Generally favorable reviews - based on 88 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 74 out of 88
  2. Negative: 0 out of 88
Buy On
  1. 93
    Charming and clever in equal portions, Brütal Legend is a classic example of cohesive game design...In an age of ever-increasing monotony and creative stagnation, a game like Brütal Legend is brash, proud, subversive and triumphant - and it deserves to succeed. Get on board, crank it up and make it so. Two horns up.
  2. 90
    Brutal Legend is a tour de force that wraps up humor, music, and clever gameplay into one highly polished package. You haven't played a game quite like this before and won't want to miss it.
  3. Brutal Legend won us over with its complete package: the aspects that are decidedly outside “gaminess” are its strongest and most lovable. The dialogue made us laugh, and not just a little. We cared about the characters enough to feel sad to say goodbye to them. We never got bored of exploring its world and continued to do so after completing the main story.
  4. Brütal Legend comes with many cool ideas and a great soundtrack. Nevertheless, the boss fights could be more challenging and the controls are sometimes annoying.
  5. The enthusiasm and joy that was involved in crafting this game is evident in almost every single frame and it's an undeniably unique gaming experience.
  6. Heavy Metal aesthetics, Jack Black and videogames in the best of all combinations, this is a must buy for any fan of heavy music or Tim Schafer games. The gameplay can be a bit unpolished here and there, but all in all Brütal Legend delivers a compact and unique gaming experience, unlike anything else you will play this year.
  7. Schafer, Double Fine, and Black haven't just created a story about roadies: they've become them, scuttling about energetically, heads down and minds focused, as they pull a handful of simple props together in order to put on an amazing show.
  8. Brutal Legend’s multiple gameplay styles are competent enough on their own, although I feel the RTS elements could have been explored more during the single player.
  9. It's undoubtedly a fun game, packed full with humour (although this does tail off towards the end), metal references, amazing encounters and memorable characters. It's the RTS sections that really let the game down for me, feeling like a good idea that hasn't quite been implemented well enough to gel with the rest of the game.
  10. There's nothing revolutionary about how it plays, but the likeable characters, rockin' soundtrack and jaw-dropping scenery make it worth experiencing. We certainly hope that Eddie Riggs (and Jack Black along with him) appear in the future sequel.
  11. Eddie Riggs is the character that brings together the entire metal world and the smartly written story. His charisma and wit make Brütal what it is. The game mixes genres in unusual ways, but it’s a shame the side-missions all look alike and the game is pretty short. But it’s always a sign that you’re playing a good game when you’re left wanting for more. Brütal Legend isn’t the best game of this year, but it certainly rocks the most.
  12. When most companies try to mix a bunch of different genres into one title it usually results in a complete mess. Double Fine did a fantastic job of balancing it here though and everyone should find something to like in this title, regardless of their favorite genre.
  13. Brutal Legend is a love letter to heavy metal. Content is excellent, but the game is not as great as we expected when we talk about its playability.
  14. Double Fine manages to create an enthralling and entertaining product, whose unbelievable originality clouds every imperfection related to a gameplay less complex than expected. Brutal Legend holds the real essence of metal, depicting it in its purest form, in the way that each of us has dreamed of at least once in his own life. Whether you love heavy metal or not, this title will offer you an experience you will not forget… and, who knows, you could discover a hidden passion!
  15. There's never been anything like it and there may never be again. Brütal Legend is truly a gift to metal and game fans alike and my new, best 3D game ever.
  16. It’s a unique experience, in both single and multiplayer, and Double Fine nails the concept perfectly, making it challenging for experienced gamers, yet not overwhelming for the newbies who just came here for the metal.
  17. An amazing game, and if you love heavy metal, Jack Black, Tim Schafer or any combination of these elements then this is a must-own adventure game infused with a thoughtful balance of action, combat, and real-time strategy. The story is epic, the landscapes are magical, and the humor is consistently present throughout the entire game from start to finish. This is heavy metal heaven!
