User Score
5.8

Mixed or average reviews- based on 229 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 80 out of 229
  2. Negative: 72 out of 229

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  1. Apr 14, 2014
    3
    This game was one of the biggest NOPE I have ever experienced. Yes, at first glance it looks cool in a Metal Slug kind of way but I **** you not, it plays and feels completely the opposite way of what a side scroller shoot´em all should feel.

    Cons; Timed missions (wtf??) Extremely repetitive npc's (you have no idea) weapons system sucks 1st weapon will always feel better than any
    This game was one of the biggest NOPE I have ever experienced. Yes, at first glance it looks cool in a Metal Slug kind of way but I **** you not, it plays and feels completely the opposite way of what a side scroller shoot´em all should feel.

    Cons;
    Timed missions (wtf??)
    Extremely repetitive npc's (you have no idea)
    weapons system sucks
    1st weapon will always feel better than any upgraded weapon.
    boss fights are NO FUN AT ALL, difficult and a pain in the ass
    weird level design
    Only 2 character selection.
    annoying music
    Difficulty, this time around its not fun or rewarding at all.

    I deleted the game even I got it for "free" with my PSN+ subscription.
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  2. Jun 5, 2014
    4
    The game is honestly just meh, if it wasn't for PS+ I probably would not have played this game. I love the look of the game, but in general its just plain boring.
  3. May 24, 2014
    4
    The reviews I read all tried to tell me to 'stick with it' and 'it pays off' but I disagree. I'd suggest you save yourself the time of downloading it at all unless you really need something new to play. If this game had cost anything, I would've been annoyed as well as disappointed. The modding is kind of cool and seems to be the main argument people have to continue playing. Time limitsThe reviews I read all tried to tell me to 'stick with it' and 'it pays off' but I disagree. I'd suggest you save yourself the time of downloading it at all unless you really need something new to play. If this game had cost anything, I would've been annoyed as well as disappointed. The modding is kind of cool and seems to be the main argument people have to continue playing. Time limits on the levels were an annoyance for me. They overcomplicate the simplicity of the genre with certain options available. It gave me a familiarity with the original Bionic Commando briefly but has nowhere near the charm. And what's up with the loading time for this game? Seems excessive. If you're a committed platform shooter lover then you'll likely disagree with me since I only appreciate the highlights of the genre like Bionic Commando and Contra. Expand
  4. Apr 26, 2014
    3
    Unresponsive controls and unoriginal game design bring this game down to being unplayable. It's like if an fps made you decide to look around or shoot but you couldn't do both. That'd be frustrating and broken. Here you have to stop stabbing/ shooting in order to turn around to shoot or stab in the other direction which limits your ability to clear out groups. It apes the art style ofUnresponsive controls and unoriginal game design bring this game down to being unplayable. It's like if an fps made you decide to look around or shoot but you couldn't do both. That'd be frustrating and broken. Here you have to stop stabbing/ shooting in order to turn around to shoot or stab in the other direction which limits your ability to clear out groups. It apes the art style of contra and the active reload mechanic from gears of war but does not marry these two in any meaningful way Expand
  5. Apr 6, 2014
    0
    The quality of this game is unacceptable on a next gen console. Don't even bother downloading it from PS+ as it's a waste of time. Would have been semi-decent on an 8-bit Atari 130XE but not on a PS4. I hope Sony gives us something decent on PS+ next month to make up for virtually giving us nothing this month.
  6. Apr 7, 2014
    4
    Extremely disappointing that this is our offering this month. As for the game itself, it's decent. Bad controls, but it becomes somewhat fun later on. However, I can't support a game that was intentionally made to be an old school game on a next gen console. I know what that sounds like, but seriously. I bought a PS4 so I could play great BUT good looking games with a modern appeal. HowExtremely disappointing that this is our offering this month. As for the game itself, it's decent. Bad controls, but it becomes somewhat fun later on. However, I can't support a game that was intentionally made to be an old school game on a next gen console. I know what that sounds like, but seriously. I bought a PS4 so I could play great BUT good looking games with a modern appeal. How many hardcore console gamers that pay $50 a year for this service were excited to see this in the store at the beginning of the month. Like I said, it actually is somewhat fun, but my hard earned money needs something more. Expand
  7. Apr 7, 2014
    4
    Graphics are fine and what I expected, but the gameplay just has bad mechanics. You cannot shoot diagonally...and what's with this reload bar that slides?...talk about annoying. If you don't hit it exactly in the yellow/green area you have to wait as it flashes red to show you how you failed. And what button do they pick for reload?....R1..that right, kids...have fun with that. Also,Graphics are fine and what I expected, but the gameplay just has bad mechanics. You cannot shoot diagonally...and what's with this reload bar that slides?...talk about annoying. If you don't hit it exactly in the yellow/green area you have to wait as it flashes red to show you how you failed. And what button do they pick for reload?....R1..that right, kids...have fun with that. Also, to use an item you have to hold L1 and select it, press square then switch back to your weapon with L1 again....while enemies and time still move...ugh. This would be a good game, but the controls ruin it. Expand
  8. May 16, 2015
    0
    I don't have a PS+ account so I bought this game. It does look great - much better than Axiom Verge (a fantastic game). I was expecting some Metal Slug like action (+ weapon updates).

