The Past, Present, And Future Of Brutal Legend

By Nathan Grayson on February 27th, 2013 at 9:00 pm.

An action-RTS inspired by classic heavy metal album covers. Starring Jack Black. And a mad menagerie of metal icons. And a 100-strong soundtrack that pridefully pounded eardrums with everything from Judas Priest to Motorhead to (ew) DragonForce.

Let’s reflect, for a moment, on how absurdly specific Brutal Legend‘s chunky thematic stew actually was. And then let’s remember that EA, of all publishers, was manning the unlikely super group’s synth – which, in this particular case, was wired exclusively to make “ka-ching” sounds at Double Fine’s behest. Oh, and that was only after Activision flushed Schafer’s metal dream into the nightmarish bowels of development hell, nearly dooming it in the process. By most standards, Brutal Legend simply shouldn’t have happened. Nowadays – a mere three years later – a similar meeting of minds isn’t even conceivable. But Double Fine’s last truly all-or-nothing shout at the triple-A devil was unique for a number of reasons. It was a product of oddball inspiration, once-in-a-lifetime timing, and quite a bit of luck. Also guitars. OK, mostly guitars.

“It’s funny,” Double Fine President Of Needing No Introduction Tim Schafer told RPS. “Like a lot of things, it was two ideas floating around my head that crashed into each other. I wanted to make an RTS game that involved Big Daddy Roth type demons and hot rods. Hot rods driven by demons controlling them. Have that in an RTS game. I also had a story about a roadie for a heavy metal band being pulled back in time to a barbaric world where demons have enslaved humanity. I realized those could be the same exact story. Those could support each other. That’d be a cool way to do it. Big bug-eyed demons.”

It was two ideas floating around my head that crashed into each other.

“In my head it was an RTS game in the beginning. One of the initial inspirations for me was Herzog Zwei. In that game you fly most of the time, but the thing I liked about it was you could land if you really needed to and go out in a tank, then pop back into the air. The shift came when we went from flying 90 percent of the time and landing 10 percent of the time to running around the battlefield 70 percent of the time and flying 30 percent of the time. That’s why I talk about it not being a strict RTS game. It started as an RTS game and then it became its own thing. It made that shift to being more action and more character-centric. That’s why I’m hoping that now, with relaunching it, people know all these things are in there, so we can kind of clarify people’s expectations.”

But, whether people thought they were in for Hot Rod of War or RockstarCraft: Winged Demons of Liberty, there was one message that made it through loud and clear: metal. Contrary to popular belief, however, Tim Schafer wasn’t born BFFs with nearly every major fixture of the genre’s youth. In fact, the original plan didn’t really involve any of the greatest and best songs in the world. Just tributes. But then Jack Black came along.

“It started small and then kind of snowballed,” Schafer explained, still seemingly a bit shocked. “In the beginning of the game, I never would have dreamed that Ozzy Osbourne would be involved at all, or that we’d get all these Black Sabbath songs. That was just crazy. We were thinking we’d get a voice actor who was like Jack Black, who could do a Jack Black character.”

“When we crossed that line to, ‘Let’s try to get Jack Black,’ when he signed on, all of a sudden it started rolling really fast. Then we started talking to the metal acts, and we had Jack involved. This was not a joke. It was a really serious thing. Then everyone that signed on, all of a sudden they got the next people to sign on, and then pretty soon bands were sending us their CDs. They still send me CDs. ‘I wanna be in the next one!’”

It was the domino effect, only wrapped in chains and snaking sonic electricity. And it just kept going and going and going.

“By the end of it I couldn’t believe it was happening,” Schafer enthused, almost childlike. “I couldn’t believe I was hanging out in the studio with Ozzy and Rob Halford and Lemmy. I’m on the phone with Lita Ford and stuff. It got to be where I was thinking, ‘What else is my favorite metal song?’ and then putting them in the game. The whole thing was so crazy. The most ridiculous, surreal moment for me was being on the stage at the VGAs while Jack Black shot a flamethrower into the air, yelling my name. That was one of those things where I was like, ‘I don’t know if it can get any crazier than this in my life.’ Then four Amazon women hauled me on stage.”

