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Monday, March 8, 2010

First Impressions: Brutal Legend

I was really pumped about Brutal Legend when I first heard about the game. I love Tim Schafer games and I couldn't wait to play his latest comedic adventure. But as the Rocktober release date grew closer and closer, word got out that something was amiss. Early reports claimed that Brutal Legend was really an real-time strategy (RTS) game.

My problem with this news? I hate RTS games...

Over the weekend, I finished up Lego Batman. I played a little Metal Gear Solid 4 on Saturday night. Everything seemed to be going according to plan until Sunday afternoon. I didn't have enough time to really get into MGS4. I decided to download the Brutal Legend demo and give the game a shot. Due to a lack of RTS gameplay in the demo, I found myself captivated by Brutal Legend and needed to play a whole lot. So I popped out to my local Wal-mart and picked up a new copy of the game.

After a few hours of gameplay, I am pretty happy with my purchase!

I've encountered very few RTS elements after having completed the first four or five major story missions. I've had some squad based combat involving Eddie, some head-bangers, and some huge executioner-style dudes with big fists. The battles went fairly smoothly. I assure you that my victory had nothing to do with my command abilities. In fact, in a later mission that saw me handle a series of small skirmishes, I managed to lose every single head-banger under my command. I really stink at battlefield strategy. I'm more of a "charge-in-with-axe-swinging" type of player: stopping and thinking isn't my style. I'm sure this will come back to bite me in the ass further down the road.

I took a quick look over the achievements available in Brutal Legend. There are 50 achievements available in the core game. I don't plan on getting any DLC at this time. I've managed to split up the achievements into manageable groups: Story, Sandbox, Multiplayer, and RTS. Since I'm playing Brutal Legend on my Xbox 360, I won't be able to get any of the Multiplayer achievements. I'm only rocking a lowly Silver account.

The average gamerscore for Brutal Legend is about 230 GamerPoint. According to my list, I'll pick up 185 GamerPoint playing through the story. I could have gone for 210 GamerPoint by playing on Brutal difficulty but opted for the path of less-resistance offered by the Normal difficulty setting.

There are also 12 Sandbox-style achievements that I'd consider pursuing. Side-missions, "kill x number of enemies using Y" achievements, and a myriad of other interesting achievements are available. I've decided to forgo any "item collection" achievements. The map in Brutal Legend seems pretty large and I just don't feel like trekking all over the place looking for shrines, fan geysers, Bound Serpents, or anything else that Schafer and crew could pack into the map.

Finally, I've identified 11 RTS achievements that I could unlock should I so desire. These achievements can all be acquired by playing against the game's AI. I'd obviously set the AI to the easiest setting before attempting to unlock any RTS achievements. I am seriously terrible at real-time strategy. Building units and defending strategic points on a map do nothing for me. I just don't find the game elements very fun.

Assuming my math is correct, I'm hoping to clear anywhere from 13 to 34 achievements for a total of 235 GamerPoint to 630 GamerPoint. That's not too bad for someone who isn't supposed to care about achievements anymore...

Most importantly, I expect Brutal Legend to be a satisfying and hilarious heavy metal adventure. And given the ridiculously reduced retail price of Brutal Legend, I'd encourage everyone to head out and buy a copy today!

I'll leave you with the usual assortment of trailers and video reviews. Rock on!


Duncan Heaney said...

It starts brilliantly, but I found it gets progressively worse as it goes.

I wrote a review: http://onegeeksview.blogspot.com/2009/11/review-brutal-legend.html

It's worth persevering through the annoying RTS bits for the story, and free roam remains fun, but I was bitterly disappointed by Brutal Legend.

Klopzi said...

I guess I have something to look forward to. ;)