previews\ May 14, 2009 at 8:00 pm

Brutal Legend - PS3 - Preview

Pre-E3 2009 PreviewE3 2008 GameZone Previews

Tim Schaefer has long been a defining force in gaming, creating some truly classic games including some of the finest titles to grace the adventure genre, including Day of the Tentacle, Full Throttle, and Grim Fandango. Schaefer’s last title, the quirky and hilarious platformer Psychonauts, was beloved by critics and sadly ignored by most gamers, making it one of the unsung heroes of the former console generation. However underrated that excellent game was, Schaefer has gained a cult following recently, making his upcoming metal focused game, Brutal Legend, one of the most anticipated games of the year.

At a recent EA press event, Schaefer and the developers at Double Fine were available to showcase the progress being made on Brutal Legend, and unless something goes horribly wrong in the game’s development, it could very well be even better than Psychonauts. The game’s reverence to classic metal, exciting gameplay, and hilarious script will make it not only a title that metalheads will enjoy, but one that no self-respecting gamer should miss.

Brutal Legend puts players in the shoes of Eddie Riggs, a metal roadie who gets into an accident and gets blood on his demonic belt buckle. This transports him to an alternate rock world that looks like it was pulled directly out of a Dio song, rife with nefarious creatures and demons, as well as mountains made out of skulls and hellfire and the like. Eddie then finds a mystical axe (an actual axe, not a guitar) and begins using it to defend himself against the creatures, and discovers that his own guitar is now imbued with powers as well. Using a combo of melee attacks courtesy of the axe and his ranged-attack capable guitar, Eddie begins to fight to liberate the land from the evil presence.

Aside from combat and platforming, Brutal Legend allows you to use vehicles, most importantly The Deuce (aka Druid Plow) to run down, well, druids, and get from place to place, as well as command units and gain favor with the disenfranchised people throughout the land and get them to fight for themselves. Your guitar will help you do this, as you’ll be able to perform a variety of activities and special tricks with it through an “Ocarina of Time” style riff mini-game.

The game’s wears its metal references on its sleeve, with overt references to Rob Halford (lead singer of Judas Priest), as well as coy turns to classic metal album covers that will appear like easter eggs for fans throughout the game. Aside from Eddie being voiced by Jack Black (and quite well I might add), cameos from classic rockers like the aforementioned Halford, Lemmie Kilmister (lead singer of Motorhead), and others will appear in the game.

Brutal Legend is shaping up to be a truly engaging title with a great story, hilarious dialogue, and varied gameplay. If Brutal Legend gets the shaft as Psychonauts did, it will truly be a crime.

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