    Then I've started the game and it went downhill: - long loading screens for the missions AND for the base (where you pick your missions and upgrades...) - controls ridiculously suck: --- it's slow; your
    I don't have a PS+ account so I bought this game. It does look great - much better than Axiom Verge (a fantastic game). I was expecting some Metal Slug like action (+ weapon updates).

    Then I've started the game and it went downhill:
    - long loading screens for the missions AND for the base (where you pick your missions and upgrades...)
    - controls ridiculously suck:
    --- it's slow; your character is slow, the enemies are slow and don't move much
    --- you can't shoot in diagonals
    --- you have to reload every 10 seconds (with R1 !) and reloading is painful ! (I've played 2D shooters and many FPS - this is the first game ever to have annoying reloading)
    --- when you climb you can't shoot to the top or bottom
    --- etc.

    I've played one hour (because I bought it ^^); finished a few missions, bought new weapons and I never had a feeling of progress or fun or pressure (you know when you're almost dead and close to the objective). All I felt was boredom and rage since I've wasted my money.
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  9. Apr 5, 2014
    1
    Again another disappointing month on PS+. This time we are treated to yet another game which would have been okay in the mega drive years but just isn't acceptable on a modern gaming console. Mercenary kings is a throwback to the old 2D Metal Slug type games but fails to hold the gamers attention due to an unnecessary and boring gun crafting kit. The game could have been a straight up funAgain another disappointing month on PS+. This time we are treated to yet another game which would have been okay in the mega drive years but just isn't acceptable on a modern gaming console. Mercenary kings is a throwback to the old 2D Metal Slug type games but fails to hold the gamers attention due to an unnecessary and boring gun crafting kit. The game could have been a straight up fun side scrolling shoot um up (which is what made games like Midnight resistance and Gunstar Heroes such old classics). But no, it over-complicates matters with crafting, and dull RPG elements like questing to find and retrieve objects. The level design is dull, the backgrounds all feel the same.

    The controls are terrible and the reload mechanic is almost a game breaker. The character movement is sluggish and creates a very frustrating and dull experience.

    The story is boring and way to many badly written text screens break up any of the action with lengthy meaningless dialogue (which I skipped out of sheer boredom) .

    The art work is horrible yet the designer pretentiously thinks they've created something cool and hip. The badly drawn characters look and feel so dated and would have just about looked okay on the Neo Geo in the early 90s. I played for around two hours before un-installing and going back to FEZ which is a far better indie game and would have been much nicer as the free game this month.

    Sony need to step there game up on psn and employ someone to make desisions to give away decent games. Last moth we had the disgraceful Dead Nation, this month the terrible Mercenary Kings. Lets home next month we get something worthy of our money.

