on 15 October 2009
First of all this review is not based on the demo, Gameplay for some reason dispatched the game on Tuesday and I received it yesterday, and then promptly spent the entire night playing it and am happy to report it is awesome.
How much you enjoy it though may depend on how much you love metal/hard rock, myself being a metal fan absolutely loved every minute, in the first three missions I finished there were more heavy metal references then I can even remember, some of them obvious, such as the appearance of Ozzy Osbourne which has been one of the highlights so far, and some less obvious such as artwork from metal albums which influence the landscape you drive around.
As to the actual game play, there is nothing new to break the mould, anyone who has played the demo will know what to expect in terms of the hack and slash, the introduction of the RTS side of things is most welcome and comes in slowly throughout the second mission and introduces you to the basics including double team moves you can perform, favourite so far involves the head bangers who you can have form a mosh pit around you, they then proceed to head band every enemy to death.
For the completionists out there this game should take some time as there are loads to collect in the open world, such as statues, and guitar solos which can then be used in a variety of ways, also there are secondary missions, so far the ones I have done have either been racing games or ambush missions, which again were good if not exactly ground breaking.
All in all in you are a metal fan you have to buy this game, you will love spotting all the metal references as well as the awesome soundtrack, which you unlock more of as the game goes on. If you don't like metal I would still highly recommend it as the graphics are great and the game is very entertaining and the development of the RTS side of the game should keep it interesting.
on 11 January 2010
first things 1st i should point out that i am a metalhead. if you are not then immediately take a star off of the overall score
being rather metallically inclined as it were i was obviously salivating at the idea of this game, jack black might have lost some on screen credibility recently (subject to opinion)but his love of heavy metal cannot be denied so in a role like this we can always trust him (if in doubt see tenacious d- album and movie)then of course we have ozzy osbourne, lemmy kilminster and rob halford in guest roles. and finally the soundtrack. (if your not a metalhead skip this section cos you wont care)
THE BEAUTIFUL SOUNDTRACK!!!
this is worthy of a special mention 75 songs approx of pure metal bliss i assure you, covering pretty much everything thats come out in the last 30 years that isnt adolescent whining (the games intro makes a fine point of this trust me). and there is something for every "true" metalhead here, we got slayer, sabbath, priest, skeloton witch, sanctuary, anthrax etc for the more old school: KFMDM, rob zombie, marylin manson for those who wont a bit more modern stuff. and for the more gothic/black metallers we got some cradle of filth, dimmu borgir, enslaved, rotting christ. theres bound to be something for you here. hell even dethklok are on there (MURMAIDER!) to be honest for 75 songs if this game is still £25 then thats probably what youll be paying just for the soundtrack!
anyway back to the game.
graphics are absolutely beautiful. theyve got this really nice cartoony feel to them that is perfect for the feel of the game itself.
the story is a brilliant parody of traditional heavy metal fighting back against sub genres that have mutated it from its purest, and according to the game -greatest - form. its genuinely hilarious at the best of times and entertaining throughout.
the game itself is an absolute beauty to play. the controls are simple, but the game utilises this to allow you to gradually control more and more stuff (namely an army of metal cliches - headbangers for 1. there are 9 total). the game kind of plays like a sandbox rpg - at least in its map. you drive around a relatively large map (not oblivion big but still), whilst your main quest goes on you have a selection of side missions that you can pretty much complete when you feel like.
