The lights are on
As far as story line goes, Brütal Legend is amazing. I grew up in the 80s/90s listening to many of the bands featured on the soundtrack, but as the music became more Kabbage Boy, less Motorhead (and as I took off my blinders and broadened my musical horizons), I found myself dragging out those old metal and hard rock albums less and less, until finally the Death Angel cassettes and Faster Pussycat LPs were all exorcised from my collection, left behind in various moves and supplanted by stuff like the Flaming Lips, Morphine, and Medeski, Martin & Wood.
But to quote Tenacious D "You can't kill the Metal!"
As the D does with musical styles in that song, Schafer and Co. do in Brütal Legend, trotting out (and celebrating) every metal cliche to come down the pike, from hair metal to devil rock to goths, whose image has distracted from the glory of a face-melting solo.
My only complaint about the story was that it was too short. I picked this game up on Friday night after getting off work, and didn't quite know what to do with myself after finishing my first play through of the story mode (on gentle) Sunday afternoon. I tried to go back and tie up the loose ends in the various side quests. But you can only listen to "So who are we going to ambush?" "Bad guys! Wanna help?" so many times.
Yes, the side quests are repetitive. They are the standard "help your troops kill their troops", "go kill 'X' number of 'Y' critter", and beat this character in a race from point A to point B. There are a couple of notable exceptions. For instance the Thinning the Herd side-quest is a neat spin on the use of the deuce coupe's various weapon systems, and more challenging than I expected a "chase and kill" scenario to be, but it isn't enough to sustain gameplay outside the story mode, which is the shining core of Brütal Legend. Unless you are a completist, or just want the trophies, after you've completed story mode there is really no compelling reason to search out the rest of the secondary content.
One-on-One fights, or Eddie versus a group, are also a lot of fun. There is nothing quite as satisfying as getting mobbed by a flock of slouching, black clad, guys in mascara and watching all their goth faces melt as your pull off your solo. However as others have noted, the RTS fights are lacking. Troop response is slow, if they even respond, and requires Eddie to flit back and forth within earshot of the troops he wishes to command. He also gets a solo that allows him to summon all troops on the field to his side, and the special attacks that he receives from joining forces with various troops can be a lot of fun, but if you are coming to Brütal Legend for the RTS, you might be disappointed. While I'll concede that RTS isn't one of the genres I play a lot, I just don't see myself queuing up for an online arena match of Brütal Legend while I've got any iteration of Command & Conquer on my PC.
But that isn't the point of Brütal Legend. The point is to tell a funny, original story that pokes fun at while also paying homage to "the Metal". And at that, the game is a resounding success.
I agree. !!