“One of the weirdest moments was when we recorded Ronnie James Dio. We actually recorded up at Skywalker Sound, which is up on Skywalker Ranch, where I used to work when I started in the game industry at LucasArts. When we were working on Monkey Island, we were up at the ranch. I would eat lunch in the main house every day, this beautiful old Victorian building. I brought Ronnie James Dio up there and then I took him on a tour of where I used to work in 1989. With a guy who sang ‘Mob Rules,’ music I listened to when I was 14, I’m touring through the place that I worked in my 20s. Now I’m here making this game with him. That was so surreal, the combination of George Lucas, Ronnie James Dio, heavy metal – all this stuff.”

But while a mix of “really complicated reasons” and tragic circumstances kept Dio out of the final game, he was far from the only metal legend to miss out on getting the Brutal treatment. Metallica and AC/DC, for instance, were simply too expensive. Schafer’s biggest regret in hindsight, though? Not pinning down Iron Maiden… because of a simple misunderstanding.

“They were concerned about the name of our main character being Eddie Riggs,” Schafer explained, “because they have their [mascot] named Eddie, and the artist who draws Eddie is named Riggs. So they thought people would think it was endorsed by Iron Maiden. I don’t think that was the case. But then near the end of the project someone from their marketing department said, ‘We really want to get involved.’ And we were just like, ‘…Oh.’ So if we ever did a sequel I think the first thing we’d do is try and lock down Iron Maiden. It’s a natural fit for our game.”

But Brutal Legend wasn’t all aged metalheads getting their shots at digital immortality. And it wasn’t all Tim Schafer braining out a screaming wildchild, either. The whole production was a team effort, and that resulted in some highly fascinating (well, insofar as that word’s been applied to these bands, er, ever) finds that ultimately formed the backbone of its precision-crafted personality.

“I had a small list of songs that were childhood favorites, like ‘Children of the Grave’ by Black Sabbath, Scorpions’ ‘Blackout’ – those kinds of things,” Schafer said. “Then our music director, Emily Ridgway, went and did a massive research project on metal. She listened to tons of it and came up with these things that I had never heard of, like Breadfan and all these bands. I learned a lot about metal by making that game. I had not heard about some of these bands, like Three Inches of Blood, which now I really enjoy.”

“She would listen to them, listen to the lyrics and what they’re talking about, and think about how it could apply to the missions. For example, there’s a mission starring Lemmy Kilmister, so it made sense to use a Motorhead song. She used ‘Bomber’. But it’s a mission about your first female troops being in the army. It’s set in this little shrine to women in metal. So she picked Girlschool’s cover of the Motorhead song. How do you do a mission that’s about women and Lemmy Kilmister other than using a Girlschool cover of a Motorhead song? It was genius. Those kinds of choices are all throughout the game, that Emily made.”

Real life, however, has a nasty habit of interfering with even the most feverishly wonderful of dreams, and eventually, Double Fine got one of the rudest awakenings of its entire history. Put simply, Double Fine was quite pleased with Brutal Legend. EA, however, wasn’t feeling it. Not even a little.

“[Brutal Legend's scope] was a lot of fun, but it also made the game really expensive,” Schafer admitted, suddenly somber. “It’s still our highest-selling game, but it’s also the most expensive one. That’s a double-edged sword. I think EA didn’t feel it was blowing up as big as it needed to to overcome the massive amount of money they spent on it. They walked away from [the sequel].”

Brutal Legend 2 was going to be the second half of the game that was originally designed.

The sequel wasn’t just some half-baked attempt at keeping the spotlight on Eddie Riggs and co, either. Basically, if you felt like the original Brutal Legend’s final plot threads best resembled the world’s most hardcore half-knit sweater, you weren’t alone. Schafer explained, using the ancient art of SPOOOOILERS:

“[Brutal Legend 2] was going to be the second half of the game that was originally designed. It happens almost every time I design a game. I’ll come up with about twice as much as I can actually fit. In Brutal Legend, the island is kind of C-shaped, and you were going to go through the home of these factions. We had three: Ironheade, Drowning Doom, and the Tainted Coil. Those were all throughout development known as group A, group B, and group D. We had to cut group C. Group C was this whole other faction. In the game, right now it ends at the Sea of Black Tears. You were going to power on through into group C’s territory and then power through into group D’s territory and eventually confront Doviculus in his imperial palace at the tip of the demon’s land. There was going to be a massive boss monster there.”

