Brütal Legend

The Cable Brüddas 10/15/2009 

GOTY of the Year Forever.
Still enjoying a life free from responsibility or accomplishment, finally beat Spider Queen but now stuck on Killmaster. -- Jrdano, the only hinted at 3rd Cable Brudda
First off, if you played the demo or watched the trailers you still don't really know what this game is actually like. You might be under the impression that it's God of War but with a heavy metal soundtrack and a good sense of humor, but in reality the game is like an emergent version of Shiny's Sacrifice where instead of casting the occasional weak spell at clumps of enemy stick figures you get a ton of awesome spells which you cast by shredding an awesome guitar solo so you can then join your armies to tear shit up with your axe called the Separator, and cut giant huge demons in half as their ragdoll torsos flop to the ground several yards away from their ragdoll legs. It's also still a mix of God of War-lite slash 'em up, and then some emergent open world driving and exploring and missioning stuff. These portions are split up, so you'll be driving around exploring or doing side missions (ambush an enemy squad), then for the main story missions there are several RTS style base attacking and unit building missions where you manage troops and resources, making squads of headbangers with super huge necks that headbang enemies to death.

The atmosphere is extremely thick, since you are surrounded by heavy metal album covers come to life as scenery, and most especially when you get the car radio and roll around the land blasting your music which can be heard echoing from your car when you leave it behind to explore on foot. So it's like you landed in this alternate universe made of awesome, and immediately get to doing whatever you want, squishing animals, setting shit on fire, blasting kick ass songs, and exploring the very detailed and well made world.

The intro (which is in the demo) should give you a decent idea about the attitude and atmosphere of the game, where the bad ass hero roadie that you play, voiced by Jack Black, is backstage as some emo fags start going on stage, and they're like HEY ARE YOU GUYS READY FOR SOME HEAVY METAL? And it really doesn't seem like they're really a metal band, but then they start to dunt and it's like yeah let's rock, then they go into straight up pop rap rock shit (and it is a funny scene). Some other guy backstage watches and says "metal is dead." Jso and I did not write this game, I just wanted to point that out.

The developers do an excellent job implementing Ozzy as a character. He's the awesomest shop keeper ever, and he is also made of magma. Also he's like really good at the voice acting work, he does a great job with some very funny lines. The game also includes Lemmy Kilmister of Motörhead as a mystical bass playing healer with a voice made of burnt gravel soaked in whiskey, I'm not going to say that he's not a great voice actor (singing and doing voice work for a game or cartoon are totally separate), but a lot of his speech isn't the gravelly yelling you might expect, but it's still great just to hear and see Lemmy in a game, IT'S FUCKIN LEMMY, he's an actual character in the game, he plays bass in the game, sheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeit. He does yell DOUBLE FINE!!!!! in one of the intro videos when the game loads, and that's awesome. Rob Halford as the evil general Lionwhyte who's byootifuwl blond hair is so long he can flap it around like wings and fly, he's like the leader of the hair metal army which I guess is evil. And Lita Ford is also in the game somewhere I dunno I didn't get that far I guess. Oh yeah Kyle Gass and Brian Posehn are also in the game. OH YEAH and Jack Black. FUCKIN LEMMY IS IN THIS GAME

You also get a badass hotrod. Like pretty much any metalhead hotrod it is made for speed and has terrible handling (unless you are me and a wizard with handbrake turns). You will get to tear ass across the countryside looking for hidden treasures like so much unlockable Megadeth songs (or like their fine quality album, Hidden Treasures), garage entrances which lead to Ozzy's shop, dragon statues that have ball gags in their mouths where you will need to blast the ball gag to free sleeping dragon and get some money and the chance to increase your health after freeing 10 dragons at a time. There are also observation posts for mapping out some landmarks which ALSO gives you more cash (aka "fire tributes" as the currency is called in the game) and other hidden items all over the place. You can't jump while on foot, but you can ramp your car off a lot of stuff. At one point I got stuck in a small pond near a waterfall surrounded by rocks, and my car got stuck in a pile of rocks. I couldn't walk out but I was able to resummon my car a few feet away and ramp off a slope (of rocks) to freedom.

Deep water is pretty much certain death tho. Like Psychonauts you can't swim, but unlike that game they don't really explain it (the water does seem to be liquid chrome, so maybe that's it, and also at one point I died by flying off a cliff into water and on the way down Eddie yelled "I CAN'T SWIIIIIIIM" so I dunno). It's only been a problem a few times but it was a little frustrating compared to almost every other game out there. Even in Psychonauts they let you bounce out of the water twice before you died.

if this game isn't a huge success then there is no justice in the world
Update in an hour, after some room temperature Pop Tarts and perhaps a nap if I can squeeze it into my schedule. -- Jrdano, the only hinted at 3rd Cable Brudda
I also played some multiplayer and it's pretty cool, consisting of the RTS portion of the game. Each unit type has a unique double team ability when you press the Y button, so you dance around with the bride zapping guys, and then let the goth guys bury you so you can travel underground and burst out from below, and then take over a hot air balloon and bomb people from above (I have the footage BUT IS THAT RIGHT MICHAEL?), and that's just for the Drowning Emos army, with there being 2 others, the normal good guy army, and then Tainted Coil which is the really really evil leathery army. On your own your "sorcerer" is a pretty average unit, your melee attacks and guitar attacks do just a little more damage than the normal npc units, and your spells while powerful require that you focus on playing the notes so they are more of a "heavy support ability" like in say perhaps World in Conflict, some of the big ones have a cooldown timer and also contain a lot of fast notes in the solo in order to cast the spell.

The health system is interesting. At first it just seems like the regenerating health system used in Call of Duty 2 and such, but the third unit to join your army is basically Lemmy on a motorcycle with amps stacked on the back, who can auto heal all your guys including you. Without him though you basically survive by blocking attacks and staying out of the line of fire long enough to regenerate health on your own. Don't be fooled by the demo, the difficulty ramps up as soon as you encounter the enemy headbangers and rifle chicks.

The soundtrack is the best soundtrack ever in game history. It is better than all the Final Fantasy soundtracks combined, and that goes like x 10 for the final boss music.

So overall, it seems like SOMEONE out there working for Double Fine has been reading a lot of the posts we make here on Caltrops, and designed their game around some of our favorite ideas, i.e. emergent living world gameplay explosion shit with tons of action and chopping, and an RTS where you play a unit on the ground commanding your dudes from the middle of the slaughter, all mixed with hard dunts constantly playing in the background. Has anyone else had a developer do that for you? ANYONE? ANYONE AT ALL (DIDN'T THINK SO PSH).

So we've only played this for one day, but it's one of the best games ever to exist, final score 11/10, how much more black could this be, I believe everything I read, etc. It would get a 12 or 13 or 15/10 but there's no Strapping Young Lad on the soundtrack, yet the soundtrack is still chock full of incredibly awesome metal non stop. There's even a Fred Dapple song, "Rock of Ages" which plays automatically when you do the "recruiting your army" mission near the beginning of the game. That is fuck!!!!!!ing awesome.

The Cable Brüddas