Metal Hellsinger reviews

About Metel Hellsinger

Since the first Doom was one of the most influential first-person shooters of all time, metal music and first-person shooters should go together like peanut butter and jelly. The fast-paced killing of demons in that game was accompanied by the iconic sounds of 32-bit heavy metal riffs and fast-paced drums, but the combination of the two never really caught on outside of shooters like Quake, Killing Floor 2, and Mick Gordon’s amazing work on the most recent Doom games. Metal: Hellsinger isn’t likely to change that, but this rhythm-based FPS from Swedish developer The Outsiders puts metal front and center as the most important part of its fast-paced gameplay.

At first glance, Metal: Hellsinger might not look like much more than a copy of 2016’s Doom, from its general style of killing demons and being inspired by Hell to its fast-paced action. Doom is a clear influence and a good comparison, but Metal: Hellsinger’s shooting has an extra layer of depth because all of its moving parts are built around music. You play as a demon who is out for revenge in Hell, and you do more damage to enemies when you shoot them to the beat of a song. The better you are at keeping rhythm, the more your Fury multiplier will grow, which will increase your overall score and damage. To help you do this, there are icons on either side of the crosshairs that move in time with the music. If you’re on beat, you’ll get a “Good” or “Perfect” attack grade. The “Perfect” attack does the most damage and gives you more points and Fury.

Beautiful Game Music

Beyond the details of how it works, though, killing demons to the beat of a song is just very satisfying. When you’re on beat, your weapons sound louder, and increasing your Fury has a direct effect on the music as well. As the multiplier goes from 1x to 16x, the music gets louder and louder until it reaches a rip-roaring crescendo. This is when the vocals kick in and the full arrangement of the song is played, pounding your eardrums with guttural vocals that fit the game’s demonic style.

With each kill, it feels like you’re the one moving the song forward, and to get to this point and keep it, you have to get into a zen-like flow where shooting to the beat almost comes naturally. BPM: Bullets Per Minute Metal: Hellsinger is unlike anything I’ve ever played, especially when you compare it to the moment-to-moment gameplay of traditional first-person shooters. You can’t just shoot whenever you can. You have to do it when it fits the music. Even dashing and reloading in time with the beat and Doom-style executions that give you health build Fury. You’re basically rewiring your brain, but the game is so intuitive and responsive that when it all comes together, it’s one of the most satisfying shooters I’ve ever played.

Of course, it helps that the music is so awesome. Elvira Bjorkman and Niklas Hjertberg of Two Feathers wrote all of the music for Metal: Hellsinger. On each track, Bjorkman and Hjertberg play bass and rhythm guitar. Dino Medanhodzic plays lead guitar, and Adam Janzi from the band VOLA plays the drums. Metal: Hellsinger also features some of the best metal vocalists, like Randy Blythe from Lamb of God, Alissa White-Gluz from Arch Enemy, Matt Heafy from Trivium, Serj Tankian from System of a Down, Mikael Stanne from Dark Tranquility, and Tatiana Shmayluk from Jinjer, who is my personal favorite. Getting to hear new music from some of the best vocalists in the genre is a treat, especially when it’s so tied into the gameplay.

Perfect Story

There is also a story, which is told through cutscenes that play between levels. It’s a silly revenge story about fighting skeletons and fallen angels, and Troy Baker tells it with a southern drawl. This gives the story some life, and the pictures used throughout make you feel like you’re traveling through a Dio album cover. It’s neither good nor bad; it just kind of exists to give all the killing of demons a point.

Conclusion

You know how sometimes, when you’re playing a video game, your actions coincide with the music you’re listening to, whether it’s the game’s soundtrack or your own? Metal: Hellsinger puts that magical feeling in a bottle and plays it over and over again, but the feeling never gets old. The way its heavy metal music and fast-paced gameplay work together is amazing and unlike anything else I’ve ever played. It stumbles sometimes, and these problems keep it from reaching Rob Halford-like highs, but the way it executes an idea and turns the action of a shooter into a rhythmic slaughter makes up for any of its flaws. If Metal: Hellsinger is like a real-life metal album, I can’t wait for this band’s next album.

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