I still don't get the hate for the RTS in "Brutal Legend"

  • 51 results
  • 1
  • 2
#1 Posted by AssInAss (2621 posts) -

I'm nearing the end of the game, and I just need some explanation of the outcry over the RTS elements aka "Stage Battles" in Brutal Legend. 
 
Is it because it's not a good RTS? And if you're a RTS nut, can you explain why? You can select individual units or a whole bunch, so that can't be the problem.
 
Is it because of the unique style of RTS with the 3rd person perspective, so people couldn't handle the change?
 
Is it because of the elitist "RTS don't work on consoles" crowd?  Isn't this a better way of having a console RTS, having you fly (essentially becoming a "cursor") and micro-manage from above? There must be something good about it for Starhawk to rip off the concept. 
 
Or Is it because people didn't expect RTS in Brutal Legend? That's the fault of EA's marketing, not the game.

#2 Posted by Video_Game_King (36272 posts) -

As I remember it, they were unrefined, kinda clumsy, and not a good way to learn how to play an RTS. This only became clearer after playing some Starcraft and Revenge of the Titans.

#3 Posted by Witzig (327 posts) -

EA put out that game I thought it was Activision?
#4 Posted by Quipido (634 posts) -

I am no big RTS fan, but Brutal Legend just felt super-clunky to me, I just got lost in it and it felt like a mess. I didn't have enough will to put up with it and I quit playing it.

#5 Posted by supermike6 (3561 posts) -
@Witzig said:
EA put out that game I thought it was Activision?
Nah, Activision let it go during the Activision-Vivendi merger, and then EA picked it up. 
Online
#6 Posted by haggis (1677 posts) -

It's not that I didn't expect the RTS in Brutal Legend. It just didn't seem (to me) to fit into the rest of the game very well. Add on top of that some of the design decisions (yes, including the 3rd person perspective), and you wind up with something that didn't do it for a lot of gamers. I thought the RTS would be less central to the game as it was.
 
So, yes, it was a problem of marketing. But it was also a problem of game design. The game was trying to do too many things, and didn't do any of them particularly well. If it had stuck to being a third-person, open-world beat-em-up I think it would have been more successful than it was. As it is, it has vehicle combat, RTS, brawling, open-world. Basically a kitchen sink game. They rarely turn out well. Brutal Legend wasn't a horrible game, but it fell short of expectations.

#7 Posted by BabyChooChoo (4424 posts) -
@Quipido said:
I am no big RTS fan, but Brutal Legend just felt super-clunky to me, I just got lost in it and it felt like a mess. I didn't have enough will to put up with it and I quit playing it.
Pretty much this. It just wasn't fun...at all
#8 Posted by StingerMK2 (386 posts) -

i never understood the hate for it either, yes it was clunky, but it didnt NEED to be a refined as a a standard RTS, i just thought it was a cool way for an action game to signify a big battle sequence without getting all cut scene heavy and cinematic, i actually enjoyed alot of the sequences when it came down to it, but iv been somewhat of an apologist for that game since it first came out, i loved it

#9 Posted by bobafettjm (1462 posts) -

It's pretty simple for me, I just didn't enjoy them. I was literally not having fun at all while playing those stages, and the final one is even the reason I didn't finish the game.

#10 Posted by AssInAss (2621 posts) -

Some pretty vague responses. 
@haggis said:

It's not that I didn't expect the RTS in Brutal Legend. It just didn't seem (to me) to fit into the rest of the game very well. Add on top of that some of the design decisions (yes, including the 3rd person perspective), and you wind up with something that didn't do it for a lot of gamers. I thought the RTS would be less central to the game as it was.  So, yes, it was a problem of marketing. But it was also a problem of game design. The game was trying to do too many things, and didn't do any of them particularly well. If it had stuck to being a third-person, open-world beat-em-up I think it would have been more successful than it was. As it is, it has vehicle combat, RTS, brawling, open-world. Basically a kitchen sink game. They rarely turn out well. Brutal Legend wasn't a horrible game, but it fell short of expectations.
Actually, those "kitchen sink" games tend to turn out pretty well, look at sandbox games and Zelda clones. If it was just a beat-em-up, it would be criticized for being too simple (Assassin's Creed 1). 
 
It fits very well with the world, the factions, saving the world, metal themes, to have big boss stage battles portrayed as a RTS.
#11 Posted by Wrighteous86 (3782 posts) -

I don't get what the problem is. I'm not a fan of RTS games, so I played the RTS sections as big battles in the normal style of the game. I pretty much always just ran up to the things that needed to be destroyed, set the rally flag there, produced a bunch of random units, had them follow me while I attacked stuff on my own, and just buffed them occasionally. It felt just like an action-game in that sense. Really allowed me to enjoy things without having to delve into any actual strategy.

#12 Posted by SamFo (1528 posts) -

The problem was that the singleplayer game eventually became nothing but stage battles which were effectively teaching you how to play the multiplayer. Although they are getting better (trenched) double fines biggest strength is storytelling rather than gameplay. Although it pains me to say it, I get the feeling the game would have appealed to more people if it was an open world god of war style game. Also, I think most people weren't expecting an rts when they bought it. The demo is super misleading.

