Unmetal, the review of a successful indie military parody

Who I am
Alejandra Rangel
@alejandrarangel
Author and references

Unmetal is one parody constant, a cheerful jumble of quotations: he does everything to make you smile, upsets some habits in his small way, but entertains just enough to make you continue in a fairly long story. We tried to gather some information about the developer, but we discovered little about Unepic_Fran, except that he is theoretically Spanish and perhaps works alone.

He certainly appreciates making parodies, that's clear, but he's also good at it. There's a bit of Metal Gear, a splash of Hot Shots, a few specks of Full Metal Jacket, of course Rambo: Unmetal's sauce draws heavily on war movies, recreating a military atmosphere that takes you by the hand within a dozen levels of prisons, sewers, laboratories and jungles, all with healthy irony.



There is another feature capable of attracting and it is the developer's desire to make fun of the player, making fun of choices that seemed natural to us for playful purposes but which actually - as sometimes happens in films - do not have a lot of sense. We give you a small example: we found a fireproof suit that we do not use from two levels and therefore went into mental oblivion. We are faced with a section in which we have to overcome some fires and our hardcore streak, in the wake of the gameplay, makes us do them all, at the cost of losing some health in the attempt: the game intervenes with funny dialogues between the supporting actors, implicitly calling us fools and reminding us that instead of wearing overalls, we threw ourselves into the flames. We actually felt a little stupid.



In any case, follow us in the Unmetal review to find out if it's the title that can get you off to a good start to the week.

A little Snake, a little Topper

Unmetal will give you stealth stages, boss fights and lots of laughs

Unmetal starts like a rocket, throwing here and there jokes and paradoxical situations of a protagonist very by chance who finds himself a helicopter pilot, shot down by a rocket and ended up in front of an interrogation in which he will tell his story, all mimicking the outfit from Naked Snake. Thus begins a long gameplay flashback in which you have to escape from prison, discover the fundamentals of combat, exploration and inventory, similar to a very close tour.

In the midst of a minimal but nice pixel art move the adventures of Jessie Fox, the protagonist who alternates moments of seriousness with others of complete idiocy, maintaining a good balance and sometimes even leaving the player to choose what actually happens in the story. Unmetal mixes elements of stealth, survival, action already in the first hour, leading to switch from one screen to another and putting the emphasis on stuning enemies without being discovered, gaining experience and leveling up.


The rhythm is there and it is built well, there are no particular dead times and saving by urinating in a public bathroom is always funny. So what does Unmetal add to a more or less established indie gaming equation? Certainly the laughter: some of the dialogues are really brilliant and the plot that from an idiot slowly becomes serious (not too much) has kept us glued for an important number of hours, without ever getting bored.


The ambition of each stage is limited, yes, but it is to build a compartmentalized structure with self-contained objectives and secondary missions, to which to add trophies on respected conditions. There are the bosses, the guns, the cutscenes, the crazy Hot Shots moments where, like newbies, Topper Harley, instead of the hen arrow we will find a flamethrower against a sprawling Cthulhu-style beast or humanoid piranha children of Mother Piranha. But the crazy thing is that everything works.

A crime not committed

Metal Gear DNA permeates Unmetal, with shameless but well-contextualized supporting actors and bosses

Jessie's narration is deliberately balanced between lies and seriousness, in a crescendo of epicity that sometimes upsets the player's certainties, in a crisis between believing in his own actions or doubting their actual implementation. Thanks to the stealth matrix that is always present in the background, Unmetal proposes a succession of gameplay ideas that add nothing, but break the habit for those few minutes and, trivially, differentiate the offer. Furthermore, Unmetal is not a simple game: it is not difficult either, but certainly challenging and sometimes frustrating. In a couple of cases we have lost our patience, perhaps the result of too many hours invested in a row, although it must be said that the game never exceeds the limit excessively and always provides a small loophole to do things more quickly but less ethically.


Narrative exaggeration is a must and the theme of crime not committed it will be recursive, as well as the reuse of names: it is as if Unmetal knew that it takes little to make people smile and aimed at us with increasing enthusiasm, only that the result of the administration is not cloying, on the contrary, it is dosed with discrete skill. Fox is a character who could live in complete autonomy within the fake military stereotype, but it is our citation projection that enriches him in spite of himself: there are so many references to historical works that it is impossible not to fill the protagonist of so many souls, a flow of memories that from the masterpieces of the past comes impetuous and pours into actions and dialogues. Perhaps this was the skill of the developer: having created a functional fabric on which each player can sow their own moments, memories, phrases, giving a small indie an exponential and very pleasant parodic breath.


Comment

Digital Delivery Steam, PlayStation Store, Xbox Store, Nintendo eShop Price 16,99 € Resources4Gaming.com

8.0

Readers (1)

9.1

Your vote

Apparently enclosed in a shell that can easily be described as parody, the story of Unmetal collects ideas, gameplay and storytelling ideas that manage to bring the player to his final credits without boring. Yes, the ironic component and the underlying madness often stun, but they are able to never betray themselves too much and manage to knead a plot that in the end also makes sense. There will be moments of laughter, others a little more hardcore, but the progress is fluid, never mind-boggling, limited by a clearly low-key production but with a beautiful soul. Recommended for anyone looking for ten hours of intelligently over the top, carefree, light-hearted gaming. Perfect for Switch portability, certainly less suitable for sofa gaming.

PRO

  • Nice, cheerful, lively
  • Varied gameplay that flows well
  • Parody that lightens and entertains
AGAINST
  • back frustrating
  • Title implicitly devoted to gaming in portability
  • Individual dialogues cannot be skipped
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