But wait, I interjected, isn’t Doviculus kinda, you know, out of commission now?

“His head fell into the Sea of Black Tears,” Schafer grinned. “Who knows what could happen in there? You saw what happened when Ophelia fell in the Sea of Black Tears. There’s a lot of possibilities there.”

(END SPOILERS.)

And perhaps we’ll see that story unfold one day, if Schafer has anything (else) to say about it. Really though, the fact that he’s talking about new Double Fine games at all is somewhat miraculous, given that – back when Brutal Legend 2 first ended up on the chopping block – it was nearly curtains for the entire studio.

“That was a real low point for the company, because we had high expectations for Brutal Legend,” he said. “Getting the sequel canceled was not the reward we were hoping for. We had been working on that and thinking about that for a long time, that sequel. We didn’t have anything else ready to go and we didn’t have much money left in the bank. It was a moment where we almost ended the company.”

That, however, kind of turned out to be a blessing in disguise. Instead of falling off the map, Double Fine found new direction amidst all the uncertainty. Metal to the very core, it exploded into a pile of bloody phoenix feathers and emerged with a new “Fuck the man” attitude. Smaller, riskier games? Sure, bring ‘em on. Crowdfunding. Yeah, why not? Kick off a revolution with a side project. It’s no big thing.

“We wanted to do smaller games for a lot of reasons, but it’s hard to get that started when you don’t have to,” Schafer admitted. “Those resources always get sucked into the big game. We were like that kid sitting on the edge of the pool going, ‘Uh, I want to get in, but it looks cold.’ Then some big bully kicked us in, and then we were really happy. It all worked out. We’ve done Amnesia Fortnight ever since them. We did it publicly this year.”

“When you’re strapped to the front of that giant rocket, you don’t have much control. It’s an exciting ride, but you aren’t steering anything. That’s one of the reasons I started the company, for control. I was part of a big publisher in LucasArts and I could do a lot of things that I wanted, but there were still bigger entities that controlled what I did. Not that I control every single game and everything that’s going on here. Other talented people are controlling things as well. But we control our own destiny. We can choose what we do and what we don’t do. That’s been great.”

It’s not just the break from dependence on publishers that’s changed Double Fine for the better, either. In the wake of Brutal Legend’s unfortunate failings, the company’s internal affairs have matured. Where once the creative process best resembled a marathon whose only finish line was complete burnout, expectations are now more reasonable. And, perhaps even more crucially, Double Fine’s not just The Tim Schafer Company anymore.

“I used to choose ideas over the quality of the team’s life,” Schafer chuckled darkly. “It was like ‘Look, you guys, we’ll have to stay late, but I finally figured out this puzzle. Let’s do it.’ That wore on the team a lot and nobody wanted me to forget that. But I think we’ve matured a lot and learned how to manage those ideas. Using things like agile development: ‘Here’s a good idea that we can do next month, when we’re evaluating what to do next month. We don’t have to do it right now.’ Making those compromises between me and the team.”

I wanted to show that Double Fine is really the thing. Not just me.

“Each project is led by someone I don’t try to control. Ron’s doing The Cave or Lee’s doing Stacking. They run those projects. They’re their babies. They take care of them and I do not interfere, unless they need help. I definitely wanted to show that Double Fine is really the thing. Not just me. There are so many creative people here. When the company first started, a lot of them were pretty junior, but they’re really experienced now. That’s great, because what I always wanted and dreamed for the company was for it to be a creativity machine, a big factory where great things come out all the time.”

