|System: X360, PS3||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Double Fine||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Electronic Arts||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Oct. 13, 2009||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1 (2-8 Online)||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Mature||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
As you can probably tell, I loved the world of Brutal Legend. I found it quite engaging, which kept me playing long past the time when gameplay left me flat. That's right; the hybrid gameplay of Brutal Legend is not particularly interesting. Playing as legendary roadie Eddie Riggs, players have to free humanity in an alternate metal-reality. The narrative, while humorous, isn't particularly tight; in fact, it gets quite predictable as you get deeper in.
Still, it's the repetitive, uninspired gameplay mechanics rather than the story that do the game wrong. Switching between overly simplistic action, arcade racing, Guitar Hero/alternative QTE inputs, and RTS controls gets old fast. Sure, learning a few combos and adding special Solos to your arsenal is initially enjoyable, but it all loses its luster quickly, turning into little more the a frantic button-mash at the best of times and lifeless micromanaging at its worst. Even the boss battles, which feature truly cool beasties, are no match for any seasoned gamer.
What's worse, those who end up enjoying the unsophisticated controls and repetitive hybrid gameplay will be loathe to find out that the mainline story can be finished in under six hours. Yes, there are a lot of side quests and even an RTS-based multiplayer component (gather fans, build units, attack enemy stages) as well as a ton of unlockables to keep you coming back. However, moving through the main quest is always the biggest draw for me, and there simply isn't enough content in Brutal Legend for players who like to merely play the game from start to finish without paying too much attention to the other, more or less superfluous, extra content.
Brutal Legend didn't live up to my expectations. While I absolutely loved the immersive world, despite the graphical shortcomings, and the amazing voice work and soundtrack, despite the inclusion of Whitesnake and Skid Row, I was left miffed by the lack of main story content and the uninspired gameplay. When all is said and done, Brutal Legend is not nearly as epic as it could have been, yet there is still enough enjoyment to be found in a number of aspects that you'll likely get your money's worth.
CCC Editor / News Director