Mercenary Kings - Metal Slug with more explosions - hitting Steam Early Access late July

It's fairly audacious to declare yourself a mercenary 'king', particularly with the depose-happy cast of Jagged Alliance 2 lurking psychotically off the coast of Arulco, but the pixellated gungineers at the heart of this shooty platformer appear to be pulling it off. As with Metal Slug or Contra, Mercenary Kings is a game with co-op, lots and lots of guns and some exquisite pixel art, though it aims to delve a little deeper with the ability to craft your own firearms as well. It's coming to Steam Early Access on July 22nd – you can also pre-order it for a regal $15.

If the art style looks familiar, that's because Tribute Games (and artist Paul Robertson) were also responsible for the old-fashioned beat-'em-up Scott Pilgrim Vs The World: The Game, which never did sidescroll its way to PC. Oh well. Here's their very royal-looking Mercenary Kings in action:

Tom Sykes

Tom loves exploring in games, whether it’s going the wrong way in a platformer or burgling an apartment in Deus Ex. His favourite game worlds—Stalker, Dark Souls, Thief—have an atmosphere you could wallop with a blackjack. He enjoys horror, adventure, puzzle games and RPGs, and played the Japanese version of Final Fantasy VIII with a translated script he printed off from the internet. Tom has been writing about free games for PC Gamer since 2012. If he were packing for a desert island, he’d take his giant Columbo boxset and a laptop stuffed with PuzzleScript games.