  18. There are very, very few games which truly make me sit back and go “wow”. Among the slew of games that I’ve reviewed this year, there are only a couple that I really enjoyed playing, and continue to do so. Brutal Legend is one such game – even though I aced my Public Speaking and English Literature classes, words only slur together when I try to describe this game. Truth be told, I only heard about the game in the last month or so, but after spending a good amount of time with it, I was transformed from a mere gamer into a rocking, die-hard fan.
  19. 92
    Lots of humour, heavy metal and a gameplay you'll fall in love with.
  20. With an artistic visual design and a sound package that is second to none, Brutal Legend is a game metal heads and Jack Black fans will undoubtedly want to pick up.
  21. The title is chock full of little details that make it a must-have. While it is a bit on the short side, there are plenty of collectibles to keep you busy after you complete the game, and the entire ride is entertaining from start to finish. In a sea of holiday sameness, how many games can make that claim?
  22. While online multiplayer will very likely be a love it or hate it affair for many, the single player campaign is a unique gaming experience that no player should dare to miss.
  23. 90
    The side missions may be repetitive, but the story is interesting, the characters are great, and the atmosphere is encompassing. Brütal Legend is definitely one of the better games I have played this year, and I look forward to seeing what the guys at Double Fine come up with next.
  24. What's more important is that Brutal Legend is a ton of fun to play and fiercely stakes its claim as one of the most unique, most ambitious titles on the market today.
  25. A powerful storyline with a great open world environment that truly is exciting, exhilarating and, well, pretty musical really. You will be awed as you tear through the landscape in your hotrod, throwing flames into the night as you listen to heavy metal over the Deuce's tape deck.
  26. In conclusion, this game rocked and was a great walk or drive down memory lane with all the great bands who have lent their music to this game. The voice acting is pure class and the gameplay actually works quite well in a bizarre way that makes this quite an original game.
  27. The game is certainly worth renting for a weekend, as the single-player campaign lasts a minimum of seven to 10 hours on a modest difficulty setting. A full purchase may depend on just how much the subject grabs you, and whether you can find friends to play online. In any case, the game is very promising for Double Fine's future.
  28. Even with some shaky controls Brutal Legend is still a fun, humorous and entertaining game. Don’t disappoint the metal gods by missing it or tossing it aside only after a couple of hours. Like any good metal album it might take a couple of listens (plays) to really sink it.
  29. You owe it to yourself to give this game a test drive at some point, just for the laughs if nothing else. It may be rough around the edges and have an RTS system that would confuse some people, but overall it’s a solid game that will entertain you time and time again.
  30. This amazing tribute to metal delivers a hugely entertaining gaming experience despite missing a few chords.
  31. The worst part of Brütal Legend is that the single-player portion of the game feels like training wheels for the multiplayer part. Granted the training wheels of Death have 7 chrome exhaust pipes, are covered in blood, and hum Def Leppard's "Rock of Ages" while smashing through a landscape of battered rock album ruins and occasionally spewing flames, but training wheels nonetheless.
  32. Brutal Legend is ambitious, entertaining, and was obviously wrought with enthusiasm and feeling. The game also wants to be experienced, letting you adjust the difficulty on the fly if you hit a snag and want to keep rocking anyway.
  33. Brutal Legend lives up to the hype. The combination of a humorous action-adventure story with music and gameplay to match, makes the game one of the most unique titles on the market at the moment.
  34. Tim Shafer is back (in Black!) with an original action-adventure game that finds its strength in an awesome art direction and an innovative gameplay that mixes pure action into real time strategy. The result is a funny rollercoaster ride between over the top characters and beautiful environments. On the other hand, controls are sometimes frustrating, A.I. is disappointing, and the overall lasting appeal of the game suffers from a short single player campaign. Nonetheless, if you're looking for an old-style funny adventure, a post-modern fairytale, or the work of artists of the art direction, this is the game to buy this fall.
