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Video Game / UnMetal

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UnMetal is a 2021 Stealth-Based Game by the same Spanish developer as Unepic. It was first released for the PlayStation Vita in April 21st, 2021, before later being ported to the Nintendo Switch, PC, Playstation 4 and Xbox One on September 28th, 2021.

A Spiritual Successor and parody of the top-down Metal Gear games, the story starts as a Soviet war helicopter enters allied territory, and is promptly intercepted and shot down. The pilot and protagonist, Jesse Fox, is arrested by the people who shot him down and brought to a military base for interrogation. There, he's asked to explain what the hell he was doing in that heavily armed Soviet helicopter, and flashes back to 1972, where he is thrown in prison by a crack commando unit for a crime he didn't commit, where the game then begins.

UnMetal Provides examples of:

  • Affectionate Parody: Of the Metal Gear franchise while specifically based on the 8-Bit era games (Metal Gear, Snake's Revenge, and Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake).
  • Angry Guard Dog: Several dobermans appear, which have to be distracted with raw meat or snuck past.
  • Anti-Frustration Feature: A game over at certain spots often provides a tip as to how you can avoid your fate. In addition, you are given the option to lower the difficulty.
  • Artistic License – Chemistry: Played for laughs. Jesse mixing a batch of chloroform in chemical storage consists of combining flasks labeled "Chloro" and "Form". It is also averted in the same place as mixing "Chloro" with sodium produces salt, and mixing sodium with water produces an explosion.
  • Badass Normal: Parodied. Jesse Fox insists that he is a civilian. Despite this, he is skilled with weaponry, close combat, and stealth. He is also savvy with chemistry and electronics.
  • Bag of Spilling: Played with. The final boss has General X going invisible, and pick-pocketing Jesse while distracting him with his machines.
  • Bait-and-Switch: As a gameplay feature! Early on the game presents scenarios as Multiple Choice options with the first being a simple A or B without any sort of context. These will have an impact on gameplay; for example choosing what state a guard is in when you walk into a room with yourself plainly in his vision. Some times these are played straight, sometimes choosing the easy answer will lead to Fox subverting it in his narration.
  • Bavarian Fire Drill: Jesse, on several occasions, avoids confrontations by simply yelling at whoever he's been caught by and ordering them around until he gets them to go away or otherwise leave him alone - though it's possible to screw this up during the "boss battle" with the Drill Sergeant.
  • Big Ball of Violence: If Jesse comes into contact with a guard dog, this happens.
  • Boring, but Practical: The slingshot allows for ranged silent takedowns, making it more useful than the pistol, since it allows Jesse to gain XP, won't attract attention, and doesn't require the enemy to be stabilised with a medkit.
  • Break Them by Talking: One unique "boss fight" has Jesse do this to a Drill Sergeant. You have to figure out the right dialogue options that will get him to say he's from Texas, at which point Jesse will verbally destroy both the Drill Sergeant and the armed guard in the room with them. Fail, and it's Jesse who's verbally destroyed by the Drill Sergeant, then physically destroyed by his interrogators for lying about what happened.
  • Brick Joke: The noose Jesse uses to pretend to hang himself in his cell at the very beginning of the game, which is constantly brought up by the interrogator as to how he got it in the first 2 chapters with Jesse saying he'll explain it later. Eventually, he can choose to explain it as being made of hair, guts or broccoli.
  • Bulletproof Vest: An upgrade found in chapter 6, which can negate some gunfire.
  • Cassandra Truth: If a guard spots Jesse in the presence of a drill Sergeant, he gets chastised for disobeying his orders.
  • Chameleon Camouflage: One unlockable perk allows Jesse to blend into walls. Mikes would have to be practically touching him to notice.
  • Chekhov's Gun: In chapter 1, you find a digital watch. Wearing it displays the time (hour and minutes) set in your console. It can also be used as a timer for C4 found in chapter 10.
  • "Could Have Avoided This!" Plot: Fox finds a perfectly operational cargo truck that he could escape in. He refused because it had a diesel engine and was very inefficient on how it processed fuel.
    • In regards to the uniform, the Lieutenant questioned Fox over why he didn't just disguise himself as the enemy, and avoided all the sneaking around. Fox insisted that he refused because he could become the guard.
