Published on March 11th, 2013 | by Mark Gibson, Editor/Community Manager
Brütal Legend PC Review
[box type=”info” style=”rounded”]Developer: Double Fine Productions
Publisher: Double Fine Productions
Release Date: February 26, 2013
Platform: PC via Steam[/box]
Review Notes: A game code was received for review purposes.
In 2009, Double Fine Productions gave us the quirky rock-opera adventure game, Brütal Legend. Unfortunately, it was only available for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 with the promise of a PC release to come “soon.” Four years later, the metal-heavy game has finally made its way to our PCs via Steam.
To sum up the game in one sentence: Brütal Legend is a metal album cover come to life. Our main stage man is Eddie Riggs (voiced by real-life rocker, Jack Black), a roadie whose demeanor and attire are frozen in time among the ‘glory days’ of metal music. But, Eddie gets stuck working for a pop-band instead. He is unexpectedly killed during a concert accident, and is transported to a strange world filled with demons, chicks, a hot rod and a lot of awesome music.
Like any other game from Double Fine and Tim Schafer, there is a lot of weirdness. However, the weirdness doesn’t outweigh the fun factor. There is a lot of satisfaction to be had with the hack’n’slash gameplay when using your battle axe and electric guitar. If you are picking up this game expecting it to live solely by the hack’n’slash genre, be forewarned. At its core, the game is a third-person adventure, but there are different areas called “stages” (pun intended?) in which the game switches to real time strategy (RTS) gameplay. While this gives the game a nice break from being repetitive, it does feel a little out of place. Instead of just hashing it out in a boss battle, you are thrown into a hybrid RTS. It’s a little off-putting, especially when you need to stop building defenses and jump into a melee skirmish with your army. It can become overwhelming and tedious if you are not swift enough with your tower defense skills.
Although the campaign is short, it can become grueling. Side missions start to get repetitive, and don’t really provide enough incentive to finish. For the most part, the ability rewards offered are the same upgrades that you can purchase early in the game. So, there really isn’t any motivation in completion, unless you are an obsessive-compulsive completionist.
If you have a controller rigged to your PC, I would highly recommend it. The keyboard controls are standard, but some functions feel strained, especially in the heat of battle. Brütal Legend utilizes combo-based battles. This means you will be using a series of timed mouse clicks, otherwise known in noob world as “button mashing.”
The weird part comes in with the guitar solos. These solos are your power moves that can summon help, unleash unrelenting pain on your enemies or interact with the environment. This is where the console to PC translation seems to fall short. On the console version of the game, you would follow a series of buttons to press a specific times laid out for you as musical notes. On the PC, these sequences are laid out as numbers. The easiest way is to use the number pad on your keyboard — if you are using a laptop without one … good luck.
Graphically speaking, you may notice a slight difference from the console versions. The cartoonish quality is definitely more crisp and vibrant on a PC. We all know that computer graphics tend to be on the more “high end” scale, but there really isn’t too much to brag about with Brütal Legend. There is not that much of a noticeable difference when turning all the graphic settings up to ultra. However, you will need up-to-date hardware to avoid a slight lag.
Getting to the real highlight of this game, Jack Black as the lead character could not have been a better choice — the dialogue is hilarious. Eddie’s vulgar language and endearing personality work great together. This is one of the few games where you may actually be excited for the next cut scene. In fact, I found myself rushing through some areas of the game just to see the next cinematic. With that being said, Brutal Legend would have made a great animated movie (call me, Tim Schafer — let’s talk.)
Brutal Legend is hilarious and silly fun. It’s a game that doesn’t take itself too seriously while at the same time, delivering a decent amount of action and a satisfying “one hero to save them all” story line. Fans of classic rock will love Brütal Legend’s soundtrack.
If you missed the game on console or have been holding out for the PC release, Brütal Legend is worth a play.
[xrr label=”Rating: 7.5/10″ rating= 7.5/10]
+ Hilarious voice acting and storyline
+ Excellent classic rock metal soundtrack
– RTS gameplay can feel out of place at times
– Side missions are repetitive and pointless