Brutal Legend is a game that defies expectations. A lot of players were expecting a single-player action game and worried the multiplayer would be a simple add-on. When the online play was described as a strategy for the first time, people began to label it as a real-time strategy (RTS). As a result, a lot of negative reactions emerged.
Double Fine has not short-changed anyone, nor have they misled gamers that arenít looking for a strategy title. While the concept certainly began as a multiplayer game idea, the single-player has been built to be much more than that. While at times the story feels like a tutorial for the strategy, there are so many side-missions available and things to find in the world that it is much more. In fact, the portion of the single-player game that is focused on the strategic battles makes up a small percentage. If you happen to be pretty bad at strategy games not to worry. The battles donít become difficult until the very end, and even then as long as you took the time to explore everything and are patient in combat you can emerge victorious. The game is certainly designed with a wide range of players in mind.
Even so, speeding through the story results in only a few hours of gameplay. The first half of the game is spent slowly defining the world and pushing the plot forward, but once that is through the story is rushed into a conclusion. The writing is witty and the characters are easy to empathize with, but it feels as though there should have been more. A plot twist in the middle of the game is also easy to see coming, especially if youíve kept up with any of the game coverage in the weeks before its release. Nonetheless, there are plenty of twists at the end that may catch some by surprise. Once all is said and done the desire to go back and experience the story again is strong.
The extent of polish on this title is also impressive considering that it is an open-world game. Most titles within this genre, such as Fable 2, Grand Theft Auto or Fallout 3 regularly show some clunky control issues, frequent glitches and other lacking aspects of gameplay. With Brutal Legend, those problems are either few or nonexistent. The game controls smoothly, from driving the deuce over the world to ordering units in combat to the varied boss fights and combat sequences. While there are a few glitches here and there, you wonít find yourself falling through the level or bodies mysteriously floating in mid-air. Even the number of places you can get stuck during exploration are few and far between, and are typically a result of driving the deuce into spots it was never intended to go.