Ultimately, though, Double Fine is still uniquely Double Fine. Its enduring, endearing brand of creativity hasn’t died. Quite the contrary: It’s grown with the demands of a rapidly evolving industry, yet managed to keep clear of conventional wisdom that says relentless sequelizing and same-y worlds are the only way to survive. And while there’s been plenty of luck and happenstance involved, the end product is one of mentality first and foremost. It’s the same one that guided Schafer and co before Brutal Legend and during, and it seems destined to stick around for the foreseeable future.

“When Brutal Legend was done, a lot of people wanted the wrapper to it – the heavy metal world – to be [the only unique thing about it],” he said. “They basically wanted the heavy metal funny version of God of War. A very simple hack and slash game. That’s a real tough call for me. It’s hard to say, ‘There’s this other thing that’s not the thing you’re trying to do. The thing you care about and that you love. There’s this other version of it that’s totally different and it would be more successful. Why don’t you make that version?’”

“Maybe it would have been more successful. It would have been more accessible and simpler and easier for people to grasp. But it wasn’t the thing that got me up in the morning and made me want to make the game.”

It’s certainly not the safest approach, to be sure. But these days, safe doesn’t mean successful, so Schafer’s decided to go all-in. Pretty metal, if you ask me, so I decided to ask him if this is the most metal Double Fine’s ever been. His response? A wry grin and the following words:

“We have always been very metal in that we will never die.”

Brutal Legend is out now on Steam

, , , .

92 Comments »

  1. SlappyBag says:

    Whats with the crazy quote boxes omgosh?!

    • rustybroomhandle says:

      Them be floaters.

    • rapchee says:

      *adjusts sunglasses* hm. upgrades.

    • Caenorhabditis says:

      I don’t like ‘em much, I say.

    • Premium User Badge

      Lamb Chop says:

      Please stop the box quotes. Box quotes are great for pulling in people’s attention, but if we’ve clicked more, you’ve already got our attention and we are reading the whole article, and then they just break up the flow of the post. They really only serve a purpose in a newspaper layout or magazine where you’re trying to attract people from one article to another or make them stop flipping the page.

      Also, the more you break up the text, the more I have to scroll past in an ill-fated attempt to make the articles look like they might possibly be work-related.

    • InternetBatman says:

      I hates em. I hates em so much.

      I really do dislike them. Please don’t make them a regular thing. Especially not with red text. It looks like the website is bleeding. Trust the reader to find what they think is significant.

      • Premium User Badge

        Rikard Peterson says:

        I like them, I think.

        And on the topic of Brutal Legend, I’m looking forward to playing it. (Unfortunately, I won’t be home until late on Sunday, so I don’t know when I’ll be able to play it, but…)

      • ZephyrSB says:

        Not to mention that red is the hyperlink colour around here, and the first thing I did was try clicking on it to make it go away.

    • The Random One says:

      Back when I first met these dreadful blurbs I’d read them when the page loaded and then I’d read them again in the middle of the text and then I’d think I’d already read that section somehow. I have now become inured and completely ignore them (I hadn’t even noticed the ones in this post until they were pointed out).

      I shudder to imagine what they’ll be like on my phone though.

      WHY DO YOU HATE ME PERSONALLY, RPS

    • Gabe McGrath says:

      Dear RPS,

      You – do – not – need – pullquotes.

      Pullquotes – unless I’m mistaken – are used in mags and newspapers where multiple stories are on one page, and the pullquote ‘pulls’ the reader towards reading a particular story.

      But if I’m on RPS, and I’ve already clicked onto rockpapershotgun.com/date/storyname then I’m already READING “storyname”! You don’t need to ‘pull me in’. Instead, I get a pullquote in the middle of the text that distracts me from reading the story, in order to “encourage me to read the story”.

    • Eldiran says:

      Yes, very agreed on avoiding the big ol’ quotes. They’re incredibly distracting, much much moreso than pictures. Every time an article I read has one I lose my place.

    • Sard says:

      But, “two thoughts crashing in someones head” should be the most important thing in a WHOLE ARTICLE!

    • Premium User Badge

      jrodman says:

      Do not want.

  2. DaftPunk says:

    Started playing this today,stopped after hour and half because of total medicore gameplay.

    • Nathan Grayson says:

      I usually hate it when people tell me “Give Game X a few hours and it’ll get really good,” but uh, give it a few hours and it’ll get really good!

