Review: Brutal Legend


Having just completed the single player campaign for Brutal Legend on the Xbox 360, I am absolutely amazed by the game, not just by the soundtrack but by the game play as well. The game revolves around a roadie called Eddie Riggs, that is voiced by the almighty Jack Black. Eddie is killed by some freak accident on stage and is then transported to a strange world of metal. Here is my review on Brutal Legend, I hope I can change a few peoples minds by writing this review so here goes.

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You start the game by waking up in a temple, this is where you get your two main weapons, your axe and a electric guitar called Clementine, you then have to fight your way through the temple to escape. This is basically a training mission, just to get used to the basics of combat and then, you find the Druid Plough, which is a hot rod sent down from the gods. Now in the game you will meet plenty of characters that are all influenced by prominent metal artists, such as the guardian of metal, voiced by the legendary hero himself, Ozzy Osbourne, the Kill Master none other than Lemmy Kilmister of Motorhead fame and the Fire Baron voiced by Rob Halford who is the lead vocalist of Judas Priest.

Once you have broken out of the Temple, you have the ability to roam around the landscape in your car, you have your primary missions to complete as well as secondary ones, such as ambushing enemy troops, or further into the game getting you car mounted on a lift and being used as a turret, also the cannon missions where you meet Kyle Gass, Jack Blacks partner in the group Tenacious D. All over the map there are a number of things to unlock and explore, such as dragon statues, for every 10 of these you break free, Eddie gets upgraded, either his overall health, flight speed or healing properties during the stage battles. There are also view points for you to find so you can look across the landscape, there are archives which go into more depth about how the world came to be, relics to be raised which unlock new music, tab slabs which unlock guitar solos for use during combat and stage battles as well as Motorforges which upgrade the Druid plough.

The main story line revolves around a human uprising, trying to overthrow the evil emperor Doviculus and the tainted coil who keep oppressing the humans, and there ways of metal. You play the part of Eddie Riggs the roadie, who unites the people around the map to over throw the evil emperor. The map is split up into a number of different areas, and each one has its own unique wildlife and scenery, alot of thought and design has gone into the world, its very stunning to look at, you have your lush grass and trees moving onto a barren waste land, a glam rock palace moving onto a small area full of snow to a jungle and then on to a creepy kind of graveyard type setting.

Game play is very good, you can either run around on foot or use the druid plough, controlling your character is easy even during combat all you need is your analogue sticks to move your character and camera, and your A and X buttons to unleash a fury of moves to take down your enemies. You can combine your axe and guitar attacks to perform some powerful combos too that can set foes on fire or simply pump them full of electricity. Throughout the game you will find Motorforges, you drive into these to upgrade your axe with special powers or your guitar with strings to enhance your fighting powers, you can also purchase extra combat moves, weapons and armour for the Druid Plough. You can also purchase cool paint jobs too, in exchange for fire tributes, these fire tributes are awarded for completing both primary and secondary missions as well as doing some cool jumps in the car, in certain areas of the game.

Eddie has some special powers in the form of his guitar solos, these play out like a tiny section of a guitar hero game having to press the corresponding colour/button at the right time to perform it, these powers range from summoning his trusty Druid plough  at any time, a solo to raise relics and motorforges, as well as devastating attacks such as the facemelter which devastates your foes, and my personal favourite, the bring it on home solo which summons a burning zeppelin of lead which crash lands at your position.

As you progress through the single player element of the game, at certain points you have to do a stage battle, now in a stage battle you start with your stage, and you then have to build merch booths, which will help to attract more fans for you to spend and create more units to fight your enemies. The units are all metal related, you have your grunts/foot soldiers called headbangers, who’s special attack is the mosh pit to your Fire Barons who drive around on bikes throwing Molotov’s around the place. At first I found it a bit difficult to control your army as the battle and unit creation system is like nothing I have used before, but after playing the first few battles you start to pick up the idea of game and start effectively creating your army and sending out attack waves to crush your enemies.

Now during this time your still playing as Eddie, and you can roam about the battle field giving orders to your units, or, you can also double team with your units to perform some devastating attack moves which vary from unit to unit, you can also fly around the battle field as Eddie, who gets a pair of wings later in the game, which helps a great deal in keeping an eye on your enemy and ordering your troops around. Also if the fighting gets bad and you find your base over run, you have the option to double team with your stage, you can take the microphone and use the speakers as an attack or fly up to the rafters, and use the stage lights as a mounted cannon. Once you have the unit control down to a T this will provide endless hours of fun as the stage battles are what you will be playing in the multiplayer version of the game.

Last but by no means least, I really want to kiss the person involved in the soundtrack of this game. Some of my personal favourite metal tunes and bands are in the line up, Judas Priest, Ozzy Osbourne, Def Leppard, Man of War as well as the song The Metal by Tenacious D. Some cracking tunes to drive around a beautifully created map and environment.

I really enjoyed playing this game the cut scenes and characters dialogue had me in stitches it’s an extremely funny game and well worth picking up. My hat goes off to Tim Schaffer and the guys from EA games and Double Fine a truly top notch game. I can’t wait untill the weekend so I can start hammering multiplayer before I head off to Leeds for the Euro gamer expo.

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