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What to Excpect from Brutal Legend

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It's no secret that I've been anxiously anticipating Brutal Legend.

Many of you out there may be a little dissuaded by the negative reviews popping up online. Is it a bad game? No. Is it a Game of the Year contender? Not likely. Many reviewers are giving it a 1-point Schafer Bonus.

Here's what you need to know about the game:

The demo is a bit misleading. Playing it may lead you to believe that the game is a Heavy metal Legend of Zelda. This is true, to a point. After the initial missions, the game transitions into strategy gameplay.

No, it's not Halo Wars. It's very LIGHT strategy. You capture objectives, pull up a quick menu selecting units to build, point them in the general direction of the enemy and unleash Hell. You're not some omnipotent overseer, you've got to get in there and mix it up yourself.

Check out the multiplayer trailer for the game:

If that seems fun to you, then you have nothing to worry about. It's action with small strategic elements added in. Check out this article by Tim Schafer himself discussing the Strategy battles.

The next major concern is the length.

Yes, you CAN beat the game in one sitting. The missions are very short, some taking only 5 or 10 minutes, with only about 20-ish of them to complete. However, there is MUCH more to do. Free Bound Serpents for stat boosts. Seek out Legends for an AWESOME look into the game's lore. Unearth Buried Metal to expand your soundtrack.

I can relate it to Assassin's Creed. AC was a fantastic game, but COULD be very short, 5 or 6 hours. However, the more you put into the game, the more you got out of it. The more story you experienced, the more fun you had.

Personally, I've invested about 5 hours into the game, and I'm a little under half "Complete." I see this as reasonable. Sorry kids, this isn't the 90s. 10 hours is about average for a non-RPG these days. I finished Modern Warfare's Campaign in one awesome sitting, and never held that against the game.

One thing made me feel like a total idiot. The game constantly bombards you with hints. After 5 hours, apparently I still need to be reminded how to use Nitro while driving. So, when I came across my first Bound Serpents and Legends, and the game DIDN'T tell me how to unlock them, I assumed that meant I couldn't do it yet. I tried a couple attacks just for the heck of it, and went about my business.

So, just so you don't make the same mistake I did:

Bound Serpents: Pyro Attack (Hold X/Square)
Legends: Earthshaker (X+A/Square+X)

Also, for the Powerslide (Press X/Square while running), you're not actually RUNNING until you click the Left Stick.

Gameplay aside, the game is amazing. The world is brilliantly crafted. The writing is top-notch, and the voice work is some of the best I've seen, especially considering many of the actors are musicians. Even Ozzy and Lemmy's work is professional quality.

Bottom Line

Pass on the game if you don't like the strategy aspect.

Pass on the game if you're not into metal. Seriously, this game isn't for you.

Rent the game if you're the type of gamer that just wants to play through the story.

Buy the game if you love the music and just want to play a great game, regardless of length.


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