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Posted by Bluepip
Post Posted on 04 Jan 2010 13:04 
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Roadie Eddie Riggs is fed up of todays "rock" music. It's just not the way it used to be. Where is The Metal?! An on-stage incident sees Eddie transported to a world of rock & metal music where the inhabitants need help. They need HIS help. Using his Roadie powers Eddie is more than happy to provide assistance...

Bluepip says: Tim Schafer has done the business and created another great and extremely funny game. Casting Jack Black as the voice of the lead character Eddie Riggs was a master stroke as Blacks humour and personality suit the role and resulted in the character being partially based on him. Brutal Legend has a surprising amount of depth to it too. With side quests dotted about the game map you can spend a lot of time exploring for add-ons and perks. Unearth buried relics by knocking out riffs on your ever present guitar or pop over to visit the Guardian of Metal (or Prince of Darkness as he is also known) at the Motor Forge where you can spend your Fire Tributes to upgrade your weapons and vehicle.

Although this game will appeal most to those who love their Heavy Metal it can be enjoyed by all, although a few 'in' jokes may be missed! The intro being a funny dig at the direction the music genre has taken and certain characters representing the offshoots that have become almost mainstream these days.

You have the option to allow gore and swearing or to turn it off. I recommend the 'on' setting. However even such a mundane menu option has been given a little bit of humour.

The basic storyline revolves around Eddie, roadie to the band Kabbage Boy. After he is injured by a falling set piece at the bands gig he is transported to a world where the people are dominated by evil dude Doviculus. Eddie joins forces with Ophelia, Lars and Lita and helps form the army 'Ironheade' to defeat Doviculus. It's down to you to guide Eddie through an interesting plot in his efforts to free the land of Ormagöden.

There are 23 main missions and several of which consist of Stage Battles where you fight in real time. Yep, the game adds a somewhat contraversial RTS element to the fighting. You must defend your 'stage' so your troops can spawn. When you have enough you can command them to defend, attack or follow you as you either kill those attacking or complete a given task. It can be difficult to tell which troops are your own though and sometimes making your guys do what you want can be tricky.
You can also join in battles armed with either your battle axe or your faithful guitar Clementine, which can perform pyrotechnic attacks and bolster your forces. It's satisfying to wade in and mash some buttons every once in a while.

There are 30 side missions which you can play and by completing these missions and therefore pleasing the Gods of Rock you can earn even more Fire Tributes to spend.

The map is open from the start and you are free to explore the beautifully rich landscape along with it's wildlife. You can travel by foot or in your hot rod 'The Deuce' which, along with being customisable at the motor forge, comes equipped with a radio and with over 100 tracks in the game that's a lot of driving! You don't have all the songs to start with though but you can unlock them as you go through the game by unearthing the relics or you win them as rewards. You can also customise all your tracks in the menu so you can have your favs over and over again.

Everyone should have Brutal Legend in their collection. It's great fun and ultimately entertaining. Whilst there is the odd flaw and the story mode is extremely short if you don't pad out with side missions it has a charm and a face meltingly good soundtrack that'll have you coming back for more.

8/10


Waylander says: Brutal Legend sees you take control of Eddie Riggs (voiced brilliantly by Jack Black), a legendary roadie and lover of all things METAL! Upon his transportation to a new world full of rock and metal, Eddie quickly becomes armed with two awesome axes - one the more traditional double sharp edged type, the other named "Clementine" with six strings and the ability to produce chords of POWER! The demo available on the PSN store provides a brief glimpse of the basic gameplay in utilising these weapons in addition to a quick drive in Eddies hot rod "The Deuce". What it doesn't show however, is the full complexity of the game.

After the opening level an open world is revealed to explore at your hearts content. The more you follow the story missions the more exploration possibilities are opened up. Secondary missions become available across the map, ranging from animal hunting to car races with battle variations in between. All successful side missions award "Fire Tributes" i.e. xp points which can then be spent on various upgrades and extras purchased from the Guardian of Metal (voiced brilliantly by Ozzy Osbourne).

Initially Brutal Legend comes across as a simple button bashing hack & slash 'em up. But the combat quickly becomes more complex the more you play as different characters are recruited to your cause and your army. There is a real-time strategy element to the staged battle gameplay as you fight for control of "fans" the number of which determines how many soldiers of varying types you can deploy to the battlefield. The controls are a bit fiddly and take some getting used to but essentially are mapped quite sensibly and with practice work well.

In addition to Black and Osbourne, Rob Halford of Judas Priest fame, Lemmy from Motorhead, Lita Ford and the actor Tim Curry among others lend their vocal talents to the game. The script is excellent and contains many humorous moments and I also recommend you leave the profanity switched on as a lot of it was not entirely scripted! Rock and metal fans in particular will undoubtedly appreciate the humour more fully.

Brutal Legend also comes packed with a massive soundtrack consisting of over 100 rock and metal tracks and an adjustable player for creating playlists and the like. Again, the more you play, the more music becomes available.

The title also incorporates a multiplayer mode which involves players fighting staged battles against each other. Although this element to the title holds very little appeal and comes across as a bolted on extra more than anything else.

Overall Brutal Legend is a fairly solid action adventure game. Rock and metal music fans in particular should appreciate the game more due to the subject matter, but non-fans of that musical genre may be put off. The gameplay, despite the real-time strategy element does become repetitive and unfortunately turns playing into a chore at times. Staged battles quickly become tedious and the fact you cannot die during them suggests the developers perhaps knew this therefore you just plug away churning out units until the battle is won and you're glad you don't have to start over again! That said, it is largely fun to play and it is definitely worth a look.

As a massive rock/metal fan it gets 8/10 but for everyone else knock a mark off.




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