    Avoid at all costs especially if you grew up on side scrolling shooters, this will only make you hate the genre you remember so fondly. A poor attempt at reviving a once golden age of gaming.
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  10. Apr 3, 2014
    3
    Clearly pixel retro style nostalgia or denial that they wasted their money kickstarting this game is causing most of the 'professional' game critics to significantly over rate this game. I do not have a hatred for Indie games, I love lots of them but this one is not it.... its graphics quickly become boring and the controls just feel terrible and frustrating. Some of the gameplay of whatClearly pixel retro style nostalgia or denial that they wasted their money kickstarting this game is causing most of the 'professional' game critics to significantly over rate this game. I do not have a hatred for Indie games, I love lots of them but this one is not it.... its graphics quickly become boring and the controls just feel terrible and frustrating. Some of the gameplay of what exactly you're supposed to be doing seemed to be lost on me too.... maybe I got fed up and clicked through some important tip in the barrage of text bubbles? It is free on the PS Plus service at the moment so I cannot really complain but it certainly isn't a 9 out of 10 as some reviewers are trying to suggest. Far from it! Expand
  11. Apr 2, 2014
    0
    sooo badly game !! ,, really awkward .. dont wast tyour time on 2 bit game .. its not a good game by any means .. I dont know why they did bring it for free for PS4 PLUS memebers
  12. Apr 5, 2014
    1
    Juego de los regalados con el psplus, tiene una apariencia a los maravillosos metal slug, pero nada más lejos de la realidad.
    Mapas enrevesados, muchísima información al principio, sin una buena curva de aprendizaje, además tan sólo dispone de dos idiomas:Inglés y Francés.

    En definitiva, juego insufrible, aburrido y sin ningún aliciente
  13. Jan 25, 2015
    3
    Hey, do you like time limits? Do you like losing all your progress when you hit those time limits? Then this game is right up your alley. Otherwise you should really look elsewhere. The game runs and I haven't seen any bugs, though, so it's functional at least.
  14. Nel
    Apr 21, 2017
    4
    The game is mediocre at best, it has some potential and can be enjoyed, but the guns feels littelry useless at times, and there is just a lot of repetition.
  15. Nov 8, 2017
    3
    If you're looking for a spiritual successor to Metal Slug then don't bother because this is absolutely not it like I hoped. It was a total waste of $5. I deleted it 3/4s through the game and don't regret it because you can have more fun just playing Metal Slug Anthology instead of wasting your time.
  16. Oct 3, 2015
    4
    A free PS+ offering from a few months back Mercenary Kings is a 2d scrolling shoot-em-up which, thanks to some odd design choices, makes for a frustrating experience.

    Any game featuring couch co-op these days is worth a look but even that couldn't keep my brother and I interested for much more than a couple of hours. Chief among the games problems are the fact that enemies respawn the
    A free PS+ offering from a few months back Mercenary Kings is a 2d scrolling shoot-em-up which, thanks to some odd design choices, makes for a frustrating experience.

    Any game featuring couch co-op these days is worth a look but even that couldn't keep my brother and I interested for much more than a couple of hours. Chief among the games problems are the fact that enemies respawn the second you move the screen in any direction (meaning you are often hit unaware by a bad guy you'd already killed), missions in which you can't find your objective and the fact that you have to constantly reload your weapon with R1 (which simply does not work in this type of game). Even for the cheap price it can be purchased for Mercenary Kings is not worth bothering with.
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Metascore
70

Mixed or average reviews - based on 25 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 25
  2. Negative: 2 out of 25
  1. Games Master UK
    Jun 7, 2014
    61
    Those guns feel rigid and lacking in power. [July 2014, p.78]
  2. LEVEL (Czech Republic)
    Jun 5, 2014
    60
    A modern platformer focused on crafting and dressed in a wonderful retro garb. Sadly, it recycles itself way too much. [Issue#242]
  3. Jun 3, 2014
    60
    While its 8-bit action RPG fusion fulfills a baseline addictive quality, frequent missteps and repetitiousness pushed me too far away to ever get hooked.