  • Crazy-Prepared: General X. When Jesse confronts him and contemplates shooting him, General X informed him that he is wearing a bullet-proof vest. When Jesse considers shooting him in the head, he had a guard do that for him, just to reveal that he is actually a hologram. His office is also full of supplies.
  • Delicious Distraction: Guard dogs can be distracted by throwing raw meat to them.
  • Development Gag: The basic plot of the game being about a non-military POW trying to escape is actually closer to the original concept for Metal Gear on the MSX. Knowing this makes the plot a lot more applicable as a parody, since otherwise the parody aspects seem more tied to the gameplay than the game as a whole.
  • Did Not Think This Through: If you successfully dodge the fire traps without bothering to put on the anti-thermal suit that you will absolutely possess as you reach them, the Lieutenant asks why Fox just doesn't wear the anti-thermal suit he had on him. He admitted that he didn't remember he had it.
  • Difficulty Spike: The game starts to really show its teeth as soon as you pick up the handgun - sounding the alarm brings a LOT more enemies to the area, and you can't afford to miss too many shots against the non-human enemies (that you can shoot at will with no consequence) as your ammo cap is just low enough to potentially lead to problems in areas where there typically are a LOT of such enemies.
  • Drill Sergeant Nasty: The Drill Sergeants who are such massive control freaks that they refuse to take any direct warning of an intruder. One of them is even a (unique) boss fight.
  • Elite Mooks: The Scandinavians and Japanese Mercenaries in Chapter 9. The former are stronger than normal guards, actively search for Fox after a distraction, and only stay knocked out for a few seconds unless you quickly tie them up upon knocking them out, while the latter can be knocked out with one punch, but have enhanced vision, allowing them to see Fox if he is anywhere in the direction they are facing outside of cover.
  • Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": The Doctor insists that Jesse simply calls her "doctor", and though other characters talk to/about her, no one ever refers to her by name. The credits eventually reveals her first name to be Erika.
  • Everyone Has Standards: Fox refuses to abandon his principles even at the first signs of danger, such as driving a fuel-inefficient cargo truck to escape in, or simply tossing away some useless items without finding a proper reciprocal.
  • Expy: Jesse Fox is one of Solid Snake, even speaking in a very similar manner, but lacks his Shell-Shocked Veteran status.
  • Feed It a Bomb: You defeat Hugeel in Chapter 6 by firing torpedoes in it's mouth when it goes to chomp you.
  • Fish People: Piranha-human hybrids show up in the sewers as enemies.
  • Flamethrower Backfire: If Jesse fires the flamethrower for too long without waiting for it to cool down between shots, it will explode and instantly kill him.
    • During the Sewer Junk boss fight, the flamethrower breaks, and Jesse can decide how it breaks: Explosion, or Broke down.
  • Flunky Boss: Lieutenant Markuson and General X have guards and drones assisting them in their boss fights respectively. Rats/squirrels also assist Sewer Junk on difficulties above Easy.
  • Framing Device: The intro has Jesse escaping in the helicopter and getting shot down by Allied forces before being taken prisoner and being interrogated, whereupon he relays the events of the game. And this even turns out to be a story within a story, as he's telling his girlfriend about the events of the interrogation after his release. Or maybe not, since it's implied he's making the whole thing up.
  • Giant Squid: A giant octopus named Sewer Junk appears as a Giant Space Flea from Nowhere boss in the sewers.
  • The Guards Must Be Crazy: Most of the guards are just as incompetent as they are in Metal Gear. Subverted with a set of joking guards in the first chapter, though, who will not fall for distractions like coins or hitting boxes, but will not notice Jesse while they are laughing from their jokes, even if he runs right past them.
  • Healing Boss: General X. Using YOUR medkits. Because of this, he'll basically have as much health as you have medkits by the time he starts stealing them for his own use. Oh, and the boss in question becomes a bit cross with you once he can no longer do this.
  • Hospital Hottie: Doctor, who's attractiveness encourages Jesse to remain non-lethal and find a way to knock out the guards without injuring them to stay on her good side.
  • Husky Russkie: Machine Gun/Splash Mike, who is tough enough to survive multiple grenade blasts.
  • Improvised Weapon: Jesse fashions a slingshot out of a y-shaped stick and an eyepatch.
