Brutal Legend is shaping up to one of this year’s surprise success stories from developer Double Fine Productions. You take control of Eddie Riggs, a roadie for a fledgling band who don’t appreciate his abilities to keep their guitars in tune as well as creating mind blowing set pieces. Tongue in cheek it certainly is but with Jack Black involved this is to be expected.
Developer Tim Schafer has made the point that as he grew up he was a metal fan and got annoyed that a lot of the major bands sold out to get hits and more money from sales to the mass public. Brutal Legend is a tribute in a way to classic metal and it makes fun at all the various nuances of the various genres such as nu metal and Poison style Poodle rock. The band in Brutal Legend are a parody of s a metal band, they play monster riffs but incorporate some shocking elements into their music such as DJ’s scratching and with a singer who sounds like a cross between Celine Dion and Madonna they are not to be taken seriously.
As the intro plays out you are given the options to block out the gore and swearing or play it as the developers intended. Censoring the language means you get presented with the Parental Advisory: Explicit Lyrics sticker over the characters middle fingers (the game is rated M and is rather comical). These settings can be adjusted from the options menu at any time - and the gore is utterly inoffensive anyway so we see no reason why you would turn it off.
Playing the game is a fun experience because the developers have changed some aspects of the game to make it as amusing as possible. For instance when you try to jump Eddie whips out his axe. Pressing the X button will fire a beam from the guitar that stuns enemies and you can hold the button down to push them into the air with a small explosion. There are other advanced moves which are accessed by pushing the A and X buttons in a variety of combos.
The world is an open environment populated with various creatures and you can drive around killing them as you wish. The graphics are cartoonish by nature but are also very stylish to create a specific feel to the proceedings. It is hard to go into details regarding the game as we didn’t spend enough time with it to give an accurate overview of how it will play. It certainly is nicely detailed in parts and looks to be an interesting concept.
As you progress further with Eddie he learns more guitar solos to cause damage to his enemies as well as giving people little morale boosts. He also uses this to summon his vehicle, the Deuce.
As Jack Black handles the voice of the main character there are several other stars who are involved as characters in the game, such as comedian Brian Posehn who you will recognise as one of the gay neighbors from the Sarah Silverman show. Jack Black’s long standing partner in Tenacious D, Kyle Gass also makes an appearance.
Brutal Legend is due for release very shortly and we will cover it in more detail nearer the time, for now we hope this little preview has wetted your appetite for something a little ‘off beat’ and original.