      • Ragnar says:

        I thought the beginning was actually great. Maybe I was too busy having fun in the ridiculous metal world to notice the mediocre gameplay?

    • Twoflower says:

      An hour and a half doesn’t even get you through the tutorial. It’s a slow burn. “Okay, here’s how you attack a guy. Good. Now here’s driving. Got it? Good. Now we’ll do some solos for buffing. Now we’ll give you a few units to attack with…”

      …and eventually, 3-4 hours in, you start getting to the actual game itself, the realtime strategy game with action elements. As the article says, it’s NOT a mediocre God of War brawler, the very basic brawler action is meant to be one part of the whole and mechanics are gradually introduced until you’re commanding entire armies, fighting alongside them, teaming up for strategic strikes, etc.

      I will grant though that this slow-burn from looking like one game genre and ending up a different hybrid genre entirely is a problem. It’s what lead to a lot of bad reviews of the game and terrible first impressions, because unless you KNOW it’s inevitably all about huge RTS battles, you can make a lot of incorrect assumptions. That’s not a point in it’s favor… just saying you didn’t get far enough to know for sure what it is.

    • Zogtee says:

      I stopped playing the game, because I couldn’t stand the RTS aspect of it. I didn’t expect it, I didn’t want it, and it felt awkwardly shoehorned into the game. A pity, because I liked everything else about it, even Jack Black.

      • Lemming says:

        Yup. I wanted to like the RTS stuff. I just didn’t feel it was done as well as it could’ve been. Maybe if you didn’t have to concentrate on building units, or something. If you were just supposed to fly around and dish out punishment and buff units, it would’ve been more manageable and fun.

        Having to go back and decide what units to build as well, while the AI is doing everything fantastically because it’s well..an AI, was not the best experience I’ve had.

        Also, it makes sense now that it felt so cut-off and short after Black Tears. It always seemed a ‘Demon land’ was missing.

        • cpugeek13 says:

          Go back and decide what units to build? You could build units from anywhere on the map, and then summon a rally flag to get them to automatically move to your location. How is this tedious?

          Personally, I love the action/RTS gameplay. I’m of the opinion that people didn’t like it because either they quit before it started getting good in the campaign, or because they were expecting an action game with dynasty warrior (yawn) style gameplay. Now admittedly, the game has its flaws (in a perfect world, the campaign would be like twice as long), but I still think its a masterpiece in game design.

          • Lemming says:

            You still have to look at the menu and pick, meanwhile you or some unit that can’t cope on it’s own for more than a few seconds is getting its face smashed in when you should be concentrating on fighting and doing the guitar solos that take precious seconds to perform. It’s a mess.

    • Lagwolf says:

      You are being kind to call it “mediocre”, I would call it bloody awful. The controls are clunky and jerky. As far as I am concerned it is completely unplayable on keyboard & mouse. Sadly this is another good looking (and sounding) but poorly done console port. The camera is awful too.

      Avoid like the plague

  3. Pazguato says:

    Great interview. Thanks to Nathan for the love showed on it, and to Tim… just for be there and make our gaming life more funny, more imaginative and, in general, better.

  4. povu says:

    Just another ordinary workday at the Double Fine offices.

  5. MikoSquiz says:

    I love Double Fine, but I wish they were better at gameplay polish. I started playing Brütal Legend today and had to run for a walkthrough a couple of hours in because there’s no audiovisual feedback to let you know you’re actually doing 0hp to a boss with your attacks; you have to hold the right thumbstick in a direction for a while to make the camera start turning, there’s no real clues to block timing.. meanwhile, the look and sound and writing and everything are A+++. So the same story as always.

  6. Spacewalk says:

    “One of the initial inspirations for me was Herzog Zwei.”

    This just keeps getting better and better.

    • Risingson says:

      I think that was just namedropping, and, as many have mentioned before here, he could at least name Sacrifice, a game that was not heavy metal, but just a bit better.

      • Premium User Badge

        Ninja Dodo says:

        Why would he mention Sacrifice if that’s not the game he was inspired by? People often seem to mistakenly assume that developers have played all games ever.

