It’s easy to make fun of the Metal Gear series, and I say that as a huge fan of just about every game in the franchise, weird CCG-strategy spinoffs included. Few games do it as well as Never Stop Sneakin’, the latest from Humble Hearts, developers of the well-liked platform hack n’ slasher Dust: An Elysian Tail.
Wrapped in a visual style almost perfectly replicating the look of the original Metal Gear Solid on the Playstation (pixels the size of small dogs present and correct), this arcadey action/stealth/puzzle game was received quite well on the Switch, and now us PC folk get to take a swing at such villains as Dr Acula and Vice-President Helicopter later this month.
Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to stop the villainous Amadeus Guildenstern, who has invented a time machine and used it to kidnap all of the presidents (even the bad ones, the game is keen to confirm). Facing down his band of supervillains and expendable goons, it’s up to a band of pointy-haired, soft-spoken ninja types led by a gruff old military commander to save freedom as we know it. It’s pretty much indistinguishable from Metal Gear, really, just pushing it that little bit further into self-aware parody territory.
Contrary to the authentic Metal Gear aesthetic, Never Stop Sneakin’ is more of a straightforward action came with evasion elements, more akin to speedrunning MGS with more of a safety net, with basic combat actions being carried out just by bumping into enemies, getting around the often-stiff nature of Metal Gear action. There are some light procedural generation elements, but this isn’t really a roguelike either.
The end result, combined with your goal of hoovering up glowing green dots (Espionage Points) scattered around the level results in something more Monaco than Splinter Cell, and that plays nicely into the pick-up-and-play nature of the game. Perhaps not quite as well suited to the PC as the handheld-hybrid Switch, but entertaining enough, especially if you appreciate the humor and its ferocious skewering of every Metal Gear trope imaginable.
While Humble Hearts don’t have an exact day and date pinned down yet, they’re confident that Never Stop Sneakin’ will have infiltrated Steam by the end of this month, and you can wishlist the game here to be informed when it’s released.