While most console strategy games get bogged down with complicated controls and excessive rules, Brutal Legend keeps it simple. Each battlefield has several different resource
centers, a small geyser where the souls of fans fly out looking for somebody to deliver the music. Your job is to cap those with merchandise booths. This allows you to collect
fans, which in turn can be used to buy units and upgrade your stage. Upgrading your stage will allow you to create bigger and better units, making it easier for you to take
over the enemy's stage. You can build units no matter where you are and moving your soldiers is as easy as pushing a direction on the D-pad.
You do all of this by flying over the battlefield. Thanks to a demon's curse, Eddie Riggs can open up his wings and fly. This allows you to quickly survey your enemy units,
tell your soldiers where to go and plan your attack. On top of giving out orders and creating new units, you are also able to swoop down and battle the demonic baddies by
yourself. That means that you can hack and slash your foes with your giant battle axe and perform all of the other special attacks that you've earned (and bought) throughout
the course of the game.
Perhaps the most interesting wrinkle in the gameplay comes when you start teaming up with your own guys. It's called "Double Team" and it's what sets Brutal Legend apart from
the likes of Command & Conquer 3. You can double team every unit you build, which means that you will suddenly be given a special power associated with that unit. For example,
if you build a Metal Beast (a large bear-like creature) you can ride around the level breathing fire. Another unit allows you to ride a motorcycle around enemies so that you
can trap them in a ring of fire. And teaming with the Razor Girls (with their skin tight t-shirts and Farrah Fawcett hair cut) will let you run around the level firing large
Early in the game you won't have to worry too much about double teaming the enemy, but as you progress through the game you'll discover that much of the strategy involves you
quickly deciding who would be best to team up with and when. Since you aren't stuck with one double team, you can quickly discard one unit for another, creating a fighting
force of unquestioned power.
When you aren't fiddling around in these real-time strategy battles, you are exploring the world around you and getting into random skirmishes. From the get-go you have two
weapons to play around with, your trusty battle axe and the guitar. The battle axe is for short-range attacks, while the guitar allows you to shoot lightning and fire several
feet ahead of you. On top of these weapons, you also have the ability to stomp the ground and push everybody away from you. This move does very little damage, but it will give
you a chance to catch your breath and get out of a rough situation.
Along with your standard weapons, you also have what some might consider to be magical powers. The game's spells are presented as guitar solos; short musical notes that you'll
have to play in order to cast your spell. In a lot of ways it's like The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, only instead of a wind instrument you rock out on your electric
guitar. The difficulty of the solo will depend entirely on how powerful the magic is, so get ready to bust out some Rock Band-style guitar riffs from time to time. Thankfully
these riffs only use three of the Xbox 360's face buttons and the system is incredibly forgiving.
Brutal Legend merges action and real-time strategy, two genres that couldn't be any further apart. It also throws in some racing, a little role-playing, a healthy dose of adventure and creates one of the most fascinating games of the year. Couple all this with phenomenal voice talent, an epic soundtrack and an oddly unique multiplayer mode and you have a game that is worth testing your mettle on!
This product was submitted by the publisher for review. As a rule, Defunct Games does not review games we spent money on. However, that does not always apply to classic/retro games. This specific product, however, came straight from a PR guy for the purposes of being reviewed!