Author Topic: Brutal Legend – February 2013 [Score: 7.3]  (Read 54 times)

Offline bobdog

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Brutal Legend – February 2013 [Score: 7.3]
« on: February 12, 2018, 11:34:45 AM »
As a teen in the 80s, heavy metal music was my gateway to life. Many of my greatest high school memories are of concerts and the hard-thumping music that came out. And playing Brutal Legend – DoubleFine Games’ ode to that era – was mostly satisfying at reliving those memories. Every element of the game, from the starting menu to the look and feel of the game world to the background music, is saturated with the trappings of what makes “heavy metal.”

Comedian Jack Black plays his typical role, this time as a smarmy heavy metal roadie. He is desperate to relive the glory days when he built massive sets with pyrotechnics, but is stuck with today’s sadsack bands who lip-synch and play keyboards – dissing the glory of shrieking guitars and booming bass drums. When Jack accidentally dies during a set, he is brought to a new land that is the embodiment of metal. Looking across the landscape truly is like looking at the artwork from metal album covers inspired by Dio, Iron Maiden and Judas Priest, through the filter of Boris Vallejo. And the history of this new world is deeply entrenched in the metal atmosphere, with old “gods” who were killed, and now their metal corpses fuel this world.

What makes Brutal Legend unique is its blend of different gaming genres. You start the game as a typical 3rd-person action adventure, with your character hacking enemies with his guitar “axe”. After meeting another character who will later join your team, you build a car (you’re a roadie and can build anything given enough time and resources….) and travel to a starting base. From this base, you can now zip around a newly introduced open-world, doing the odd mission or race, or finding secrets. Finally, the game introduces a real-time strategy element, whereby you access “fans” and use their power to outfit your stage, your crew and your eventual army of rockers. This progression of features is slow but steady, although I admit that about 2/3rds in, the RTS elements grew too much for me and I couldn’t progress! Curse you, RTS games!!

The characters are absolutely incredible, with many of them voiced by their Earth doppel-headbangers. Ozzy Ozborne serves as a wizard/know-it-all that outfits your car, enhances your offensive capabilities, and gives you some fun extras, like a new paint job for your car, or a new tat or patch. Lemmy from Motorhead plays a pivotal role, as does Lita Ford. One of the main characters bears a striking resemblance to Megadeth’s Dave Mustaine. Another is a goof on White Lion’s lead singer. If you have any familiarity of the heavy metal scene, which moved into hair metal, and finally was displaced in the mainstream by alternative rock, you’ll get most of the references scattered throughout the game.

Storywise, I was bummed that I couldn’t get to the end and see what finally happened. We do learn why Jack Black’s character was brought to Metal-Earth, and see his character grow from a bumbling doofus to a warrior doofus. (You weren't expecting miracles, were you?  ;D  )

Perhaps my main gripe (other than the RTS thing) is that I had to do some accommodating with the keyboard to fit all of the buttons necessary. And for some menus, the mouse was challenging to use properly. Otherwise, I would certainly recommend Brutal Legend, especially if you were ever a headbanger. 7.3 out of 10

Offline Doc_Brown

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Re: Brutal Legend – February 2013 [Score: 7.3]
« Reply #1 on: February 12, 2018, 03:26:31 PM »
Brutal Legend honestly has one of my favorite stories (at least in terms of "recent" gaming history), it's just a shame they tried to make it into this weird RTS-hybrid rather than just making a more straightforward, open-world adventure game.
Roads?  Where we're going we don't need roads.