#13 Posted by Mr_Skeleton (5144 posts) -

I think the problem was with the marketing, before it was released it seemed like it was going to be an action game with a little RTS but it turned out that it's about 60% RTS and 40% action game. I think most people felt like they were tricked into playing an RTS when they wanted to play an Action game.

#14 Posted by Elyk247 (366 posts) -

The game was very funny. (Tim Schafer) The game tried to be too many things, and everything it did do (Action, Driving, RTS) was just okay.

#15 Posted by Mike76x (558 posts) -

I think it was too hard for a lot of people expecting a straightforward beat-em-up.
I got destroyed repeatedly until I figured out I needed more powers and how to use them. 
Plus you have to really explore the game to get all the available powers to use in the battles.

#16 Posted by Landon (4139 posts) -

It felt like false advertising. When they started announcing stuff about the game, they never talked about the RTS stuff until it was close to coming out.  
First they said it would be an action/adventure game in the vain of God of War. Ok cool. 
Then they said it was going to be an open world game. Ok, didn't expect that, but I'm behind it. 
Then after the first few hours the rest of the game will be an RTS.....    wut? 
 
RTS games don't work well on consoles, no matter how much you change or simplify, they never play quit right.

#17 Edited by Tennmuerti (8076 posts) -

@AssInAss said:

Is it because it's not a good RTS? And if you're a RTS nut, can you explain why? You can select individual units or a whole bunch, so that can't be the problem.

Yes, this is a factor. It is not a shallow RTS in of itself, but it is shallow in the campaign. Very much so. As a result the RTS gameplay did not satisfy people who liked RTS games.

@AssInAss said:

Is it because of the unique style of RTS with the 3rd person perspective, so people couldn't handle the change?

Partially. Double fine just proved once again that making an RTS on a console is awkward. Brutal Legend did not break out of the mold, it reinforced that concept.

(im not saying it can't be done but it would require complete dedication to the goal and extreme polish of game mechanics, which were both not present in BL)

@AssInAss said:

Or Is it because people didn't expect RTS in Brutal Legend? That's the fault of EA's marketing, not the game.

This also, marketing said nothing about the RTS part of the game and focused only on action and metal. This made people feel tricked, considering how large of a part the stage battles were in the second half of the game. Many people who were expecting an action game felt out of their depth in the RTS element too. Doesn't matter who you point a finger at to distribute blame, damage done is damage done.

@AssInAss said:

Actually, those "kitchen sink" games tend to turn out pretty well, look at sandbox games and Zelda clones. If it was just a beat-em-up, it would be criticized for being too simple (Assassin's Creed 1).
  • Sandbox games do not necessarily feature a "kitchen sink" approach, in fact almost none of them do, they follow simple unified systems from start to finish, just because they are big and you can do lots of shit doesn't mean they are actually stuffing everything in there, like RTS elements for example. Games like Saint's Row or GTA do not have a "kitchen sink" approach, they are actually quite simplistic in principle, it's just that their systems are used in many varied and interesting ways. Same for Zelda clones.
  • AC1 was not criticized for being simple, it was mainly criticized for being repetitive, there is a big difference.
  • If development focuses more on a single aspect of a game, this does not mean that aspect remains exactly the same and there is just more of it. By focusing more on fewer assets they can be in turn be made more interesting, varied, robust and polished.
#18 Posted by haggis (1677 posts) -
@AssInAss said:
Some pretty vague responses. 
@haggis said:
It's not that I didn't expect the RTS in Brutal Legend. It just didn't seem (to me) to fit into the rest of the game very well. Add on top of that some of the design decisions (yes, including the 3rd person perspective), and you wind up with something that didn't do it for a lot of gamers. I thought the RTS would be less central to the game as it was.  So, yes, it was a problem of marketing. But it was also a problem of game design. The game was trying to do too many things, and didn't do any of them particularly well. If it had stuck to being a third-person, open-world beat-em-up I think it would have been more successful than it was. As it is, it has vehicle combat, RTS, brawling, open-world. Basically a kitchen sink game. They rarely turn out well. Brutal Legend wasn't a horrible game, but it fell short of expectations.
Actually, those "kitchen sink" games tend to turn out pretty well, look at sandbox games and Zelda clones. If it was just a beat-em-up, it would be criticized for being too simple (Assassin's Creed 1).   It fits very well with the world, the factions, saving the world, metal themes, to have big boss stage battles portrayed as a RTS.
Sandbox games and Zelda clones aren't kitchen sink games, though. They're pretty clearly focused on a single proven combination of gameplay elements. Name a successful game that combines four or five gameplay types, then get back to me. There simply aren't any. Even games that attempt to combine RPG elements with FPS or TPS style (just two varieties of gameplay) get criticized for not pulling all the disparate elements together and being "dumbed down." Combine two elements, and depth needs to be sacrificed. Examples? Notably games like Fallout 3 and Oblivion, where people constantly (and legitimately) griped about the quality of the shooter experience. Or Mass Effect 2, again where RPG elements were made more shallow in order to orient the game more toward being a third-person shooter.
 