  35. Brütal Legend revealed itself to be a very entertaining and somewhat original game, with a very charismatic star that we hope to see again in the future. A real must-have for every Heavy Metal fan thanks to the great soundtrack, but very enjoyable from all the others too. Our only complain is with the game graphic, a little bit unpolished and with a precarious frame-rate.
  36. Brutal Legend ups to date Heavy-Metal with a charming and humorous mixture of Sandbox, Real-Time Strategy and Hack and Slash.
  37. Although it is affected by old looking graphics and some technical shortcomings, Brutal Legend is still a game to be played and enjoyed throughout. Humor, action, open world exploration and an extraordinary sound compartment – more than 100 track by the most important Metal bands out there, and Jack Black’s interpretation – are well worth the ticket!
  38. 83
    A game starring Jack Black and Tim Schafer as creative director, could hardly go wrong. And fortunately it hasn’t gone wrong. Brütal Legend has become a pretty decent game.
  39. This is the kind of pet project a developer gets to make only once, and if you love metal music as much as Tim Schafer, you’ll find something to love about Brütal Legend.
  40. It is with a sense of dismay then that I say that this: all things considered, it’s hard to call this a brilliant title. It has one of the most enjoyable 10 hour campaigns I’ve played, and if it were to be scored on that alone, it would have done a fair bit better. If you’re a fan of the genre of music, like I am, then the single player would be somewhere in the low –to mid-90s. The fact remains though that bolted onto this wonderful experience are sub par multiplayer and some terrible navigation issues.
  41. The unwieldy Stage Battles maim the battle system and multiplayer, but this gaffe doen’t take away from Brütal Legend’s charm. If you’re a fan of Tim Schafer’s humor and the type of person who decides between wearing a Metallica and Slayer tee-shirt when you wake up, this is a must-play.
  42. It’s hard not to become engrossed by the characters and their story, but that’s not the only reason you’ll keep on playing. The combined gameplay styles work well together to provide players with enough variation that the game doesn’t become too repetitive, save for the times you’ll die and have to replay lengthier portions of the game.
  43. It’s a celebration of a genre, and one done with such style, such detail and such incredible imagination that it’s difficult not to love it. Brutal Legend won’t appeal to everyone, but to those it does, it’s sure to hold a very special place in their blackened hearts.
  44. Brütal Legend is a bit of a mixed bag. Though it offers its fair share of brilliance and ingenuity, it suffers from a hodgepodge of conflicting gameplay mechanics that bar its admission into gaming excellence.
  45. If you don't like heavy metal music or Jack Black's humour, chances are this one isn't for you. But if you do, then Brutal Legend will be like you've died and gone to the hallowed halls of Valhalla while a dude with long hair plays a power-solo and a valkyrie in a chain-mail bikini slays a dragon with an axe.
  46. The story falters towards the end, and the fact that the game is so short is the biggest bummer of all. Regardless, it’s a great game that will be remembered for a long time coming.
  47. Brutal Legend isn't a bad game by any means, and there is certainly plenty of fun to be had while playing it. It simply tries to do too much at once, and as a result, doesn't do anything as well as it should.
  48. It would have been a fantastic film, but as an interactive experience, it isn’t ready for the main stage. The tragic thing is that with some fine tuning and more mid-game jokes it could have been great.
  49. While the idea is there, and it's great to see a director and studio trying new things, the execution unfortunately falls a bit flat.
  50. 75
    The drum-beat of the gameplay may be a little erratic at times, if only because the drummer's creativity and ambition overwhelmed his finesse, but it delivers the hard-driving goods when they're needed most.
  51. Brutal Legend has one of the best stories, and some of the best writing, this generation. Unfortunately, the gameplay turns experiencing it into a chore, rather than a joy.
  52. 90
    Despite all the references to this beloved material, I also felt satisfied as a gamer, challenged by its unique blend of exploration, action and strategy. While I was prepared for a thoroughly entertaining storyline, and was delivered one, I was pleasantly surprised by how much fun it was to wage war in and explore this lovingly-crafted world.
