Review: Brutal Legend (by Scooby Mad)

he_brutallegendBrutal Legend is the latest game from Tim Schafer, the guy who was involved in Monkey Island, Full Throttle and more recently the director, co-writer and designer of Psychonauts. But is this actually a game worth buying or just some nonsense only a select few will enjoy?

You play Eddie Riggs, voiced superbly by Jack Black. In fact I reckon this is the best thing he’s ever done, granted im not a huge fan of Mr Black but it cannot be overlooked that he’s really brought something to this character with his involvement. The story goes Eddie Riggs is a Roadie for a modern metal band, he’s the best roadie in the business but believes the “pure” rock of the 70’s is dead. Without spoiling anything, some crazy stuff happens and he ends up in a land of Rock. The design of this world has really been influenced by the album covers, artwork and myth that surround the genre of Heavy Metal and it really does look good, a lot of thought has been put into this world and all the characters in it. All in all the design of this game, while not pushing the limits of what the 360 can do. ROCKS!

Unfortunately the same cannot be said for the gameplay. While it feels solid enough, its not as refined as it could be. You get around the world in The Deuce, a heavy metal hotrod that never feels as fast as it should be. The game world is pretty big, but aside from a cool environment to look at there’s very little to do. Apart from the main storyline which Id guess will take 6-8 hours in total. You have relics to raise, solo’s to learn basically stuff to explore the world and obtain. You will find yourself feeling a little lonely after the first hour our so in this open environment though as while it looks great it does feel pretty empty. GUN had a similar problem a few years back. The combat in Brutal Legend isn’t really that of a action game, or that of strategy. It try’s to come in somewhere between the two and im not convinced it does it well. Eddie is too slow and the controls too clumsy for this to play like a action game yet in a strategy game you would just have units to control and no combat on your part. Your armed with a Axe to chop dudes up and a Guitar to send bolts of lightning their way at range, great except Eddie is not really one for taking too much damage and hes not very nimble. This is partly thanks to iffy controls but also to game design. The AI is really not that great but its not game breaking either. Everything about Brutal Legend and its gameplay can be summed up in one word “average”, you’ve played it all before and better. It’s a shame as the design of the game world and characters is fantastic, the gameplay should have matched up.

Onto better news, you can purchase upgrades from Ozzy Osbourne and the story is entertaining and funny. Multiplayer is probably the best bit about this game as it seems to have had more thought put into how everything plays out. It does have a pretty big strategy element to it, so that’s me out.

Brutal Legend is unique in context but not in gameplay. If you’re in any way a fan of Heavy Metal, Jack Black or are just looking for something to entertain over a weekend then you should defiantly check this out. If however you are saving for Modern Warfare 2, Creed 2, Left 4 Dead 2 or maybe even a PS3 and a copy of Uncharted 2 then id think twice before dropping £39.99 on this. One for the Sales come Dec 26th I reckon!

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