PS3 Previews: Brutal Legend Preview

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Brutal Legend Preview

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Scheduled release date:

October 13, 2009

Publisher:

Electronic Arts

Developer:

Double Fine

Number Of Players:

1 (8 Online)

Genre:

Action

Release Date:

October 13, 2009

It was over four years ago when someone finally convinced me to try Tim Schafer’s newest project of the time, Psychonauts. I was reluctant, not because I had any doubt in Schafer’s ability, but simply because I had never been a platforming fan and something like Psychonauts didn’t sit high on my priority list. But I couldn’t ignore the amazingly high review scores and the insistent persuasiveness of my friend, so I finally sat down to play it. By the time I had finished, it was one of my favorite games ever; it was ceaselessly entertaining, continuously humorous, always inventive and on top of which, it featured several of the best-designed levels I had ever seen. Milkman Conspiracy, Black Velvetopia and Waterloo were all memorable and stand out in my mind to this day. Therefore, when I heard that Schafer was making a video game based on heavy metal, a genre of music I’ve been partial to for years, I just knew I’d have to pay close attention.

Well, the demo is now on the PlayStation Store and although it clocks in at a hefty 1.67GB, it’s well worth the wait. Eddie Riggs, voiced by the hilarious Jack Black, is the roadie of roadies and all I knew going in was that he would traverse a totally bad-ass metalesque landscape wielding an axe and a guitar. But we’re treated to the complete introductory sequence in this demo, and I immediately recognized Schafer’s patented flair and panache. It’s in the facial animations of the characters, mostly; those who are familiar with his past projects will likely agree. And when Eddie perishes beneath a fallen set prop – it’s not really a spoiler as this happens in the first three minutes – we just know he’s going to wake up in a world straight from Schafer’s charmingly twisted mind. And while we can only explore certain parts of this world in the demo, it’s clear that, as expected, the ingenuity and creativity will be a major highlight throughout this adventure.

The only issue, which I’ve heard will be addressed before the final version hits store shelves next week, is the overall control. It just feels too loose and the camera isn’t quite response enough, either, so despite the combat’s inherent appeal, we’re left with a gameplay mechanic that feels a little unrefined. Eddie himself is plenty fast and effective; the axe is used for quick strikes when up-close-and-personal and the guitar is basically his ranged weapon. It can strike with lightning from the sky and a geyser of flame will appear beneath an enemy if you simply hold down the attack (Square) button. The same idea is in place for the axe, only one uses the X button and when it’s held down, Eddie’s special – and apparently unblockable – move has him leaping high in the air amidst a temporary slo-mo effect, then slamming the axe down on the hapless foe. Then there’s the car that Eddie builds to “perfection” using a super-special guitar solo, and the controls for this sweet buggy are solid as well.

It’s just the speed at which Eddie moves and the camera that messes things up a bit. The character’s movements seem a little too fast and even jerky when quickly running around and changing direction, and the camera just doesn’t keep up sometimes. This game almost might work better with a fixed camera, ala God of War, but we assume it’s far too late to make such a drastic change. But provided they solidify some of this for the final product, the game should be plenty playable. Besides, at no point did I stop smiling when playing the demo: Jack Black is the perfect fit for this character (“and now, I shall teach you of French kissing”), the environment and design is just plain awesome and totally oozes “metal” (note that big metal demon’s claw when he places Eddie’s lifeless body on the stage in the opening cinema), and the combined humor and originality will allow this game to stand on its own. Even if you’re not a metal fan, you should still be able to appreciate the uniqueness of style, right? Heck, you don’t even need to know what a roadie is; I swear.

Sadly, Brutal Legend is forced to battle Uncharted 2: Among Thieves on October 13. I’m not telling you to choose Schafer and Double Fine’s product over Naughty Dog’s; in good conscience and knowing just how freakin’ unbelievable Drake’s new adventure is, I can’t do that. But I still urge you all to seriously consider splurging and picking up Brutal Legend at the same time. I honestly doubt you’d end up regretting it.

10/5/2009 Ben Dutka

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More Previews Of This Game
Date
Game
Reviewer
07/15/09 Brutal Legend Arnold Katayev
02/29/08 Brutal Legend Arnold Katayev

Comments (27 posts)

Nasty80
Monday, October 05, 2009 @ 10:00:44 PM
Reply

the demo is fun and funny.

Agree with this comment 3 up, 1 down Disagree with this comment

Robochic
Monday, October 05, 2009 @ 10:17:49 PM
Reply

love the demo

Agree with this comment 3 up, 1 down Disagree with this comment

Deleted User
Monday, October 05, 2009 @ 10:26:43 PM
Reply

I'm going to buy Brutal Legend the week after (October 20) as I know it's going to be a great game.

Agree with this comment 1 up, 1 down Disagree with this comment

chucknasty
Monday, October 05, 2009 @ 10:32:55 PM
Reply

I was a aware of this game but not sure it would be my thing. I don't particularly care for Guitar Hero and Jack Black tends to be more obnoxious than funny lately. After playing the demo I preordered it despite it coming out on the same day as Uncharted 2. Wow does this game have a great balance of humor and fun play.
I will play this AFTER I finish Uncharted.

Agree with this comment 1 up, 1 down Disagree with this comment

Juanalf
Monday, October 05, 2009 @ 10:47:55 PM
Reply

Sadly I only have money for one so I will be going to U2.But I'm going to test out the renting feature that many gamers talk about on Brutal legend.

Agree with this comment 0 up, 1 down Disagree with this comment

I_defenestrate
Monday, October 05, 2009 @ 10:57:56 PM
Reply

I wish I could buy both, but with Demon's Souls, Uncharted 2, the Fallout 3 DLC, and lack of job (waiting on third interview at Best Buy :crosses fingers:)..I'm gonna have to wait a little while. Buy it I will though. One day.

