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About the product
- Online-enabled multiplayer so players can conquer friends online via Xbox LIVE.
- Comedic action combat set in a rock n' roll fantasy world, staring the talents of Jack Black in the role of a demon fighting super roadie.
- A soundtrack made up of 108 of the most rocking tracks from 75 different bands representing every sub-genre of metal.
- A streaming, open world that gives players the freedom to walk, drive, or fly anywhere as they unleash the power of rock n' roll on enemies.
- In-game cameos from gods of Metal like Lemmy Kilmister, Rob Halford, Lita Ford, and many, many others.
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Cameo appearances by metal gods Ozzy, Lemmy, Halford and others.
And the soundtrack...oh the soundtrack. It's an amazing collection of songs from bands you probably forgot about after the grunge invasion. When the first song I heard was Angelwitch, I knew this game would be a favorite.
Humor, action, incredible music....why this game wasn't more popular eludes me. Get it, play it, love it.
The game really loses steam and never recovers when you're introduced to your first stage battle. These stage battles are boring, simple, and repetitive (there's that word again...). I played on Brutal difficulty, and I only "lost" one, which I then restarted and won in about ten minutes. I don't even see how hardcore RTS fans could enjoy these. Every one is almost identical in terms of strategy and tactics, even when you're facing different "factions." After sitting through a couple of these stage battles I would audibly groan when the scaffolding would start shooting up and the stage lights would come on. I didn't bother trying the multiplayer (a rarity for me) as I had no desire to do stage battles online.
If you grew up watching Headbanger's Ball or are otherwise in love with metal, you should check the game out simply because it will really bring back some good memories. For everybody else, Brutal Legend is cheap enough that you won't be taking a great risk trying it for yourself. Just expect to be left wanting in the end.
First off, the game's strength: the art direction. Imagine taking every epic metal album cover you've ever seen, combined with Frank Franzetta's paintings, Norse Mythology, Conan the Barbarian, and anything else you can think of that is metal related. If you associate it with headbanger music, this game has it in some form and it is a very faithful, loving tribute to all things metal. Then, dial up the testosterone to 11. Seriously, this game is epic! The environments really steal the show, and there's a lot of variety. Metal music is a huge category of music, with tons of sub-genres that all fall under its umbrella. This game features it all, from 1970's Black Sabbath era attitude and visuals, to an area that is all goth-black-death-metal. The characters and creatures all appropriately represent all of heavy metals's variety as well. It's pretty cool.
Since the premise of the game is hugely based on a genre of MUSIC, the soundtrack is pretty awesome. I personally enjoy SOME styles of Metal music, but not all. In general, it isn't a kind of music I find myself seeking out in my personal life. Still, I really enjoyed it in this game. It also features the voice talent of Jack Black as the main character. He did a really great job at furthering the charm of the game. It also has some of Metal's biggest figures in real life as well. Lemmy Kilmister(Motorhead), Rob Halford (Judas Priest), Lita Ford (The Runaways), and Ozzy Osborne are all in here, and they do a fantastic job at bringing life to their respective characters, who are already very likable and fairly deep. I was pleasantly surprised. The writing, as you would expect from Double Fine, is both charming and hilarious. The story in this game is campy and funny at times and surprisingly poignant and touching in others. I was very impressed by it. Great job Double Fine!
The gameplay is by far Brutal Legend's weakest point. It's not bad at all, but it really isn't that great. Brutal Legend is a long island iced tea combination of gameplay ideas. In this game, you'll be playing an open-world game, a real time strategy game, a hack n' slash, a music rhythm game, a racing game, and several others. It all really comes across as s a jack-of-all-trades but master of none, and that's not necessarily a bad thing, but it doesn't match the quality of the rest of the game. It is worth noting that fact going in.
Now for the problems I have: There is hardly any variety to the tasks to do outside of the story (hunt this animal, race this guy, shoot a mortar at these bad guys, defend this base, and of course, collectables), but the game sort of requires a bit of it. The tasks aren't poorly executed or bad in themselves, but there's hardly any variety and you'll quickly tire of performing them. Unfortunately, if you want the points to level your magical guitar, axe, hot-rod, character, etc, you have to do them. Also, this game is very, very short without the paltry diversions, about half the length I expected and would have liked. Still, these are minor qualms, and overall this game is one worth enjoying.
Overall, this is a game that exceeds in its art direction, audio, story, characters, and falls a bit short in its gameplay execution, gameplay variety, and length. Does that mean this game is not worth getting? Absolutely not! The strengths of this game are so excellently implemented that the good definitely outweigh the bad, but not enough to keep it from losing a single star. I'd still buy this game and recommend doing so for anybody out there that is interested. For metal fans, this game is a no brainer. Get it. For those that are a fan of Double Fine, get it. For the greater number of people who aren't fans of metal or don't know who Tim Shafer is, I'd still recommend it. It's a very lighthearted, unique experience, and a breath of fresh air from the constant barrage of sameness in games these days. Buy it, headbang to it, bring the enemies of metal to their knees with its awesomeness!