Did you ever play Guitar Hero and thought ‘this needs more Doom’ well there is a game for you. The idea of mixing rhythm and action is an interesting one. However, not every idea is an automatic slam dunk so we here at the Robot Republic are ready to give our views on Metal: Hellsinger.
Metal: Hellsinger was developed by The Outsiders and released in 2021. However, the game was recently released on Game Pass for a whole new audience. The game touts itself as a first-person rhythm-based shooter with a demonic setting. So is it time to delve into hell and rock their socks off or will this concert be a massive disappointment?
The plot of Metal: Hellsinger follows a rebel demon known only as ‘the Unknown’ who is on the hunt to retrieve her voice from Satan. I’ll be honest, the plot is pretty bare-bones through most of the game. There’s nothing new or hefty enough for story fans to dig their teeth into. The plot serves its purpose to get the player where they need to be and add some context, but other than that it may as well not be there. However, the plot isn’t the most important aspect of this type of game and, as I said, it does what it needs to do.
One of the difficulties of any review is separating the personal experience from the overall game. You see, games are based on accessibility and this is where Metal: Hellsinger hits its main issue. The game works by combining the combat actions with the beat of the song playing. There’s a marker in the middle of the screen and the closer the button is pressed to the centre, the more powerful the attack. The songs are all strong metal beats so the actual drums are easy to hear but that isn’t the issue.
If you happen to be someone with a normal level of hand-eye coordination then you shouldn’t have any real problems. However, if you are like me then there’s going to be an issue. You see, I have an issue with hand-eye coordination, so I may hear the beat but the time between my hearing and pressing the button is minimal enough that it’s very difficult to get the right timing and maintain it. However, there are some good points here that help to mitigate this aspect.
The weapon selections available to the player and the way they are implemented into the beat system are on of the game's strengths. Each of the weapons works differently, for instance, the revolvers go off of a 12 beat while the shotgun’s high damage point is hit on an off beat. It’s interesting to test out and there’s a different gun for everyone. The use of a leaderboard system means there is a good level of replayability and a reason to practice if you can improve.
Visually Metal: Hellsinger is fine, everything fits in with the world but there’s nothing that stands out. The game developers stated that the game was like a living metal cover album but, sadly, if this was meant to be the case then the make was missed. It isn’t bad looking and some of the designs are fantastic, but it lacks some of the truly metal aspects that metal fans know and love. In truth, you probably won’t notice it much as you try to focus on the beat as they fly across the screen. However, the game isn’t about visuals, it is all about the music man.
As I said, the game's songs are all hard metal beats and they all give the raw guitar riffs and strong drums that we as fans want. There are several songs from relatively new artists that you possibly won’t recognise. The songs also change as the combo meter is built and it does help to make the player feel more epic, especially when the lyrics are introduced. Although, there is an argument that some of the songs begin to sound a bit similar at the lower combo levels and if you’re not good enough to reach higher levels at least.
Metal: Hellsinger is a game with an interesting mechanic and it keeps the player invested. The issue with keeping to the beat will differ between each person and the game does what it can to mitigate this. While it may hamper the experience for some, it certainly has enough to keep even the worst beat-keeper on their toes. So grab your shotgun guitar and get ready to rock a solo for all of hell to see.
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