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Kangasfwa
Monday, October 05, 2009 @ 11:16:14 PM
Reply

Uncharted 2 won't go anywhere. Pick it up later and get Brutal Legend first.

Agree with this comment 2 up, 6 down Disagree with this comment

Juanalf
Monday, October 05, 2009 @ 11:27:07 PM

The same can be said vice-versa.

Agree with this comment 4 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

I_defenestrate
Tuesday, October 06, 2009 @ 12:31:09 AM

That and my Uncharted is paid in full. Brutal Legend is not.

Agree with this comment 1 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

HAMCHUNKS
Tuesday, October 06, 2009 @ 10:19:09 PM

wow somthing is wrong with u that u would rather buy some more junk from Jack Black (he was ok at first but now he is soooo anoying) than get Uncharted 2, its like da 3rd highest rated game of this generation and one of the best of all time!

Agree with this comment 1 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Kevadu
Monday, October 05, 2009 @ 11:30:52 PM
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I loved the dialogue in the demo but the actual gameplay seemed kind of simplistic. I think I'll wait for reviews on this one.

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LimitedVertigo
Monday, October 05, 2009 @ 11:54:04 PM
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The demo was fun, while simplistic the video shown of the rest of the gameplay makes me think there is a ton to this game. I think I'm going to rent it before I decide on a purchase. I'm not into metal/rock but I enjoy Jack Black and the humor shown in the demo was great.

Agree with this comment 2 up, 1 down Disagree with this comment

Ultimate_Balla
Monday, October 05, 2009 @ 11:58:10 PM
Reply

Ayo, i swear this game is already out here. . . I saw it on the same day i bought fifa 10.

Agree with this comment 0 up, 2 down Disagree with this comment

Fane1024
Tuesday, October 06, 2009 @ 5:35:25 AM

That might have been a pre-order box.

p.s. Someone went crazy with the down-votes (possibly The RaPtuRe, judging from his comment).

Last edited by Fane1024 on 10/6/2009 5:43:15 AM

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Killsignal
Tuesday, October 06, 2009 @ 12:07:15 AM
Reply

i thought i would get brutal legend first... probably try to hold off on U2 but we'll see...

i'll probably just buy them both and live poor for a bit...

Agree with this comment 1 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

___________
Tuesday, October 06, 2009 @ 1:35:53 AM
Reply

im tossing up between this or operation flashpoint dragon rising.
operation flashpoint is suppose to be really really really hard though, so i dont think i will be enjoying to to much.
more likely swearing my head off every 4 minutes.
but than im in the mag beta, and thats pretty much the same as that so mayb i should go with brutal legend.

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frylock25
Tuesday, October 06, 2009 @ 3:13:28 AM
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while reading this article i saw another commercial for brutal legends. i played the demo and loved it. i was smiling the whole time and not many games make me smile like this one did. at best buy when you preorder you get a big album to keep your game in. as soon as i can i will be buying brutal legend and uncharted 2.

Agree with this comment 1 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

TheRaPtuRe
Tuesday, October 06, 2009 @ 4:57:49 AM
Reply

TBH this game is an embarassment to next gen gaming.
It looks and plays like a PS2 game.
The game however is very funny but this is it's only saving grace.

Agree with this comment 0 up, 3 down Disagree with this comment

Diggity Dan
Tuesday, October 06, 2009 @ 7:50:40 AM
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This one looks like a rental. Fun, but probably not much replay value.

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Ghidora
Tuesday, October 06, 2009 @ 8:15:45 AM
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i looooved the demo!

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PS3addict
Tuesday, October 06, 2009 @ 9:25:08 AM
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Just remember that Toys-R-Us is supposed to have a get 2 get one free sale next week, So get Uncharted 2, Demon Souls and then this game is free!
We have to support this game so double fine keeps giving us greatness!

Edit: Only in the USA, sorry to to our foreign friends. But it is supposed to be online as well....

Last edited by PS3addict on 10/6/2009 9:27:54 AM

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PS3addict
Tuesday, October 06, 2009 @ 10:30:55 AM

I just re-read this, it is a buy 2 get 1 free promo for next week. Remember it is the lowest price game of the three you get that is discounted to $0. The other 2 can be exchanged for a new game within 45 days if unopened.
So for the games coming out in 3 weeks, or return one you paid for for a full refund, well you get the idea...

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mastiffchild
Tuesday, October 06, 2009 @ 10:15:35 AM
Reply

I don't think the demo helped in the case of BL. As the gameplay vecomes much more interesing further into the game it could give those without much knowledge of the game or of Schafer the wrong impression-that it'll be repetitive.

I'm really not a fan of Jack Black myself but even his annoying antics won't stop me supporting Timmy's new venture as there seems to be a lot going on here-and he never cared for graphics the way he does about story and gameplay. Should be a good game even if I didn't think the demo was the greatest ad ever.

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TheRaPtuRe
Tuesday, October 06, 2009 @ 11:24:30 AM
Reply

why has this guy got such a good rep? what good games has he actually made apart from psychonauts?

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Kevadu
Tuesday, October 06, 2009 @ 11:31:46 AM

He did the writing for the Monkey Island games. That's reason enough to care as far as I'm concerned.

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Daedusian
Tuesday, October 06, 2009 @ 12:28:37 PM
Reply

the demo was tons of fun, but only because of the story/characters for me. The gameplay was a meh, but I enjoyed the humor very much as well as Jack. Definitely getting this but when it's half the price.

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nogoat23
Friday, October 09, 2009 @ 5:14:17 PM
Reply

Six things you should know before you buy Brutal Legend.
http://fidgit.com/archives/2009/10/six_things_you_should_know_bef.php

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