28 March 2012
Game Review: Brütal Legend (XBOX360)
The story is essentially this:
Eddie Riggs (voiced by Jack Black) is a set designer for one of the most popular "metal" bands out. They're basically a boyband with guitars but whatever. After a freak accident kills the band members (and nearly kills Eddie), Eddie is pulled into a world where metal reigns supreme.
But there's one problem. In this alternate time, the humans are enslaved by an evil overlord called Doviculus. At the moment, the human resistance is trying to mount an offense against Doviculus' minion, General Lyonwhite, the epitome of all things hair/glam metal. Eddie joins them as a savior, and his building expertise helps the group throughout the game.
Gameplay is pretty simple. You use your guitar to kill things (SO AWESOME) using either X for a straight-up attack or Y to use a stun attack. Either way you get to play a pretty sweet riff that damages the crazy enemies you encounter.
Major boss fights are done as Stage Battles--almost a battle of the bands-type scenario with Eddie at the helm. Using his obscenely awesome building skillz, Eddie constructs a stage with usable weaponry like stage lighting and a tower of speakers that act as a buffer. It's a massive game of capture the flag, except the flag is your destroyed stage. These battles tend to be chaotic, with Eddie either flying around or riding around in his hot rod Deuce, commanding the different segments of his army to go after the enemy. You get a lot of crazy stuff, like headbangers, chicks with machine guns (which I lovingly call my own Metal Mulisha), an Amazonian KISS army, etc. Loads to choose from, all with specific functions and strengths and weaknesses against your foes.
In order to use your different allies, you have to have in your control fan geysers. These fonts of adoration can be stolen by your opposition (fans are flighty, you know). To get them back, just kill every enemy around them and play the appropriate song.
I didn't mention you play songs? My bad.
Each song has a specific function during combat, and sometimes they're hard to remember. Thankfully, Brutal Legend helps you out by showing the buttons. It's a Zelda Ocarina of Time-esque system, except awesomer because it's a badass guitar and not a lame ocarina (though I still want an ocarina). These stage battles are both the most fun and most frustrating parts of the game, but the victory is oh, so sweet.
OH. MY. GAWD.
Best. Soundtrack. EVAR. And my primary reason for saying every metal-head should own this game. There's 107 songs from 75 different artists including Angel Witch, the Scorpions, Judas Priest, Motley Crue, Ostrogoth, Ozzy, Motorhead, Apostasy, King Diamond, Candlemass, Lita Ford, Dethklok, and sooooo many more! It's INCREDIBLE. SO MUCH METAL.
You can cycle through songs while cruising around in Deuce, running over animals or crazy enemies, looking for collectibles, or just viewing the countryside. Also, songs play during some key battles. If you're just running around the map, you get some pretty awesome instrumental music from Peter McConnell. When Eddie plays solos (during combat or, you know, for fun in the middle of the forest somewhere...), they're by Judas Priest guitarist Glenn Tipton. A couple of enemies' solos (including Lord Doviculus) are played by Judas Priest guitarist K.K. Downing. This game in infused with metal goodness.
The other awesome reason to own this game? Rock god voice cast. Seriously. Besides Jack Black and Tim Curry (who voices Doviculus, cuz...who else?), you get Rob Halford as General Lionwhyte, Lemmy as the Killmaster (of course), OZZY, Lita Ford, OZZY, Kyle Glass, OZZY. I mean, seriously, how does it get better than this?! Oh, by adding in Jennifer Hale (aka FemShep from Mass Effect)!
This game is amazeballs. Enough said.
Oh. I guess not.
There's a lot of awesome texture in this game in extremely different environments. Snow, a misty forest, a gorgeous graveyard in the midst of the misty forest, a cavern of dry ice... These are just a few of the places where the game's graphics shine. The characters are well rendered also, with great movement and facial expressions. I didn't have issues with loading or with frame-rate drops.
"Other" is usually reserved for side quests and the like. There are plenty to choose from in Brutal Legend. From driving a keg to a beach party to helping Kage the Kannoner blow up enemies, you have a lot to do. Still, sometimes the game feels too short, even with about 30 side quests and 23 main quests. There's a lot to find, though.
One of my favorite aspects is the mythology. Hands down some of the coolest metal-infused stuff ever. The story of Ormagöden, the mythology behind the Sea of Black Tears, the growth of the Coil (the bad guys), the tainted land...all of it. There are certain things you can find in the game that tell you the story behind Doviculus' rule, and it's absolutely enthralling. I would drive around for hours searching for these points just to get the story.
If this hasn't convinced you to give this game a try, I don't know what will. Between the absolute fun of kicking butt with a freaking GUITAR, the incredible music selection, the fantastic metal-centered cast, and the all-around fun you can have with this game, it's a must-own for anyone who loves metal.