Last Updated on August 25, 2023 by Arran Rice | Published: August 25, 2023
If you’re like us and you grew up playing the Metal Slug games, then chances are that you’re looking for something to scratch an itch. To be specific, the itch for a good side scrolling shooter you can play and lose in yourself in.
Well, looks like VNGGames International answered our prayers because they’re out with Metal Slug: Awakening. A game built newly from the ground up and based on the legendary arcade shooter we all know and love.
While it does pay homage to the original Metal Slug in more ways than one, it also has a bunch of new things. These new things might leave some players stumped and in need of some guidance. Fortunately, that’s exactly why we’re here with the ultimate guide for Metal Slug: Awakening.
Table of Contents
When you first download and install the game, chances are that you’ll have to download some extra assets. If you’ve played other mobile games before then you’ll know that this is necessary if you want to play the game.
With the additional assets downloaded, you’ll be greeted by the title screen asking you to log in to the game. You can either log in via Google, or Facebook or just continue as a guest. We recommend you log in using a social media account to ensure you don’t end up losing your progress.
With that, you’ll be asked to tap the screen. Before you do, though, it’s recommended that you use the icons at the top right of the screen to change:
- Audio settings
- Game settings
- Localization settings
Fortunately, while this game is made in Vietnam and as such the original language is Vietnamese, it also supports other languages. This makes the game much more accessible for players all over the world.
Getting the Ball Rolling
Once you’re done changing whatever setting you want feel free to tap on the screen to initiate a short but impressive opening cutscene. When the cutscene ends, you’ll be asked to pick a character out of four possible characters on the screen.
Well, to be more specific, you’ll be given the impression that you’re able to choose one out of four characters when the only unlocked character will be Marco. By selecting him, you’ll instantly be thrust into the very first mission which will begin your Metal Slug: Awakening journey.
Run, Jump, and Shoot
If you’ve played any other Metal Slug game then you know exactly what to expect from Metal Slug: Awakening. You take the role of one of the many available characters in the game as you run, shoot, and jump through various missions in the game.
Perhaps the most important thing here is to ensure you select the right shooting option. Metal Slug: Awakening gives players the choice to choose between either having the game automatically shoot the nearest enemy, or having the player manually aim the weapon every time.
If you’re playing on a small phone or if you want a casual experience without having to try too hard then we recommend the automatic aiming mode. With this on, players can simply focus on avoiding incoming attacks and let the game handle the rest.
Alternatively, if you choose to go with the manual option, then you’ll have to hold the big weapon icon at the bottom right corner of the screen and drag your finger toward the direction you want your character to shoot. Don’t worry about having to use the same old pistol, because you’ll unlock new weapons and gear as you progress through the game.
It might be a good idea to remember that certain enemies also have weak spots, By manually aiming, you can ensure your character shoots the enemy’s weak spots every single time to deal maximum damage.
Avoiding Incoming Attacks
Speaking of avoiding incoming attacks, moving out of the way of attacks is a crucial part of the game. Now, there are two ways you can avoid attacks. The first way is by simply moving out of the way by using the left virtual analog stick.
The second way, meanwhile, is literally jumping out of the way. This is done by tapping the small jump icon right on top of the weapon icon at the bottom right of the screen. Since this is a mobile game, it might get a little getting used to, but you’ll be avoiding attacks like a ninja in no time.
Fortunately, almost all enemy attacks are very easily predictable. With some error and repetition, we’re positive you’ll be able to learn enemy attack patterns to avoid them without breaking a sweat.
Keep in mind, however, that characters have a set number of health points. Every time a character is damaged, the number of health points visibly decreases on top of the character. Lose all your health points and you’ll have to either quit the round or respawn by using a respawn point.
Using More than Guns
Oh, did you think shooting with your primary weapon was the only way to take enemies out? Not at all! There are two more ways players can deal some heavy damage to enemies, and we have a feeling you’ll be using at least one of these ways a lot.
The first way is throwing a bomb. By tapping the icon left of the jump icon, your character will throw a bomb in the direction the character will be facing. Although the damage dealt will be great, you have to keep in mind that you have only a set number of bombs. Use them all up and you’ll have to get lucky and come across them or have to spend the rest of the round without them.
