Thursday, October 15, 2009

I'm Too Busy Playing Brütal Legend to Post Right Now

Deal with it.

Okay, so I'll talk about my experience with Brütal Legend. It's fucking awesome. Duh. But there's some things I did not expect. Mainly, the real time strategy elements of the mass battles you fight in. You still are in the thick of battle and controlling Ironheade cannot be any simpler, so it's not like Command & Conquer is interrupting your game, but the strategy elements make it the most fun play mode in the game.

I do have a few gripes (emphasis on few). The side missions in the game are not as varied and can get tedious. Basically, you can ambush enemy forces, race against time or an opponent, or shoot things, turret style. My favorite side missions were the hunting missions, where you run or drive around, killing the local savage fauna. After you beat The Huntsman's record (I'm trying to think of who plays him. He seems so familiar.), you are able to summon the beast with a guitar riff and use them for combat.

Second, driving off road is hell until you upgrade The Deuce's performance. The landscape is about as flat as Pandora Peaks and one bump can send you careening in the wrong direction, usually into a tree or a rock, which sucks if you're doing a race mission. Considering that most of the roadways are hard to spot at times, you'll be driving like you were in an earthquake a lot. It does get better, though, so I can't gripe about it so much.

Also, navigation is a pain in the ass. Each waypoint is shown as a beacon of light in the game, but sometimes those aren't easy to spot, either, especially when it's sunny. At night, or when it's overcast, you can see them. Finding a good route to them without the map is kind of a pain, which is why you must constantly check the map screen to see if you missed that hard to spot roadway or even see if you're going the right direction. There is no minimap on the game screen, no compass. Pretty much, the HUD is non-existent. I can understand why they did that. That kind of shit would clutter up the screen and kinda cramp the style of the game. I respect their aesthetic choice on that. I just wish I didn't have to consult the map so often.

What I do like, other than the obvious, is that the world is sprawling. They show it to you, piece-by-piece, as the story goes on, but there's a lot of shit hiding in the landscape and they all give you some good stuff. I found myself enjoying the exploration aspect a lot, even if it's just to explore some new metal themed vista. From liquid metal rivers ever-flowing from a mountaintop to primordial statues to relics that allow you to glimpse into the past of the metal world, the world is your interactive metal album cover. You can even be rewarded some "cash" for sightseeing, if you know where to look.

Also, the story and characters are top notch. Tim Schafer knows how to write a good game with some good characters in it. It may not be as much a laff-a-minute romp as Psychonauts, but its more adult humor does work for me. By the way, you can actually censor the cursing and the gore in the game. Although, playing the game that way will make you a humongous pussy. I mean c'mon. Are you really going to play the most metal game on Earth and not have blood and f-bombs pollute the skies. Honestly, censoring the gore just looks weak: no blood, no dismemberment, no fun. And while some people may think that hearing bleeps over the swear words is funnier (my wife sure does), the problem is that they censor just about every word that was once considered potty mouth. From "crap" to "fuck," no word is safe. Considering how many times you'll hear roving bands of your army crying out they're looking to kick some @$$, the "joke" gets stale. I will say, though, that the "Parental Advisory" labels over every middle finger that's flashed is kind of amusing.

Anyway, the story does get pretty engaging. It does take some time for build up, but once you defeat General Lionwhyte, things start getting interesting. Ophelia, who you may recall from the demo, is, of course, Eddie's chance to get some tail, but Lita, sister of the leader of the human armies, Lars, is pretty hot, too. She's really high strung, but she wears a low cut, midriff showing leather bustier quite nicely. There's a lot of great characters in the game and their voices fit them wonderfully. Of course, some of them fit so well because they are actually voiced by their real life counterparts. Of course, I mean Lemmy Kilmister, Rob Halford, and Ozzy, who surprised me with a very mumble free voicing. By the way, if you're wondering if Tim Curry did a good job as Emperor Doviculus, he did.

So, there you go. Now leave me alone. I need to play some more.

Oh, by the way, Bobby Kotick is still a ginormous twat.

Kaiser out

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