  7. lucky jim says:

    I would’ve preferred it as a hack’n'slash type of game only because I feel the RTS elements weren’t really fleshed out, or maybe it was just the interface that bothered me and I had trouble with… I’m not that used to playing games with a controller anymore. Regardless, I felt something with the gameplay needed reworking. It didn’t feel right in the big battles. Maybe it could’ve gone more RTS less hack? And I’m not sure how the PC controls were reworked if at all. It could play better than it did on my Xbox.

    However, it had simply the best boss fight music ever. EVER. That album is one of my favourites of all time. Won’t mention what it was for those PC guys who may not have played this game, because it was a really awesome surprise for me. Don’t want to spoil anything.

  8. megazver says:

    No, we wanted a Heavy Metal Legend of Zelda.

    • rustybroomhandle says:

      Legend of Hell, da?

    • InternetBatman says:

      Darksiders?

      • Kinth says:

        Darksiders isn’t really Metal. Sure it has a similar theme to what a lot of Metal bands sing about but that doesn’t make it “Metal”

        I would love a Zelda clone with Brutal Legend’s world and humour.

      • The Random One says:

        The only thing Darksiders has in common with metal is how they’re proudly unsubtle. But for metal that’s a stylish thing that sets the genre (or visual media associated with the genre) brilliantly aside. For Darksiders it’s, as Yahtzee put it, “[as if] someone started to draw him… and never stopped.”

    • Snargelfargen says:

      Kiss: Psycho Circus?

    • Premium User Badge

      Gap Gen says:

      Heavy metal hidden objects game.

      • Snargelfargen says:

        The uranium-235 is on the desk, underneath the garden trowel. You’ll also need the geiger counter; it’s in the pocket of the raincoat hanging on the decorative graphite rod assembly.

        • Premium User Badge

          Gap Gen says:

          You can find them all with enough fission around.

          • heldelance says:

            Why are you being so reactive?

          • HothMonster says:

            A bad pun thread? Today! At this time, in this article!!

            Half-Life 3 confirmed!!!!

          • Premium User Badge

            Gap Gen says:

            Or it could be a Donkey Kong clone, and you’d end up with Radioactive DK.

  9. Ayam says:

    This was a really cool read, thanks Nathan. I was quite taken in by the nu-metal versus heavy metal vibe at the start and that lifted me enough to get through the hack n slashy parts (I still quite enjoyed the mild delve into the spider queen’s nest). I’m not even intermediate at RTS games so to my uninitiated eyes the RTS elements seem messy and chaotic, trying to direct individual units is a pain, but I’m still enjoying the premise of it all most of all. -sticks out tongue downwards and air-sitars-

  10. derella says:

    I honestly didn’t follow this game at all, so I really only knew that it had a bunch of famous metal folks in it, that it was by Double Fine, and Jack Black was in it. I’d seen pictures of the game, and watched a few snippets of gameplay… And I totally thought it was a God of War kinda game. After ordering it on Steam last week, I read that it was an actiony-RTS.

    After playing it for a bit, I think it’s decent. The atmosphere, imagery, etc… is amazing. And I say this as someone who is so not into metal at all. I do think it would’ve done much better as a GoW-style game though. Who knows, maybe the RTS stuff will grow on me after I’ve played longer.

    • Godwhacker says:

      The whole “it’s an RTS!” thing is a bit overblown- there’s actually only about six or seven RTS segments. Most of the time you’re riding around and killing things on your own, and there’s loads of other stuff to do and see in the world. And it’s an incredible world.

      The RTS bits are fine once you get used to them, although- as much as I love Brutal Legend- they’re more Z: Steel Soldiers than they are StarCraft. But if you stay aggressive, use solos and the ‘double team’ attacks with your units you’ll sail through.

      • Snargelfargen says:

        The demo probably caused the most confusion since it didn’t feature any rts elements at all. OK game, but not what I or my friends expected after the demo.

  11. aerozol says:

    Was kind of hoping to find out how PC sales are going?
    Hopefully it’s adding up to be more than a drop in the bucket. Anybody know?

