Brütal Legend Preview

Written by Joe Martin

May 1, 2009 | 09:04

Tags: #brutal-legend #jack-black #metal #music #tim-schafer

Companies: #double-fine #electronic-arts

Party On!

Brütal Legend is, though you can’t tell by looking at it, an open-world game. While at the start of the adventure you’re trapped in a very literal theatre of conflict with some very angry druids, the walls eventually fall down and you find yourself atop a literal mountain of skulls, once more surrounded by demons.

From the top of this bone mountain you can see pretty much everything in the game world, from the rebel HQ of Bladehenge in the distance to the Temple of Ormagöden at the foot of the mountain. Later in the game you’ll be allowed to roam freely across the ravaged, burnt landscape and pick up all the usual side quests, races and collectibles. At the start of the game though your immediate aim is just to get off the mountain – which you do by hijacking a possessed plinth that’s powered by prayer.

After you’ve descended the mountain in the absolutely hilarious cutscene that proves how perfectly cast Jack Black is as he prays to the dark gods (“Oh lords of leather and S&M-wear. You guys may be evil, but you’ve got style and this place is pretty bad-ass.”), you meet a girl called Ophelia. It’s Ophelia who introduces you to the human rebellion and recognises you as the instrument of Ormagöden when you are able to interpret ancient religious texts as a repair manual for The Druid Plow car.

Brütal Legend Preview Brütal Legend Preview - Gameplay
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The Druid Plow is one of Eddie’s most important assets throughout Brütal Legend as, even though Eddie can later travel across the world in different ways, such as riding demons or assembling a formation of headbangers that can carry him around in a mosh-pit, The Druid Plow is the only one which can play the hand-selected heavy metal soundtrack through the in-built radio. Oh, and it can be customised and upgraded too. As the game progresses and you uncover more of Ormagöden’s lost treasures you’re able to significantly boost the speed, handling and lethality of The Druid Plow.

You can even mount dual miniguns on the wing mirrors if you want, though secular weapons aren’t really the most effective type of offense when it comes to slaying the demon hordes. Instead, if you want to really unleash the carnage then you’ll want to focus on upgrading Eddie’s other weapons – The Separator and...Clementine?

Clementine is probably the most bizarre weapon in Brütal Legend – it’s the perfectly tuned guitar that Eddie brings with him into Demonsville and it’s somehow gained the ability to manifest pyrotechnic effects without any assistance. By playing the right power chords, Eddie can now cause do everything from creating cute little puff-flashes to startle his enemies to summoning lightning out of the sky.

Brütal Legend Preview Brütal Legend Preview - Gameplay
Click to enlarge

Hit the right combo of notes and you can even summon The Druid Plow to your current location, negating the chance of losing it in the barren wasteland!

Eddie’s other main weapon is The Separator; the huge axe he pulls from the ground at the start of the game and uses to successfully hack and slash his way through the game. Again, and just as in most third-person action games of this type, Eddie can unlock new combos as he goes through the game, earning some through completing the story and others through sidequests.

There’s the full and usual array of moves here, from circle spins to rapid slashes, but there’s little to really set the melee combat of Brütal Legend away from other games.

Much more interesting than the standard melee combat though, which does admittedly look like it could drag on a bit if it weren’t for the humour and plentiful side-quests, is the promise of epic-level conflicts and the way the story missions will gradually build towards you leading an entire army into battle.
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