Sunday, March 07, 2010

Brütal Legend

I finished up Brütal Legend yesterday before I went to work and now I'm scurrying around trying to grab a few more achievements before I drop it back in the mail. BL is a Drama Comedy Parody Open World Action/Adventure Hack and Slash Racer Shooter RTS with RPG elements. At least I think it is. It's sort of like being in control of a more story driven version of This is Spinal Tap but in a medieval fantasy world. You might be thinking that if the game is going to try to be all these things then it can't deliver quality on all fronts. You'd be right, sort of.

It's not that the game can't deliver, it just doesn't really try to. The Hack and Slash parts of the game are VERY simple two button mashing combos, the world is open in conception, but linear in execution, the RTS is in real time but not strategic. The story is hokey, though comically entertaining and for a game that seems to have the main objective of not taking itself too seriously it succeeds quite well. The main character, Eddie Riggs (Voiced by Jack Black), is a old school roadie stuck working for a band of prima donnas, longing to have lived earlier when Metal meant something. What like the 70's? No earlier, like the early 70's. The whole experience has the feel of the Rock Metal movement: Why does that guy have a spiky wrist band? Because he thinks it's badass. Take that same template and apply it to an entire medieval world and you get pine trees that grow beer, woolly mammoths with stainless steel tusks, tree trunks made of rock stage scaffolding, shrubbery that sprout car parts, huge stone obelisks of outstretched "rock hands," and an entire race headbangers that have been headbanging for so many generations that they have evolved over developed neck muscles. Why? Because they thought it would be badass, or at least they thought they could bank on that idea being comical enough to carry they entire effort. In my opinion they were right.

Listen you won't walk away feeling like you just played through some one's creative master stroke, but if you play games to be entertained, then here friends is some quality entertainment. BL is sort of like getting a quarter pounder with cheese. Sure it isn't a bone in rib-eye, but a quarter pounder with cheese sure is good sometimes. It's not trying to take itself to seriously, and I suggest that if you play it you don't either, just sit back and enjoy.

Overall: B+, err, I mean, on a scale from Goodyear Tires to Hot Air Balloons, its better than Two Stray Dogs, but it's obviously not on par with a Trip to the Circus.


John said...

Yeah... that's what I'm talking about. Fight the machine.

Scott McBryde said...

I love your review, BL is now on my to play list. Keep writing in this informed, thoughtful, and fluid style you use so well.