Add a third gameplay element, even more needs to be sacrificed. Borderlands comes to mind as a game that pulled it off, to a degree (RPG, shooter, vehicle combat). I didn't like the game as much as some did. Even still, the RPS elements were light, as was the vehicle combat. I'm not saying it can't be done well, only that I haven't seen it done well yet. Too bad in the case of Brutal Legend, given how much I enjoyed the game world (and I am a huge Tim Schafer fan, as you might suspect from my profile picture), but a lot of bad design choices.
 
And who was complaining that Assassin's Creed 1 was too simple? Most of the criticisms seemed to point to the rigid mission structure, not that the gameplay elements were too simple.
 
We'll have to continue to disagree about whether or not the RTS elements fit into the game world. Metal fans as mindless drones taking orders from a roadie? It still makes no sense to me.
#19 Posted by CL60 (16906 posts) -

I liked the game, but I would've liked it A LOT more if it focused on the combat rather than switching to almost entirely RTS all of a sudden.

#20 Posted by Shotaro (820 posts) -

I think it was the abrupt genre switch that caused most people problems, though as an RTS is was not the greatest by any means - nothing in the build up and promotion of the game showed amy indication it would become an RTS and frankly I think it pissed people off! It looked like a decent god of war esque comedy action game and became something no-one really wanted or was expecting. It's like listening to a band do a really active up-beat song (like Inaction by We are Scientists - look it up btw it is an awesome song) but findout the rest of the album is like the Arcade Fire - Now there is nothing wrong with either of those bands they are both great bands but if you bought the album expecting upbeat rocking indie and instead got the downbeat laid back music of the Arcade Fire it would, at the very least be jarring.

(For those who have not heard of those two bands replace "We are Scientists" with Metallica and "Arcade Fire" with Bob Dylan - if you haven't heard of BOTH of those artists GTFO)

#21 Posted by AssInAss (2621 posts) -
@haggis said:
@AssInAss said:
Some pretty vague responses. 
@haggis said:
It's not that I didn't expect the RTS in Brutal Legend. It just didn't seem (to me) to fit into the rest of the game very well. Add on top of that some of the design decisions (yes, including the 3rd person perspective), and you wind up with something that didn't do it for a lot of gamers. I thought the RTS would be less central to the game as it was.  So, yes, it was a problem of marketing. But it was also a problem of game design. The game was trying to do too many things, and didn't do any of them particularly well. If it had stuck to being a third-person, open-world beat-em-up I think it would have been more successful than it was. As it is, it has vehicle combat, RTS, brawling, open-world. Basically a kitchen sink game. They rarely turn out well. Brutal Legend wasn't a horrible game, but it fell short of expectations.
Actually, those "kitchen sink" games tend to turn out pretty well, look at sandbox games and Zelda clones. If it was just a beat-em-up, it would be criticized for being too simple (Assassin's Creed 1).   It fits very well with the world, the factions, saving the world, metal themes, to have big boss stage battles portrayed as a RTS.
Sandbox games and Zelda clones aren't kitchen sink games, though. They're pretty clearly focused on a single proven combination of gameplay elements. Name a successful game that combines four or five gameplay types, then get back to me. There simply aren't any. Even games that attempt to combine RPG elements with FPS or TPS style (just two varieties of gameplay) get criticized for not pulling all the disparate elements together and being "dumbed down." Combine two elements, and depth needs to be sacrificed. Examples? Notably games like Fallout 3 and Oblivion, where people constantly (and legitimately) griped about the quality of the shooter experience. Or Mass Effect 2, again where RPG elements were made more shallow in order to orient the game more toward being a third-person shooter. Add a third gameplay element, even more needs to be sacrificed. Borderlands comes to mind as a game that pulled it off, to a degree (RPG, shooter, vehicle combat). I didn't like the game as much as some did. Even still, the RPS elements were light, as was the vehicle combat. I'm not saying it can't be done well, only that I haven't seen it done well yet. Too bad in the case of Brutal Legend, given how much I enjoyed the game world (and I am a huge Tim Schafer fan, as you might suspect from my profile picture), but a lot of bad design choices. And who was complaining that Assassin's Creed 1 was too simple? Most of the criticisms seemed to point to the rigid mission structure, not that the gameplay elements were too simple.  We'll have to continue to disagree about whether or not the RTS elements fit into the game world. Metal fans as mindless drones taking orders from a roadie? It still makes no sense to me.
Beyond Good and Evil has about 7 gameplay types: driving, spacecraft, mini-games, stealth, combat, chases, and photography. And all done really well, even the air hockey. 
 
The only part of Brutal Legend I thought wasn't done well was the driving, where the problems are compounded in the demon races. The Deuce felt heavier than any car in GTA 4. Other than that, I don't know many of the bad design choices. Care to elaborate?
#22 Posted by The_Laughing_Man (13629 posts) -

Maybe its because the RTS is not really a RTS game. Its kinda well...half an RTS. 

#23 Edited by DonPixel (2585 posts) -

@AssInAss:

I didn't hate it.. but I do think a lot of people got caught by surprise when they realized Brutal Legend wasn't the action/adventure game they were expecting. The game was trying to do a lot of stuff and the advertising was deceiving.

Personally I got bored to dead with the poorly made "RTS" elements of Brutal Legend and I can imagine people getting pissed off at a $60 game that was nothing of what appear to be in the advertising campaign.

