- Brütal Legend, and Jack Black, score a Busy Gamer 4
Jack Black is the hero, heavy metal carnage is the theme, and Lemmy and Ozzy are part of the game? I’m in. Seriously. In.
The Short Story:
Brütal Legend is the game that almost wasn’t. EA made the wise choice to pick up the title and after spending a good amount of time with the game, I’m glad the project came to fruition. With excellent voice acting, a mind crushing sound track, and solid gameplay, Double Fine has produced a product that would have a shame to lose.
Brütal Legend is the type of game that tries to blend several different types of play into one game. Hack and Slash, RTS, driving, rhythm and put together a story to tie it all together. A lot of companies have tried this approach and failed. But Brütal Legend pulls it off admirably and you’ll find yourself looking forward to what comes next. The controls are basic but solid and take very little time to learn. The story itself is well done and when Jack Black voices the main character, you can count on the humor level being high. There’s a lot to do in Brütal Legend but you may find yourself ready to pass on a second helping of the same story on a higher difficulty level. Short sessions are very possible and the game will humor will keep you coming back for more. Brütal Legend scores a 4 on the Busy Gamer scale.
Body of review:
I’ll admit it. I was a metal head in high school. I had the weird long hair, the jean jacket, the concert tees, the whole nine yards. I’m also a big fan of Jack Black’s acting and of Tenacious D as well. So when I say I had some high expectations going into Brütal Legend, you should know I mean *high* expectations. And it didn’t fail to deliver.
So that's why they call it an "electric" guitar.
Brütal Legend is the tale of roadie Eddie Riggs who is a stylized, buff, ass kicking version of Jack Black who also voices him. Eddie can fix anything, build anything, get anything, and while he’s a roadie, he’s also a pretty good musician. As the story begins, Eddie is working for what passes for a heavy metal band in this day and age and lamenting the fall of metal. While pulling one of the band members fat out of the fire, a piece of the set falls on Eddie and what appears to be a fatal accident transports Eddie to a land where heavy metal is not only alive and well, it’s a way of life.
Once the action begins, our hero finds an axe of legend to wield and then finds another axe… to play. He discovers that the guitar he plays can cause his foes to burst into flames or be struck by lightning. So between the two “axes”, he finds a means to quickly and efficiently beat his foes. And throwing up the horns is completely acceptable after a successful fight.
As the story moves on, Tim Schafer’s wickedly humorous writing and Jack Black’s perfect delivery as Eddie drives the story while solid gameplay and the oddly beautiful graphics pushes us to hear more of it. Combat consists of three buttons for the most part. One to swing the axe, one to play the guitar to different effect, and the third is to block. And while it may seem like an oversimplified game mechanic, the game offers a variety of foes that Eddie must learn to overcome using a combination attacks. This keeps the combat flowing nicely without being an intimidating factor. Once you learn the moves, it’s hard not to appreciate the devastation you can cause.
After dispatching a few waves of demonic foes, it’s time to move on to one of the driving portions of the game. Initially, to learn the controls of the car (called the “Druid Plow”, HA!), you’ll race down a path to escape the evil horde that’s coming for you. And with just enough time behind the wheel to feel some confidence, you’re thrown into a battle for Eddie’s life… using the car. And then, if you’re victorious, you get to drive very fast to cross a bridge that’s crumbling behind you. (more…)