starts with Eddie Riggs, a seasoned roadie, tuning up for his less-than-brutal new band. The new band, Kabbage Boy, doesn't give Eddie any respect and are more concerned about their tween demographic than melting faces with their rock. After an on-stage accident, Eddie spills some of his blood into his wicked awesome belt buckle. Eddie soon realizes his belt buckle is actually a conduit for a mythical fire-beast that yanks Eddie back to an age where heavy-metal is very real and very dangerous. Temples are made of the bones of enemies and big, ugly demons try to kill anyone that doesn't worship the Titans, a long forgotten race of gods from metal history. Brutal Legend
prides itself on being as imaginative and as ambitious as possible. While it works marvelously for the story, it tries to extend that feeling into the gameplay with mixed results.
In the world of Brutal Legend, humanity has been enslaved by the evil Doviculus with the help of his hair-metal ally, General Lionwhite, played fantastically by Rob Halford. At first, Eddie must rely on his own wits and skill to stop the deadly demons, but eventually he commands a small army of Headbangers, who understand nothing else except killer tunes. When Eddie is alone, Brutal Legend plays like any standard action game with a few basic combos and weapons to choose from to demolish the enemy. After Eddie starts his metal revolution, he commands his troops in RTS (Real Time Strategy) fashion to give him the edge. While all of the RTS sections are well thought out and fun, it does take a while to adjust to the controls because of some frantic pacing and clunky implementation. Luckily, the A.I. is smart enough to hold their own so no one should stress too much about strategy as long as they are having fun.
After the first few missions, Brutal Legend unleashes you out into its huge open world. While it may not be the size of Liberty City, the world map is just packed tight with details and landscapes that always look like the album cover of a some obscure 70's metal band. Dozens of side-missions are spread out in between story segments and are super-quick, which makes the missions incredibly addictive. The various types of missions include hunting down different beasts out in the wilderness, like Laser Panthers, and protecting newly acquired allies from Eddie's enemies, like the Drowning Doom, who are born from the sea of black tears and constantly surrounded by dark storm clouds.
One thing that makes Brutal Legend stand head and shoulders above the rest is the humor. The satirical take on a heavy-metal world pokes fun at the absurdity of metal history, while at the same time embracing it strongly. The rich facial animations make so many of the jokes genuinely funny that anyone can appreciate the humor in Brutal Legend even if they aren't well versed in heavy-metal lore. I think out of all Tim Schafer's games, Brutal Legend is the most approachable for any skeptics.
To many people's disappointment, the multiplayer is an extension of the RTS sections from the single player, called Stage Battles. The Stage Battles are very similar to an old PC game called Sacrifice by Shiny Entertainment (if anyone is familiar with that reference.) Players choose from one of three legions: Ironheade, which consists of Eddie and his classic metal followers, The Drowning Doom, in which the goth and black metal followers become known as "Tear Drinkers," and The Tainted Coil are for the industrial metal and S&M enthusiasts. Each legion has a leader unit that commands their army from the ground or air to protect the Stage. Much like an altar or command base in other RTS games, the stage must be guarded at all costs because it supplies the battlefield with new units and attracts fans which help to build more troops. With a handful of multiplayer maps, the Stage Battles are a fun distraction for anyone that just wants more action from Brutal Legend. Although it is easily the weakest part of the whole experience, I still found it really enjoyable and much better than anyone expected it to be. It is a little disappointing to see only one multiplayer type because there was so much more potential to deliver more and it seems that it is content at being an addendum to the main campaign, but I think everyone is holding out for some substantial downloadable content.