#24 Posted by Enigma777 (6071 posts) -

Location-based RTS gameplay is just stupid.

#25 Posted by Maelstrom (38 posts) -

It was a case of straight up false advertising by Double Fine and EA. Same thing happened with Halo Wars in that Microsoft did everything possible in their tv commercials and marketing to hide the fact that it was a RTS game.  The real question should be why do publishers build RTS games on consoles and then try to disguise the true nature of the game with deceptive marketing instead of coming clean about it?

#26 Posted by haggis (1677 posts) -
@AssInAss said:
Beyond Good and Evil has about 7 gameplay types: driving, spacecraft, mini-games, stealth, combat, chases, and photography. And all done really well, even the air hockey.   The only part of Brutal Legend I thought wasn't done well was the driving, where the problems are compounded in the demon races. The Deuce felt heavier than any car in GTA 4. Other than that, I don't know many of the bad design choices. Care to elaborate?
You've stretched a few gameplay types into seven. Beyond Good and Evil (a mediocre game at best) has maybe two gameplay types, three if you include the photography (yawn). Let's be generous and say three. It's a fairly standard action-adventure game with fairly generic gameplay. You can try to separate out the driving and spacecraft elements, but they're essentially the same. It plays like most other games of that type from that era. Minigames? Really? Then I guess Mass Effect 2 has about six or seven gameplay elements then, to be as generous with the terms as you are.
 
As for bad design choices, that's what I've been talking about the entire time: too many gameplay types, none of which had enough depth to be fun or compelling. I'm not saying don't like the game. But the lack of commercial success says quite a bit about the game design. I'm not saying anything about the game that wasn't said in a dozen different reviews of the game. The driving was clunky. The brawling was oversimplified. The RTS crippled by the camera and controls. The story elements were fine, as were the game world elements. In short, a game with a lot of potential that was crippled by bad choices. No doubt made worse by the game's troubled development cycle. Not an uncommon story, that.
#27 Posted by AssInAss (2621 posts) -
@haggis said:
@AssInAss said:
Beyond Good and Evil has about 7 gameplay types: driving, spacecraft, mini-games, stealth, combat, chases, and photography. And all done really well, even the air hockey.   The only part of Brutal Legend I thought wasn't done well was the driving, where the problems are compounded in the demon races. The Deuce felt heavier than any car in GTA 4. Other than that, I don't know many of the bad design choices. Care to elaborate?
You've stretched a few gameplay types into seven. Beyond Good and Evil (a mediocre game at best) has maybe two gameplay types, three if you include the photography (yawn). Let's be generous and say three. It's a fairly standard action-adventure game with fairly generic gameplay. You can try to separate out the driving and spacecraft elements, but they're essentially the same. It plays like most other games of that type from that era. Minigames? Really? Then I guess Mass Effect 2 has about six or seven gameplay elements then, to be as generous with the terms as you are.  As for bad design choices, that's what I've been talking about the entire time: too many gameplay types, none of which had enough depth to be fun or compelling. I'm not saying don't like the game. But the lack of commercial success says quite a bit about the game design. I'm not saying anything about the game that wasn't said in a dozen different reviews of the game. The driving was clunky. The brawling was oversimplified. The RTS crippled by the camera and controls. The story elements were fine, as were the game world elements. In short, a game with a lot of potential that was crippled by bad choices. No doubt made worse by the game's troubled development cycle. Not an uncommon story, that.
Wow. Didn't know there were people out there with such apathy towards a much beloved game. But I won't go into that debate right now. 
 
Lack of commercial success: It at least sold 1.4 million copies, Schafer was more than happy with that. The lack of commercial success I doubt had anything to do with game design, and probably more to do with EA's marketing (see recently: Shadows of the Damned, Alice Madness Returns). Plus, Psychonauts didn't sell too well, all of their games are too creative for their own good in this recently risk-averse industry.
 
I'll agree on the driving, but brawling was fine as it is, I'm not expecting Devil May Cry from a Double Fine game. It's simplified enough, with some cool combos, upgrade system, and gore. I don't feel the controls or camera were ever a problem for the RTS stage battles, or at least weren't bad. Loads of different enemy types for each faction. Certainly more fun than other console RTSs like Halo Wars. I'll agree that there needed to be more tutorials.
 
Even if you disagree though, at least a great Brutal engine came out of it to power Trenched.
#28 Edited by ectoplasma (977 posts) -

I just wanted to add that I REALLY enjoyed Brutal Legend. I only dislike the point that so many achievements are collection based and that's pretty dull. I would go back to the game if there would be some more content to check out. I also thought the RTS element was pretty decent. If you want, we could play a round sometime in September when I get back to my setup.

#29 Posted by haggis (1677 posts) -
@AssInAss said:
Wow. Didn't know there were people out there with such apathy towards a much beloved game. But I won't go into that debate right now. 
 
Lack of commercial success: It at least sold 1.4 million copies, Schafer was more than happy with that. The lack of commercial success I doubt had anything to do with game design, and probably more to do with EA's marketing (see recently: Shadows of the Damned, Alice Madness Returns). Plus, Psychonauts didn't sell too well, all of their games are too creative for their own good in this recently risk-averse industry.
 
