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Brütal Legend (PC) Review

/ Mar 7th, 2013 No Comments

Brutal Legend (PC) Review

Brutal Legend (PC) Review

Brutal Legend (PC) Review

It’s like if Lord of the Rings and an Amon Amarth album had a drunken one night stand and the lovechild was carried to term.  Known as Brütal Legend, players are immersed in a world of epic metal, sorcery-filled fantasy and a realm on the edge of total collapse.

Story

Enter Eddie Riggs.  Voiced by none other than Jack Black, Riggs is a roadie killed in the line of duty.  But the blood that has been spilled has awoken the Eternal Fire Beast, and Eddie is transported into another world.  Quickly joined by a cast of characters that reveal to him humanity’s plight of oppression, Riggs sets out to bring together an army to tear down the establishment.

Even though the story leans toward the cliché side of town, Brütal Legend has such a tendency toward the awesome and the absurd that the story is almost expected to visit both well-known and unusual territory.  The main story line missions move action and suspension along quite well, which in turn leaves very little down time or room for frustration, except for when missions are failed.  If the player dies when eyeballs deep in a mission, they must always return to the very beginning unless they did a save and quit at some point during the mission.

Controls & Gameplay

While the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 releases predate the PC by some years, the game can be experienced in a more intuitive way through a keyboard and mouse.  Controls are mapped out in way that allows for much quicker response time (even though driving the Deuce felt like trying to drive a cow), and as a result interacting with the world seemed to be fairly seamless.

While Brütal Legend has been classified as an RTS, it felt like the creators’ attempt to interweave elements of an action RPG were largely successful.  Engaging in both boss fights and more minor skirmishes which force the player to strategize is fantastic.  When faced with a boss that has impenetrable, huge fists of death, figuring out a way to bring him down with something other than a hack and slash approach was engaging and challenging.  But when one mission is completed, it’s off to the next one.  It was easy to become invested in the world where main story line missions are key, but there is nothing to prevent the player from playing lets-run-over-the-local-wildlife or actually participating in optional side quests.

In terms of combat mechanics, the player starts out with the standard melee weapon which takes the guise of an axe that can only be properly wielded by Riggs, and a distance attack which comes in the shape of an old guitar that can belt out music with the best of them.  More specialized abilities unlock a bit later, such as Facemelter.  (It does exactly what it sounds like, and it’s glorious.)  When not stuck in fights that require more tactical thinking, the weapons at hand truly get the job done.  As the player unlocks more attacks and more abilities for the guitar, each weapon gains access to new potential.

Visuals & Sound

Brutal Legend

Brutal Legend

If nothing else, the art style screams Double Fine.  Colorful with a handful of bizarre and tweaked with a bit of the unusual, it’s something that gamers will either love or hate.  While world design throws the player into an epic experience, character design is something straight out of the stereotypes of metal.  Yet this is completely okay – it pokes fun at those who adhere to those ideas but also uses them in a way that aids character development and humor.

Brütal Legend also possesses a cast of voice actors that only add to the game’s inherent quality.  Metal icons ranging from Ozzy Osbourne to Lemmy Kilmister make an appearance when you least expect them, and the soundtrack to the game is just as star-studded.  Many of the tracks seem to have been selected for the fact that they have stood the test of time, and that has also contributed in setting the epic tone of the game.

Conclusion

Brütal Legend has successfully merged both elements of RTS and RPG to make for an epic gameplay experience that will not soon be duplicated.  And while there may be some minor mechanical things the player could do without (restarting a mission after dying, I’m looking at you), Brütal Legend makes for an experience that won’t soon be forgotten.

BRüTAL LEGEND (PC) REVIEW

Gaming Illustrated RATING

Overall83%

GAMEPLAY8

Controls make for a much more responsive gameplay experience, even though certain elements such as driving the Deuce can be a bit clunky at times.  Combat is easy to learn and navigating the world is no problem.

PRESENTATION9

Art style, voice cast and soundtrack all make for an engaging experience that provides an epic world that never breaks character.  Brütal Legend has a unique voice and style that is created by interweaving all of these elements and it is never once broken.

CONTENT8

While tending towards the cliché in terms of ‘boy meets girl’ initially, Brütal Legend’s missions and character development add a whole level of their own to the game.  Each character has a distinct personality and without that individuality a key part of the game would have been lost.

Laura Kemmerer

Laura Kemmerer

Laura Kemmerer is a new addition to Gaming Illustrated and has been assigned to cover new game release announcements and news topics.
Laura Kemmerer

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BRüTAL LEGEND (PC) REVIEW

Gaming Illustrated RATING

Overall83%

GAMEPLAY8

Controls make for a much more responsive gameplay experience, even though certain elements such as driving the Deuce can be a bit clunky at times.  Combat is easy to learn and navigating the world is no problem.

PRESENTATION9

Art style, voice cast and soundtrack all make for an engaging experience that provides an epic world that never breaks character.  Brütal Legend has a unique voice and style that is created by interweaving all of these elements and it is never once broken.

CONTENT8

While tending towards the cliché in terms of ‘boy meets girl’ initially, Brütal Legend’s missions and character development add a whole level of their own to the game.  Each character has a distinct personality and without that individuality a key part of the game would have been lost.

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