  • Intrepid Reporter: Robert is a paparazzi who got imprisoned over a pair of massive concrete blocks. Which, you find out later, had nuclear warheads encased inside.
  • Lemony Narrator: The entire game is retold by Jesse Fox himself, with many details recounted, including how many guards there were, the exact setting, and even sometimes forgetting or mis-remembering details.
  • Man-Eating Plant: These appear in the jungle, lashing their tongues at Fox when he's in range.
  • Misblamed: The plot kicks off with Jesse Fox explaining to the Lieutenant that he was arrested by a crack commando squad of the X Army for a crime he didn't commit.
Jesse: "I was arrested for a crime I didn't commit."
Guard: "You are under arrest for a crime you didn't commit."
  • Nintendo Hard: For all the silly and genre-parody elements the game gleefully uses at every turn, make no mistake, you will be finding out the hard way, many times, that it turns out that being a random civilian attempting to escape a military base in the middle of who-knows-where is DANGEROUS AS HELL, and the slightest mistake, even stuff you'd have to be borderline clairvoyant to figure out on your first try, can easily get you killed.
    • For more specific examples, it doesn't take long into the game before raising the alarm even once, if it isn't an automatic death sentence already, might as well become one, as guards will swarm you in packs of at LEAST six, which even if you weren't being forced to take everyone out non-lethally and/or heal up everyone you critically injure is akin to trying to outrun a firing squad.
  • No Fair Cheating: Invoked in chapter 6. Machine Gun Mike can fake out Fox with the pause in his attack pattern. Managing to hit Fox with his result in him calling Mike out.
  • Non-Standard Game Over: If Fox fails the "boss fight" against the Drill Sergeant, or triggers the alarm in chapter 8, the Lieutenant gets impatient with his contradictions and has him executed.
  • Not Even Bothering with the Accent: The Scandinavians and Japanese Mercenaries in Chapter 9 still speak with American accents like the rest of the guards.
  • Pacifist Run: Enforced. Even once Jesse acquires a handgun, he must use med kits on any guards he shoots with it before they die.
  • Planet of Steves: Every single mook (guards and maintenance crew) is called Mike. Except engineers. They're called Leonard.
  • Pun: The large drone that Jesse fights is called "Megadron", a reworded name from the "Megatron" main antagonist from the Transformers series.
  • Punch-Packing Pistol: Zigzagged. Like in the Metal Gear series, the pistol is a powerful tool for dropping enemies. However, because the story requires that Jesse doesn't kill anyone, gunning down guards with it requires them to be healed with a medkit, making it Awesome, but Impractical against them. It's perfectly fine to use against bosses, mechanical enemies, critters, and ghosts, though. Also, it lacks the option for a Hollywood Silencer, making it a more situational weapon than in Metal Gear.
  • Refusal of the Call: Fox is constantly pleaded by Colonal Alan Harris to collect intel on Operation: Jerico, with Fox constantly refusing to work for him. His escape route ensures that he ends up doing so throughout the game regardless.
  • Regenerating Health: A level 7 perk can grant Jesse this, although it heals slowly and it doesn't work at all if he's bleeding. One boss in Stage 9 is also capable of healing if left alone for too long.
  • Retraux: The artstyle of the game mimics the 8-bit graphical style of Metal Gear, Snake's Revenge and Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake.
  • Schmuck Bait:
    • One side mission in chapter 3 is about making chloroform. You are then instructed to use it on a distracted guard. The game never told you to combine a handkerchief with it.
    • Just try combining the cigarette butt with the gas can or sodium with water in your inventory and see what happens. There's even an achievement for this.
  • Short-Lived Aerial Escape: Jesse's helicopter gets shot down in the intro after his escape, leading to his capture and interrogation. It works out better than his attempts to escape by land or sea, though, since in the former case, he refuses to use a diesel truck himself so as not to pollute the environment and the truck he stows aboard later ends up changing its route at the last minute, and in the latter case, the boat he buys gets struck by lightning and sinks immediately after he buys it.
  • Shout-Out:
    • A secret in Chapter 9 has the old man from The Legend of Zelda in it, complete with "It's dangerous to go alone! Take this." and an 8-bit sword in a box. Jesse ends up tossing it as it is old and rusted, and accidentally kills the old man as he does so.