I'll agree on the driving, but brawling was fine as it is, I'm not expecting Devil May Cry from a Double Fine game. It's simplified enough, with some cool combos, upgrade system, and gore. I don't feel the controls or camera were ever a problem for the RTS stage battles, or at least weren't bad. Loads of different enemy types for each faction. Certainly more fun than other console RTSs like Halo Wars. I'll agree that there needed to be more tutorials.
 
Even if you disagree though, at least a great Brutal engine came out of it to power Trenched.
Schafer claims the 1.4 million number, but I'm doubtful. It didn't even debut in the top ten, and only sold 220k copies its debut month. EA was less than ecstatic about it (vocally so). In 2010, Schafer claimed that EA canned the franchise because of poor sales. So, which Shafer to believe? Since there's been no sequel and likely never will be, I tend to believe the Schafer of summer 2010, rather than the Schafer of February 2011. 
 
You can blame the lack of sales on marketing, but once gamers knew about the game why didn't they buy it? It was heavily promoted and favorably reviewed. It still sold poorly. Just like three other Schafer games: Psychonauts, Full Throttle, and my beloved Grim Fandango didn't sell well either. Blame it on EA if you like, but it's hard to avoid putting some blame on Schafer himself, since this seems to be his pattern, making games that reviewers love and gamers don't buy. I suspect the heavy marketing and the big names attached to the game were the only things that kept Brutal Legend from being a sales trainwreck. I think not telling gamers about the RTS focus of parts of the game probably boosted initial sales that the game would not otherwise have earned. Yes, I think EA made a calculation about that, given the game's troubled development. Dirty, yes, but understandable.
 
We can disagree about the controls. Read the reviews, though, and you'll see that there's a consensus out there that disagrees with you. I'm not trying to convince you that the controls are bad--clearly you don't think so--but a large number of people did, just as a lot of people found the gameplay dull and the missions repetitive. I'm simply telling you why most people said they didn't like the game. I tend to agree with them.
#30 Posted by Gearhead (2251 posts) -

I played this game about a month ago. The RTS combat was unrefined, and just janky. This is especially evident in the final battles. 

#31 Posted by BaconGames (3371 posts) -

The game had a lack of focus in the gameplay department plain and simple. It trying to be a jack of all trades but master of none brought down the bits that could have shined if they had refined and focused on one or the others. Naturally putting it on consoles would make the 3rd person action game a better sell and easier time of playing. It had heart I don't see any reason in denying it that but we can see where Double Fine's head was at the time and it was much better served by the current dev strategy they have now.

#32 Posted by megalowho (965 posts) -

I found it conceptually interesting, but simply not fun to play. After each battle stage in Brutal Legend, I thought to myself "I'm glad that's over, never want to play that part again." And I never did. Making a clunky, third person RTS the centerpiece of the gameplay took away from it's many strengths in my opinion.

#33 Posted by AssInAss (2621 posts) -
@haggis said:
@AssInAss said:
Wow. Didn't know there were people out there with such apathy towards a much beloved game. But I won't go into that debate right now. 
 
Lack of commercial success: It at least sold 1.4 million copies, Schafer was more than happy with that. The lack of commercial success I doubt had anything to do with game design, and probably more to do with EA's marketing (see recently: Shadows of the Damned, Alice Madness Returns). Plus, Psychonauts didn't sell too well, all of their games are too creative for their own good in this recently risk-averse industry.
 
I'll agree on the driving, but brawling was fine as it is, I'm not expecting Devil May Cry from a Double Fine game. It's simplified enough, with some cool combos, upgrade system, and gore. I don't feel the controls or camera were ever a problem for the RTS stage battles, or at least weren't bad. Loads of different enemy types for each faction. Certainly more fun than other console RTSs like Halo Wars. I'll agree that there needed to be more tutorials.
 
Even if you disagree though, at least a great Brutal engine came out of it to power Trenched.
Schafer claims the 1.4 million number, but I'm doubtful. It didn't even debut in the top ten, and only sold 220k copies its debut month. EA was less than ecstatic about it (vocally so). In 2010, Schafer claimed that EA canned the franchise because of poor sales. So, which Shafer to believe? Since there's been no sequel and likely never will be, I tend to believe the Schafer of summer 2010, rather than the Schafer of February 2011.   You can blame the lack of sales on marketing, but once gamers knew about the game why didn't they buy it? It was heavily promoted and favorably reviewed. It still sold poorly. Just like three other Schafer games: Psychonauts, Full Throttle, and my beloved Grim Fandango didn't sell well either. Blame it on EA if you like, but it's hard to avoid putting some blame on Schafer himself, since this seems to be his pattern, making games that reviewers love and gamers don't buy. I suspect the heavy marketing and the big names attached to the game were the only things that kept Brutal Legend from being a sales trainwreck. I think not telling gamers about the RTS focus of parts of the game probably boosted initial sales that the game would not otherwise have earned. Yes, I think EA made a calculation about that, given the game's troubled development. Dirty, yes, but understandable. We can disagree about the controls. Read the reviews, though, and you'll see that there's a consensus out there that disagrees with you. I'm not trying to convince you that the controls are bad--clearly you don't think so--but a large number of people did, just as a lot of people found the gameplay dull and the missions repetitive. I'm simply telling you why most people said they didn't like the game. I tend to agree with them.
I should have stated that if you click the link, the 1.4 million figure is from this year, Feb 2011. It definitely wasn't a hit, and isn't the first setback new EA has had with new IPs (Mirror's Edge, Dead Space 1) not selling strongly in the first few months until positive word of mouth got out. Everyone knows how Schafer games don't sell, because of many reasons. No doing sequels, no normal game ideas, leaning more to humour than action. 
 
