Metal Gear Solid 5 mixes with Spelunky for one of the most rewarding roguelikes of 2023

Potential agents in Mr. Sun's hatbox are

If you have even a passing familiarity with Solid metal gear 5: The phantom pain, You probably remember the Fulton recovery system. To staff and gear the game’s base building element, you pluck these things from the open world by attaching them to balloons that sail off-screen for convenient transport back to your rogue paramilitary operation’s headquarters. By any measure, and especially in relation to an obsessively detailed military stealth action game, it’s an immensely silly clich√©.

In fact, it’s so silly that it fits right into the cartoon styles of Mr. Sun’s hat boxas if it always belonged there. Because in this roguelike platformer developed by Kenny Sun, you’re also in charge of a rogue paramilitary operation that doesn’t obey the government’s boundaries or their laws (you’re a delivery man for a company called “Amazin”, after all). The difference is that you operate from a client’s basement to retrieve a stolen package and embark on missions similar to dangerous 2D platforming levels spelunky. Completing these missions will help fund your operation and provide you with both an arsenal and an army to utilize through mission rewards, black market purchases, and balloons attached to useful-seeming items and characters you may encounter along the way.

In complete contrast to metal gears, you don’t play as a single character. Instead, you individually control which randomly generated blob-persons you’ve chosen for a mission where they may very well die permanently. The characters differ (in addition to various ironic nicknames) mainly by their individual attributes, a set of traits and quirks that completely change your approach to the game depending on the permission and agent base. These variables are further complicated by the wide array of equipment available, which includes ping-pong bats, shark hats, and bouncy castle boards, in addition to the typical array of firearms, explosives, and sharps.

Potential agents in Mr. Sun's hatbox are

Image: Kenny Sun/Raw Fury

Especially in the game’s early hours, many of the character traits are undesirable, and you’re essentially forced to make do with what little you have. An Agent could have the extremely useful “Taser” ability to stun any Guardian it touches. But they could also have “dry eyes,” which darkens the screen every few seconds because they have to blink a lot.

A lot of the game is strategizing around these quirks when you can. For example, if you snap a guard’s neck, the Guilt trait will cause your character to hop around in uncontrollable panic for a few brief but potentially crucial seconds, possibly stumbling into a trap or another guard’s line of sight. To get around this, you can choose to kill exclusively (and presumably more impersonally) with guns, or you can drag each body to a secluded area where it’s safe for your assigned agent to shake off any post-assassination jitters.

But in the heat of battle or in the heap of available units and equipment, it’s easy to lose track and the resulting chaotic chain reactions make the difference Mr. Sun’s hat box so special. For example, I accidentally whacked my agent with his own boomerang, which activated the “weak guts” trait to shit instantly when hit, which I discovered then led a security guard to pinpoint the origin of the brand new stench investigate. On another mission, I learned the hard way that the forgetful trait removes the indicator for the individual character you’re supposed to keep alive.

One of the agents in Mr. Sun's hatbox navigates a 2D platforming level full of ladders, buttons and long chains to drive

Image: Kenny Sun/Raw Fury

The result is some particularly out-of-control fun spelunky session with additional fold of continued progress; Base building forces you to not only keep track of your gear stores, but also consider your staff and who you can afford to lose. Consistently picking a specific agent for missions will level them up and give them more health while moving from unhelpful traits to more useful ones. But this agent only grows in value over time, to the point where it becomes difficult to justify its combination of helpful qualities when embarking on anything other than the most difficult and crucial missions, if anything. Additionally, mechanics like the skill tree are based on the levels of the characters you’ve used for those tasks – an experienced level 7 agent will contribute more to exploring the skill tree than a level 2 newcomer. The game has you keeping your best units busy with desk jobs while risking the more unpredictable agents out in the field.

Included Mr. Sun’s hat box brilliantly answers the age-old question of how to get players to take risks and embrace new mechanics, rather than sticking exclusively to familiar ones. By inciting you to court mayhem, it creates a gameplay loop where so many of the most intense, inventive moments come from hilarious failures. It’s that rare game where losing is as addicting as winning.

Mr. Sun’s hat box was released on April 20th on Nintendo Switch and Windows PC. The game was verified on PC using a download code provided by Raw Fury. Vox Media has affiliate partnerships. These do not affect editorial content, although Vox Media may earn commissions on products purchased through affiliate links. You can find For more information on Polygon’s Ethics Policy, click here.

#Metal #Gear #Solid #mixes #Spelunky #rewarding #roguelikes

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