    • LintMan says:

      I’m more curious about the quality of the PC port. Has anyone played it yet? Is it a decent porting effort? Mouse support in the menus? Can you play it with M+K or do you need a gamepad?

      • po says:

        3 hours in and while I’ve hooked up a gamepad I’ve not really used it, because it isn’t an improvement for me other than the buttons for solos being more convenient to hit. It looks like someone actually took the time to code for a mouse, instead of having it emulate a game-pad’s thumb stick, resulting in much better mouse controls than the usual sloppy, laggy mess that you get with a console port.

        The one complaint I have with the controls is common to both methods. While the game’s got lots of abilities activated by button/movement combos, precise button mashing doesn’t work too well because of the way some of them combine. For example I have a hard time pulling off ranged attacks, because it seems to take longer for the game to register that I’ve stopped moving and turned around than it should (having to run through animations before registering the next input).

        Perhaps the ranged attack button shouldn’t have been combined with movement to give melee abilities, then at least ranged attacks could have been used more easily. Having one of those combos actually be a distance closer is a real PITA when you want to keep things at a distance.

      • aerozol says:

        They’re communicating heaps with customers via the Steam Hub, and have been posting regular PC-centric updates, responding to issues and comments, so I’m not too worried to be honest.
        I was keeping track right up until release but now I’m off on a work/holiday trip and can’t actually play :(

      • Kinth says:

        It was really messy to start with, tons of bugs and problems but within about 12 hours of release tons of those bugs had been fixed there are still some left to be fixed, but considering it usually takes developers weeks to patch major bugs it’s impressive they have managed to fix so many in the short time it has released.

        It’s gone from being almost unplayable to working near perfectly for me, Couple of things still left but DF have already said they are aware of them and are fixing it.

        As for controls I haven’t tried M/K, I play pretty much all 3rd person games with a 360 pad which works fine in Brutal Legend.

      • Deadly Sinner says:

        There’s a weird system they use to emulate 60 fps. If I have it on, when the camera tracks a moving character, that character will look all… juddery. Kind of like interlacing. The problem was when I turned it off, it didn’t turn completely off. So the camera would move like it was 60 fps half the time, and character animations would be in 30 fps.

        Apparently, this depends on your system. I fixed it by locking it to 30fps. Otherwise the port is top notch and looks great.

      • Premium User Badge

        PoulWrist says:

        Game has higher res textures than console version, supports all resolutions, has mouse/keyboard prompts on screen when using them, a handful of advanced options for visuals, like ambient occlussion, antialiasing method and anisotropy, there’s a FOV slider too.
        Game runs well, though there’s some slight oddities here and there where it feels like it’s not performing like it should, but I guess that’s to do with the framerate lock or something.

        There’s no mouse-lag either, btw. It takes true mouseinput.

      • Lagwolf says:

        It is bloody impossible with mouse & keys… controller required. It is a freaking awful port and an insult to metal-heads & PC gamers alike.

  12. Premium User Badge

    MeatMan says:

    This article has a disturbing lack of umlauts.

    I played for over 4.5 hours last night, and I still love this game, flaws and all. So happy that Double Fine was finally able to bring this to PC.

  13. KDR_11k says:

    I bought it for the music, unfortunately it tends to play the music that you are fighting against (since obviously each faction represents a kind of metal music) and I’m no fan of death metal. It was all fine while fighting against Glam Rock since that’s not all that different from Heavy Metal but the goth and demon stuff…

    Also biggest reason I didn’t try the skirmish/MP much was that I didn’t get to use the souped up car I drove in the campaign.

  14. Arglebargle says:

    Great article!

    That said, the combo of Heavy Metal, RTS, and controller control issues is enough to keep me far away.

    • Premium User Badge

      PoulWrist says:

      Works fine on mouse/keyboard. Problem is if you for whatever reason don’t like metal, you should probably just not bother :p

      • Lagwolf says:

        Love the metal, then again i am metal/hard rock critic and have been for 20 years +, but the keys & mouse controls on this game are absolutely awful.

