|Platform(s)||Super Nintendo Entertainment System|
Much of the game mechanics fall in line with a platform game. In addition to the regular single player game, there is a 2 player split screen versus mode. Each selectable robot has their own melee weapons in the game.
The player is able to pilot six different types of assault suits, and can use different suits in the same stage. At any time, the player can abandon their assault suit and attempt to find a new one, allowing the player to remain in the game even if their assault suit is destroyed. Instead of a health bar, the mechs all show progressive battle damage as they take on enemy fire. The six different suit types are the Nitro, the Havoc, the Prometheus, the Spider, the Ballistic, and the Drache.
Each suit is also equipped with a backpack unit that can use backpack power-ups. These backpack power-ups are rocket launcher, grenade launcher, mine layer, and gravity inverter. Like the suit's ranged gun, the backpack unit may be disabled if the suit takes significant damage. Other power-ups suits can use are health power-ups (instantly restoring a damaged suit to full health), and various upgrades for the suit's primary gun.
While ejected from the suit, the player controls a marine equipped with a pistol and jetpack. The marine can fly in a manner similar to the nitro, but is slower. The pistol is useless against all enemies with the exception of soldiers and scientists lacking armor. Most enemies ignore unsuited marines. The player must eject from their armor to switch armors and to activate switches to open doors. Also, the marine can fit into smaller spaces and scout ahead without attracting the attention of most enemies.
The game features a two-player split-screen mode as well, where players can battle each other.
The game is set in the year 2102, and the player assumes the role of Lt Stone.
Metal Warriors is about the United government in the year 2102 being under siege from Dark Axis led by the leader Venkar Amon. The few remaining warriors defending Earth are known as the Metal Warriors.
After successfully completing a few missions in space (rescuing a pilot, gathering intelligence, defending a ship and capturing a mining facility) the United government disables an anti-spacecraft cannon in Alaska in order to safely begin removing Axis forces from Earth. Missions on Earth include: assaulting a facility in the jungle, fighting through bombed-out cities and capturing subterranean mining facilities. Finally, the player confronts Amon and defeats him in a battle between fully mobile flying armored suits.
The game was developed by American studio LucasArts, with a team headed by Mike Ebert and programmer Dean Sharpe. The game was made by many of the same team members who made Zombies Ate My Neighbors, and the success of that game allowed for the Metal Warriors project to be quickly approved. The game uses the same engine as Zombies Ate My Neighbors. Ebert explains that they had wanted to put in split-screen two player co-operative play for Zombies Ate My Neighbors, but the engine wasn't fast enough at the time, but they were able to do it for Metal Warriors.
Artist Harrison Fong designed many of the mechs in the game.
The game bears some similarities to the game Assault Suits Valken, and is often confused for a sequel to that game by many people, as both were published by Konami. The game received a release only in America.
Sharpe and Ebert formed their own studio, Big Ape Productions, after the release of the game.
The game was initially going to be published by Nintendo, but Ebert says the release of the PlayStation, and the subsequent decrease in the market for Super Nintendo games, led to that deal ending. Sharp says "We were glad just to get the game in the stores." The game was released exclusively in North America in April 1995.
The four reviewers of Electronic Gaming Monthly acknowledged that the game is very similar to Cybernator, but judged it to be an outstanding game due to the heavy challenge, simple controls, and the ability to leave the mech suit. They gave it an average of 8.125 out of 10. GamePro likewise called the game "a new and improved Cybernator", praising the detailed and uncluttered graphics, variety of equipment, the ability to leave the mech suit, and the general fun of blowing up enemies.
Next Generation reviewed the game, rating it three stars out of five, and stated that "there's not an original thought in Metal Warriors' cybernetic head, but it's done well for what it is." Game Informer gave it a 9 out of 10.
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