I'll concede that other people judge gameplay to a higher standard for Schafer games, and that's totally legitimate without any bias. But that's a different expectation, everyone has to remember Schafer games started off with barely any gameplay during the point-and-click adventure games of Lucasarts. I don't expect greatness in their gameplay department, but they've always been inventive with game mechanics and I'd rather they take creative risks than make a safe game. Schafer games were never going to be blockbusters, and maybe this minor setback had a silver lining with their Amnesia Fortnight to produce smaller games with less risks yet still be as creative as ever. 
 
They keep on getting better in that department though, with Stacking and now Trenched (still need to try it out), which seems a return to form from Brutal Legend with the same engine, similarly complex strategy, and much richer online component. Maybe my love of the game world in Brutal Legend, the music, characters, creatures, lets me overlook the flaws in the gameplay, but I'll still defend it's not as bad a game as everyone thought when it first came out. Still hopeful for a sequel, no matter how many years :)
#34 Posted by kashif1 (1428 posts) -
@AssInAss: who cares how good the rts elements are, i thought it was a quirky god of war clone and so did most of the people buying it.  It could be the greatest rts of all time and people would have still been annoyed because that is not what they signed up for.
#35 Posted by specialpie (4 posts) -

I'm not a big RTS guy, but I've played a few and Brutal Legend was the first console RTS that didn't make me want to immediately reach for a mouse. Unfortunately, it just wasn't the game that I wanted. I really wanted Brutal Legend to be the game it was through the first third - an open world third person action game. I found myself dreading every single stage battle, so much so that I haven't completed the last two battles to finish the game. Running around the world and finding collectibles and killing monsters was a lot of fun though.

#36 Posted by AssInAss (2621 posts) -
@specialpie said:

I'm not a big RTS guy, but I've played a few and Brutal Legend was the first console RTS that didn't make me want to immediately reach for a mouse. Unfortunately, it just wasn't the game that I wanted. I really wanted Brutal Legend to be the game it was through the first third - an open world third person action game. I found myself dreading every single stage battle, so much so that I haven't completed the last two battles to finish the game. Running around the world and finding collectibles and killing monsters was a lot of fun though.

I'm with you, I would dread the stage battles because it took me a few months to finish the game (finally), and I would forget the RTS controls between each session. But really, I'd urge you to push on with the last battles because of the story and awesome ending, they're piss easy compared to the hardest which was the glam rock Lionwhyte battle. And Emperor Doviculus is just a joy to listen to.
#37 Posted by haggis (1677 posts) -
@AssInAss said:
I don't expect greatness in their gameplay department, but they've always been inventive with game mechanics and I'd rather they take creative risks than make a safe game. Schafer games were never going to be blockbusters, and maybe this minor setback had a silver lining with their Amnesia Fortnight to produce smaller games with less risks yet still be as creative as ever.   They keep on getting better in that department though, with Stacking and now Trenched (still need to try it out), which seems a return to form from Brutal Legend with the same engine, similarly complex strategy, and much richer online component. Maybe my love of the game world in Brutal Legend, the music, characters, creatures, lets me overlook the flaws in the gameplay, but I'll still defend it's not as bad a game as everyone thought when it first came out. Still hopeful for a sequel, no matter how many years :)
Schafer's games are specifically known for *not* being inventive with game mechanics. They're known most for the humor and above-average stories and game worlds. The gameplay mechanics are solid, but the games are compelling for reasons other than gameplay specifically. He always took standard game mechanics (adventure games with Grim Fandango, platform games with Psychonauts) and took them to another level through the trappings. He's never been inventive with game mechanics. It's not his strong suit. He certainly takes creative risks with the art design, story, characters, and humor, and that was true of Brutal Legend. Stacking and Trenched both seem to follow Schafer's old formula: standard gameplay mechanics, above-average art design. Brutal Legend built a great world on a lackluster game design. It's not a bad game. It's just not a good game. And I think it's easily Scafer's worst game. This has been my argument from the beginning. If Schafer had built his world on a more solid game foundation (a brawler, as most people expected the game to be when they bought it), I think it would have been more successful.
 
