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Underrated Gems: Brutal Legend


Brutal Legend is the criminally underrated game created by Tim Schafer and his development team, Double Fine, and published by Satan...or their preferred name; "EA". What makes Brutal Legend different from every other hack and slash game is it's Heavy Metal inspired themes and it's use of RTS in typical hack and slash gameplay.

Eddie Riggs

In Brutal Legend you play as Eddie Riggs, the world's greatest roadie for a terrible band called "Kabbage Boy". In an attempt to save a member of the band from a falling piece of stage scenery that Eddie himself built, Eddie, is in turn killed by said falling piece of scenery. While lying dead on the floor a droplet of his blood lands on his belt buckle which happens to be an amulet of Ormag√ɬ∂den, a fire god, and Eddie then awakes alive and well in a world inspired by Heavy Metal album covers.

Eddie Riggs is voiced and modeled after Jack Black. Eddie is such a damn good roadie that he is able to create just about anything out of thin air to help him and/or his allies. As well as being the greatest roadie of all time, Eddie, is also an extremely skilled guitarist that can play certain guitar riffs to kill enemies in different ways. He also acquires an axe early on in the game that serves mainly as a primary weapon. It also cuts stuff like an axe. Which is pretty neat.

As soon as Eddie is resurrected by Ormag√ɬ∂den he meets his love interest, Ophelia. Ophelia is just as metal as Eddie so, of course, he falls for her. She is voiced by veteran voice actresses, Jennifer Hale. Ophelia's role in the game seems so unimportant, like a forced love interest. That is until about 3/4 of the way through the game when things start to get even crazier, but all starts to make sense...kinda. 

            "Too much metal!"

                                                                                  "I claim this land for Ironheade!"

On top of Brutal Legend's hack and slash gameplay and RTS elements it is also and open world game. And a damn good one at that. While roaming around the world your main mode of transportation is " The Deuce". The Deuce is a hot rod Eddie builds at the beginning of the game to escape from The Temple of Ormag√ɬ∂den with Ophelia. Enemies clutter the land trying to turn the beautiful Heavy Metal inspired landscape into something more akin to Glam Rock. Glam Rock is the main enemy of the game with it being led by General Lionwhyte. A play on words of the band White Lion, a Glam Rock band. To defeat lower tier enemies, Eddie, must use a combination of The Separator, his axe, and his flying V guitar, Clementine. For more important battles and usually boss battles, Eddie must use his powers of RTS. Now the RTS elements in the game are something very strange for a hack and slash game and that's one of the reasons why some people passed on the game, but surprising they work pretty well. At first I hated the RTS parts of the game because I don't much care for RTS games in general , but like I said, they work.

Eddie is able to summon two types of allies to assist him on the battlefield during Stage Battles. Melee fighters and Ranged fighters. Stage Battles are pretty unique. You are tasked with taking back parts of the Heavy Metal land via a "Battle of the Bands" type showdown. Heavy Metal vs. Glam Rock. Eddie has to set up and defend "Merch" booths in the name of Ironheade whilst destroying the Glam Rock's Merch booths. Overall, the RTS elements work and have their place, but some people may be turned off by them.

The cameos. Holy fuck, the cameos. If you are a fan of the Heavy Metal genre in general you will absolutely love some of the characters in this game. For instance, Ozzy Osbourne, The Prince of Darkness, lives in hell and you can drive on down there to chill with him. He is known as "The Guardian of Metal". Ozzy also upgrades The Deuce for a price. He's even fully voice acted by the man himself.  Other Heavy Metal rockers that lend their voices and likenesses to the game are Lemmy Kilmister as "The Killmaster", Rob Halford as "General Liowhyte" and "The Baron", and last but certainly not least Lita Ford as "Rima, Queen of the Zalia". 

Tim Schafer did his homework on the icons of Heavy Metal. I can not stress it enough that this game as a whole is just a huge love letter to the fans of the genre, but it also isn't afraid to joke around about some of the stereotypes of Heavy Metal without blatantly insulting it. Unfortunately, that's one of the reasons why the game flew under the radar is because fans of this genre of music were either not gamers or that the genre has been declining since the early 2000's. Some even regarded this game as a "Relic of another time". Sadly, there is truth to that statement. 

  Rob Halford as "General Lionwhite"


Lemmy Kilmister as "The Killmaster"   


In the end, it's sad to see just how under appreciated this glorious game was. Taking a tired old genre of hack and slash, incorporating some good RTS elements, and wrapping it all in a beautiful Heavy Metal world inhabited by the men and women who actually help define Heavy Metal as a genre. One good thing to come out of this though is that if you were to pick up this game now (on consoles at least) you can get it for dirt cheap. I picked up my copy for the PS3 about a year ago for $5! It's almost criminal to pay ONLY $5 for it. On Steam, Brutal Legend, is only $15 and even then that's a steal. There's enough content in the game to hold you over for about 9 hours at the minimum without doing really any of the side quests. So if you a fan of hack and slash games, RTS games, Heavy Metal music, or Tim Schafer and Double Fine games then do your self a favor and pick this one up.   9/10 


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