Alan Butterworth: In a world full of tired clones and sequels of sequels, it's nice to know we still have Tim Schafer. With a remarkable résumé that includes The Secret of Monkey Island, Day of the Tentacle, Full Throttle, Grim Fandango and Psychonauts, it's hard to believe that a game springing from this guy's fertile imagination is going to be anything less than stellar — especially when the material includes time travel to a heavy metal-soaked alternate history, face-melting guitar solo attacks, winged demons and controlling armies of head bangers. If Brutal Legend doesn't rock your leather pants off, I'll eat my Viking helmet.
Reggie Carolipio: Tim Schafer: Check. Jack Black: Check. Music that melts faces: Check. Heavy metal icons such as KISS and Black Sabbath contributing music: Check. Imagine a world where heavy metal is a way of life and electric guitars and bass drums stand as ancient relics to be fought over and seized as weapons of war against the demons that threaten all life. You've got the makings of Brutal Legend, an action RPG that I can't wait to bang my head against when it comes out. The titans of heavy metal ascended the world for the stars, leaving it in the clutches of hell-spawned evil. As the ultimate roadie pulled back to the present time, you're to gather a legion of lighter-waving metalheads in an attempt to slamdance, crowd surf and riff your way across a treacherous landscape, ride the lightning and save the world. The only thing missing is whether Beavis and Butthead will make an appearance as part of your righteous cause, or as some slobbering two-headed beast challenging you for TP. Hey, it could happen.
Brad Hilderbrand: Tim Schafer has returned to the world of video games, and I couldn't be happier. From the creator of the criminally underappreciated Psychonauts comes a game that looks to carry on Schafer's trippy visuals and warped humor. The idea of using the power of music (and a very large axe) to rampage through a medieval world and literally melt faces means this game is shaping up to be one of the most unique and innovative titles in quite some time. Also, you can't go wrong with Jack Black playing an overworked roadie possessed by a demonic belt buckle. I can only hope that this time, gamers appreciate Shafer's brilliance and snap up this title the moment it hits shelves.
Tim McDonald: Rather than asking why Brutal Legend is anticipated, I'd rather ask how anyone can not anticipate this. If all I've heard is accurate, the game can best be described as God of War + Tim Schafer (see: Psychonauts; old Lucasarts adventure games; other deeply, deeply funny things) + every rock 'n' roll cliché imaginable + Jack Black. While one or more of these elements may not appeal to everyone, and I'm deeply wary of studios attempting complex action/fighting games without prior experience in the genre, I simply don't understand how people who care about any one of these things can think this isn't one of the most utterly marvelous ideas ever conceived.
Zane "R3X" Mañasco: Any self-respecting rocker will be ready to greet the arrival of Brutal Legend. Born from the mind of wit master Tim Schafer and voiced by Jack Black, Lemmy, Dio and Rob Halford, Brutal Legend should not disappoint any metalhead. With enemies ranging from roadies to bouncers and groupies, the game will be ripe with references to rock clichés. Sporting great stylized graphics, a rocking score and a guitar solo move that literally melts your enemy's face, this title is poised to be an instant classic. Personally, I am reserving several crates of beer just in time for the release.
Tim "The Rabbit" Mithee: I'm going to be direct here: I like Tim Schafer, and I like Double Fine Productions. After finally getting over whatever weird hang-ups were keeping me from playing the legendary Psychonauts, I have to say that this company has "unique approach" down to a fine art, and Brutal Legend looks to keep that routine going. I've been through previews and videos and interviews for this title, and everything just keeps getting better: vicious combat, vehicle combat, upgrades and special moves galore, and a strategy-lite system a la Overlord. Even the plot is a no-brainer: heavy metal roadie winds up back in the long-lost past? Fighting demons? Converting reality to a hard rock heaven, with headbangers and groupies and leather maidens everywhere you look? Where exactly do I sign up, Mr. Schafer?
Daniel Whitfield: The heavy metal aesthetic is one that has been largely ignored in gaming for far, far too long. But finally the growling, long-haired hordes of metalheads will have their playground in Double Fine's Brutal Legend, to be released this year. There is no one better to do the concept justice than the comedic genius of Tim Schafer (head developer of the tragically underappreciated Psychonauts) and his cadre of celebrity guests including Jack Black, Ronnie James Dio, Rob Halford and Lemmy Kilmister (among others to be named). Whether this particular blend of third-person action and adventure will take the throne gameplay-wise might be debatable, but there's absolutely no question that Brutal Legend will ROCK. HARD. Look forward to some face-melting melee combat and guitar shredding, as well as the trademark humor that fans of Schafer have come to love.
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