If you’ve known me for longer than 5 minutes, you will know one thing with absolute certainty: Brutal Legend is one of the best games of all time. I have a tendency to push it on people like I’m trying to sell a nefarious substance. I just think it is a horrendously underappreciated game and both the gaming gods and the metal gods are PISSED, and the only way to appease them and save the world from a cleansing darkness is to preach the gospel of perhaps the greatest ode to metal known to mankind. I go back and play through it from time to time, and after my most recent go, I am more convinced than ever that it needs a sequel. It’s an affront to human decency that this game isn’t more popular.
The game is huge, first of all. The environments are sprawling canvases of different metal eras and genres. Sometimes I don’t even do anything in the game but drive around with the music and appreciate the artwork. The combat system is fantastic. The customization of your character and vehicle are integrated in amazing ways. The collectibles are like crack, and they open up new songs and fast travel points. I can’t say enough good things about this game. But I’m also a metalhead, soooooo……
For those unfamiliar, Brutal Legend is a game by Double Fine that creator Tim Schafer felt he needed to do. He was able to get Jack Black on board to provide some of the best metal and comedic voice acting in history, and surrounded him with legends of metal as supporting cast. He also built a digital hellscape straight from the album art of various metal albums and posters, and enemies pulled from certain metal genres. They filled that world with new and iconic metal songs in addition to a bevy of collectibles. Add RPG action and a blend of RTS boss fights and you have yourself one of the most daring games imaginable. They put a lot of work into it, and not a lot of people played it. If you are one of the ones who haven’t, go buy it now and play it then come back……no don’t keep reading…..stop it….FUCK OFF AND GO PLAY IT!…..
Okay, glad you’re back. Fun, right? Of course, it was the music that stuck with me the most long after I had completed everything. Let’s run through some of my favorites, which will now be your favorites. It’s by no means a comprehensive list. The whole damn soundtrack is amazing, and any metalhead worth their salt would drool over the full list of over 100 songs.
5. Judas Priest – Painkiller
Not only does lead singer Rob Halford voice two characters in the game, but there are exactly 5 Judas Priest tracks in the game. No other band has that many. It’s obvious they were a pretty big influence on Tim Schafer. This song just happens to be my favorite Judas Priest song, and I think the metal gods would be proud at its inclusion.
4. 3 Inches of Blood – Deadly Sinners
Most of these songs are on here because of the feelings I had playing the game the first time. I already had this album, but adding the element of riding around in a hot rod modded by Ozzy Osbourne and running over enemies while this song is blaring brought a whole new meaning. There’s nothing like Cam Pipes bloodcurdling scream blended with Jamie Hooper’s throat-wrenching growls as a soundtrack for digital murder.
3. Brocas Helm – Drink the Blood of the Priest
As far as imagery goes, it doesn’t get any better than that as a song title. This song is best described as a summoning ritual for demonic forces. What better track to kill waves of enemies to and feel slightly forlorn that they can’t release you from this mortal coil you are bound to? Anyway…good song.
2. Dimmu Borgir – Progenies of the Great Apocalypse
Now THIS song is the shit. It’s the end all be all of epic music to slaughter hundreds with. It still evokes images of riding through the frozen tundra to kill giant mammoth-like creatures and chase down silly little enemies that think they can run from my metal beast of fire and gasoline. God damn I fucking love that game.
- Running Wild – Riding the Storm
Alright, this is one of the few songs I had never heard before playing the game. That’s a rare thing in itself, but never have I listened to a song once and it become one of my favorite tracks of all time immediately. The game came out in 2009, and nothing has pulled my attention away from Running Wild’s blend of speed and power yet. I love everything about it. I listen to it and just close my eyes and imagine myself on a pirate ship in the midst of a hurricane and no one giving a fuck because we’re all badasses. That’s very specific, but I very specifically can’t stop smiling whenever I hear this song.
So that’s my top 5. What about everyone else? You know….since you followed the rules and actually PLAYED THE GAME.