Brutal Legend Review
Xbox 360 | PS3
Brutal Legend box art
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.

Brutal Legend screenshot

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.

Advertisement

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.

By Jonathan Marx
CCC Editor / News Director

RATING OUT OF 5
RATING DESCRIPTION
3.8
Graphics
The character design and immersive world is awesome. Unfortunately, this not a particularly sharp game technically.
3.0
Control
The game is easy enough for anyone to master in a matter of moments. However, there isn't depth to challenge core gamers.
4.8
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
The soundtrack and voice work is off the charts! Repetition of catchphrases does its worst to hamper the sound.
3.3
Play Value
The main story is far too short, and the extras in terms of side quests, multiplayer, and unlockables still seems insufficient. Worst of all, the hybrid gameplay eventually falls flat.
3.7
Overall Rating - Good
Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.

Game Features:

  • Action combat! Brütal Legend's core gameplay is classic action slasher, but with a twist: ranged combat comes from your demon-slaying, electricity-creating guitar. Add that 1-2 punch to a guitar solo mechanic that can summon objects, buff your teammates, or cripple your opponents, and you have a deep, gratifying core gameplay combat loop that is fun for the hardcore and accessible for the casual.
  • Streaming open world! Brütal Legend gives you the freedom to walk, drive, or fly anywhere in a fullystreaming open world whose art style is inspired by some of the most iconic and hilariously rad metal album covers ever created. Every vista in the beautiful universe of Brütal Legend looks like it was pulled from a Frank Frazetta painting.
  • Heavy metal will never die! Brütal Legend is full of cameos from Gods of Metal like Lemmy Kilmister, Rob Halford, Lita Ford, and many, many others. It has a massive metal soundtrack from every era of metal music: 1970's classic metal to 1980's hair metal to the scarier cousins of 1990's metal. And of course, Jack Black pays the ultimate homage to metal as Eddie the Roadie, continuing the theme from the work of his band, Tenacious D and his previous films like School of Rock and High Fidelity.
  • Kill 'em All! 4v4 "skirmish" multiplayer marries action combat with a strategic unit-control mechanic. As the leader of one of the factions in the game, the player will direct his armies in a Battle of the Bands where the trophy is survival. Brütal Legend's multiplayer is online-enabled, so you can conquer your friends online via Xbox LIVE or PlayStation Network.


  • Screenshots / Images
    Brutal Legend screenshot - click to enlarge Brutal Legend screenshot - click to enlarge Brutal Legend screenshot - click to enlarge Brutal Legend screenshot - click to enlarge Brutal Legend screenshot - click to enlarge Brutal Legend screenshot - click to enlarge Brutal Legend screenshot - click to enlarge Brutal Legend screenshot - click to enlarge Brutal Legend screenshot - click to enlarge Brutal Legend screenshot - click to enlarge Brutal Legend screenshot - click to enlarge Brutal Legend screenshot - click to enlarge

    X
    "Like" CheatCC on Facebook