The game is LucasArts's take on Assault Suits Valken, another 2D mech action game (also published by Konami), but with a slower and less arcade-y gameplay. The game has more emphasis on piloting multiple types of mech suits either for combat or exploration, this is done thanks to the ability to exit your suit mid-gameplay.
The story takes place in the year of 2102 with the United Earth Government fighting a losing war against the Dark Axis. With the Earth forces exhausted and the Dark Axis taking over Earth, a group of elite pilots have become Earth's last hope and they are known as... The Metal Warriors.
- Animesque: The first cutscene's style and some of the Mech Suits are inspired by old mecha anime such as Mobile Suit Gundam.
- Ambidextrous Sprite: A problem with the humanoid mechs is that they're predominantly right-handed; They hold and shoot a hand weapon with their right hand which, due to program limitations, goes to their left hand when they face the left side of the screen.
- Checkpoint Starvation: There are no checkpoints in any of the stages and the game only allows you five continues for the entire playthrough.
- Crippling Overspecialization: The Prometheus has extremely powerful weapons but moves slowly and can't jump at all.
- Critical Existence Failure: Averted. Your mech loses offensive abilities when close to destruction.
- Difficulty Spike: The later stages go longer, more enemies, more moments where you are forced to go out of your mech suit to open doors where you could be killed in a second and to top it off, no checkpoints.
- Epic Flail: The final boss uses one that is larger than your mech.
- Everything Breaks: Levels are filled with destructible walls and floors, some of which require heavy weapons to destroy and others will break under your weight.
- Excuse Plot: The United Earth good, The Dark Axis bad, go kill them. There aren't even characters outside of the player character, Mission Control, and Venkar Amon; the main antagonist.
- Gameplay and Story Segregation: After every briefing before a mission, you are deployed alongside two or three squadmates, yet they never appear in gameplay.
- Grand Theft Prototype: Mission Six involves infiltrating an enemy base to steal the prototype Drache.
- Gray Is Useless: Undamaged mech suits are brightly colored, but when they get more and more damaged, their color fades. Empty mech suits are gray, and change color depending on which player enters one (players are either red or blue in multiplayer, and AI enemies in single-player mode are purple).
- Hello, [Insert Name Here]: The player character can be named with its default name being Stone.
- Joke Level: Completing the game or entering a code during the start screen opens a special multiplayer mode that must be seen to be believed.
- No Power, No Color: Undamaged mech suits are brightly colored, but when they get more and more damaged, their color fades. Empty mech suits are gray, and change color depending on which player enters one (players are either red or blue in multiplayer, and AI enemies in single-player mode are purple).
- On-Ride/On-Foot Combat: There are several sequences in which the player must exit their mecha in order to access a narrow space (usually a control panel which unlocks a door or controls a spaceship).
- Obviously Evil: The invading forces is called the Dark Axis for pete's sake.
- Shows Damage: Instead of a health bar your mech becomes darker with damage, eventually producing smoke and flames and missing arms, which prevents you from attacking. Most larger enemies also go through multiple stages of damage before being destroyed.
- We Hardly Knew Ye: In the later stages, bosses with portraits and pre-battle dialogue will appear at the end of the stage, and then you kill them.