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Game Reviewed: Brutal Legend
Developer: Double Fine Productions
Reviewer: Matthew Scott
Platform: PS3 (also on Xbox 360)
ESRB Rating: M
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In the game, Brutal Legend, players take control of heavy metal roadie “Eddie Riggs.” Eddie is considered to be the best roadie in the business. Unfortunately for him, he is currently the roadie for the worst band in metal. That is until an accident happens where part of the stage falls on Eddie appearing to kill him. His blood, however, drips from his hand onto his belt buckle which unleashes a beast and sends Eddie to a heavy metal world where mankind is under slavery from the evil Emperor Doviculus. Eddie soon meets up with a small group of resistance fighters led by a man named Lars (who looks like someone straight out of an old school metal band). It is now up to Eddie to help Lars build the resistance, fight the evil General Lionwhyte and eventually defeat the evil Emperor Doviculus.
The world in which Brutal Legend takes place is very creative, the landscapes look like they have come straight off of a heavy metal album cover from the 70’s and 80’s. The game is played from a third person point of view. Some areas the player will control Eddie as he fights waves of enemies with his guitar and ax. Other levels are a little more strategic in that Eddie can command waves of soldiers, such as headbangers, to go to an area and fight enemy hordes. There are also some areas that require Eddie to race his hot rod, the Druid Plow.
In addition, not only is the atmosphere of the game very creative, but the game is very funny. Eddie is voiced by Jack Black and there are a number of one liners that I could not help but laugh out loud at. Even with the humor and creative atmosphere, however, I felt the gameplay began to grow old very quickly. Therefore, if Brutal Legend interests you, my recommendation would be to rent it first to make sure it fits your tastes. There is certainly an audience for Brutal Legend, but it is not going to appeal to everyone. Now let us take a look at game content and see what parents need to know.
What Parents Need to Know
(Reviewer's Note: This review is based on only a partial playthrough of the game.)
Brutal Legend does provide an option to turn off the blood and gore. When not using the option, however, blood sprays and heads fly. The game is played from a third person point of view. Eddie has an ax he can use to hack and slash the enemy; he also has a guitar he can use to do things like burst an enemy into flames.
There is frequent use of the F-word. Other bad language used in the game is S**t, damn, a**, bas***d.
There is also an option to have the bad language bleeped out, but it is still pretty easy to figure out what is being said.
Some of the female characters show midriff and cleavage. The ESRB also lists partial nudity as part of the M rating. I believe this comes from some of the female enemy creatures where very little of their breasts are covered.
There are many occult references and/or images in Brutal Legend that are often times associated with heavy metal music. For example, on your map, a pentagram is used to mark the spot where you need to go.
There is also a part towards the beginning of the game where Eddie prays to some heavy metal demons for guidance since he is new to the land. (To be fair, this actually comes off as very comical as do many of the other occult references.)
There is also reference throughout the game to the Titans and the gods of metal.
The game’s soundtrack is filled with music from heavy metal bands like Def Leppard, Judas Priest, Megadeth, Motley Crue, Black Sabbath and Ozzy Osbourne.
Brutal Legend was partly designed to be a tribute to Heavy Metal of old and it succeeds well in being that. The game is also very creative and at times very funny. It is also nice to see an option to reduce the blood and beep out the language, an option I wish was available in more games. Still, the content of the game is rated M, meaning it is designed for mature audiences. Parents, please keep the content and rating in mind when deciding if Brutal Legend is a good choice for your family or not.