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Metal Slug Tactics Release Date, Trailer, And Gameplay - What We Know So Far

The "Metal Slug" series is a revered run and gun arcade game that earned legions of fans when it debuted for Neo Geo arcade systems in the late '90s. The core series of games built on the original's praised hand-drawn animations, quirky sense of humor, and deliberate/quarter-hungry, gameplay to establish a well loved franchise.

Various developers continued to produce titles for consoles and arcades, all of which stayed mostly true to the general 2D side-scrolling presentation of the original. 2008's "Metal Slug 7" was the last main installment in the franchise. Since then, the series has seen a few remakes, including the less-successful "Metal Slug XX," as well as a number of spinoffs and mobile games. As such, it's been more than a decade since fans have seen a proper follow-up to the revered franchise.

However, with the reveal of "Metal Slug Tactics" at the 2021 Summer Game Fest, it seems like gamers might finally get the new take on the classic franchise they deserve. Here is everything fans need to know about "Metal Slug Tactics."

When is the release date for Metal Slug Tactics?

When "Metal Slug Tactics" was announced at the 2021 Summer Game Fest Kickoff event, no release date was included. However, as soon as that announcement happened, a Steam page for the game went up, allowing gamers to wishlist it right away.

The Steam listing also lists the planned release date as "TBA," meaning that fans don't yet have an answer as to when they can expect to play "Metal Slug Tactics." The official announcement of the project on developer Dotemu's website also declines to list a release date.

An early summer announcement without a release date most likely indicates that the game will not be out before the end of the season. However, it's possible that Dotemu might try to get "Metal Slug Tactics" out in time for the 2021 holidays. Fans will just have to sit tight and wait for more information in this area.

Is there a trailer for Metal Slug Tactics?

The "Metal Slug Tactics" trailer that fans saw at the 2021 Summer Game Fest reintroduced gamers to the series' regular cast of characters, showed off some slick cutscenes, and demonstrated a bit of basic gameplay.

The introduction clips feature an exaggerated anime style that fits quite well with the over the top action that has defined the games since their inception. Over the course of the trailer, fans are shown the game's four playable characters, all of whom have been with the franchise since the early days.

First, viewers see Marco, a blond-haired daredevil who has been with the franchise since the beginning. Next, fans meet Eri and then Fio, who joined the party in "Metal Slug 2." Last up is Tarma, another "Metal Slug" original, shows up piloting the series' signature tank. Interspersed with these introductions is in-game footage, which shows off the game's all-new isometric perspective.

What is the gameplay like in Metal Slug Tactics?

From the trailer, fans can see that the gameplay style of "Metal Slug Tactics" is instantly recognizable, even if it is new for the series. The top-down perspective, often seen in tactics games like "XCOM," allows a player to view the entire field o battle. The maps glimpsed in this trailer feature many of the same types of enemies and bearded hostages that players will recognize from previous games.

The gameplay footage demonstrates that players will be able to use the terrain to their advantage, as seen in one instance where a bomb strike drops a bridge onto the head of some unsuspecting enemies. There also seems to be a "sync" mechanic that allows players to chain character actions. 

Dotemu's official description of the games adds some additional details. The studio describes "Metal Slug Tactics" as a "tactical RPG with roguelike elements," which presumably means that players will strengthen and developer their characters throughout the course of a grueling campaign. The roguelike elements manifest themselves in "procedurally generated maps," which the developer claims will offer infinite replayability.

Overall, "Metal Slug Tactics" seems like an exciting addition to a franchise that has been dormant for too long.