All-out shooting, side-scrolling game with fantastic 2D graphics.
This is the fourth game in the Metal Slug series following Metal Slug 1, 2, and X. It continues the tradition of the fast-paced, side-scrolling jump-and-shoot game.
You are a soldier whose mission is to defeat the followers of the evil General Morden. General Morden was supposedly eliminated in earlier games, but as the game progresses it becomes evident that he is still quite alive. The setting is an apocalyptic "war composite" landscape (WWII / Vietnam / Mideast) with colorful, highly detailed backgrounds.
The game can be played alone or jointly with two players. Shooting everything in sight, you plow through the enemy picking up special weapons as you go. Many are handed to you by dazed hostages. There are machine guns, rocket launchers, and grenades as well as special "slugs," or vehicles, that you can hop into and use to smash into the enemy for maximum damage. New to Metal Slug 3 are the Ostrich and Elephant slugs.
But what makes this game particularly unique is the elaborate and subtle details of the cartoony 2D graphics. The animations of the characters convey a staggering range of emotions and contribute a lot of humor to the game. For example, characters gain weight and become sluggish (no pun intended) if they eat too much food, they laugh hysterically when they blow up enemies, and they have their own special death sequences with slapstick, overblown, dramatics.
The scene in which the soldiers become zombies is amazingly detailed with the characters morphing into their delirious states. Also of note is the animation sequence of the elephant walking.
At the end of each level are fantastical, over-the-top bosses, the last of which is a huge alien brain.