combat starts as just you with your axe and your er...axe (thats guitar to the rest of you). you hit people with the axe and the guitar works like your standard RPG style magic weapon, electric fire and earth attacks can be utilised from the get go. a little further on the battles take on an almost RTS feel to them (although the creator of the game has stressed that you shouldnt play the game like an RTS or you will lose - and hes right). this is when you reach stage battles. you build a stage, the enemy builds a stage. then you make as big an army as you can to tear it down. its more frantic - and fun - than that sounds
there are some issues with this game however the main one to me was
its pretty short overall - sure there are plenty of side missions but they are very anticlimatical. there really is no motivation (or indeed reward) for doing these missions except fire tributes (basically xp/money depending how you look at it) to make you more capable of completing the main quest - which isnt too hard anyway hence why its short - i finished this in 2 sittings, probably about 9 hours gameplay (i am a bit of a nerd though- i write reviews afterall). that said i was more than happy to play through it again in "brutal" mode so it does have replay value. the only real reason to play through it again is just that it was really enjoyable. and to say you did it on brutal (achievement obviously)
another problem (especially given the previous issue) is that this game tries to cram A LOT into this short space. youve got elements of your standard action game, driving (both of the racing and of the racing with guns variety), RTS (kind of),RPG style customisation, hell even a bit of guitar hero-ness is thrown in both on the map and in combat (FACE MELTEEEEERRRR -itll make sense) the only reason this mattered to me is that i found the stage battles got considerably harder towards the end in a very quick learning curve. i suddenly went from being perfectly capable of battle to feeling like i didnt have a clue what was going on. you get there in the end but this is a frustrating occurence and one that could have been avoided.
and the final problem is when there are so many elements to a game its really hard to keep a review from getting undigestibly long! sorry
the above said i have to say that the fact that there are a lot of elements to this do keep it feeling fresh and nearly always enjoyable. one of my personally favourite games on my 360. defintitely worth a go. unless youre a metalhead in witch case youd be a fool not to try this game out. this is a game made out of sheer love and respect for the greatest music ever made and it shows! METAL THRASHING MAD? indeed
on 31 October 2009
Brutal Legend had a lot of hype behind it and a lot of my friends have said its fantastic but I cant help but feel disappointed. Do not by any means think that I am saying its a bad game because its not but it just doesn't live up to expectations.
I usually do very detailed reviews of games, so if you are looking for a more detailed review you might want to look else where because I am only going into why it disappointed me. The game starts out as a opened world hack and slash game, you drive around in a beautifully detailed world, which is greatly themed around heavy metal music and the first couple of hours are great fun. You axe your way through hordes of enemies, take down a giant spider and drive around in your car that you later upgrade. But very suddenly, a couple of hours in, it suddenly turns into an real time strategy game. By that I mean you have to build your stage, protect your resources and build troops and command them. I don't dislike these missions but its not what I signed on for. After playing the demo, the game is portrayed as a hack and slash and even though you can still fight while looking after your troops but it kind of took the flow of combat away as you had to babysit your army. Before you buy this game, make sure you preview these levels online, maybe on Youtube because if these levels aren't your thing, you will lose interest after an hour BUT if you do like these levels, you are in for a great time. I still gave the game 3 stars because as I said, I still don't think the games bad, I just feel it was ill advertised.
There are also mini games which are not very entertaining. This is where I explain the title of this review. There are racing mini games (which I actually really enjoyed), beat em up mini games and shooter mini games. When playing these mini games I couldn't help but feel like the developers where looking down a sheet of game genres and attempting to tick them off. They even have a small guitar hero replica that you need to repeat every time you want to summon a vehicle or raise a relic, just encase they couldn't tick off the music genre box.
The writing is also a slight let down, it was very hyper to be hilariously written and while it does have great characters and Jack Blacks voice acting is A*, it wasn't that funny. This is a minor complaint and doesn't make the game bad but with Jack Blacks reputation I was expecting it to be a little bit funnier but as voice acting goes its very good.
Overall the game is good, its beautiful, well written and has a large variety of different game types that keeps you interested throughout but as the mini games get very repetitive and the main missions stick very much to the RTS genre once it changes over it didn't deliver what I was expecting and hence I give it 3 stars. This is my own personal opinion and I am not saying this should put you off in any way, this was just a warning encase you were looking for something different like me.
on 19 November 2009
Brütal Legend, a reasonably hyped game, but does it deliver what it promises? I think it does.
