There are some games that are still talked about for decades after their original release. Brutal Legend is not one of those games. Originally released for the Xbox 360 and PS3 in 2009, then brought to Steam in 2013, the game reviewed extremely well upon its release, but the sales weren’t great. Over the years it has become a bit of a cult classic and is fondly remembered by the few people who did play the game. The developer is interested in making a sequel for the game, but it’s difficult to say if it will happen. If there is any one game from the Xbox 360/PS3 generation that deserves a sequel, it’s Brutal Legend.
Heavy Metal Isakai
The world of Brutal Legend looks like something a 14 year-old metal head would draw on their notebook while not paying attention in math class. In this case, that’s actually a good thing. The art style of the game is bright and colorful, but remains true to the heavy metal aesthetic. Many locations in the game look like they are pulled straight out of an 80’s metal album cover. The art style fits perfectly with the licensed soundtrack, which includes 107 heavy metal tracks from 75 different bands.
The game begins when a roadie named Eddie Riggs, voiced by Jack Black, spills blood onto his demonic looking belt buckle. This transports him into the heavy metal world. Once there, Eddie immediately puts his roadie skills to use and begins organizing the human resistance against the demons. The story really isn’t very good and it feels like it’s mostly just there to get the player to different parts of the world. Overall, the world isn’t very big, but there is a good variety of locations. It’s actually a lot of fun just to drive around the world and blasting heavy metal.
A Hack and Slash RTS
The advertisements for Brutal Legend focused heavily on the hack and slash gameplay. The real time strategy elements, which are a huge part of the game, were left out of the marketing. The game was marketed as just another hack and slash game with a celebrity voice. This is often seen as the main reason why the game didn’t sell very well. This is despite the fact that both the action and RTS elements of the game are very well done. The story missions will have the player switching between action gameplay and RTS gameplay frequently. This prevents either gameplay type from ever feeling stale.
Early on in the story, Eddie will gain the ability to fly around the battlefield. Many stages will have the player frequently switching between fighting on the ground and issuing commands in the air. While fighting on the ground, combat is purely action-based. Melee attacks are made with Eddie’s battle ax and his guitar is used for ranged attacks. While flying, the gameplay mostly boils down to issuing commands to your troops and creating more units for your army. The game is both a real time strategy game and an action game. It’s very rare that you find a game that combines two genres as well as Brutal Legend.
The World of Heavy Metal
The game has an open world structure with plenty of side content for the player. Since the world is as small as it is, it’s also very easy to explore. When you look on the map, it appears like there are a plethora of side quests. This is sort of deceiving because many side quests are the same thing just copied and pasted in a new location. Completing side quests will award the player with fire tributes. These fire tributes can be taken to Ozzy Osbourne for upgrades and new abilities.
Even though Jack Black became the face for this game, he isn’t the only celebrity voice. As already mentioned, Ozzy Osbourne is also in the game. Rob Halford of Judas Priest and Lemmy from Motörhead also lend their voices to the game. In addition to that, Tim Curry also voices the main bad guy. These voices are a real treat for anyone who is a fan of heavy metal music and those bands in particular. Between the art style, the music and the voice acting, Brutal Legend feels like a true celebration of all things heavy metal.
VIBE Score 8/10
32, living in Arizona with a passion for video games, music and movies.