    Jesse Fox: I found an old rusted sword. A thousand years ago it could have been of use... but this was current year. So I tossed it.
    (throws away sword, proceeds to exit from the room whilst the sword lands and hits the old man)
  • Smoking Is Cool: Unlike a certain other stealth game protagonist, Jesse detests smoking. You can collect cigarettes that serve no practical purpose. He also chides one of the Mikes for smoking despite having a daughter to raise.
  • The Stinger: The end credits scene heavily implies that Jesse Fox made the whole story up, just to score with his girlfriend.
  • Suspend Save: Aside from passing key events or using the waste center to save your game, you can unlock porta-potty units to save your game. The catch is: You have to empty that porta-potty at a waste center to reuse it, or it's lost when you restart from that save.
  • Swarm of Rats: Rat swarms bust through several walls in the sewers, chasing Jesse. The first time he encounters them, he must run until he reaches a shredder which kills them. Soon afterwards, he gets a flamethrower which he can use to defend himself against them. If he chooses to say that there were no rats, swarms of squirrels attack instead.
  • Tap on the Head: Averted. When Jesse knocks a guard out with his melee combo or slingshot, they are taken to the medical bay for multiple injuries, with Doctor understandably getting frustrated at Jesse over her increased workload. A little bit later, he gets chloroform, which he can use with a handkerchief to knock guards out without injuring them.
  • Technical Pacifist: Jesse Fox punches guards hard enough to disable them. Fox can also utilize guns and explosives, but must heal his injured enemies to avoid a game over. He has no aversion towards destroying machines and vehicles, or defending against wildlife, mutants, or ghosts.
  • Thou Shalt Not Kill: Enforced by the game mechanics and the story. Jesse refuses to kill anyone, so any enemies he takes out using guns or explosives will need to be healed up before they bleed out.
  • Throwing the Distraction: Jesse acquires coins which he can toss to distract guards. This gets played with twice:
    • To a pair of Mikes in chapter 1, they discuss the trope briefly, then ignore the coin.
    • In chapter 9, one room has a team of guards pulling this on Jesse, who can actually fall for it just like the guards if you don't know how to prevent it. To avoid him falling for it, simply equip the sunglasses he can acquire in the first chapter. This prevents Jesse from acting like the guards he uses this tactic against, most likely as the sunglasses make it more difficult for him to perceive the room he enters. And this is the only way to obtain a specific, achievement-related item without triggering an alert.
  • Trial-and-Error Gameplay: Often played for laughs. One particular moment gives the player an option to sneak past dogs with a heightened sense of hearing or smell. Colonel Harris will call you midway through your sneak attempt, alerting the dogs and getting you killed. The correct solution is to go just far enough into the area to know the dogs are there, leave, then call him before you attempt to sneak through - Jesse tells Colonel Harris that he's about to sneak through and needs him to be quiet, and Colonel Harris complies.
  • The Unreveal: When the Lieutenant got impatient and demanded an answer as to how Jesse got his hands on a noose, the player is then presented with a choice of three items (Hair, Guts, Broccoli). Jesse explains that he got it from a guard, but it's the Lieutenant that made the assumption on the choice. Jesse revealed to his friend that he lied anyway.
  • Unreliable Narrator: Deliberately invoked multiple times per level. When he's not outright avoiding questions, Fox will troll the player, troll his framing device characters, troll the characters in story or go on wildly unbelievable tangents that are canon within the confines of the story and you must then deal with as game play elements.
  • Useless Item: Several items collected throughout the game don't appear to have any real purpose. Jesse will actually dump these, along with items that have served their purpose, when he finds the recycling bin. Some items that he doesn't drop that still SEEM useless will have uses later, though their usage may be optional, might not be obvious... or might not be beneficial.
  • Verbal Backspace: In chapter 8, Jesse beats up the old man for his bolt cutters. When his friend expressed horror towards his actions, he quickly rescinded the story to explain that he bought it instead.
  • Video Game Caring Potential: After meeting the Doctor, and witnessing the guards under her care thanks to Fox, the player could elect to simply put the guards to sleep using chloroform instead.
  • Wolf Pack Boss: The Turret Storm fought in chapter 4, which consists of a large group of the turrets you fought on the way to it.