Xbox 360 Review: Brütal Legend

Does Tim Schafer’s latest deserve the hype?

I’m not a huge fan of heavy metal, but can Jack Black and company make me enjoy this game? Brütal Legend is a pretty unique game. It mixes all different game types like RTS, action, adventure, driving and exploring to create one of the most hilarious and beautiful games of 2009.
Brütal Legend tells the tale of Eddie Riggs, played by Jack Black, who is drawn back through time to a mythical world immersed in Rock and Roll folklore; where great Metal titans once ruled and power chords rang from the countryside for all to hear. When an oppressed people request Eddie’s knowledge of modern warfare, he pulls from his own experience in the only occupation he’s ever had, a roadie for a Heavy Metal band. From this springs the most hellacious army man has ever seen, and thus brings this ancient world into the Age of Metal.

The comedy of Jack Black is widely appreciated in Brütal Legend. His take on Eddie Riggs is brilliant and it’s obvious he was fully committed to the role. The same can be said for the entire cast, they do a really good job in being believable and funny. Being a mixture of game types, you would expect the game to suffer and while it isn’t perfect, the good outweighs the bad to such a degree that it isn’t a problem. The world is full of heavy metal design and is truly unique and imaginative. The team have done a great job in creating a world that anyone would love to explore…it’s that good.
The campaign is mostly focused on RTS fights, but you can also fight in these alongside your crew. Overall, it works pretty well. It would have been good to have more variety of game types for side missions, but that’s perhaps the only complaint I can find with the campaign structure. The writing is just brilliant and the jokes never fall flat, wherever you are a fan of Jack Black or not. The campaign takes around 8-10 hours to do, but multiplayer adds quite a bit of replay value to the mix.

The visual style of Brütal Legend is cartoon-ish, but works well. Character models are incredibly well animated and the world is simply breathtaking to look at. When in combat however, characters can look a bit stiff but overall, the presentation is fantastic and hard to scrutinize. There are plenty of cameos from heavy metal legends including Ozzy Osbourne. The cameos don’t feel tacked on either and add to what is a brilliant story from start to finish.

The Verdict

Brütal Legend is a unique looking game which combines a ton of gameplay types to create an outstanding experience that any fan of heavy metal or action games can enjoy. Things can become a tad repetitive at times and the controls aren’t as tight as they could have been, but these are small complaints which don’t hold the fact that this game rocks.