  53. It inspires such excitement for its muse, heavy metal, that it also serves as a point of entry to an entire subculture. Just as important, it stands as proof that music in gaming is no longer the exclusive domain of “music games.”
  54. A masterpiece...Brütal Legend deserves all the admiration and attention that some of the best games out there receive. Sales or no sales, this game is easily a contender for game of the year and is just brilliant.
  55. Even with its non-stop references to heavy metal and specialized soundtrack, Brutal Legend comes off feeling like one of Tim Schafer's most accessible game. The real-time strategy aspects are carefully explained and never feel too daunting for the average console gamer. What's more, the game's humor and over-the-top story will make you want to see the game through to the end.
  56. This is a heavy metal fairy tale, spun with love and copious amounts of good humor from Shafer and crew – and it’s every ounce the game fans hoped it would be.
  57. 83
    The main problem is that it doesn't feel like it was poorly designed, but that simple things were simply forgotten. But really, those things don't make the story any less entertaining, the rock god theme less enjoyable, nor the characters' well-animated faces less expressive. And with long practice and good friends, the multiplayer can be incredibly rewarding.
  58. The operative words here are "Heavy Metal". Not all that black metal with all that panda make-up, or that judd-judd hardcore or that god-awful crap with turntables either - this is the good stuff.
  59. 90
    A fun game with some very noticeable flaws and some less-than-stellar presentation, but in the end it's a memorable adventure I'd certainly recommend to any aspiring roadie. It comes pre-packaged with its fair share of issues, quirks and bugs, but all of the near-misses in the world can't take the fun out of this inspired adventure.
  60. It's not perfect, if you ask me the sandbox element is a little superfluous and brings the game down a little, it's still a great game though, lots of fun, makes you use your brain, great story and varied gameplay.
  61. Finally a game that makes us old school rockers proud. An awful lot of love has been put into this game and it is a riot to play.
  62. It's a labor of love and it's fun. The variety of missions and humor mix well and should be enough to hook anyone.
  63. If you have a dislike for metal I doubt that you'll appreciate the game that much and you'll certainly miss out on many of the in-jokes and celebrity cameos. To legions that appreciate the true power of rock, though, it's your one way ticket to midnight.
  64. Brutal Legend is another creative release from Double Fine that showcases how you can mix several conventional game mechanics together with an original concept to make a fun and interesting game.
  65. It’s literally a heaven for any metalhead looking for an extraordinary collection of metal and all of its subgenres. The art direction of Brutal Legend on the other hand is what pushes the visuals to the next level. Granted, the game isn’t the most beautiful game of 2009, but it’s definitely one of the more impressively designed titles to reach the Xbox 360.
  66. Pelit (Finland)
    Brütal Legend is a game for the metalheads. The imagery and legends of heavy metal have been beautifully crafted into every part of the game world and story, but fun as it is, the game tries to be a bit too many things at once. The action and sandbox parts work well, but the RTS sections feel clunky and forced. Still, if you love metal, this game is worth your time. [Nov 2010]
  67. X-ONE Magazine UK
    Has some invigorating moments but is harmed by a weak strategy mechanic that easily frustrates. [Issue#52, p.82]
  68. 80
    Jack Black and Tim Curry hold the wonderfully delivered if slightly predictable story together until its conclusion, though at only eight hours or so it’s left to the unexpectedly interesting multiplayer to add longevity rather than the repetitive side-missions and fetch-quests.
  69. I'm a casual metal fan, and I have a pretty decent knowledge of the tropes of the metal universe, so most of the humour and the overall theme of the game wasn't lost on me, but I'd hesitate to play the multiplayer if it's simply more of RTS lite gameplay. If you're big on your metal, Brütal Legend was made for you and you'll learn to deal with the quirks in the gameplay. Alternatively, if you hate metal there isn't much appeal for you here.
  70. Tim Schafer’s latest game-baby is a tribute to Metal, with a little parody to the genre. The game has a lot of varieties that is either a curse or a blessing to the game. The game loses a lot of depth because of the varieties, but delivers a humoristic and ever changing package. However the game is technical a little messy, it plays a great tribute to the Metal genre.
