Review Xbox 360: Brutal Legend

Jack Black is Eddie Riggs in this bizarre but very entertaining story of a roadie on his journey to becoming a rock god and developed by the comic genius Mr Tim Schafer himself can only mean a good game? Right?

Before you get a chance to press start to begin, Jack Black himself will appear in a short but amusing intro scene, do watch this as it is quite funny and ingenious the way he introduces you to Brutal Legend, after this Eddies journey begins.

Eddie is a roadie, the best roadie known to all rock kind and can build any set that is required, and he can fix and tune any rock instrument aswell as just being damn cool. A roadie’s job is lonely one, waiting in the shadows and staying out of the spotlight but Eddie is forced to save one of the moronic band members from peril on stage on top of the Ormagoden beast Stage piece he built, he is crushed at the cost of saving the goofs life and Eddies blood runs into the mouth of Ormagoden. Ormagoden arises in a fiery rage and you are given two important choices, Brutal Legend gives you the option to leave out gore and bad language but does it in an entertaining way explaining to you it’s of historical importance to maybe one or twice dismember people in the name of rock. I clicked yes to both and was greeted by some fantastic language and dismemberments from the beginning which is extremely entertaining, after Ormagoden destroys the quite frankly terrible band Eddie is teleported to a strange but damn cool evil world.

When Eddie comes round you will find yourself in this new evil universe on top of a shrine surrounded by some bad folk, this is where the tutorial begins and teaches you about your heavy metal attack moves. You will pick up your axe and guitar which are your two main weapons, your axe being your primary weapon for melee and your guitar used for amplifying rock magic. This balance between the two weapons works well and switching between the two is easy, also the attacks and combos that go with either weapon aren’t too hard to use in combat which means the combat isn’t too repetitive or predictable. You will also be introduced to Solos, solos are used to bring forth heavy duty attacks and to bend reality at your will, these are triggered by holding the Right Trigger button to bring up your solo playlist and using the Right analogue stick highlight and select a riff to play on your guitar. You must follow the sequence of buttons that appear on screen and at the right time to pull of the selected titanic riff, you also can find extra and better solos around the map stored in dark relics and the riffs become more challenging as you proceed but sound a lot better.

As the story starts to unravel and you will meet a cool rock chick to rescue, well she will rescue your ass sometimes too as she’s pretty hardcore, you do get a sense of good strong characters in Brutal Legend and the more you play the more you will enjoy their banter and company. The full game starts after you return to the emo girls village and meet her … well tall and blonde rock star wannabe boy friend to Eddies disgust but Eddie is a decent guy and decides to help this small band of rock warriors to free their people and lands in an epic fight against evil.

The world Eddie is set in is rather cool and easy to get around, your babe magnet… sorry, supreme metal doom buggy type vehicle can be spawned where ever you are making travelling a doddle, also there are jumps, innocent creatures to squish and stuff to break through, again adding more to do to keep you happy while you progress through the game, the only problem is there’s no compass marker to lead you so you will need to check the map often. The world around you inst incredibly detailed but it doesn’t have to be, Eddie himself is portrayed more like a cartoon rather than a realistic person, this theme runs throughout adding character to everything but at the cost of quality of surroundings, to me this isn’t a big deal as this fits nicely with the rest of the game and helps round off the whole experience as nothing looks out of place even though most of the shrines and buildings look bizarre in a good way.

The first proper story mission will introduce you to the RTS elements of the game, the game play is pretty much fun and generic, quite action orientated and the RTS element does not spoil the game it adds a different direction to combat and is very easy to use. The RTS parts will start off basic, you will have to free some fellow dudes from a life of tedious head butting in some mines and you must perform a certain solo to get them to join with you, once you do this you will be taken through an easy and very funny tutorial. After you free the enslaved dudes you can give them orders with the D-pad:

Left: Follow, The whole group will fall behind you.

Down: Defend, Troops form up and wait for enemies.

Up: Charge, Everybody stage-rushes the meanest target in sight, only stopping to bash other enemies.

Right: Move To Beacon, Your guys go to your active beacon, beating on any unfriendly dude if they stray too close.

Fighting on your own is good, performing deceptions and removing limbs is good too but this RTS element helps add more to keep you entertained and also opens up comedic banter and hilarious circumstances which is what sets this game apart from others in its genre. It also opens up side missions, you can help your fellow rockers ambush enemies or take on race rivals in a sprint across these metal lands once you’ve freed some of this world’s inhabitence, however the first good few side missions are very repetitive and though they are funny, hearing the same line over and over becomes irritating after a short period of time plus the side missions are super short making them a little futile, on the other hand you do have some good side missions to enjoy not all are a waste of time.

As you progress through more of the unpredictable but hilarious story line, the game play will take a different turn and become more full on, it still has the game play that you are used to before but that takes more of a backseat as the game gets into full rock swing. The RTS elements take on more of an important role in the game especially when you have much larger battles to fight, you will build stages to spawn the different types of allies you have freed and you will have restrictions on numbers, it’s not majorly complicated like C&C and has an easily navigated sectioned menu on screen. I wasn’t expecting this change but when understood fully and given a chance it brings a more epic battle feel to the game play and is a welcome change before the game becomes repetitive.

When you’ve completed side missions and some story ones you will receive Fire Tribute points, these are spent at your local forge and can be used to upgrade your skills, gear, and ride. Motor Forges are temples that you must first raise from the ground and are ruled over by the king of darkness himself Ozzy Osborne, which is awesome! When you do raise the Motor Forges they offer more things to get your teeth into and buy but you must equip your upgrades if you plan to use them, I expected this to happen automatically so don’t forget. All these upgrades can be seen and are all varied making customization fun and rock themed, you can make your axe glow and look cooler or you can give your guitar and wheels a brand new look. It’s just all works so well and customizations come with extra abilities too giving you a constructive purpose aswell to the customization. There are also Bound Serpents to release, these are ancient statues containing suppressed shards of Ormagoden’s power, collect ten serpents to earn yourself an attribute point to allocate. There are a good amount of side objectives to do and they merge very well with the story itself, they are lots of fun and very entertaining which is a hard feeling to come by in 360 titles but Brutal Legend will offer you a steady, entertaining experience all the way through.

It is all round a damn good game filled with bad language, violence and heavy metal, if you don’t like rock/metal music you may not fully enjoy the game but you will still find it hilarious. The game is unique and offers a good slice of entertainment for your money and a lot of good game play too, the game is illustrated well and the worlds design and detail fits so well with the heavy metal theme. The game actually made me laugh out loud which is something I don’t normally do at games and the amount of fantastic music to nod your head to is incredible, overall it’s a game that you should have and keep in your collection as you will grow to love it like a favourite game from your past console, I won’t forget it in a hurry, Rock On!

Gamer Rating: 9.2

Buy, Rent or Pass: Buy

Published by: Electronic Arts
Developed by: Double Fine Productions

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