Review: Brütal Legend

BATTLE THROUGH A HEAVY METAL FANTASY WORLD

Developer: Double Fine Productions
Genre: Action Adventure
Platform(s): PS3 & Xbox 360
Release Date: October 13, 2009
Compatability (PS3): 1500MB Mininum Space | HD 720p / 1080i / 1080p | Network Players 2-8
Compatability (Xbox 360): 4MB Mininum Space | HDTV 720p / 1080i / 1080p | Online Multiplayer 2-8
Rating: 8.5

Brütal Legend comes from the mind that brought you The Secret of Monkey Island, Psychonauts and many more. His name is Tim Schafer. His new game follows his tried and tested method of presenting a great narrative and funny dialogue in a video game. With Brütal Legend Schafer (and Double Fine) have made a spectacular game which will keep you glued to your seat for hours.

In Brütal Legend you play as Eddie Riggs, a roadie who is sick of how Heavy Metal is changing. He stands in the side lines making other looks look better and feels that Heavy Metal is turning into other genres like rap metal as seen in the opening cut-scene. He suddenly gets transported into a totally different world by his belt buckle. When he wakes up he gradually has his eyes opened to see the land he inhabits, a land of heavy metal. Unlike most protagonists transported into a different universe he doesn’t mind this and so rather than trying to get back he stays and joins a resistance group trying to overthrow the demon emperor (Emperor Doviculus). Eddie fights a variety of enemies which are all metaphors of all the things Eddie hated in his original world, they range from emo kids to glam rockers. The game opens with one of the best openings I have experienced in a while with it being funny and very enjoyable; it introduces the characters and the games setting in a great way. Most disappointingly though is when you finally get into the sandbox you find yourself wishing that the game could just be that opening. This is mostly down to the high level in which the opening sets for the game, but as you get into the game you discard these thoughts and you start to enjoy yourself. The humour (that Schafer is known for) will be very scarce after the opening; there are some instances throughout the game but nothing memorable. As a game based on heavy metal, Brütal Legend takes most of its creative inspiration from heavy metal album covers. This then leads to an environment in which it’s enjoyable to be in and in which Double Fine hasn’t gone over the top with heavy metal. You’ll see gigantic swords coming out from the ground, even bigger guitar statues and metal cactus, yes metal cactus. It’s a joy to be in the world and you feel yourself gradually get immersed into the world.

You will fight loads of enemies.

Another very appealing thing about Brütal Legend is the characters and there personalities. Most of the characters are outrageous both physically and mentally which is mostly down to the voice actors. The most notable voice is Jack Black who I’m happy to announce puts all his effort into the role and delivers a funny and real experience which continues throughout the game. Lending also their voice are Rob Halford, Lita Ford, Lemmy Kilmister and Ozzy Osbourne who plays as the middle man for your purchase of new upgrades and abilities at the motor forge. The motor forge is where you can buy new upgrades and abilities for you character. You also can upgrade your car (The Deuce) with extra weapons and new paint jobs. As the role of the Guardian of Metal Ozzy Osbourne provides a cool experience in which he is funny and very iconic. Audio in Brütal Legend is top notch from the superb voice acting to the outstanding soundtrack which is obviously full of heavy metal songs. The soundtrack is a heavy metal fans wet dream, you wouldn’t accept anything less from a game of this type and the range of artists from Ozzy Osbourne to Judas Priest makes driving a pleasure.

In Brütal Legend you’ll spend most of your time in combat hacking and slashing. The weapons that you have are your axe (not the guitar kind) and your guitar Clementine as your ranged weapon. The combat is quite basic but it does the job. While in combat you have some squad commands you can use which are the normal fair of attack, defend and follow. The actual units you’ll command are pretty basic with all having heavy metal themes. You’ll have a tank type unit, a ranged and an infantry type unit. Also you have various powers you can use by doing guitar hero type button presses, you have a lot of powers at your disposal which includes a power which can make your troops more powerful, you have a power which makes animals battle on your side and also you have the facemelter, which melts faces. Most annoying is that the combat becomes stale and repetitive after a while. It isn’t that much of a pain that you won’t stop playing, but it’s something that can’t be picked up on. Another gripe I have is that you can’t jump; I wouldn’t say this was a massive let down but it would be nice to jump in once in a while. Like most hack and slash games you have combos, the combination of the X and A buttons (or square and X) simplify these combos and make them easier for players not used to the genre. I mention hack and slash a lot but Brütal Legend is a lot of genres, you have some hack and slash in there, some driving, some shooting and some RTS in there. This makes the game fresh and enjoyable.

Driving in a very nice heavy metal world.

I mentioned the RTS genre and this features quite a lot of the time. The stages usually occur in the main single player missions popping up a few times throughout the single player campaign. As per usual in Brütal Legend the battle takes place in a heavy metal themed rock concert which also serves as your main base. The objective is to destroy the other stage by controlling fan geezers’ that distribute fans (resources). You can request units and you can destroy the other teams fan geezers’, normal RTS fair. Also you have free rain of the battlefield with your conveniently grown wings. Something cool is that you have ability to be in the battle yourself and also command your troops at the same time. These battles actually serve as the multiplayer component which adds replay ability to an otherwise quite short game. As I said the game is quite short and the shortness of the game would be one of the biggest downfalls if there was no multiplayer. Multiplayer itself is quite an enjoyable experience which will bring you back to Brütal Legend even after you have completed the single player campaign. Other than multiplayer you have side missions and collectibles to keep you entertained, although side missions do get repetitive they provide extra length to the single player mode. Other than the RTS sections of the game you have the normal story driven missions that are quite varied in places and really enhance the already great story.

Brütal Legend does have its low points, for one it’s a very short single player campaign and also it’s hard to overlook that the combat gets quite repetitive. These things are easy to look past though and Brutal Legend delivers an enjoyable and engaging experience which will keep you coming back even after the single player mode with the inclusion of multiplayer. Brütal Legend is a definite buy.

Reviewed by phillipsmy – March 5, 2010

Graphics
The Brütal Legend world is very beautiful. Awesome.
 
Sound
The best part in the game. Great voice acting with a nice variety of heavy metal music.
 
Fun
The gameplay is really varied and it’s also fun. After some time certain things get repetitive.
 
Final Score

 

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