BRUTAL LEGEND REVIEW
Brutal Legend has been a hugely talked about game, due to a change in publisher, several lawsuits, and of course, the involvement of Jack Black and Tim Schafer- does it rock as hard as it would like to?
Posted by PlayDevil.com Staff on Dec 10, 2009 14:17 (Dec 10, 2009 14:17)
Written by: Ian
"Brütal Legend" has been a hugely talked about game, due to a change in publisher, several lawsuits, and of course, the involvement of Jack Black and Tim Schafer- does it rock as hard as it would like to?
The game’s been in development for years, and it seems like it’s always been one of those titles that has gotten loads of publicity- so it was with some trepidation that I can finally get to review the game!
If you’ve played the demo, then you know what the basic plot premise is for the game. In case you haven’t, let me summarise. You play as Eddie Riggs, a current-day roadie for a ‘metal’ band who are anything but. After an on-stage accident, his body is transported into a magical fantasy world of rock and roll. Teaming up with some of the locals, he goes on a rock odyssey of his own, armed with his axe, his other axe (guitar) and the brilliantly named Deuce (AKA Druid Plow) hot-rod to destroy the evil emperor Deviculous and free the citizens from his rule.
The story is funny, includes some awesome actual rockstars in brilliant cameos, and my only criticism is that it’s too short. The campaign will take about 6-7 hours to do most things, and it almost feels like a tutorial for the multiplayer. What is there is some of the most brilliant stuff I’ve ever seen in a videogame- but I just wish that there was more of it!
BL is a real mix of gameplay styles. If you’ve played the demo, then you may think that what you get is a hack-and-slash game. And certainly, that is what the game is for the first couple of hours. With some driving, and- oh, some open world gameplay too. As soon as the demo ends (you’ve seen the driving and the hack-n-slash) you end up in a beautiful fantasy world of rawk!
You have to traverse the map, getting new missions and getting some side missions, as well as picking up various collectables- if you’ve played GTA or any other open-world title, then you know what to expect, to be honest. It is, however, a good interpretation of the style- in fact, there are a really good amount of pretty diverting side-quests, with quite a bit of variety (shooting, bashing stuff up, hunting animals, racing, and some random stuff), and a vast amount of collectable and unlockable stuff to find, much of which helps boost your character either directly (e.g. new guitar solos) or through gaining new fire tributes, which can be spent in the shop, which is brilliantly owned by Ozzy Ozborne.
What people might find odd, however, is the way that the game just suddenly starts chucking in some RTS gameplay. It comes quite subtly at first, through finding some guys to fight with. You can pair up with them for special attacks, which is neat, but then you find different dudes, and you have to decide how best to use them. Then you get the stage battles, which are basically traditional RTS battles, right down to gathering resources and tech trees. The sides are well balanced, and it’s nice that your hero can also take part, but ultimately there’s nothing much new here other than the ace looking units and the pounding metal music in the background.
Ultimately, these stage battles will be pretty marmite for many people- you’ll either like the gameplay mash-ups (you can even fly and/or drive in these stages) or hate them. And ultimately, that will affect just how much you like the game overall. For me, they weren’t brilliant, but never detracted from the game. However, if you can stand the stage battles, then the hack-n-slash/ driving/ open world combo is certainly strong enough to keep you coming back until the credits roll on Eddie’s rockin’ story.