You are Eddy Riggs, a roadie. One day you'll have an accident, and because there leaked some of your blood on the belt you inherited from your father, you're somehow transported to this other world full of metal. Which really does feel like metal. Let me state first, if you really hate metal, or really don't like it, this game is probably not for you. No offense. There's a lot of hints to great artist in the genre (it has among is voice cast Ozzy Osbourne, Lemmy Kilmeister, Jack Black and Kyle Gass, Lita Ford and Rob Halford), and you'll be hearing metal music about 95% of the time.
Which brings me to the gameplay. I really had no idea what to expect apart from some kind of GTA-like gameplay in a metal world. Which is about right, but different. You'll be laying your hands on a car (with built-in stereo of course, which only plays metal), that you can later upgrade with guns, rockets, and even heat-seeking missiles. The world of metal is pretty vast, fun to drive through because of everything you'll encounter (and that's a lot), and pretty diverse. Not trying to spoil I'll just say that there are three different regions, which each have their own feel to them. It really feels as if you've stepped into a metal album cover, as the makers were promoting.
But, what I didn't expect to see was the strategic aspect, and this is something a lot of people are complaining about. Not so much as not liking it, but more that it was very unexpected. If you're playing the demo, you won't see anything about it. Basically, there are certain moments in the game in which you have to do battle against a certain opponent. This will be organized as a stage battle. In the literal sense of the word. You and your opponent will both build a stage, from which you'll produce units. If it gets destroyed, game over, so try to destroy the opponent's stage. Best thing you can do to get an impression of it is just search on youtube. Basically, it's squad-based strategy hack and slash. If you don't think about what type of squads you are going to use against your opponent, you might as well give up, because strategy is very important. Just don't try to play it as an RTS, because it's not.
The sound is more than excellent, the music used in the cutscenes is very well chosen, and more than once you'll get the feeling of total immersion (at least, I did). What is a shame though is that each faction (out of three) has it's own type of metal. Maybe it's spoiling too much already, but you have "normal" metal, which is just pretty general, like Tenacious D, Ozzy Osbourne, Judas Priest, Mötorhead etc, "speed/power" metal, like Rob Zombie, and "Black/Death" metal, like Brocas Helm, Enslaved, Marilyn Manson. The soundtrack (if there was an official one) features 107 different songs from 75 different bands. Nevertheless, while you're playing you'll be unlocking the songs, so don't expect too much variety while driving your car around in the beginning. You can also filter out songs you don't like, which is a big plus in case you don't like all types of metal. The conversations are very well-written as well, bringing a smile to your face a lot of times.
Graphic-wise it's not a state of the art game. But Tim Schafer's world has (as far as I know) never been about creating the perfect graphical world. Instead, he focuses on his unique look of the world, and I have to say, he really succeeds in that. It radiates a certain type of atmosphere which is really suited for the game. Character design is also very good, you'll be laughing more than once when characters are introduced. The design of trees, animals and the whole environment is simply magnificent.
The only slightly bad thing about the game is that it is too short. If you're being a completionist the first time you're playing, you'll reach the end in slightly under 20 hours. Which does seem like a long time, but trust me, it's not. WE WANT MORE!
on 19 October 2009
Brutal Legend is an adventure game where you play Eddie Riggs, a roadie voiced by Jack Black who finds himself transported to a metal-theme world where he must lead the humans to their destiny with the glorious power of heavy metal.
It really is as awesome as it sounds. The story is compelling and addictive. With your customized car you're free to roam the world for side quests and hidden unlockables. The artistry is superb. From the beautiful vibrant landscapes to the unique inhabitants, Brutal Legend takes a guitar to the face of it's competition and proves stark realism and drab grey environments aren't the only artform.
I challenge you to not laugh at Tim Schafer's quirky brand of humour. Animations are particularly impressive as more than once I got a big laugh from mere facial expressions. Voicacting is phenomenal, you can tell Jack Black had enormous fun. Keep an eye out for Lemmy Kilmister, Rob Halford, Ozzy Osbourne and Jack Black's partner in crime Kyle Gass. Tim Curry plays the main villain, and delivers his usual chilling performance.
