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Metal: Hellsinger

Platform(s): PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X
Genre: First-Person Shooter
Publisher: Funcom
Developer: The Outsiders
Release Date: Sept. 15, 2022

About Tony "OUberLord" Mitera

I've been entrenched in the world of game reviews for almost a decade, and I've been playing them for even longer. I'm primarily a PC gamer, though I own and play pretty much all modern platforms. When I'm not shooting up the place in the online arena, I can be found working in the IT field, which has just as many computers but far less shooting. Usually.


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PC Review - 'Metal Hellsinger' Dream of the Beast DLC

by Tony "OUberLord" Mitera on March 29, 2023 @ 1:00 a.m. PDT

Metal: Hellsinger is a rhythm FPS, brimming with diabolical enemies, powerful weapons, and metal music. Set out on an infernal journey in order to achieve the purest of goals: Vengeance.

I was pretty obvious in my love for the game in my Metal: Hellsinger review last year. However, I hadn't played it much at all after that; as good as the game is, the content at the time was very static. Dream of the Beast is the first DLC pack to be released for the game, which adds two new level songs, a new weapon and some other goodies. The weapon can be equipped just as any other during the loadout screen prior to starting a level, but how do you add new songs to the game without adding new levels?

Alongside the launch of the DLC comes version 1.6 of the game, which is a free update for all players. This update adds the "Song Selector" feature, which lets you pick alternate songs (for the level and/or its boss fight at the end) prior to starting a level. By clicking a new music note button above the level select button, you reach a screen that lets you change the music for each portion of the level. Each song shows its beats per minute (BPM), and you can also see the default song for the level noted in the list. Level songs cannot be used for boss fights and vice versa, but now, there's nothing stopping you from ripping through Stygia with one of the new level songs and then listening to Serj Tankian while you fight that level's boss.

The two new level songs are both quite good and different from one another, but they continue to round out the pool of songs to choose from. "Dream of the Beast" features Cristina Scabbia of Lacuna Coil, while "Leviathan" features Will Ramos of Lorna Shore. "Dream of the Beast" is an unrelentingly hard song for its entire duration and showcases Scabbia's soaring vocals. Meanwhile, "Leviathan" gives you about 10 seconds to breathe before going hard as hell, with Ramos running through his entire gauntlet of singing, screaming, and guttural roars. At 138 and 143 BPM respectively, they are also some of the faster songs currently available, as the previous fastest song was "Dissolution" at 140 BPM, and all other level songs that came with the game are 130 BPM or lower.

The new gun takes a few seconds to wrap your head around. The "Red Right Hand" is a multi-barrel machine gun that has a cadence that invokes new gameplay opportunities and considerations. Its ultimate is straightforward enough; fire on the beat as the weapon puts out an absolute torrent of bullets in the direction you are pointing. It is the rest of the time, as you fire the weapon at enemies to build (or hold on to) your ultimate that has a fun twist of its own.

Generally, the weapon fires three shots in a burst on every beat. Assuming you've been firing on the beat, the third beat fires six shots on a syncopated cadence compared to the beat of the song. Continue to fire, and that fourth beat will be a triple-shot, as will be the "first" and "second" shots on the following measure of time. Though firing on the beat is important, the cadence of that third, syncopated burst is only relative to the beat on which you started firing, not to the third beat of the song.

This makes the third beat on a continued streak of firing the weapon put out twice as much damage in the same amount of time, but there's more to consider. Marionettes can be staggered with nine shots, so assuming all shots land, you can accidentally kill one with the full third burst if you just wanted to stagger them. This leads to the potential where you fire on the beat and switch targets for the burst of each beat, perhaps using the 1-2-4 bursts on weaker enemies while saving the one that lands on the third for tougher targets, etc. It's an added level of nuance to the musicality and gameplay of the game, and I love how it also just sounds cool as hell in action.

The 1.6 patch adds the Outfit Selector feature, and the new DLC adds three outfits to the game. Each outfit, including the default look of the Unknown, also has some passive benefit that comes with using it. The default outfit's passive is the same look as the Unknown had from before, with the benefit that your ultimate builds faster while maintaining a 16x multiplier.

As for the new outfits, the Dark Devotee outfit not only puts the Unknown in stylish leather and straps but grants a one-off shield to protect against losing your streak any time you pick up a Fury token. The Morning Star outfit answers the burning question of, "What would the Unknown look like if she wore a cute puffy sweater and a skirt?" and grants a little bit of health regen any time a Fury token is grabbed. Finally, the gunslinging Angel Eyes outfit adds a brimmed hat, bandoliers, and the ability to increase a weapons max ammo in the magazine by one every time you quick reload (until you switch weapons). As a result, if you tend to use one weapon for long stints, the Angel Eyes outfit will cut down on how often you need to reload.

The 1.6 patch adds some good new features to Metal: Hellsinger, and the Dream of the Beast DLC adds some good news songs and additional ways to tweak how you play. My hope is that this is just the beginning, as the developers continue to court and work with metal singers from various bands to add new music that's only found in the game. At the very least, it cracks open a few doors for ways to allow for new content, and it's done in a way that can be used in a mix-and-match fashion with all of the game's existing levels and content. At an asking price of just $3.99, the DLC adds new content into an already fantastic game.

Score: 9.1/10

Reviewed on: AMD Ryzen 7 3700X, 32 GB RAM, NVidia RTX 4070 Ti

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