SNK Corporation's Metal Slug: Commander is the latest installment in the Metal Slug franchise on Android and iOS devices. Instead of controlling the characters directly in battle, this time, Metal Slug: Commander lets you deploy and manage special troops as commanding officer.
Your job involves collecting unique special units cards and deploying them into battle against hordes of enemies in hopes that they return victorious. This latest installment gently places the game into the Card-based Gacha RPG category, where you can only send a maximum of 5 characters of the Metal Slug universe to the battlefield.
So in this beginner's guide, we'll be taking both new and existing players who are familiar with the Metal Slug universe on a basic tour of the game's latest and exciting features in order to get you started.
The game starts with a very brief story that tells of the Syrubis Islands, where several cultures have long enjoyed peace for many years, but soon the flames of war begin to heighten on these peaceful lands. This has forced General Morden, who hasn't seen action for years, to call upon his forces to the Island of Syrubis. After discovering the Lubis Ore, a valuable resource, he eventually led an all-out war.
The Island's regular army marched out a squad of legendary heroes to try and stop the Lubis Ore from being taken over by the Rebel Army, and after an intense battle, they drove off the majority of the rebels. However, just when they thought it was over, the tides turned.
It turns out it wasn't just the Ptolemaic Army and the Rebel Army that craved world domination using their fearless armies. The Desert Army and the Space Army were also planning their invasion on the Island and they've all arrive to join the fight. As the new commander of the Syrubis Island, it's up to you to protect the Lubis Ore, save the Island and put an end to the war.
The game starts out with a long and somewhat tiring tutorial that takes more time than it should in introducing players to the basics of Metal Slug: Commander. However, like most Card-based RPG games, each mission has you controlling 5 characters against your opponent's own 5 characters as well.
There are two usable lanes in the battlefields, and two units must fight in the upper lane while the remaining three units battle it out in the lower lane. There are conditions that can lead to the changing of lanes; otherwise, each unit will remain in their respective starting lanes
Some of these conditions which new players need to be aware of are:
- The victorious units can decide to move to the next lane once they have defeated an enemy.
- Some maps have two middle lanes where units battle amongst themselves and try to push opposing units.
- Few units can go as far as bypassing this shift and mechanic on their own.
Headquarter and Game Centers
As commander, your mainline base is the headquarters, but you're also in control of every center around the headquarters. In the headquarters, you can manage your units, promote them, or even retire certain units. It is also the place where you can organize your characters into a team and ready them for battle or disorganize them entirely.
The command center possesses a unique function that allows you to arrange lower-level units beneath your respective commanders, enhancing their levels. Having five Units that have successfully reached their highest level automatically makes them commanders, and placing any other unit under any of these five will subsequently increase their levels over time.
This is where newly acquired units can be upgraded, enhanced, and added to the rooster. You can also summon these new units from the Gacha by possessing three or more summoning centers. Players will be rewarded after successfully having two summoning centers. The talent center also consists of subsidiary centers such as Normal Recruitment Center, Faction Recruitment Center, and Friendship Recruitment Center.
Choose your skills wisely
As you grow your characters and level up your units while progressing in the campaign mode, the characters in your units develop new skills that can turn around a battle in your favor. Each character is only able to take with them a single skill to the battlefield, so you may want to choose your skill carefully as it will come in handy.
Units have two skill categories; these are the Regular skills mainly available to the game's set of military intelligence. While Story skills are the skills that your units obtain if they emerge victorious in certain missions when playing the game's campaign mode.
Players can level up their respective skills by collecting Tactical Skill guides and putting them to use at the Archives, which you can find at the Logistics tab.
Metal Slug: Commander offers usable units from the popular Metal Slug universe, which you will obtain in the game. Players who have played Metal Slug: Attack will come across familiar faces that were taken from there and included in Metal Slug: Commander, which led to the game's high number of units.
The units are divided into six separate factions with 3 stars, 4 stars, and 5 stars in terms of rarities. Each unit faction gives players various bonuses and upgrades that will be of help on the battlefield. Some of the game's falcon bonuses include:
- Regular Army (MS:A): Team members get critical damage increase that is deadly to the Rebel Armies.
- Desert Army: This increases critical damage that is highly effective towards the Space Army.
- Ptolemaic Army (MS:A): The bonus given to this unit is effective when used on the Revolution Armies.
- Space Army: Each team member takes less damage than normal and can be used against the Regular Army.
- Revolution Army: Increases the team members' overall resistance to damage and can be used against the Ptolemaic Armies.
Every usable unit in this game is upgradable by using Gold and unit XP. However, like pretty much every game, there is a limit to the upgrades. Players can also ascend this limit by increasing upgrade levels by using Unit Merit to enhance their skills.'
This is where you can unlock all the chest rewards obtained from the battlefield, especially those obtained from campaign missions. However, there is a wait time when unlocking these rewards. You can speed up the duration by using Gold Watches, Old Records, and Beer. Chests in higher tiers take much more time to unlock.
Finally, Metal Slug: Commander serves as a breath of fresh air for players who have been playing the franchise for years and just want something new. By turning the game into a Gacha-style Card strategy game, developers SNK Corporation made sure to include just about enough modes to excite both new and existing Metal Slug players.