Monday, October 19, 2009

Come See Me When You Grow a Pair as Big as Your Mother’s

Yesterday I finished the main storyline in Brütal Legend, the latest from the comedic mind of Tim Schafer. It wasn’t until I played the demo for this game a few weeks ago that I really started paying attention to it. To be honest, for the longest time I seriously thought it was some sort of spin-off of Guitar Hero. After all, there’s a big dude in that game with an umlaut in his name.

Don’t judge me.

The point of the story is I did play the demo and very quickly started to give this game my attention: you play as the best roadie in the business, Eddie Riggs, transported into the land of heavy metal only to find yourself destined to save said land from the horrors of emo music, glam rock, and other false gods. It is without question unlike any game I’ve ever played before. Ever. In that respect, Brütal Legend is a true original.

The writing is damn good. I can’t count the number of times I laughed out loud at the delivery and the jokes – something I’ve never done in a video game before. While the laughs taper off slightly towards the end the game really never stops being genuinely funny. This aspect of the game was hands down the best.

Of course, you can’t really sing the praises of a game based on a land of heavy metal without talking about the soundtrack and holy shit – it does kick ass: Ozzy Osborne, Megadeath, Judas Priest, Rob Zombie, and my most pleasant surprise, KMFDM, blast your eardrums as you race across the land in your trusty Druid Plow. If you’re a fan of this type of music you need to, at least, pick up the soundtrack. If you’re not a fan of this type of music punch yourself in the face.

The graphics and voice acting also need a mention. I was really surprised and how developed and detailed the world of metal is. From the statue-laden fields of Bladehenge to the eerie glowing forest near the Sea of Black Tears every aspect of this map has a distinct personality. These landscapes are only further brought to life by the enthusiastic and lovable dialogue delivered perfectly by the cast and notably by Jack Black. Maybe the only thing better than the voice acting is the character animations and facial expressions. It’s all so fantastic. Also? Ozzy Osborne playing the Guardian of Metal – essentially The Merchant a la Resident Evil 4 – is brilliant.

That’s not to say that the game is without its flaws however. Something that the demo did not show and that ends up being a large part of the game is your army. As you progress in the game you meet Headbangers, Razor Girls, Roadies, and others who join you in your fight against the evil emperor Doviculus. It is the controlling of this army that takes a lot of getting used to. In fact, to be perfectly honest, I wouldn’t say that I really got the hang of how to operate my army until the very last battle – and I got so frustrated with that fight that I damn near gave up. The problem is, your army takes time to build up and one wrong press of the button can eviscerate them and effectively end the battle – not in your favor. It just seems as though the game was a bit too ambitious in this regard; there is way, way too much going on for one controller.

Still, when push comes to shove, this was my only real complaint with the game.

The main story is very, very short – no more than 7 hours – but following the ending you’re left to travel across the land to do mini-missions and general exploration, something I am very excited to do.

In short: this game rocks.

EDIT - Daaaaamn! I knew Doviculus sounded familiar. So sorry, Tim Curry. You rock too, man.


  1. "If you’re not a fan of this type of music punch yourself in the face."

    Haha! Thank you for this. Also, giggling picturing Ozzy mumble "What're ya buyin?"

  2. LOL! He really was fantastic.

  3. Sounds spectacular, maybe I will borrow it over Christmas break?

  4. I think that can be arranged :)