Brutal Legend Review

  • Posted October 13th, 2009 at 20:06 EDT by Adam Dolge

Review Score

Brutal Legend

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Brutal Legend offers everything you could ever want in a game: incredible battles, hilarious dialogue, a compelling story, and awe-inspiring locations.

We like

  • The epic world you are tasked with saving
  • The humor and driving storyline
  • The easy-to-play RTS battle sequences, coupled with racing, RPG, first-person shooter, and action elements

We dislike

  • Not being able to jump and as a result getting stuck in the scenery
  • The occasional command difficulties during large-scale battles

See PSU's review on Metacritic & GameRankings

Back in the early 1970s, music meant something. The musicians were gods among screaming devout fans, flailing around on stage in quintessential glam-rock fashion. The world of metal was full of thick spike belts and armbands, devils, fire, horned beasts, and gothic figures. Behind the scenes of these epic metal concerts, the rock-gods were assisted by black-clothes-wearing roadies. The roadies had one important job – to make the metal musicians appear as gods for their adoring fans. They did this with the stealth of a ninja, cloaked by the shadows. A roadie could fix just about anything: a guitar, a drumhead, a fireworks display, a tour van, right down to the elaborate sets. However, as the years wore on, the music changed, metal changed, and the roadies were left pondering as to what happened to their once glorious demonic world.

Enter Brutal Legend, the brainchild of celebrated developer, Tim Schafer. Simply put, the world Schafer conceived for this mammoth music-inspired epic is so entrenched in metal lore that you are instantly engrossed in its land of titans, horned death-bringers, screeching guitars, and pulsing (almost psychedelic) scenery. With all the buzz surrounding the game, from vast commercials, to appearances on late-night talk shows, we were left to wonder if the hype was as phoney as the spandex worn by metal’s most famous glam rockers. After playing through Brutal Legend, however, we were well and truly won over by Schafer’s vision and can’t wait to see what he’ll come up with next.

Brutal Legend is everything a good game should be. It’s filled with nearly every style of gameplay, it’s hilarious, it’s engaging, and most of all it is set in a world so abstract and well constructed that we believe roadies are worth their weight in gold, and metal is truly the music of the gods. In Brutal Legend you’ll command armies of headbangers in real-time strategy battles, drive a decked-out hot rod, shoot missiles in first-person view, and upgrade your heroine with RPG elements. Brutal Legend has just about every style of game crammed into a tight package.

Jack Black lends his voice as the main character Eddie Riggs, a roadie who’s earned himself the prestigious honour of being the best in the business. If you are a fan of Black’s humor then you will, without a doubt, laugh a lot while playing Brutal Legend. In fact, you are going to laugh regardless of your stance on Black– the game is just that funny. From the opening sequence, where Eddie saves a new-age metal musician from falling to his death, but ultimately gets crushed by an elaborate set, the dialogue and subtle raised eyebrows had us on the floor in hysterics. As the game progresses and you are transported into a very different world (the setting of the game), the comedy starts to fade as the story develops. While the comedy starts to fade as the narrative unfolds, it still plays its part in the saga as Riggs finds himself transported in to a bizarre, metal-influenced reality.

Brutal Legend is all about the music – from a stellar soundtrack, cameos by real metal musicians, and hilarious spoofs on the fickle shenanigans of mainstream music, the game rests its laurels in the music world. If you aren’t a fan of metal, you’ll inevitably grow tired of the game’s roaring soundtrack. Beyond the music, the world is obscure and extremely dangerous. The story has you join a band of rebels, fighting an evil lord who has turned the men and women of this crazy world into slaves – the men are workers, and women are apparently part of some ‘adult’ themed bondage ring. Once you free the people they join your forces and during the large-scale RTS battles, you can quickly recruit several different units.

The bulk of the game is played in these RTS battles, where you essentially build and execute an absolutely killer rock show. You’ll build a stage, erect merchandise booths to attract more fans, and recruit units to send off into battle. What’s great about Brutal Legend is that at any time you can jump into the battle, and suddenly the game turns from a straightforward RTS, into an action game – complete with ... (continued on next page)

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  • Related game: Brutal Legend

    Release date (US):
    October 13th, 2009
    Double Fine Productions
    Action - Adventure
    462 of 2,669 Games
    Down 5 places (in last 7 days)

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