Brutal Legend Review

Platform: 360/PS3/PC
Originally Reviewed: 2012

Brutal Legend features one of the greatest concepts of any video game ever made. Rock ‘n’ roll roadie Eddie Riggs, voiced by Jack Black in the role he was born to play, finds himself transported to the land of heavy metal. Once there he must free the enslaved human race from the evil Emperor Doviculus by taking down enemies with a giant axe, a magical Flying-V guitar and a huge hot rod. Yeah, it rocks.

The beginning of the game is utterly hilarious and the gameplay is a cool and satisfying mix of hacking away with the axe and destroying enemies with powerful magic created by playing riffs on Eddie’s guitar. Riggs’ dialogue is brilliantly written, as expected from Schafer, and Black clearly gave his voiceover role everything he had. He’s also superbly supported by rock legends Ozzy Osbourne and Lemmy among others.

The game world is absolutely incredible. It’s a huge piece of land where every inch is inspired by old heavy metal album covers and is the perfect setting for the game. Full of brilliant references and in-jokes, every area is a joy to traverse.

The main problems the game has are, unfortunately, big ones. The second half of the game takes on an RTS flavour with the introduction of ‘stage battles’. RTS gameplay has never really been at home on consoles and it really doesn’t work here. It’s boring, frustrating and really drags. The script, too, loses almost all elements of humour towards the game’s end as well which is a real shame considering the hilarious heights of the first half.

Tim Schafer’s love letter to all things heavy metal could have been so good. If games could be based on subject matter, voice acting and game worlds alone this would be a 10 out of 10 hands down. For the most part, too, the gameplay is great fun but the unnecessary change in direction and weak ending let down a game that just misses out on being essential.

Alex Aldridge

GRAPHICS

A brilliantly designed heavy metal world and cartoony characters and enemies that perfectly suit the tongue-in-cheek style of the game.

8/10

GAMEPLAY

Half of it’s great and half of it sucks. Understandably the hack and slash gameplay needed freshening, but real time strategy was not the way to do it.

5/10

STORY

One of the best and coolest game concepts ever with hilarious dialogue and brilliant voice acting. The end of the game loses some of the humour in attempts to be more epic, but it doesn’t spoil the game like the RTS gameplay does.

9/10

REPLAYABILITY

100% completion is nothing but a chore. Simply hiding things in the game world means a lot of trawling around for nothing. It does have multiplayer, but it’s unfortunately based on the poor RTS mechanic.

5/10

VALUE FOR MONEY AT

It’s pretty long, but unlikely to require repeat plays, and you won’t find anyone online. It should be quite cheap these days and any metal/rock fans have to experience it.

£10 – £15

OVERALL

A lovingly crafted and hilarious love letter to the greatest style of music in the world. Decent gameplay and story early on are unfortunately spoiled by a really weak and poorly executed second half.

7/10

Good

 

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