Metal: Hellsinger is a game I’ve been looking forward to for quite a long time. I’m a huge fan of metal music, and the idea of a rhythm-based First Person Shooter that uses metal music excited the hell out of me. Rhythm-based games are a difficult genre to nail, and one that in my experience have only really been nailed or even approached being nailed a few times in games such as Crypt Of The Necrodancer and BPM: Bullets Per Minutes. Can Metal: Hellsinger find a way to break into those upper annals of gaming?
The answer in short is a definitive yes. Metal: Hellsinger is an incredibly fast-paced rhythm-based shooter that instils a sense of adrenaline in me that I’ve not felt in quite a long time. Part of that adrenaline comes from the way that the game empowers you from the outset. You don’t start like you would in other games, with little power and as somebody that is easily defeated by even the worst possible grunt enemy.
You start as a absolute demon that can cut through huge fields of enemies with ease, switching between weapons with a button press and then switching back in an action that feel so incredibly fluid and responsive. It can’t be understated how nice the weapons feel to fire, you can truly feel the impact of every shot you fire at an enemy which is an absolutely essential part of any first-person shooter. If the shooting doesn’t feel good, then the entire game takes a dive as a direct response to this.
“Ryan, tell me about the damn weapons!” I’m sure you’re saying, if you’ve been so kind as to read this far. And yes, the weapons of Metal: Hellsinger are quite the experience. You start off with a sword and a shotgun, with the sword able to hit enemies a lot faster than the shotgun at the loss of damage, and the shotgun perfect for bigger and tougher enemies. Throughout the tutorial and the first level of the game however you gain more weapons such as: a skull that fires flames and has a super-charge ability and duel-wieldable pistols. Each weapon has their own ability that you can use once you hit a certain score quota and which will just demolish anything it hits, and these happen to also be some of the most satisfying attacks in what I played.
The core difference between Metal: Hellsinger and BPM: Bullets Per Minutes is the music actually used in the game itself. You see, BPM: Bullets Per Minute used original music that, while great, could get repetitive rather quickly and would start to seem rather samey a few hours into the game. Metal: Hellsinger on the other hand circumvents this issue by having actual known metal musicians doing the soundtrack of the game.
Tracks You’ll Find in Metal: Hellsinger
Randby Blythe (Lamb of God)
James Dorton (Black Crown Initiate)
Matt Heafy (Trivium)
Dennis Lyxzen (Refused and INVSN)
Bjord Strid (Soilwork)
Alissa White-Gluz (Arch Enemy)
Serj Tankian (System Of A Down)
Wonderfully Amazing Music
Obviously the music in the game itself matters a lot less than how that music is actually implemented into the gameplay, and for me the music is actually implemented better than a title like BPM: Bullets Per Minute. You’re given score multipliers based on how well you’re doing, how much damage you take, how accurate you are with firing and reloading on the rhythm and once you hit the maximum multiplier of sixteen, the lyrics kick in and make everything feel a thousand times more metal, if that’s even possible.
A worry of mine was that the lyrics only starting when you hit a certain multiplier and stopping once you leave that multiplier would make the songs feel like they’re randomly stopping and starting, but from the two levels and two tracks I played it doesn’t really feel that way at all. It feels almost natural, but it remains to be seen whether the game can actually make every single track in the game feel the same way.
Metal: Hellsinger – In Summary
Metal: Hellsinger is an INCREDIBLY fun time, one that had me grinning from ear to ear, and if the level of fun presented in these early levels continues throughout the entire core game then this could be a Game Of The Year contender, and weirdly one of the best metal albums of the year. Everything within the game meshes together to create a great experience that’ll have you coming back for more, just to try and see if you can beat your previous high-score and make yourself the ultimate lord of hell. I do have my reservations on whether the game can implement the skip-starting nature of song lyrics in a consistently natural way, but that’s really my only hesitation when it comes to recommend that you put this game on your steam wishlist.