Have you ever wondered what would happen if Doom and a box of nu-metal CDs got in a fight one Friday night? Well odds are when the dust clears you’d have something like Metal: Hellsinger.
This is the latest title in the evolving FPS music genre, which blends slick FPS gameplay with a head banging sound track to create something new (well… if you have played BPM: Bullets Per Minute, otherwise you’ll have a good idea of what awaits here). You play as a part human, part demon who only wants one thing… vengeance. You are The Hellsinger, who is out to get her voice back from The Red Judge – a bigger, badder demon. So cue you slaying your way through the hell hordes to get what you want. It’s a cracking tale that is well told throughout and never really gets in the way of the action, as its normally dished out pre and post levels and sees Troy Baker (what a surprise) putting in a solid shift as well along the way.
The story for Metal: Hellsinger is really the backdrop to the gameplay, which is the real star of the show as the core gunplay is fast and slick with a real Doom Eternal feel – blasting your way around set areas before moving on the next. Things get interesting when the rhythm comes into play, as if you can keep the beat and perfect the timing, you’ll be dishing out the pain tenfold, because killing in time feeds your combo meter and the better the combo, the bigger your score. As the soundtrack changes up the beat you have to stay in time with, which really keeps you on your toes. It’s a very cool system as the bigger your combo, the more the song will play. Each combo level adds a layer to the track, for example 2x is just the drums where as 8x adds in the guitars and 16x adds in the singing. You have access to a few weapons in the game which do the job – like a crossbow and shotgun – but it’s the secondary fire option on each that will put a smile on your face the most. You will have to fill a bar up to unleash these attacks, but once you do you’ll often clear a room with one shot.
With music playing such a big part in the game, it’s clear to see that it was the core everything is built around. With tracks by duo Two Feathers, featuring vocals from metal royalty like Serj Tankian (System of a Down), Matt Heafy (Trivium), Randy Blythe (Lamb Of God) making the soundtrack worth listening to alone. Visually the hell-scape looks great with all the ruins, fire and brimstone you could want; like every metal album cover that’s ever been or will ever be. Most importantly given the speed everything runs at, there were no slowdowns on the performance front. Metal: Hellsinger is fast, slick and a blast with a rocking soundtrack that delivers something a little bit different to both fans of FPS games and rhythm titles. If you’re a metal head as well, it’s well worth throwing the horns up for too.
An Xbox review copy of Metal: Hellsinger was provided The Outsiders PR team, and the game is out now on PC, Xbox and PlayStation for around £35 depending on platform.