Additionally, players also have ultimate abilities they can use. When the icon directly below the bomb icon is glowing, it’s possible to tap it and unleash the character’s ultimate ability. Every character has a different ultimate ability, so we recommend you try out every character’s ability to see which one you like the most.
Once an ultimate ability is used, it goes on cooldown for a couple of seconds. In this state, tapping the icon will do nothing and you’ll have to wait for the ability to return by itself.
The final thing you need to keep in mind when out on the field is the number of pickups. Now, Metal Slug: Awakening has a LOT of pickups you can come across. These pickups include coins, power up weapons you can use for a limited time, and utilities you can use at will.
Utilities are used by tapping the red icon that’s directly left of the ultimate ability icon. Perhaps the best utility is the medkit. Using it restores your health in a single battle, making getting through the mission that much easier.
Progressing Through the Story
Metal Slug: Awakening also has a story that the game shows us by using a bunch of beautifully animated cutscenes. While these cutscenes can easily be skipped by tapping the skip option at the top right corner of the screen, we recommend you give it a chance.
Throughout the story, fans will see not only recurring faces from the series but also brand new faces. If you ask us, there’s a little something for everyone. The overall goal of the game, however, is to solve the mystery of the purple lighting.
Mission After Mission
To ensure the game doesn’t get too repetitive, Metal Slug: Awakening has a bunch of different missions players can go through. Starting from mission 1-1, unlocking one mission will lead to the following mission being unlocked. However, in addition to the mission itself being more difficult, the enemies you face will also be harder to beat.
Therefore, you’ll have to adapt to the types of enemies you face and polish your shooting and evading skills. If you don’t, then you might not be able to make it to the end of the game in one piece. Oh, but don’t think you can just rush through the game because it also has a stamina system. Run out of stamina and you’ll have to wait or replenish more by either buying some or consuming a meal if you want to continue doing missions.
One very cool thing is that every mission also has at least one boss at the very end of it. These bosses are unique enemies that have their health bars displayed at the top of the screen. No two bosses are the same, which means you’ll have to learn the attack patterns and adapt to the boss’ location if you want a chance at beating them.
To make beating bosses easier, we recommend you use everything at your disposal. Use your utilities, dodge as your life depends on it, and try to exploit any weak spot the boss might have. Take it from us, this game has some really difficult-to-beat bosses.
One unique thing Metal Slug: Awakening does is it lets players choose what their character says. While certain cutscenes are going on, players are given the choice to choose what to say. Choose correctly and you can potentially increase the trust factor with a specific character.
A good example of this is at the end of the very first mission in the game. Before the mission ends, we have to speak with Fio, and selecting the right option visibly increases the trust factor with her. Increase it enough and who knows, something good might happen.
Create the Ultimate Team
Come on, don’t tell us you thought you’d be playing ONLY as Marco. The game has a bunch of different playable characters players can unlock. However, the process of unlocking characters differs.
For example, some characters are unlocked by participating in specific events. Most of these events are there for a limited time, which means if you miss them then you might potentially miss your chance at unlocking the character.
Next up, a majority of the game’s characters are unlocked via the Treasure Dig. The Treasure Dig is Metal Slug: Awakening’s version of gacha pulls. That’s right, this game has a gacha system too, just like Honkai: Star Rail and Cookie Run: Kingdom. However, the gacha system unlocks further into the story.
Finally, some characters are unlocked when meeting specific requirements. For example, remember when we said getting Fio’s trust up might prove to be fruitful? Well, if you get her trust to 150 you unlock her for completely free!
Gear Your Characters Up
In addition to being able to switch out your characters at any time, it’s also possible to customize them. Now, we aren’t talking purely cosmetic items either. By completing certain missions and meeting requirements, you’ll unlock what the game calls accessories.
Accessories, when equipped with any character, grant your character special abilities. For example, the very first accessory you’re likely to get allows your character to throw three grenades at once. Explosive, right?
This was everything you needed to know to get started with Metal Slug: Awakening. While it isn’t a carbon copy of the original in terms of content, and it definitely has some key mobile game features, we still really enjoyed our time with it. We believe it has been able to pay homage to the classic legendary arcade Metal Slug, all the while creating a new identity for itself.