Activision dropping Double Fine Production's 'Brutal Legend' was probably a bad idea. Win for EA, definite loss for Activision. I think I finally understand why they tried to block Brutal Legend from being released. Activision realized they made a pretty big mistake in letting this one go. Maybe a couple. One mistake was underestimating the talent and overall creative ability of Double Fine Productions. Ever heard of a game called Pyschonauts? It was just a sample of the greatness to come that is Brutal Legend. Somehow EA saw past the creative risks and they most likely will be rewarded for it. The second mistake, and probably their biggest, was trying to stop it's release claiming they still had publishing rights to the game, when they were really just afraid of the effect the release would have on it's Guitar Hero franchise. This was not a good move in the eyes of the public.
So let's get this straight, Double Fine starts making this game with Activision as the publisher. Activision decides,' hey you know what? We've reevaluated this game and decided to drop it. Sorry, but we have more games lined up that will surely make us more money.' So Double Fine says, 'well then fine.. in fact, double fine! This game is going to get published with you or without you.' Then EA flies in like Superman to save this title from game limbo. And after a few lawsuits, and counter lawsuits, that's how it still stands. Brutal Legend will not be stopped. EA stepped up the plate and made it happen. (Anyone notice how EA seems to becoming a better company lately? People are actually starting to like them again. Including myself.)
Shafer is creative genius, and Jack Black is the voice of the main character, Eddie Riggs. With those facts in place, I was still unconvinced this game would live up to the hype. And after playing the demo, I'm not sure it changed anything. But I sure know a hell of a lot more about this game than before, and... I think I liked it.
emo kids are taking its place. (Wait, this is a fantasy world right? Sounds like reality to me.) Eddie then finds himself immersed into a fantasy world inspired by heavy metal album covers. With a mighty axe and magical guitar at his side, Eddie becomes this fantasy worlds savior as he leads the humans against a bunch of supernatural powers. Oh, he also has a bad ass hot rod to run shit over. Nice touch!
unapologetically bloody. Not to mention the coarse language, but with the language issue, Double Fine implemented a featured that throws a pop-up message on screen before Eddie spews out the profane words heard so often in rated R movies. I liked this feature. You can choose to hear all the words meant to be said in all its glory, or you could choose to have it bleeped out as if you're watching PBS or KCET. I of course, chose to hear Jack Black be Jack Black, and read through his lines as it was meant to be. It was a good choice, however, the option was convenient if you have a kid or little nephew playing this with you. Block it if you want, or let it play as it was meant to be played. In my opinion, I'd just keep the kids away from this one.
With Eddie's weapons, you can swing the axe and kill the demons coming after you using the A button. You can throw them up in the air and smack 'em towards left field 'Babe Ruth' style. You can summon the guitar gods with your guitar weapon to electrocute your enemies. You can perform some type of ground shaker move where you slam to the ground, launching your enemies back and sending boulders tumbling down around you. Gameplay was pretty basic and simple, but you can throw in a couple of combos which was nice. Upgrades along the way should help keep the weapons and vehicles fresh.
Shafer and Double Fine Productions could create. If you have played or seen Psychonauts, you know what I'm talking about.
In all, I enjoyed this demo and the idea behind this game is growing on me. I'll have to see or play more to be convinced it's a purchase but for now, I definitely want to at least rent this game and play through it all. I don't doubt for a second this game will be a blast as the short demo surprisingly was. I still don't know where the whole Guitar Hero issue came into play as there was only one part of the game that was similar to that title. It came in the form of a mini game where you had to play a quick solo to progress through the next stage of the level. As the guitar icon goes from left to right, you have to hit X, Y, A, B accordingly. It was a nice touch, but again, not sure how much they will use this in the game. They used this feature once in the demo, and it was over with in just a few short seconds. So, mainly this title is a third person action-adventure, and the Guitar Hero similarity may have been toned down. Add in multiplayer to the list of reasons you should play this game, and I think somewhere down the line you will see this game being a success. Time will tell.
Check out the demo for yourself and tell me what you think!
Brutal Legend will be released, this 'Rocktober' 13, 2009.