Brutal Legend for me, is a very special game. It came during a time when I was broadening my musical horizons and I fell in love with Heavy Metal. I simply loved the atmosphere that the genre gave out and how fun and interesting the instrumentations were. So when Brutal Legend came out I was through the roof. A cool open world based off of heavy metal with Jack Black voicing the main character? Sign me up!
Now when this game first came out I wasn’t able to play it until a couple months after release. And by then I had already seen the mixed reviews it had gotten. Which truthfully, discouraged me from buying it at the time. But I’m am so glad I did because what I got was a rough around the edges, charming and satisfying game.
The story is about the a roadie named Eddie Riggs who works for a band that is quite not metal to him at least. After an incident at once of the concerts Eddie is taken to a different un-named world inspired by Heavy Metal. In this world humans are enslaved by the evil Emperor Doviculus. Its up to Eddie and his new friends in this world to rid the world of Doviculus. And this is just a simple little plot summary there’s a lot more to uncover while playing. There’s a great bit of lore that you get to uncover that actually makes this game slightly shallow story something way more interesting.
Gameplay is where it starts to divide people. Some people hate it, some people love it. And some people love a few aspects of it while others don’t. Brutal Legend has this weird mix of gameplay which I haven’t seen in a long time. You start out playing a very simplistic hack n’ slash where you use your guitar as a ranged weapon that shoots electricity and your axe (Get it?) to chop enemies up. Now if this was all there was to it then I would see myself getting tired of it really, really fast. But after a short intro sequence you get to start driving the Druid Plow, the car that’ll you’ll be using to navigate the open world. You summon this car with a short rhythm mini-game. And in the big story moments you have Concerts where it combines all of these elements and the adds in elements of Real Time Strategy. Where you summon troops play guitar solo mini-games to buff them amongst other things. and go into battle yourself to ultimately have the better concert and sell the most merch and all that good stuff. This is easily my favorite part about the entire game. Maybe you can see how this huge blend of genres can put people off but for me I just wanted to see what else they could do. The gameplay is not perfect by any means. Literally every aspect I just described could be way, way better. But when I played it I thought it was so ambitious and interesting that I was dying for a sequel, and I still am.
A small factor that pulled me into this game was the characters in it. The main character played by Jack Black is literally every character played by Jack Black. A metal loving, cool goofball. Then there’s other characters like Lionwhyte who is based off of glam metal and his character is based heavily off of David Bowie. Then there’s the main bad guy Doviculus who is based off of nu-metal. His appearance is all gross and full of leather and his army is like that too. One of my favorite characters is the person you go to for upgrades on your car and the attributes on your weapons. The Guardian of Metal played by Ozzy Osbourne I don’t think I need to say anymore about that. There are more characters whose appearances and personalities are based off of genres but you get the point.
Brutal Legend does an absolutely amazing job at characterizing people according to their genres and in the multiplayer mode you get to see that in full effect as you get to choose from three characters from 3 genres of metal. And their play style reflects their genre well.
Multiplayer in this game has been overlook greatly in this game for some reason and not that literally no one plays this game now it’s hard to really find a match online unless it’s with a friend. As I’ve mentioned before with multiplayer you get to play as 2 new characters and the third being Eddie. If we were to ever get a sequel I’d really want to see multiplayer be improved greatly because it was such a blast.
Now very recently Tim Schafer has said that a Brutal Legend sequel is possible and he would love to do another but it would cost a fortune. Getting music for the game and all that. Now I don’t care how long it takes or how much it would cost but I would seriously love another sequel. No matter how controversial Tim has been or how many people have stopped playing his games because of the things he has said and done I just want to see another Brutal Legend.
Maybe this has convinced you that you should go out and check this game out. It’s fairly cheap now and it’s on PC as well. Please take some time and play this gem of a game. It certainly is a little rough around the edges but man is it a good time.