By Gamer_152 0 Comments
It is currently Sunday 25th October and I did cave this week and get Br ütal Legend. What do I think of it? In one word: Brilliant. Maybe it’s best I back up for a moment. You see last week I was rather unconfident that this game would actually have any solid gameplay and wondered if the whole problem of the game trying to blend RTS and action-adventure elements or the numerous side missions would get in the way of me having fun. Despite this I scooped the game up without a second thought at the first opportunity I got and was only too eager to experience what the game had in store as I played for the first time. I’d played through the demo before and seen more of the game from video of it that Double Fine had released, but I played through the first 15-30 minutes content enough. From then on my excitement began to grow and a few missions later I was already enjoying the game greatly. After a fair amount of time with the game I turned off my 360 believing that although I’d had an enjoyable time with the game I wasn’t that desperate to go back and play any more of it. Oh, how wrong I was. Absolutely itching to play more of the sweet metally goodness I jumped back on my console the next day, played all the way up to the final mission and loved every minute of it. After completing the game I still wanted more and have spent this weekend glued to my TV, going after every achievement, unlockable and hidden item I can get.
So what did I find so unbelievably amazing about Brütal Legend? I’m not sure I can entirely put my finger on it right now. The game seems almost greater than the sum of its parts. Of course the characters, environments, lore and general aesthetics of the game are extremely well done and though it has been criticised I thought the main story was compelling as well. The voice acting was not only great due to the personalities from the world of rock they had cast in this game, but was also very well-delivered and made all the more effective by the body animations and facial movements of the character models in-game. Although I wasn’t overly-enthusiastic about the soundtrack it was still a great compilation of metal classics and the original music score for the game was a solid component as well.
Now we get to the gameplay and while I can wrap every other aspect of the game up in a neat little bow, this is the part I find really hard to assess. I can pick out various small grievances I have with the game such as technical issues with the checkpoint races or how you can’t set your destination marker to anywhere on the world map but that’s not to say that the gameplay as a whole is some kind of perfect blend of elements. There is nothing that original about the side missions or extra collectibles or even the action-adventure side of the game in general, the strategy portions of the game don’t control too well on a console and the game is a tad on the short side. Now I’m not a big lover of side missions; when playing Red Faction: Guerrilla I found that after a while they could get quite tedious and the checkpoint driving missions in that game became almost torturous. I’m also not too much of a fan of collectibles; I don’t usually go that far out of my way to get them and I don’t think I’ve ever come close to 100% completion on any game before. However my completion rate is already sitting at 83% and I’m ravenous for more. Maybe the world of Brütal Legend really is enough to make me forget about anything else, maybe I’ve suffered some kind of fatal mental damage from listening to too much of the in-game radio, but whatever the case I love this game and think Schafer has done a brilliant job.
This week I’ve also become a part of the preview programme for the new Xbox 360 update and from what I’ve experienced it has its ups and downs. Just trying to remap the navigation and use of a system that would usually be handled by a keyboard to a controller is not a process that you can expect to go smoothly in the first place, but the main problem seems to be with Microsoft trying to cram the existing features of the websites they’re working with into UIs that are just plain unsuitable. The worst of the social networking tools seems to be Facebook which has been warped from its simple and compact browser-based version into the NXE user interface that is used on the rest of the Xbox’s menus. The Twitter system also seems somewhat lacklustre in relation to its browser-based parent but the difference between the Twitter and Facebook UIs does beg the question, if they created a new interface for Twitter why didn’t they do the same thing for Facebook? Last.fm doesn’t seem to have come out of this whole thing too bad, probably because although they have once again tried to cram the whole thing into the NXE panels it still does what it was meant to do pretty proficiently: Play music. The branding of the new video marketplace place as the Zune marketplace feels very tacked on as it actually doesn’t have anything at this time to do with Zune, but although I haven’t experienced the 1080p video streaming myself they do seem to be running a very good service there. All in all the navigation of the new features of the 360 update are a bit of a shamble and I can’t imagine who at all would want to use the social networking features, but as far as streaming media goes the console so far has been doing a good job of it.
That’s gonna be it for this blog. I’m going to try and somehow resist the urge to buy Borderlands over the coming weeks (as I just can’t afford it) and get back to playing more of Br ütal Legend. I’ll leave you with this little trailer from the rock gods themselves.