copter and the Astro Slug. There are many paths to be found and this adds to the replay value of the game as not all of them can be found or played in a single run-through of the game.

In the second mission, you’ll find yourself fighting a zombie attempting to contain a zombie outbreak. If infected, your character transforms directly into a zombie with a limited but very deadly vomit attack that kills many enemies. Medication kits are available to turn you back into a human so long as you are not infected a second time which leads to death. In latter missions, if you are hit with a puff of purple smoke, you turn into a mummy as you frantically fight to obtain an antidote.

The highlight of Metal Slug on steam is the inclusion of cooperative online play. Regrettably, it is limited to friends on your contact list as you will not be paired with a random player. There is a bit of lag and noticeable frame rate issues that should hopefully be addressed with future updates and patches. In the event your partner disconnects, a pop-up menu will alert you before the game abruptly comes to an end. The visuals have been preserved in their pixelated glory with options to adjust them to your monitor’s optimal performance.

Metal Slug 3 on Steam is a faithful port of the original game. The inclusion of online multiplayer and the chance to enjoy this “run-and-game” action game with friends online is reason enough to enlist again in the Metal Slug ranks. Anyone who missed the opportunity to try the Metal Slug series on earlier consoles should pick up this game right away.

   

PROS – Solid controls, immersive gameplay, unlockable art gallery

CONS – Frame-rate issues, Only 20 credits (continues)

 

SCORE – 85%

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