Review: It's Good To Be A Mercenary King

A great retro-styled game with a new twist.

Mercenary Kings is often compared to the Metal Slug series, although this is a fair and flattering, this comparison also hinders and pigeon-holes this great game into a simple shoot-em-up. While Mercenary Kings has a strong coating of shoot-em-up, what is under the hood and how it drives makes this game so much more.


You don’t just run around and kill enemies, although you will be doing a lot of that.

There are objectives that you need to complete in order to beat each mission. These objectives range from a simple “Go here” to “Gather this, kill that, and find these.” Not all missions will have three objectives, but there are a few that have more than one.

The main objective is what completes the mission, the secondary objectives are what give you more cash, and rewards.

You use money to buy health upgrades and parts for your gun, and boy are there many parts. You can mix and match stocks, barrels, ammunition, the whole nine yards. But each part requires materials, and you get those from killing enemies and exploring. So there is some farming involved if you want to get everything.

Some parts are outright hilarious; i.e., a toilet.

Yes, you can turn your gun into a toilet that shoots exploding rockets.

I don’t like how each mission has a time limit; I just don’t like being timed in general because it means I have to rush. Some missions are either 10 minutes long, or 30, depending on what is going on in the mission. If you are gathering up supplies for the missions main objective, then you are more than likely going to have 20 or more minutes to do so.

Enemies respawn, which is another aspect I'm not all too fond of. In the later missions you run out of healing items very quickly, and trying to stay alive becomes a chore with every enemy respawning when you leave the screen. Along with being timed, the later missions became very frustrating for me.


The graphics in Mercenary Kings are phenomenal--the scenery is highly detailed, along with the characters in the cut scenes. When you get a chance, take a moment to enjoy these retro-styled graphics.


The level themes are catchy and enjoyable to listen to, even when you reach the 20-minute mark. There are not a lot of voice overs in-game, and this really is not a bad thing. But there are a bunch of death grunts and the occasional “Mission Complete!” or “Move Out!”


Mercenary Kings is a boat load of fun.

There are local and online four player co-op modes. The only thing that really bothers me about the game would be the timed missions. It was amazing to see this game grow over the past six months--I bought Mercenary Kings back when it was still in Early Access on Steam, and I definitely do not regret it.

A copy of Mercenary Kings was personally purchased on Steam. Mercenary Kings was developed and published by Tribute Games. Mercenary Kings officially released on March 25th, 2014 on Steam.

Our Rating
A great retro-styled game with a new twist.


I like metal and video games :D

Published Jun. 17th 2020
  • Gobbomob
    "There are not a lot of voice overs in-game, and this really is not a bad thing." Really, it would've been a good thing, Now I don't mind the comical death grunts and screams like in Metal slug, but everything else is just plain annoying. I'd love this game much much more if they didn't add in those lousy James Brown impressions while rolling.
  • Death Metal Hero
    This is kind of what I meant to say. That having little voice overs does not hinder the overall experience, but having a full fledged voice over cast would have been awesome.
  • Xavier's
    Featured Correspondent
    really cool in depth review!

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