Written by Jack Bankhead
Mercenary Kings was a blast for me to play. It’s got beautiful pixel art, classic run and gun gameplay, and a ton of crafting. It creates a Monster Hunter-esque formula, one that I love. Why is it so well done? The art, gameplay, and the crafting makes an addicting formula to where I had to force myself to stop playing and take a break!
The game follows you and three other Mercenary Kings, some of the best soldiers, ever.(or something like that.) You and up to 3 other friends can come together locally or online to take on missions for loot, points, and money. There are many ranks to go through by doing special missions and gaining points. These allow you to get better loot, more money, and more challenging missions.
The pixel art is amazing, it definitely looks great in HD, which is all thanks to the artist. Sound is also great, Mercenary Kings has great tunes.
One part of this game is the crafting. This is one of the best parts, and what made it so fun for me. After collecting loot and materials from a mission, you can craft gun parts to make almost any gun imaginable. (maybe not that much, but a lot of types!) You can also craft knives, in crazy shapes and sizes (like a guitar). The gun customization plays into the multiplayer, you can create “classes” with your guns to fulfill a specific purpose in multiplayer.
In the actual gameplay, you run around, jump when necessary, and avoid bullets. To defeat enemies, shooting precisely and reloading when necessary is key. You have three lives per mission, (you can die 4 times) so be careful! Even in multiplayer, you share those three deaths. Gameplay is simple, but the mastering of is not.
Mutliplayer is great in this game. You can play locally (splitscreen) with buddies on the couch, or online. I’ve had difficulty finding a stable connection, but local runs great. Working together towards an objective feels great, and completing it feels all the better.
This game is good. It’s great, but not amazing. That’s because it can get frustrating at times, just like a classic run and gun game. It’s still worth picking up for multiplayer, if you have buddies who want to play it with you. Art, crafting, and gameplay make this shine, but not shine a ton.
Reviewed on the Nintendo Switch, not provided by Tribute Games