Mercenary Kings Reloaded Edition
Developer: Tribute Games Inc.
Publisher: Tribute Games
Category: Action, First Person, Platformer, Multiplayer
Release Date: 02.06.2018
Mercenary Kings Reloaded Edition for Nintendo Switch is a non-linear action platformer with crafting elements that feels much more like Mega Man than Metal Slug. I bring up this last comparison because the trailers used to market Mercenary Kings Reloaded Edition make it look more like the latter, and a lot less like the former. It puts a much bigger emphasis on platforming than what we perceive as a traditional run ‘n gun game. This is a very refreshing take on both action platformers and run ‘n gun games of old, and the surprisingly deep crafting system helps Mercenary Kings Reloaded Edition on Nintendo Switch feel delightfully original.
In the introduction, we learn that Commander Baron and his evil CLAW organization is getting too big for its britches, and the Mercenary Kings Reloaded Edition Reloaded Edition are called in to get things back under control. However, while making their way to the impromptu headquarters, various members of the team are captured or have landed behind enemy lines. Our first batch of missions, which introduce us to the mechanics of the game, its enemy types, mission structure, character upgrades, and weapon crafting systems. You are given the choice between four different mercs, King, Frigg, Empress, and C-Zar, each of which has four choices of color schemes. They don’t play any differently, but it’s still nice to have options.
Each character and weapon can be upgraded using materials harvested from enemy drops and chests, and for the right amount of money. Money is earned through successful completion of missions. The customization options aren’t fully interchangeable or super deep, but you can always deconstruct a previously upgraded weapon part to use the materials again.
Missions are relatively short, and upon completion you are returned to base camp so that you can use gathered materials and earned cash for the previously mentioned upgrades. There is also a handy feature which enables you to return to the start of the level with all materials in case you get lost, or just want to get to the opposite end of the level more quickly. Peppered throughout the stages are medical tents that sometimes have healing items, but always slowly recharge your health. Be careful, though, because missions have a time limit, and if you go over, you fail the mission. Levels sometimes have walls that can be destroyed, and this requires C4. Each level that required this for completion will give you C4 from somewhere, but there’s also a shop that you can buy it from at base camp if you wish to bring it in with you.
Speaking of the shop, this brings up one drawback of the game- while you can buy consumable items to bring with you into your next mission (or to put into your locker to load into your backpack for a future mission), you only have two inventory slots available to you out of a possible four. Two of those are always occupied by your gun and walkie talkie. So, you can’t bring C4, rations (health restore), and adrenaline shot (auto- revive yourself, or revive a teammate). Thankfully, crafting materials can be carried to infinity.
The controls in Mercenary Kings Reloaded Edition are intuitive, and don’t take much getting used to.
- Y shoots or uses your selected item
- B jumps (Press up while jumping to grab onto a ladder)
- X uses your knife
- A rolls forward
- L pulls up your inventory (select item with left analog stick or direction buttons)
- R reloads (or triggers reload)
- Down crouches or picks up dropped items when standing over them
The need to reload can be a pain sometimes, so it’s advised that you get in the habit of triggering a reload after every enemy kill. One hilarious aspect of the game beyond the dialog itself is that you shoot hostages to free them. You also shoot crates to blow them open.
Mercenary Kings Reloaded Edition is intended to be a co-op experience, and this includes split screen local or online multiplayer that can be toggled freely between missions from the base camp. Fortunately, most missions are able to be completed solo. Online is a little limited for matchmaking unless you only choose the friend mode, but it runs smoothly and there’s never been a time that I wasn’t able to easily get a party going.
Missions can be played in any order, but you must complete a certain amount to unlock others, and more become available as you progress through the ranks.
The graphics are fun and cartoony, but can be a bit bloody. Music is well done, and you will find quite a few catchy tracks. Level design isn’t the greatest, but the emphasis is on the action, which is superb.
Mercenary Kings Reloaded Edition is a great addition to your Nintendo Switch library, especially if you’re looking for more co-op games.