Over 100 songs can be played in your car from bands like Manowar, Dragonforce, Motörhead, Black Sabbath, hell even a little Tenacious D. For a more complete list you might try looking it up on Wikipedia. Don't like a certain song? No problem. Customize your radio to block anything you don't want to hear, or just streamline your favourites.
And now we get to the bad points.
Brutal Legend succeeds spectacuarly in almost every area except gameplay, which is usually the biggest factor of all. It's basically a mixed third person slash-em-up with real-time strategy elements. Sometimes you'll be off alone hacking away, others you'll be in a battle while ordering squads of men around with simple commands. Though certinally not bad, gameplay does feel quite average. Most sidequests get tiresome quickly, as they involve repeating the same basic tasks. Also it's not an exceptionally long game. You could probably complete it in a few days. There's little replayability.
Oh, I think it goes without saying this game is geared towards an audience who enjoys a particular genre of music. Yes I know I just said it. Shush you.
on 25 June 2013
The swearing and violence and general Jack Black-esque atmosphere are great fun, but ultimately can't sustain my interest in finishing the game. Move to one area, have battle, move to next area, have battle. Gameplay is boring.
on 22 October 2009
This game has a great atmosphere, but even though it has been in production for years feels severely lacking. The core game can be completed in 5-7 hours. Most side quests are repeated several times to the point they become meaningless filler, and ridicul9ously easy and unsatisfying even on the hardest difficulty. Halfway through the game changes it's focus from 3rd person action/open world driving, to a very weak attempt at an RTS game. The control system is a pain, leaving your army standing around seemingly unaffected by the four types of order you can give out to nearby units, or the one giant beacon you can summon. I was left wishing this was a Russian WW2 game, atleast then I would have specially trained officers to execute my troops that refused to fight or advance when given instructions. I really enjoyed the first half of the game but halfway through it practically becomes unplayable unless you are willing to brute force a very weak imitation of an RTS game with none of the control or features you would normally expect from a game of that type. The setting, characters and humour is good, but ultimately I bought a game not an hour long CGI cutscene.
Eddie Riggs, a roadie for an underwhelming rock band who bemoans the death of 'real' metal, is transported into a hellish world where humanity is kept in thrall by demons. Discovering that in this world music has real power, manifesting as combat abilities, Riggs joins a rebel army that is trying to bring down the demons and helps them organise for one last battle against the darkness.
Brutal Legend is a curious game. It's a heavy metal/comedy/action/real-time strategy game set in an open world and featuring personal combat and driving sections. The game feels like it was made by Double Fine Studios taking every 'awesome' idea they could think of and hurling it at the wall to see what would stick. It certainly feels like a game that lacks a clear vision of what the developers wanted it to be, and whilst it may be an adequate jack of all trades it is a master of none.
The game opens as an action title, with you directly controlling Eddie Riggs. You can kill enemies with your giant axe or electrocute them or set them on fire with special attacks from your guitar (which overheats if you use it too much, limiting its use). After a few minutes of this the game seems to get a bit bored, so Eddie spontaneously builds a car out of scenery, has a boss fight and then roars out into an open world, which you can explore to your heart's content (if only briefly; it's fairly small as these things go) to find unlockable skills, upgradable powers and optional side-missions. When you pursue the game's main storyline, it then rather abruptly transforms into a strategy battle game.
In this battle mode, you have a command centre - your stage - and an enemy HQ - their stage - that you must destroy. You gain resources in the form of adoration from fans, who issue forth from geysers (I think the heavy metal/RTS metaphor was straining a bit here) which you can tap into with merchandise stalls. With more resources, you can build more troops and upgrade your stage's capabilities. As the game continues you unlock more units, so you can build everything from a basic infantry grunt (head-banging nutcases) to a massive siege unit (a huge tank thing which call down fireballs from the skies). Your character, Eddie, serves as the commander and a powerful unit on his own right, and must join the fight directly to ensure the battles are won in a timely manner.