  71. Games Master UK
    Plenty of outrageous fun, but far too happy to skulk backstage when the action's up front. [Dec 2009, p.83]
  72. Brutal Legend is a solid and entertaining game with an entertaining and interesting story with some of the best audio, soundtrack, sound effects and voice acting, seen this year. Unfortunately the game itself is lacking in variety and innovation. Perhaps the massive marketing blitz provided by EA simply drove expectations to unreachable heights. Regardless, Brutal Legend is at least a must try for any fan of open world action.
  73. Official Xbox Magazine
    The developers' ambition and enthusiasm are undeniable. [Holiday 2009, p.84]
  74. Brutal Legend is a game chock full of sweet tribute to the metal gods.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 274 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 29 out of 274
  1. Feb 10, 2013
    I'd say there is only one flaw about this game...that nearly nobody knows this...Superb mix of action and real-time strategy, top notchI'd say there is only one flaw about this game...that nearly nobody knows this...Superb mix of action and real-time strategy, top notch soundtrack, exceptional screenplay, lots of fun and Jack Black as a main protagonist. For me it's definitely 10/10. Full Review »
  2. gamer
    Oct 16, 2009
    For me, any game under 7 is a zero since i won't play it for long so why should it matter? anyways, the game is an utter disappointment. For me, any game under 7 is a zero since i won't play it for long so why should it matter? anyways, the game is an utter disappointment. i've played 4 hrs of it. i can't say there is anything great about this. the soundtrack is good but who cares? it is basically real songs that you can find anywhere. the humor while being great at first, gets old REALLY fast. the quests are utterly simple, i can't help but feel that this game was made for casual gamers. the combat is idiotic, the entire time i wasn't even sure that i could die at all. the world is almost empty, it feels like theres nothing to explore(it seems full but they're just fillers). raising the garages are stupid too. this game lets you find metal ruins and raise them, it lets you go inside and buy upgrades. at first i thought there would be many ruins, but it turns out it's basically the same thing everywhere. i was shocked the first time i entered my second garage and realized its the same thing. i did not advance far enough to see real rts but from what i've seen, it looks like they were trying to create Overlord but failed miserably. Overlord wasn't great to begin with. last but not least, this is a small bit but it bugged me to no end; the car automatically brakes when you get go of the gas. no game i've ever played does that, the car always drifts when you let go. it was just such a weird feeling i couldn't shake it. tl;dr boring as hell hack and slash game. difficulty and depth was made for casual gamers ie those who play web games in their free time. hack and slash is a very difficult genre to make a good game out of, one of the only few good ones was god of war. brutal legends is recommended for those who don't play games often but enjoy metal music and themes. Full Review »
  3. Lance
    Oct 18, 2009
    The game starts out lively and fresh. The dialogue and characters are both interesting and witty. Combat is introduced as simple button The game starts out lively and fresh. The dialogue and characters are both interesting and witty. Combat is introduced as simple button smashing. At times mixing an x after a series of a. It doesn't go anywhere though. In addition there are combat mechanics such as blocking, which really do nothing other then hinder the player. During large fights the player will be juggle resource management, strategy, build cues, army orders, music riffs (rythm game), personal combat and well most players just have too much on their mind to time blocks. Moving on the game's story progresses nicely with additional side missions available for those wishing to earn extra fire tribute, the game's currency. These side missions just like combat, they start out simply enough and never progress. And because of the ratcheting difficulty they sort of turn into a must if the player is on a harder level. Because of their repetitive nature it in essence turns into grinding/farming. The RTS elements of the game are great but with the added demands of Eddie's presence on the battle field to ensure victory, it's just another burdensome mechanic. In the end the player is left juggling grinding side missions, tracking down ball gagged dragons to earn boosts need to stay competitive, and a host of other items. Adding in the god awful, unbalanced races and it's enough for some players to walk away. On a side note, I suspect if neither Jack Black, or Time Schaffer were attached to this game, we Full Review »