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Our examiner, Andy Robertson, first checked Mercenary Kings: Reloaded Edition 21 months ago. It was re-examined by Jo Robertson and updated 15 months ago.
Play is frantic and looks like a 16-bit Amiga, Atari ST or Sega Megadrive game. You can jump, crouch, roll and zip-wire from one area to another. The small moveset and set-on levels mean you have to get creative to dodge enemy bullets while getting your hits in. Periodically, you have to reload your game by completing a timed challenge. This slows the action temporarily while also upping the tension.
As you progress things move from simple extraction missions to more complex challenges. With these come more difficult enemies. There's not a huge range, but each must be understood and learned if you are to defeat them. You need to learn enemies predictable patterns, rather than just outshoot them.
Each time you complete a mission, or fail, you return to home base. Here you can craft all manner of weapons, combining parts to create new weapons. This system is robust and makes a tangible difference. Which means that finding new gun parts is both rewarding and changes how you approach your next level.
The result is a skill based game that is about technique and refinement rather than just nostalgia. As you play you discover a deeper game loop from the well realised enemies, challenging bosses and general weapon improvement loop. As an added bonus, on PlayStation 4 there are some nice additional controller touches. You can use the touchpad to scroll the map. Each time that you reload your gun the controller makes a sound.
You can play this game in the following styles:
Rated for younger players in the US. Rated ESRB TEEN for Blood and Gore, Comic Mischief, Mild Suggestive Themes, Use of Tobacco and Violence.
10+ year-olds usually have the required skill to enjoy this game. Still, it's important for parents and guardians to consider the maturity required to process the game content. Playing in a group means that younger children can enjoy this game, although they will need patience to progress and be able to communicate well.
- You need PlayStation Plus to play online with PlayStation Vita.
- You need be 18-years-old to to subscribe to Xbox Live Gold for online play, but can then configure family accounts for younger players to play online with Xbox One.
- You need be 18-years-old to subscribe to Nintendo Online, but can then create accounts for children of any age to play online with Nintendo Switch.
- You need be 18-years-old to subscribe to PlayStation Plus for online play, but can create sub-accounts for younger players of 7-years or older to play online with PlayStation 4.
Mercenary Kings: Reloaded Edition
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Release Date: 25/03/2014
Out Now: PS Vita, PS4, Switch and Xbox One
Content Rating: PEGI 16
Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds
Players: 1-4 (4 online)
Components: 2D Side-On and Pixels
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