Metal Arms: Glitch in the System

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Metal Arms: Glitch in the System
North American cover art
Developer(s) Swingin' Ape Studios, Mass Media Inc.
Publisher(s) Vivendi Universal, Sierra Entertainment
Platform(s) GameCube, PlayStation 2, Xbox, Xbox 360
Release date(s)
  • NA November 18, 2003
  • PAL December 5, 2003
Xbox 360
April 21, 2008
Genre(s) Third-person shooter, action-adventure
Mode(s) Single-player, multiplayer

Metal Arms: Glitch in the System is a third-person shooter action-adventure video game, developed by Swingin' Ape Studios and released in 2003. The game follows a robot named Glitch as he joins forces with the Droids in their fight against General Corrosive and his Milbots.


Gameplay is in a third-person perspective. Over seventeen weapons are accessible to the player, most of which can be upgraded through the use of upgrade kits strewn about in various locations in the Campaign. The game provides a multitude of standard-fare shooter weapons, such as flamethrowers, machine guns, and grenades as well as several unique weapon types like a rivet gun, slingshot, and saw blade gun. One of the more unique aspects of the game is the player's ability to directly control enemy forces and use their own firepower against them through an item called the Control Tether.

Although level design is linear, there is more than one way to complete objectives.


General Corrosive, the final boss and main enemy of the game, can also be unlocked for use in the multiplayer aspect of the game.

Up to four players can compete in multiplayer mode in the Xbox and Gamecube versions of the game, but this number is limited to two in the PlayStation 2 version. The PlayStation 2 version contains an exclusive map called Mac Mines.

There are seven modes of play:

  • Bot Brawl - Comparable to Deathmatch. The first bot to gain a set number of kills wins.
  • Team Bot Brawl - Similar to Bot Brawl, except players are split up into teams and share scores.
  • Possession Melee - Players cannot directly attack other players, instead they must control or recruit other Bots to gain points.
  • King of The Hill - Players must gain control of a certain place in the level for a selected amount of time in order to win.
  • Moving Hill - Same as King of The Hill, but the control point moves.
  • Tag - Players must "tag" (kill) a player. The killed player then becomes "it." Whoever has been "it" the least after a time limit expires wins.
  • Reverse Tag - The objective is to become tagged by destroying an opponent and then staying that way for as long as possible.

The game begins with 4 multiplayer levels unlocked. The rest of the multiplayer levels can be unlocked by finding "chips" that are either hidden in secret locations or obtained by completing Campaign levels within a certain time limit. Players can create custom game variants for use in multiplayer, which allows them to enable and disable certain modes and objects during gameplay.



Metal Arms is set on a fictional planet known as Iron Star, which was built by an ancient race, known as the Morbots, out of scrap metal and space junk. The Morbots are rumored to inhabit Iron Star's core to the present day, where none of the surface dwellers dare venture, for fear of deactivation and destruction. As the life of Droids evolved, a renowned scientist known as Dr. Exavolt began experimenting with Droid technology, attempting to evolve Droid technology far beyond its current limits. Exavolt's experiments were successful, however he could not advance Droid scientists. One of his experiments that attempted to do this ended in disaster, and inadvertently resulted in the tyrannical military mastermind known as General Corrosive. Corrosive began manufacturing a race of soldiers known as Milbots, or Mils for short, and enslaved the entire Droid race of Iron Star. Droids who rebelled against Corrosive were deactivated and recycled. Colonel Alloy, a former architect, established a hidden Droid settlement known as Droid Town, where he and the Droid Rebellion make their final stand against the Mils.


The story begins with Glitch, the protagonist, being found deactivated in a ruined city by Droid rebels. He is reactivated in Droid Town, the last stronghold for the rebellion, where it is discovered that Glitch's memory has been erased. As soon as he is brought up to date on the rebellion, Droid Town is attacked by Milbots who have stumbled across the town; Glitch aids in the defense of the city, then pursues one Mil, Vlax, that had gotten away, so he could not report the location of Droid Town to General Corrosive.

When Glitch returns to Droid Town, he is told that a chip exists in Mil City that would allow the rebellion to shut down the Milbots permanently. Glitch sneaks into Mil City, traveling through the underground home of the Morbots, and steals the chip, then delivers it to the rebels. He then returns to the city, because he learned that Dr. Exavolt is alive and being held prisoner in Mil City. Glitch finds Exavolt and brings him back to Droid Town. Once there, Exavolt calls the Milbots, revealing that he is in control of the Milbots and that he is the one seeking to enslave droidkind. Glitch helps in the evacuation of Droid Town, but is captured himself and sent to the Mil Colosseum. He escapes from the Colosseum by faking his own destruction.

Glitch reestablishes contact with the rebellion. While almost everyone is safely in hiding, one of Glitch's friends, Zobby, was taken by Exavolt. Glitch finds Exavolt on a space shuttle ready to take off. Glitch attaches himself to the outside of the shuttle as it takes off. Finally, the shuttle docks with a space station in hiding behind a fake moon in orbit over Iron Star.

As Glitch searches for Zobby, he also takes control of General Corrosive, and initiates the permanent shutdown of the Milbots. Seeing that the station is lost, Exavolt begins a self-destruct countdown in the station. Glitch and Zobby escape in an escape pod and land back on Iron Star. Once back on the surface, Glitch is challenged one last time by General Corrosive, and Glitch defeats him. Glitch is received as a hero for destroying the Milbots, while Exavolt, watching from his shuttle in orbit, vows revenge.

Development and release[edit]

Metal Arms: Glitch in the System was developed by Swingin' Ape Studios and published by Vivendi Universal and Sierra Entertainment on November 18, 2003 in North America for the GameCube, PlayStation 2 and Xbox. It was released on April 21, 2008 for Xbox 360 through Xbox Originals.[1][2]


Metal Arms was given high reviews by many news outlets, scoring an 8.3 out of 10 on IGN's scale, an 83 out of 100 with Metacritic, and 8.5 out of 10 with GameSpot.[3] It has been called "An arcade-quick action shooter with heart and style" and reviewed as "an intense and rewarding shooter.[4]


The game was intended to have a sequel, and indeed one was in development after the game's release. However, Swingin' Ape studios was bought by Blizzard Entertainment, and the sequel was put on hold.[5]


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