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This review was submitted by Mitch Alexander. If you’ve played Brütal Legend, or just want to ask Mitch more about it, leave your thoughts in the comments below.
Brütal Legend (Xbox 360, PS3)
Tim Shafer's long-delayed action-adventure/RTS hybrid finally hits shelves, but is it as legendary as its title?
Story & Characters: Brütal Legend's strongest points are its story, humour and characters. The voice acting is top-notch and the characters' dialogue is as hilarious as it is compelling. The heavy metal in-jokes and easter eggs keep the game entertaining throughout.
Art Direction: While the graphics aren't exactly cutting edge, the game does look fantastic with character designs and polished cut-scene animations that wouldn't be out of place in a Pixar film.
Soundtrack: The head-banging soundtrack delivers in spades for the metal faithful. Besides the obvious inclusion of the likes of Black Sabbath and Judas Priest, Brutal Legend features great non-mainstream acts like Slough Feg and Testament lovingly mined from metal's myriad sub-genres.
Gameplay: The mashup of RTS and third-person action simply doesn't work. The third-person sequences are like God of War-Lite and the RTS elements are hampered by a simple but ultimately clumsy interface. While I appreciate what Schafer and Double Fine have attempted to do here, Brütal Legend's gameplay is disappointingly average.
Secondary Missions: Like most free-roaming titles, there are numerous side missions available for explorers to track down and complete. All well and good, except there's little variation between missions and limited incentive to bother completing them beyond weapon upgrades and collecting more Nerd Points for your Gamer Profile.
Short and Shallow: The story - as great as it is - is incredibly short and can easily be completed in 6-8 hours. The repetitive nature of the side missions and the RTS-based multiplayer do little to improve the game's longevity.
While the game's slick production and soundtrack help create an entertaining weekend's worth of gaming, the flawed mechanics and short-lived story see Brütal Legend falling far short of its hype.
Reviewed by: Mitch Alexander
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