The game is precisely as bad or good as individual gamers think it is. It was a polarizing game, and to say that "it's not as bad a game as everyone thought" implies that somehow gamers should change their mind about it. I don't think that's going to happen. People who didn't like the game then won't somehow like it now. Basically, you're just saying you disagree with a lot of opinions about the game. That's fine, but everyone has already made their minds up about it. As for a sequel, I'm running on twelve years now waiting for a Grim Fandango sequel. I'm still hoping. We gamers can be good at forming unhealthy attachments.
#38 Posted by Pezen (1596 posts) -

I think my major problem with the RTS section was that it just wasn't all that fun, but then again prior to SCII I wasn't that into RTS anyway, I don't plan ahead very well. Still, once I got the hang of it, the RTS sections wasn't as much of a problem as I had initially thought. But I think they could have opted out for the RTS thing and just make a "mosh pit" section instead and just have an all out open war. Perhaps give you the option to pick your type of "soldiers", but make it more action oriented. Nevertheless, I think the rest of the game's qualities more than enough outweigh the negative impact of the RTS sections.

#39 Posted by AssInAss (2621 posts) -
@haggis said:
@AssInAss said:
I don't expect greatness in their gameplay department, but they've always been inventive with game mechanics and I'd rather they take creative risks than make a safe game. Schafer games were never going to be blockbusters, and maybe this minor setback had a silver lining with their Amnesia Fortnight to produce smaller games with less risks yet still be as creative as ever.   They keep on getting better in that department though, with Stacking and now Trenched (still need to try it out), which seems a return to form from Brutal Legend with the same engine, similarly complex strategy, and much richer online component. Maybe my love of the game world in Brutal Legend, the music, characters, creatures, lets me overlook the flaws in the gameplay, but I'll still defend it's not as bad a game as everyone thought when it first came out. Still hopeful for a sequel, no matter how many years :)
Schafer's games are specifically known for *not* being inventive with game mechanics. They're known most for the humor and above-average stories and game worlds. The gameplay mechanics are solid, but the games are compelling for reasons other than gameplay specifically. He always took standard game mechanics (adventure games with Grim Fandango, platform games with Psychonauts) and took them to another level through the trappings. He's never been inventive with game mechanics. It's not his strong suit. He certainly takes creative risks with the art design, story, characters, and humor, and that was true of Brutal Legend. Stacking and Trenched both seem to follow Schafer's old formula: standard gameplay mechanics, above-average art design. Brutal Legend built a great world on a lackluster game design. It's not a bad game. It's just not a good game. And I think it's easily Scafer's worst game. This has been my argument from the beginning. If Schafer had built his world on a more solid game foundation (a brawler, as most people expected the game to be when they bought it), I think it would have been more successful.   The game is precisely as bad or good as individual gamers think it is. It was a polarizing game, and to say that "it's not as bad a game as everyone thought" implies that somehow gamers should change their mind about it. I don't think that's going to happen. People who didn't like the game then won't somehow like it now. Basically, you're just saying you disagree with a lot of opinions about the game. That's fine, but everyone has already made their minds up about it. As for a sequel, I'm running on twelve years now waiting for a Grim Fandango sequel. I'm still hoping. We gamers can be good at forming unhealthy attachments.
While I agree with most of that, I'd like to know what standard mechanics Stacking is borrowing from? Maybe I haven't played enough games where you take control of NPCs to complete puzzles.
#40 Edited by haggis (1677 posts) -
@AssInAss: A game that requires you to solve puzzles by jumping into a variety of different characters with different abilities? It sounds ripped off from Lego Star Wars, Lego Indiana Jones and Lego ... whatever. You basically switch characters to get past obstacles. It's a cross between that and typical adventure game puzzling. There's certainly a charming twist to it, but then that's what Schafer does. The rest is, in fact, pretty standard. The only real difference is that unlike the lego games, you don't have to unlock the characters first.
#41 Posted by AssInAss (2621 posts) -
@haggis said:
@AssInAss: A game that requires you to solve puzzles by jumping into a variety of different characters with different abilities? It sounds ripped off from Lego Star Wars, Lego Indiana Jones and Lego ... whatever. You basically switch characters to get past obstacles. It's a cross between that and typical adventure game puzzling. There's certainly a charming twist to it, but then that's what Schafer does. The rest is, in fact, pretty standard. The only real difference is that unlike the lego games, you don't have to unlock the characters first.
Oh ok, never played Lego games. Are there other games that do that mechanic? Otherwise, that seems more like an exception than a standard. 
#42 Edited by Gerhabio (1977 posts) -

@AssInAss said:

@haggis said:
@AssInAss: A game that requires you to solve puzzles by jumping into a variety of different characters with different abilities? It sounds ripped off from Lego Star Wars, Lego Indiana Jones and Lego ... whatever. You basically switch characters to get past obstacles. It's a cross between that and typical adventure game puzzling. There's certainly a charming twist to it, but then that's what Schafer does. The rest is, in fact, pretty standard. The only real difference is that unlike the lego games, you don't have to unlock the characters first.
Oh ok, never played Lego games. Are there other games that do that mechanic? Otherwise, that seems more like an exception than a standard.

Yeah, dude, STACKING.

Brutal Legend is ok but I just wanted some third person action, not a damn RTS.

