Brütal Legend by Shadi Barakat

The Gods of Metal are in upheaval, dear readers: there has been a disturbance in the true meaning of metal music and there are those seeking to destroy this lifestyle or, even worse, corrupt it! Facing such dangerous times, the last thing one would ever consider would be to play a video game, but then again, us metalheads aren’t known for our outstanding skills in the fields of logic… And thus we have the brilliantly funny and outstandingly witty Brütal Legend, released by EA Games and Double Fine Productions. Before going into the depths of the game’s creation and structure, I’ll provide a brief description of the general story.

Eddie Riggs, whose first and last names are those of the Iron Maiden mascot and its creator respectively, is a roadie for an embarrassingly bad metal band. During a concert of theirs, he dies and is transported into the past, where demons rule the world and where humans are enslaved to work in mines crushing rocks with their (not kidding) foreheads, causing them to have extremely strong neck muscles and earning the name “headbangers” I kid you not. Eddie encounters other, more evolved humans: siblings Lars and Lita Halford, who are leaders of the human resistance, Ophelia, who has a tumultuous past and who becomes Eddie’s love interest, Mangus, who becomes head of the stage crew, and General Lionwhyte, voiced by Judas Priest vocalist Rob Halford, who is the impersonation of Glam Metal (and an early David Bowie) and is one of the antagonists.

After freeing the humans and defeating Lionwhyte, the humans led by Lars Halford and his sister, with Eddie willingly remaining in the background and generally doing all the work, they move on towards challenging the main antagonist, Emperor Doviculus, leader of the demons (the Tainted Coil) and voiced by Tim Curry, known for his roles as the villain in almost every single movie you can imagine, seriously, look him up! I mean damn!
On the way to defeat Doviculus, however, you are also required to do a battle against the Drowning Doom, humans corrupted by the waters of the Sea of Black Tears and generally representing Goths. Apparently everyone hates Goths… Poor souls.

Throughout the story, Eddie does battle against a limited number of enemies using his trusty battle axe, and an electric guitar named Clementine, or can build stages and collect fans for large scale battles against the demonic forces. You’re still wondering how he uses the guitar, am I right? Yea well, in that particular world, playing the guitar causes lightning to fry enemies, while playing certain solos that you learn throughout the gameplay causes several offensive or defensive power-ups such as the Facemelter Solo, which does exactly what its name implies… The protagonist is aided throughout the story by several figures: the player can purchase strings, axe treatments, and car enhancements (yes there’s a car in the game) from the Guardian of Metal, based on and voiced by Ozzy Osbourne, he can receive healing from the Kill Master, based on and voiced by Lemmy Kilmister (from Motorhead, but we didn’t need to tell you that), and can launch fiery attacks aided by the Fire Baron, based on and voiced by Rob Halford.

The smooth gameplay and hilarious storyline are only strengthened by the exquisitely designed worlds you have to cross or do battle on, as well as the many many songs that constitute the soundtrack to your gaming experience, including Black Sabbath, Judas Priest, Children of Bodom, and Dark Tranquillity, among others, all of which have been deemed as contributing extensively to the history of metal music.

All these aspects have caused Brütal Legend to earn high praise, receiving awards for best game soundtrack and best character development as well as nominations for best main character, and original story, among others. If you have an Xbox or a PlayStation and just happen to be mad about metal…well…you know what to do.

All images are from the Brütal Legend Wiki

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