UnMetal – Review
Follow Genre: Action game, stealth game
Developer: UnEpic Games
Publisher: Versus Evil
Platform: PC, Switch, PS4, PS5, Vita, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S
Tested on: Switch

UnMetal – Review

Site Score
Good: Fully voice acted
Bad: So-so gameplay
User Score
(2 votes)
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Rating: 7.0/10 (2 votes cast)

When we saw UnMetal’s trailer for the first time, we didn’t quite know what to expect. The retro action gameplay certainly showed promise but the jokes were crude and the voice acting felt over-the-top. The kind of humor displayed in the trailer rarely works in an actual game, so when we got the chance to take an in-depth look at developer UnEpic Games and publisher Versus Evil’s latest title, we hoped for the best. Was our cautious optimism justified or did UnMetal end up as the butt of a bad joke?


The opening cutscene sets the tone as a gruff voice explains how a soviet helicopter was shot down by the US military and the pilot arrested and taken to a military base for interrogation. The narrator reveals himself to be the pilot, our protagonist Jesse Fox. The remainder of the game’s arc takes on the form of a series of flashbacks during the interrogation as Fox recalls the events that led up to his arrest. Fox proves to be a sarcastic and unreliable narrator, which is what much of UnMetal’s humor is derived from. If you hadn’t picked it up by now, UnMetal is a parody of Metal Gear first and foremost, but it also pokes fun at ’80s & ‘90s action films in the same way that films like Hot Shots! and Top Secret did. Throughout the roughly 10 hours that UnMetal takes to play through, you’ll find references to the A-Team, Duke Nukem and everything in between. The humor is hit-or-miss: saving is done by literally taking a piss, for example, which we didn’t find all that funny, but some of the meta jokes in the dialogue had us chuckling.


UnMetal’s visuals stick close to its source material, being the original two Metal Gear games. The sprite art used resembles that of the original Metal Gear titles, albeit slightly more detailed. It works well in evocating the atmosphere of early ‘90s action games but doesn’t really push any visual boundaries. The cartoonish aesthetics fit the parodic approach and make the over-the-top violence easier to swallow as it makes all of the blood and gore look funny rather than gruesome.


One of UnMetal’s main selling points is that the game is fully voiced, and we do mean *fully* voiced. Even the unnamed grunts that patrol the areas that Fox needs to make his way through get audible lines. Of course, the star of the show is Fox himself, played by Andrew Miller, who delivers a delightfully hammy performance. We should point out that the audio quality isn’t always up to par with the performances, and we weren’t a fan of the echo effect on the voices, which was present for dialogue in the interrogation room. The game’s music matched the on-screen events perfectly and sound effects were adequate but not outstanding.


Our first look at UnMetal gave us the impression that we’d get a straight-up parody of the old-school Metal Gear titles, but as we actually started playing the game we found that the game was a lot harder to define. It has the stealth elements of the aforementioned Metal Gear series, sure, but the gameplay itself is a lot more fragmented. This is in part due to Jesse Fox recalling the story and shaping it to make himself look like the hero. This approach gives developer UnEpic Games the opportunity to color outside of the lines and implement gameplay elements that you’d expect to see in other genres instead. In a way, UnMetal feels much more like a series of mini-games patched together instead of a straight-up parody of a stealth game.

The stealth elements still make up the majority of UnMetal’s gameplay and they are implemented well, albeit very simplified. Things are made easy for the player because a lot of Jesse’s behavior is automatic and doesn’t require additional button inputs: moving towards crates will see Jesse automatically press up against them, and when there are no enemies around, he’ll automatically change his walking speed to a sprint. Enemies that are knocked out can be picked up and moved elsewhere before they regain consciousness, giving Jesse ample time to then perform tasks in an area without having to worry about being detected. Of note is that Jesse has a no-kill policy, so you’re not able to permanently dispatch any enemies -he isn’t an assassin after all. Of course, this is lampooned in the game as well.

The issue with UnMetal’s gameplay is that it fails to deliver any kind of meaningful challenge. The stealth sections are laughably easy as the enemy AI tends to be on the dumber side. Solutions to puzzles are fairly obvious but boss battles bring huge difficulty spikes even on easy mode. This is in part due to the game’s narrative vehicle, as Jessie Fox tends to exaggerate his abilities in order to make himself look good, which directly translates to how the game’s world is shaped around him. UnMetal also takes a linear approach in how areas are tackled, with very little freedom for the player to wander away from the path that UnEpic Games has laid out for you. Despite sticking to a rigid script, the game feels very unstructured, as Jessie’s story is all over the place and gameplay follows suit. The upside of this approach is that there is some replayability here as the game has several endings, determined by choices made throughout the story, alongside hidden collectibles.

The disjointed nature of UnMetal makes it hard to define as a video game, and in all honesty, this is a title that needs to be experienced first-hand to truly understand what it is like. Although UnMetal has all the necessary elements for a video game, including boss battles, puzzles, exploration, and the like, this is an example of a game that doesn’t *intend* to be a game. If you’re the kind of person that plays games as a way to challenge yourself, this isn’t going to be a fun title for you as it is ridiculously easy apart from the boss battles, and there simply isn’t enough to UnMetal to hook you in with addictive gameplay.

That’s okay, however, as UnMetal ultimately sets out to do something entirely different: it wants to entertain the player first and foremost. This is where the game succeeds. It’s filled with visual gags, ridiculous plot twists, and meta-humor. Don’t get us wrong, the humor never had us rolling on the floor laughing but it was entertaining enough to motivate us to keep going, despite falling somewhat short on the gameplay front. It’s a title that doesn’t break the bank either, so there is little risk in checking it out.


Ultimately, UnMetal turned out to be very different from what we were expecting it to be. That’s not a bad thing, and we were pleasantly surprised with what we ended up getting, even though this is a game that isn’t going to appeal to everyone. It really depends on how you approach this game: if you go in expecting a Metal Gear-like experience with cheap jokes thrown in the mix, as we originally did, then there is a good chance you’ll end up disappointed. However, if you’re a fan of ‘80s parody movies in the same vein as The Naked Gun or Hot Shots!, then you’ll likely end up loving what’s on offer here.

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Rating: 7.0/10 (2 votes cast)
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UnMetal - Review, 7.0 out of 10 based on 2 ratings

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