Do you like guitars and heavy metal music? Do you like shooting lots of possessed zombies? Do you like bright neon pink? If so, then developer and publisher Zerouno Games Digital S.L. may just have the game for you, Metal Tales: Overkill.
The God Kuk is possessing all the guitar gods, and through them, the metalheads. Through infinite concerts, he is helping his legion of metalhead zombies wipe out every original creation of metal bands and their dedicated fans. As legions of metalheads are stripped from their passion, only one person can really grind through the challenge and come out victorious.
What you get with Metal Tales: Overkill is a top-down, twin-stick shooter, with a Rogue-lite twist. All wrapped up in the world of heavy metal. the gameplay is simple enough and if you’ve ever played a twin-stick shooter before, then you’ll feel right at home here. However, having simple gameplay doesn’t necessarily mean this is an easy game. As mentioned, this is a Rogue-lite and this sub-genre is notoriously hard, where the base mechanic is to fail to progress.
You can choose to play as one of several guitarists, each with their own strengths and weaknesses. Using your guitar to ‘shoot’ at the many zombified metalheads that you’ll be facing. Each level is split into several rooms and as this is a Rogue-lite, you’ll be dealing with randomly generated levels each time you play. You have your standard rooms with various enemies to take out but thrown into the mix are shops where you can buy upgrades and even trap rooms. These trap rooms will test your reactions and timing as you try to nab the bonus item held within. Oh, and let’s not forget the obligatory boss battles.
Various power-ups can be found on each level (or purchased from the shops) that’ll help you on your quest to take out the big bad, Kuk, who is possessing all of the guitar gods and metalheads and destroying the world of heavy metal. Those power-ups found in each level will only last as long as each run, as per the usual Rogue-lite rules. However, between each run, you can spend earned in-game currency to buy permanent upgrades that’ll help you make it a bit further to defeating the evil Kuk.
Whilst you won’t find any big names like Black Sabbath, Slayer or Iron Maiden on the soundtrack. Still, there are some smaller metal bands here and the music is actually pretty damn great if you are into the genre. But the game itself is distinctly average. There’s not much challenge here and I actually got to and beat the final boss on my fourth run… which for a Rogue-lite really shouldn’t be possible. Plus, when I did see the end credits, there was nothing much to draw me back into the game. Playing through with a different character didn’t really add much replay value. It needs bigger levels, alternate routes, secrets to find, more (interesting) upgrades and most of all, Metal Tales: Overkill needs to be a hell of a lot harder.
I do love a good Rogue-lite, and mixed with a twin-stick shooter, they can be amazing. see the truly awesome Hyper Parasite as an example. Metal Tales: Overkill is just ‘okay’. £12 – £15 (depending on format) is what you’ll have to fork out here and I’m not 100% convinced it’s worth it. That may not be a crippling price point but for what you get, it seems a shade too high for me. There isn’t much to do here with Metal Tales: Overkill, it’s not a big game at all and it is way, way too easy for a Rogue-lite. If you are a die-hard twin-stick shooter fan or want something that won’t punish you too much, it may be worth checking out but I’d suggest that you wait for a bit of a price drop and get this when it’s sub £10.