A few months ago, I got the chance to play the demo for UnMetal, a 2D stealth action-adventure game developed by @unepic_fran and publisher Versus Evil. The few hours I got to play UnMetal left me feeling very optimistic for the full launch of the game. UnMetal seeks to pay homage to similar 2D stealth games, most notably the older Metal Gear Solid games, both parodying and emulating the best and most cliché aspects of the genre. I was also a big fan of the humor in UnMetal; Jesse Fox may not be as edgy and hardcore as the Snakes are, but he more than makes up for it with his humor. Now that the full game is coming out and I am able to fully experience Jesse Fox’s story, does UnMetal live up to my high first impressions?
Despite not having a lot of experience in stealth games (or being very good at them), one of the things that I enjoyed the most from the UnMetal demo and now, the full game, is the comedic and small Easter Egg type items laying around the levels. It’s clear that the developer put a lot of care and passion into creating a parody/homage to games of the genre. I mean, for crying out loud, you get to be a giant wedge of cheese! What stealth game lets you do that? The stealth mechanics are definitely hard, especially for someone like me who prefers to have a fully loaded assault rifle holding down left click as monsters and bad guys turn into red mist in front of me. Don’t worry though, UnMetal also has boss fights sprinkled throughout the game to help alleviate any potential fatigue from constantly sneaking around.
UnMetal forces you to survey and scour the entire level as you pick up both joke items (seriously, toilet paper?) and items that you will need to progress, such as rope for climbing down sewers or a key to open a locked gate. It can be a little annoying at times when you get the feeling that “I totally already looked through every crate and corner of this level and I still can’t find (blank).” You will need to backtrack a fair amount, especially if you’re not thorough. Getting caught is really punishing, too, since enemies can deal lots of damage and healing items are a treasured commodity. There are exploding-shooting parts to UnMetal but be prepared to hoard items and do a lot of panic rolls; those parts can be some pretty hard on the highest difficulty settings.
Because of all this, I am actually glad to say that UnMetal continues to build on what was a very enjoyable demo into the full game. Obviously, stealth games aren’t for everyone; it takes a certain amount of patience to watch a guard walk his predetermined route half a dozen times before deciding to kill him. However, I do think that UnMetal is a solid game in its own right, an impressive feat considering that there seems to be only one guy behind the development. Whether you pick it up because you miss the old Metal Gear Solid games, want to support an indie developer, or thought hey, I kind of like stealth and this game looks funny, I believe anyone who buys UnMetal will find a great title that they will enjoy. Even if you’re not into stealth, like me, UnMetal’s story, its quips, and wit make it a fun time, arm and leg not required.
UnMetal launches tomorrow, September 28, 2021, for PC via Steam.
My name is Matt Tran and I have been playing video games since I could remember holding a controller. I've always been a hardcore gamer growing up, from the hectic MW2 and Halo 3 lobbies, my many journeys through several Halo clans and my current exploits with my Destiny 2 clan. I love shooters and RPGs and overanalyzing every component of every game I've played, from weapon stats to ideal perks. When I have time to play other games, I currently play Genshin Impact and Star Wars Squadrons.