  15. InternetBatman says:

    I can’t wait to get it. Waiting for the summer sale because money is tight, but it’s at the top of my list (next to the Witcher 2).

    • Premium User Badge

      cpt_freakout says:

      Same here! Think it’ll come out on GoG in the meantime? I know the real difficulty with that would be Sega, but I don’t know…

  16. jfrisby says:

    No matter how much I love Double Fine, or read a thousand explanations of how the whole “it’s an RTS” thing happened… It was really hard to track everything that was going on during the battles… I’d probably have loved this if easy-mode cut out a mechanic or two during the battles.

  17. Reapy says:

    I enjoyed the game a lot. The metal tribute part was awesome, and I enjoyed the open world and cruising around. I did dislike that I could never finish off the songs I wanted to as when you hopped out of the duece the music stopped, and the game had you in and out of the car a lot.

    The RTS game I thought was pretty cool, but I never took it too seriously, reminded me of a mash up of a bunch of other games, and to me it was sort of a fun little bonus to find the mode so fleshed out in the middle of the game.

    It ended rather abruptly and left a bad taste in my mouth, (good to see in the interview I wasn’t going crazy, that I felt there should be a part C and they did too, but it didn’t make it in), but I really have to say I tremendously enjoyed the ride and that it wasn’t a straight up gameplay copy of existing AAA stuff.

    • Archonsod says:

      The music continues to play when you get out of the car now.

  18. Premium User Badge

    Buzko says:

    What’s wrong with Dragonforce? Saw them on the weekend and they fucking rocked!

  19. Velko says:

    When are we going to get this in a Jazz setting? Think of the possibilities!

    One level would be an ASCII roguelike. It would be called “Bebop” and all the graphics would consist of #’s and b’s.

    Then you could have Dizzy Gillespie’s cheeks as an end boss.

  20. granderojo says:

    I would love to replay Brutal Legend on steam but I’ve been spending all the free time I have trying to edit the sound files to figure out how to add music to the soundtrack. Pesky VSP files!

    God I like vest metal as an aesthetic, and the game captured that aesthetic so well. I plan on playing a lot of Brutal Legend on steam.

  21. Selvec says:

    Don’t forget this game has one of the most heartbreaking, tear inducing and overall sad scenes in the entire of gamedom.

    Two Words, so not to give away any spoilers.

    Mr Crowley.

  22. Scumbag says:

    When I saw the screenshot with the peroxide blonde woman thing, is it telling I’ve liked Black Metal too long when I spend more time looking at the guy’s shirt trying to make out the logo (even if it is possibly just made up) as opposed to looking at the boobs?

  23. Jakkar says:

    Nice art and other peoples’ music does not compensate for gameplay that left me miserably bored, not to mention frustrated. This game damaged my faith in Schafer.

  24. slimcarlos says:

    my buddy’s sister-in-law makes $62/hr on the computer. She has been unemployed for 10 months but last month her paycheck was $20013 just working on the computer for a few hours. Go to this web site and read more http://www.pie21.com

  25. Eddy9000 says:

    Look Tim, just release Grim Fandango Enhanced Edition already or else I’m going to beat you up.

    • RakeShark says:

      The re-release of Grim Fandango is very much up to the allergic-to-income hands of LucasArts.

  26. kdz says:

    I’m really liking the work that Nathan and Adam have been doing on the site for the last (correct me if I’m wrong) year or so. Props to you, gentlemen, for awesome articles, like the one above.
    I remember that back in 2009 (it’s worth to note that I was 15 back then and listening to AC/DC 24/7 instead of treating my ears to indie bullshit and Bruce Springsteen like I do these days) this game looked like a dream come true: it had metal, metal, metal and Jack Black… dude! And then it turned out to be a weird RTS-like.
    Anyway, maybe its a good time to give the PS3 version I borrowed from my friend some time ago a spin. Ooor buy it on Steam. Hmpf. Perhaps I’ll wait for an RPS review.

  27. metalliclan666 says:

    PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE make a second Brutal Legend game. I kno it mite be difficult, but I would die for there to be a sequel. Brutal Legend is my most favorite game of all time. and it’s like the only one I really ever play.