I know that the two consecutive Badass Weeks are all but completed, but better late than never I suppose. While I might have failed to mention it, (aside from some scattered Facebook statuses) I *have* played a decent bit of Tim Schafer’s latest quirkfest, Brutal Legend. The game isn’t nearly as engaging as Uncharted 2 was, but then, few games are.
Regardless, Brutal Legend is quite a unique and enjoyable experience overall. The game suffers from a bit of an identity crisis in my opinion, but the shiny production qualities tend to compensate for that.
Good Use of Celebrity Talent – No doubt about it, Jack Black was born to play Eddie Riggs. Or, rather, Eddie Riggs was meant to be played by Jack Black. The point is that Black puts his heart and soul into the role, and as a result, Eddie Riggs is not only a complete badass, but one of the more likable protagonists in recent memory. But it doesn’t stop there; numerous celebrities lend their voices to the game, and all of them do a fantastic job. Like him or not, if you don’t laugh your ass off the first time you run into Ozzie’s character, then you have no soul.
Sharp Scripting – That would be Tim Schafer for you, I suppose. The script in Brutal Legend never misses a beat. It’s sharp, it’s funny, and occasionally, epic. The game refuses to take itself seriously at any point, but its sheer ridiculous nature is nothing but charming.
What a Wonderful World – I guarantee you’ve never seen a fantasy world quite like that of Brutal Legend. To explain it in-depth would take many, many paragraphs; it would also spoil the fun of discovering it for yourself. Suffice to say, it’s quite literally the heavy metal genre personified. I’m not anything close to a metal-head, but it’s impossible not to be amused by the ingenious world and mythology that Schafer & Co have created here.
Sharp Mechanics – Brutal Legend combines a lot of different mechanics into one game. There’s a little hack-and-slash, a little real-time strategy, and a smattering of various other… stuff. They’re actually quite well-done as standalone mechanics, HOWEVER
GAH I’M LOST – As much as I tend to dislike them, Brutal Legend is one game that desperately needs some in-depth tutorials. And, ironically, it’s one game that just doesn’t provide them. You’ll get some decent tutorials on the individual mechanics, but once it comes time to combine them all together in the game’s massive “stage battles,” you’ll probably feel quite lost. And overwhelmed. And small, very small. And… hopeless. And… uh…
Anyway. Frankly, that’s the only real complaint I have with Brutal Legend. It’s fun. It’s flashy. It’s funny. And it is, indeed, unique. It doesn’t introduce a never-before-seen mechanic or gimmick, but it puts a bunch of familiar ones together in a way that’s never been seen. And it does it all with style.