The house lights dim, the crowd roars. The fog machine motor clicks on, the band slowly walks on stage. The amps crackle, the pyrotechnics explode. The singer’s spiked gauntlets glisten under the stage lights as he puts the microphone to his face. The fans bang their heads, throw up their devil horns and pray to the gods of metal. As the first E chord is hit and the first cymbal is crashed, it is then the Roadie knows his epic quest has been a success. The quest to put on the most brutal metal show the world has ever seen!
That is all Eddie Riggs has ever wanted in his life was to bring the highest quality metal to the masses. Unfortunately, he was born at the wrong time. A time of girly lookin dudes and an awful excuse for metal music. That is, until a brutal accident sends Eddie to another world. A world filled with epic battles, mythical beasts, and the best fucking soundtrack an adventure game has ever had!
That about sums up the set up for Brutal Legend. Eddie Riggs aka Jack Black wakes up in a world at war. It was told that a hero would come and save humanity. So Eddie must use his roadie skills and his knowledge of the art of rock to defeat all his enemies, save his followers, and french kiss the girl! That is all I will say about the storyline of this game. This story is so rich with kick ass one liners, awesome cameos, and jaw dropping set pieces I would do any gamer injustice by spoiling any of it. Lets talk about the game!
Tim Schafer and Double Fine really nailed it with this one. Brutal Legend has so much character to love that I don’t even know where to begin. You can really tell that the game play, graphics, sound, and storyline were all handled with so much love and respect to the subject matter that on that merit alone, you have to respect the game. All too often the market is filled with half cocked, unpolished games, that to see one this robust is a rare occurrence.
At it’s core Brutal Legend is a hack n’ slash brawler. You have an axe , and a guitar. Your axe chops off heads and your guitar melts faces, literally…There is actually a move called the Face Melter… It’s a simple melee, magic one two punch and very easy to pick up and play. If that was all there was the game would be just okay. It does get a little repetitive and if it wasn’t for such a wide variety of monsters to slay it would get old real quick.
Wait there’s more! This is also a driving game too! I swear. It’s true. Eddie Riggs knows how to build things. So he builds himself a valiant steed, er, I mean a kick ass hot rod. Yes, instead of a horse you drive a hot rod complete with fire blaze painted down the sides. This was a mixed bag for me. By the end of the game your hot rod is so tricked out with weapons and nitrous boosters that you can destroy anything in your path. It is very fun. Control on the other hand is a little annoying at times. It is a very simple driving mechanic and its really fast. It causes a little too many bumper car moments for my liking and out of everything the driving controls feel the least polished. If fighting and driving was all there was than the game would be awesome.
Yep, there’s more. This game is also a RTS. Yeah I know, crazy right? A game like this you don’t expect to command armies of headbangers, big titted blondes, and awesome looking beasts, but you do. It’s all for the fans! I am not going to lie, I’m not into RTS games AT ALL. Not one. Actually most of the time I flat out hate them. Until now. It’s a very bare bones simple approach to the RTS style and it works flawlessly. It’s makes the game feel that much more epic when a huge army is fighting by your side. It kinda makes you feel like Gandalf with a leather jacket smoking a cigarette.
The reason why this game is so unique is because of all the gameplay varieties and how well it all works together. It easily hides the shortcomings each individual gameplay type has. This game is also filled with enough side quests and collectibles to keep you busy for quite some time.
The biggest gripe I have with the gameplay is that you can’t fucking jump in this game. Okay so, I just axed 200 Raptor Elks slayed a giant Metal Spider, but now I have to walk around a little rock I should just as easily be able to jump over. Get the fuck outta here. Really? No jump. That is my biggest problem with the whole game.
It’s a metalhead’s wet dream period. The whole game feels like it came right out of any Norwegian metal album cover. It is very cartoonish and that might turn off some realist gamers, but the look fits so well with the sense of humor this game has. I have to say out of everything the world you are in stands out the most. It’s as if Dio and Tolkien sat at a pub knocking back a pint and this is the Middle Earth they created. That really is the best way to describe it. Everything is infused with fantasy and metal music right down to the most useless of little creatures. The presentation of this game speaks volumes because the way this game looks is more than half the reason why it is so fun to play.
This is all I need to say:
Well not really. I will add one more thing. The voice talent is brilliant. I happen to love Tenacious D and Jack Black. He is a blast as Eddie. I can’t even count how many times I laughed out loud at all his witty banter with all the other characters. It couldn’t have been anyone else, if it wasn’t Black as Eddie the game would’ve been so much less grand. I don’t like spoilers in reviews, but Ozzy, Lemy, and Lita Ford also have stellar voice work in this game. Yes even Ozzy, you can actually understand him. Weird I know. Plus, chances are anyone you can think of that is worth naming when talking about metal has a voice or at the very least a song in this game so…Think about it. Sadly, no Iron Maiden music.
Yes Brutal Legend is also equipped with a multiplayer component. It takes the RTS gameplay online so you can duke it out with your friends. I was pleasantly surprised at how fun this was. It was as solid a experience as it’s offline counterpart, but online you get to talk shit to the 9 yr old you just pwned so what’s not to like.
If you love metal, play this game. If you love a kick ass adventure, play this game. If you love Jack Black antics, play this game.
The only downside is the repetitive by design hack n’ slashing and the sometimes wonky controls. That and the fact that you can’t fucking jump.
I give this a very BRUTAL! 4.5 out of 5