Fight your way through hell in the Mash-up shooter/rhythm game Metal: Hellsinger


The cool rule usually doesn’t sound as good as it does in Metal: Hellsinger. Ripping, tearing and stomping through different versions of Hell is an exercise in fluid badassery when Hellsinger… sings. The first-person shooter-turned-rhythm certainly has some very minor hiccups along the way, and it doesn’t go above and beyond some of its boomer shooter brethren, but adding mechanical innovations to the set framework. up by games like LOSS 2016, Metal: Hellsinger stands out as a release worth playing – and doubly worth replaying.

At first glance, you’d probably confuse this with a tech demo intended to accompany newly rebooted DOOM games. After all, blasting your way through devil’s armies in abandoned hellscapes with a shotgun is well-trodden territory by Doomguy. hellish singer breaks new ground, however. Yes, there are demons. Yes, there is metal. Yes, you are in hell(s), but Metal: Hellsinger takes so much of what makes those games work and makes them its own, while leaving behind a lot of the more frustrating parts of its legacy inspiration.

DOOM’s cumbersome movement and padding between fights are nowhere to be found, while hits like solid environmental design, a soundtrack, and stunning finishers all come in their own way. The environment design and overall art style might be the most deceptively different. Drawing from the hells of different cultures and mythologies, each level represents a different hell. It’s not all fire and brimstone either (although it’s certainly there); in the quest for the Hellsinger, she will explore sub-zero tundras, Egyptian-inspired dungeons and crumbling industrial ruins. The theme of each level also does a lot of work.

Mixing up the environment helps keep the overall design and feel of each level unique, though it often feels like it’s in direct conflict with hellish singerlimited variety of enemies. Of course, it’s a rhythm game at its core, so the enemy variety, while underwhelming, helps keep Metal: Hellsinger a sustaining rhythm game at its core.

hellish singerThe sturdy skeleton of supports his metallic flesh and beating heart. Marked with love for the genre it is named after, each song hits harder than the last. The songs themselves are not only spectacular, but they obtain why you are there and actively seek to reward fans of the genre

Being a rhythm game, it stands to reason that the musical aspects are easily hellish singer‘s’ stands out, but I haven’t played something with music and sound design that reinforces what’s happening in the game so well since 2019 Wattham. It stands to reason that hitting a hit or dash to the beat is more enjoyable than not, but on top of that, increased damage and a much more satisfying, crisp sound effect for your weapon of choice when hitting the beat , hellish singer makes a conscious choice to reward you for your good play.

In some ways, this makes this deadly ballet feel like a live performance. As in live music, theater or improvisation, there is a margin of error. If you miss a beat, you take a bar or two and pick up the beat. The fact that Hellsinger lets you mess up and encourages you to get back on the horse feels like such a rare and perfect balance of challenge, risk, and reward that few games like this – let alone a few games in general – have managed.

Like any other hit rhythm game, playing within the rigid lines set for you by the metallic soundtrack makes for a fantastic carrot at the end of hellish singerthe stick. It sets it apart in a really fascinating way from games like DOOM or Wolfenstein in that hellish singer is more likely to see you succeed if you follow its rules. This may come at the sacrifice of some degree of player freedom – or the ability to break things up with moments that emphasize stealth, exploration, or platforming – but hellish singerThe relatively short campaign offers something completely different for the genre: replayability.

That’s not to say its beefier, arrhythmic brethren are not replayable (coincidentally, I’m up to my knees in a second Wolfenstein II run) but hellish singer Score your dashes, shots, and finishers before compiling everything from damage taken to your longest streak of perfectly timed shots into a final score, then uploading it to a leaderboard for the world to see. Ranking up a friend is rewarding, but you also unlock new challenges that encourage you to revisit older levels. Plus, as you get more familiar with following a beat, going back to previous levels is extremely rewarding.

Replaying older levels is a must, especially if you want to experience the full soundtrack. Nailing an active reload or hitting a perfect headshot helps create a score multiplier. When the multiplier increases, Metal: Hellsinger superimposes more and more elements in his music. At the top of the multiplier, you are treated to the voices of the game’s myriad guest singers. Singers from some spectacular metal bands like System of a Down or Lamb of God are the guest stars of these gripping and intense tracks. I’m certainly less knowledgeable about music, metal and the intricacies of music theory than I am about games, but even I can say that Metal: Hellsinger sincerely wears his adoration for all things metal on his sleeve.

I cannot recommend Metal: Hellsinger sufficient. Its badass presentation, satisfying gunplay, and genre-defining soundtrack take an otherwise solid rhythm game to new heights. Sure, the cracks that come from a limited budget and a small team show up here and there, but those cracks are so fine that his heartbreaking score and tight loop covers them in style.

Metal: Hellsinger was developed by The Outsiders and published by Funcom. Our review is based on the PC version. It is also available for PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S.

Charlie Wacholz is a freelance writer and student. When he’s not playing the latest and greatest indie games, competing in Smash tournaments, or working on a new cocktail recipe, you can find him on Twitter at @chas_mke.


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