There is a big problem with this: Brutal Legend may now be out on PCs, but was designed for consoles. So rather than controlling the battles with a mouse, multi-unit selecting and intelligent hotkeys, you're instead struggling with a UI designed for console joypads. It's hideously slow and inefficient, requiring Eddie to be close to units he wants to give orders to (or constantly performing a tedious guitar solo minigame to summon units to him from across the map). Carrying out pincer attacks is therefore almost impossible. Indeed, the need to be simultaneously giving orders, building units and summoning them to you whilst also have to directly get involved in combat is initially overwhelming and confusing, with you losing battles due to having to fight the poor controls as well as the enemy. This problem eventually disappears once you get used to what units to build and in what order, at which point you simply steamroller the enemy and the game becomes trivially easy.
Brutal Legend is therefore a bit of a mixed bag. The humour, the writing and the voice-acting (most notably thankfully restrained performances from Jack Black and Tim Curry) are all top-notch, though some of the celebrity voice-overs are better than others. Rob Halford and Ozzie Osbourne give it their all, but Lemmy (from Motorhead) gives a fairly catatonic performance throughout the whole game. The game has a strong visual style, with the stylised 3D graphics complemented well by the excellent 2D artwork and the idea of a world based on metal album covers is successfully implemented.
The gameplay is all over the place, however. The solo combat sections are fairly decent, but quite brief, and the escort missions are a bit tedious (though a sequence in a dark swamp with Riggs riding a fire-breathing panther and having to clear a route for the tour bus is quite atmospheric). The battle sections make up a substantial chunk of the game's playing time and are unfortunately the game's weakest link, being poorly-controlled but ultimately far too easy. The game's single-player storyline is also fairly risible in length, clocking in at barely five hours.
All of that said, Brutal Legend (***) has a fair amount of wit, charm and imagination going for it. Like most of Tim Schafer's games, it's fun, but the gameplay struggles to keep pace with the ideas. It's definitely worth a look, but only if you can find it at a budget price. The game is available now in the UK (X-Box 360, PlayStation 3) and USA (X-Box 360, PlayStation 3). It is also available for PC on Steam.
on 5 April 2012
I got Brutal Legend from a second-hand bin in my local Gamestation, and I have to say, it's worth way more than the £5 I paid for it.
It manages to combine third-person hack-and-slash action with RTS-style combat sections in a beautiful way. I know a lot of people don't like the Battle of the Bands fights, but what I think they're missing is that you're not meant to just direct those fights from on high - Eddie Riggs, the main character, and Roadie of Ironheade (the 'good guys' of heavy metal) can direct battle from the sky and drop in to deal out some first-hand punishment himself - and with (literally) killer solos to blast out such as the Facemelter (self explanatory), Bring It On Home (causing a huge flaming lead zepellin to crash from on high) and Battle Cry (empowering all of your allies with increased strength and speed), it's not just a wait-and-see scenario - try and play it like an RTS and you'll fail and probably not enjoy it.
The world in which Riggs finds himself is beautifully manufactured, and hidden throughout it are a veritable plethora of secrets to discover - including the 13 Monuments of Legend which, when unchained, reveal a portion of the world's history to you - the Titans of old, the Firebeast Ormagoden, the rise of the Demons and the Black Tear Rebellion, and eventually, how it all ties in to Eddie himself and how he came to be here.
Couple all of this with downright hilarious and brilliantly written dialogue, cutscenes that are both funny and epically metal, repeat appearances by Ozzie Osbourne (aka 'The Guardian of Metal', your go-to guy for upgrades to yourself and your sweet ride), Lemmy ('The Killmaster', bass-playing healer extraodinaire), and more, and more sidequests than a Final Fantasy game, and you have something which can only be described as it describes itself - Brutal.
I've played it through from start to finish 3 times already, including the extra stuff, and I'm thinking of doing it again. :D
on 28 December 2009
Im not ushally a fan of games that are not realistic but this game is sooo fun and the story line is good and funny i would recomend it for the price you cant go wrong