13/02/2011

[PS3] Rock Hard with Brutal Legend - Review

Banging your head in this game will be the most outrageous thing you will do, and sometimes you might want to bang your head in the wall too!

Brutal Legend, starring Jack Black, as voice-over and a small cameo on the menu screen, brings the heavy and the metal to life by voicing Eddie Briggs, a roadie who takes his job and his passion for heavy metal way too serious! 
Double Fine productions released the game in 2009 and we are now only reviewing this game because, well, I was lazy back then (still am), and also marking that this game deserves some attention since, it had none back when it was released. So check just after the jump for its full review!



The Game

Jack Black voices Eddie Briggs, a roadie with an attitude.

The story follows Eddie Briggs, a roadie who is constantly thinking about the good old days "like the early 70's" and the new "Metal" is just a load of rubbish, he also says what its like to be a roadie, and in a turn of events he kinda gets teleported into a world of Metal where a war is waging between some ugly demons and mankind for total domination.
The game itself behaves like a hack&slash, its controls are a bit sloppy and something its downright hard to get Eddie to do that special combo you want to do so badly, but in a way, you just need one or two moves actually. Eddie fights with an Axe and a string guitar that can summon powerful spells (and even a badass hotrod) and for that you need to play a couple of strings to summon or cast your spell. There are also various instant spells, like the lightning that can zap your foes to the ground, but you got to be careful the more you play the more it gets hot, and like everything hot is usually a bad thing.

A Hack&Slash/Sandbox/RTS game, all in one. Oh! and with headbangers!

Since the game is sandbox game things are way farther then your usual hack&slash, so you need your hotrod for that, during which you will upgrade it accordingly like all the items you use, and to do that you need to go through the gates of hell to talk to... Ozzy? Well, The "Guardian of Metal" gives you upgrades in exchange of favorings to the metal gods and to receive those you need to do side-quests, special jumps, sight-seeing and also some tricks. 
The world itself is something that you might want to look around, for its sights and also for the special statues that give up the story of the world of metal, music unlocks and health upgrades, they're really easy to miss mind you, and possibly without countless hours or a guide to walk you through you will miss some.
When you reach a certain part, you will go on tour, and the game changes from just a sandbox/hack&slash to an RTS mode, where you need to fight other stages by summoning your crew to the stage and to the field to fight whatever they throw at you, but a stage is nothing without its fans, and thats the currency you will have, fans, in geysers... really... i ain't kidding. 
All this while hearing some hard metal songs from Judas Priest to Manowar to fuel your need to keep playing, but honestly if you play too much you might want to light your lighter and just wave it in the air from time to time while doing a flip with your hotrod.

The Combat

The game is divided into two, the hack&slash mode, with Eddie jumping around hacking and killing everything that doesn't look friendly, while doing side-quests and giving a small amount of humor into your summonings. This sometimes can be hard on the player since the game sometimes gets so slow you cant do the somewhat hard combos, leaving you with just a couple of moves in your inventory and rely on your guitar and summonings. Each friendly unit can double team with Eddy making a devastating attack on its foe, from making huge hand bouncers jump from you, to make alot of static noises on your roadies, you got it all!

Headbanging never felt so dangerous!

And the Battle of the Stages, the RTS part of the game where you have 3 factions, The Ironheade, the Drowning Doom and the Tainted Coil. Every faction has different spells, different units and different strengths and weaknesses, which can counter each side like a rock-paper-scissor game, so you need to choose wisely (if not on Story Mode) what do you want to play with and against. 

Eddie transforms into a demon so he can fight and command it's crew!


The battle of stages is the only thing available for multiplayer online, severing the other part which is exclusive for the story mode, but you can still do it because, while you command your troops, you also command your avatar, and that's a thing of beauty, commanding and being in the action, what can go wrong? A LOT can go wrong, let me explain, besides you need to control your armies (which is fine) you can also summon and cast spells with your avatar (which is fine) and also fly (which is fine), now these three things in separate are fine and dandy but put them together and you might sometimes looking at a lost fight, needing to make your crew stronger and finding yourself surrounded and dying constantly (if your losing, which might happen a lot in the last missions on story mode) and can't move or do anything because your always getting teleported to that blasted spawn zone "sigh". Taking that out of the equation the game really as good controls and you might find it troubling at first but once you get used to it, your rocking. 

The Bugs

This game suffers from a lot of this evil, I constantly crashed on some parts of the game, and my BR-disc is spotless, so I tried another PS3 and it still crashed on some parts. The frames sometimes get so low that the controls start to go sluggish and driving that hotrod will make you cry sometimes, also since its a sandbox game, the open world is riddled with places where you can get stuck, and you really can't get out of it, just reloading the game or the mission your currently in. The AI sometimes gets a little beserk and send a small batallion of its best units against you (watch out for Drowing Doom, trust me on this one) and unless your REALLY prepared for it, you will die, pretty fast and not even the spotlights can help you. The game suffers sometimes of getting out of sync with the voices/music which can be really annoying. 

Conclusion

Aside the bugs the game is really something for your library if your a collector but you might find yourself just wanting to hear jack black voice because he plays its character well, and mix him with Ozzy and you might laugh or just snicker at some of the funny things they do. 

Verdict:
Presentation – 8
Graphics – 4
Online Experience – 6
Sound – 8 
Gameplay – 5
 Lasting Appeal – 7
Average Overall Score – 6

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