#43 Posted by haggis (1677 posts) -
@AssInAss: Common enough that there's a Giant Bomb page dedicated to the concept. Although it seems a hybrid of immediate character switching and character possession. Stacking may be the first to use it in the adventure game/puzzle game setting, and it's certainly different from many other implementations, but at best it's a minor change driven more by the art design than any fundamental innovation in gameplay. I'm not sure it's a concept fundamentally different from Metroidvania games, where certain powers must be picked up in order to progress through other obstacles. But the concept is fundamental to video games. It's just taken a route directly through the Lego franchises.The matryoshka thing is a fairly unique conceit, and puts interesting limits on the powers, but it's still all about gaining powers to pass obstacles.
#44 Posted by AssInAss (2621 posts) -
@haggis said:
@AssInAss: Common enough that there's a Giant Bomb page dedicated to the concept. Although it seems a hybrid of immediate character switching and character possession. Stacking may be the first to use it in the adventure game/puzzle game setting, and it's certainly different from many other implementations, but at best it's a minor change driven more by the art design than any fundamental innovation in gameplay. I'm not sure it's a concept fundamentally different from Metroidvania games, where certain powers must be picked up in order to progress through other obstacles. But the concept is fundamental to video games. It's just taken a route directly through the Lego franchises.The matryoshka thing is a fairly unique conceit, and puts interesting limits on the powers, but it's still all about gaining powers to pass obstacles.
"On the fly character switching" is not the same as Stacking, because you can't switch to different characters on the fly UNLESS if you're the biggest doll so you can revert back to previous stages but it's a set progression. That concept you refer to is more a Mega Man thing. Stacking is strictly that character possession mechanic, also found in Mini NinjasClive Barker's Jericho, Driver San Francisco, Psi Ops, Mindjack, and Battlefield Modern Combat
#45 Posted by haggis (1677 posts) -
@AssInAss said:
@haggis said:
@AssInAss: Common enough that there's a Giant Bomb page dedicated to the concept. Although it seems a hybrid of immediate character switching and character possession. Stacking may be the first to use it in the adventure game/puzzle game setting, and it's certainly different from many other implementations, but at best it's a minor change driven more by the art design than any fundamental innovation in gameplay. I'm not sure it's a concept fundamentally different from Metroidvania games, where certain powers must be picked up in order to progress through other obstacles. But the concept is fundamental to video games. It's just taken a route directly through the Lego franchises.The matryoshka thing is a fairly unique conceit, and puts interesting limits on the powers, but it's still all about gaining powers to pass obstacles.
"On the fly character switching" is not the same as Stacking, because you can't switch to different characters on the fly UNLESS if you're the biggest doll so you can revert back to previous stages but it's a set progression. That concept you refer to is more a Mega Man thing. Stacking is strictly that character possession mechanic, also found in Mini NinjasClive Barker's Jericho, Driver San Francisco, Psi Ops, Mindjack, and Battlefield Modern Combat
How is what you just said any different from me saying that it's a hybrid between on-the-fly switching and possession? In which case, my point is made. It's not a unique mechanic. What's unique is the art design. So this whole long discussion and ... well, it turns out I'm right. Cool.
#46 Posted by TheSouthernDandy (3859 posts) -

@Shotaro: I have both heard of and love both of those bands. High five.

I had a great time with Brutal Legend but I can see where the complaints came from. It could be a little clunky. Not nearly to the point of being unplayable though, I still loved it.

#47 Posted by AssInAss (2621 posts) -
@haggis said:
@AssInAss said:
@haggis said:
@AssInAss: Common enough that there's a Giant Bomb page dedicated to the concept. Although it seems a hybrid of immediate character switching and character possession. Stacking may be the first to use it in the adventure game/puzzle game setting, and it's certainly different from many other implementations, but at best it's a minor change driven more by the art design than any fundamental innovation in gameplay. I'm not sure it's a concept fundamentally different from Metroidvania games, where certain powers must be picked up in order to progress through other obstacles. But the concept is fundamental to video games. It's just taken a route directly through the Lego franchises.The matryoshka thing is a fairly unique conceit, and puts interesting limits on the powers, but it's still all about gaining powers to pass obstacles.
"On the fly character switching" is not the same as Stacking, because you can't switch to different characters on the fly UNLESS if you're the biggest doll so you can revert back to previous stages but it's a set progression. That concept you refer to is more a Mega Man thing. Stacking is strictly that character possession mechanic, also found in Mini NinjasClive Barker's Jericho, Driver San Francisco, Psi Ops, Mindjack, and Battlefield Modern Combat
How is what you just said any different from me saying that it's a hybrid between on-the-fly switching and possession? In which case, my point is made. It's not a unique mechanic. What's unique is the art design. So this whole long discussion and ... well, it turns out I'm right. Cool.
Oh you wanted to be right? Have a cookie, alpha male!
#48 Posted by haggis (1677 posts) -
@AssInAss: Apparently you can't recognize sarcasm. My bad.
#49 Posted by Creamypies (4060 posts) -

I hate RTS games, and I went into Brutal Legend not expecting it.

So imagine my disappointment...

#50 Posted by adz117 (136 posts) -

It was because I just wasn't expecting it, the RTS parts seemed to jump out of nowhere and was not what I was after from Brutal Legend.

This edit will also create new pages on Giant Bomb for:

Beware, you are proposing to add brand new pages to the wiki along with your edits. Make sure this is what you intended. This will likely increase the time it takes for your changes to go live.

Comment and Save

Until you earn 1000 points all your submissions need to be vetted by other Giant Bomb users. This process takes no more than a few hours and we'll send you an email once approved.