Metal Hellsinger (PC) Review

By Neil Flynn 30.10.2022

Review for Metal Hellsinger on PC

Heavy metal fiends may have had their heads banging when Metal: Hellsinger was first unveiled. The rhythm based first-person shooter has an eclectic mix of contributing vocalists that could easily propel it to best original soundtrack lists of the year. Initially announced back in 2020, Metal: Hellsinger brought a new innovative play style of mixing layered music tracks into gameplay based on the players in-game performance. Chain together combos and avoid getting hit and the music ramps from an atmospheric background beat to full on metal anthems. However, is the unique style of gameplay enough to set it apart from the deluge of first-person shooters on the market? Read on to find out.

The story is based around a demon, known as 'The Unknown,' who is fighting to get her voice back from the head honcho of Hell, 'The Judge.' Guided by a skull, Paz, (voiced by Troy Baker), The Unknown sets off through Hell to find The Judge and wreak havoc along the way. The story probably won't do much to capture anyone's attention throughout the eight or so hours this takes. Luckily, the plot is merely a construct to help push along the various stages of Hell that must be played through until the final boss - and the real journey is mastering the beat and cranking up the combos to ensure that the music continues to play. The Unknown is initially just equipped with a Sword and The Skull of Paz, but through the adventure new weapons are unlocked, including a shotgun, duel-wielding revolvers, a crossbow and boomeranged hooked-swords.

Screenshot for Metal Hellsinger on PC

The music is layered, and improves based on performance, so chain together a few decent combos and also avoid getting hit, and the beat level, known as Fury, goes up from 1x, 2x, and 4x, to 8x or even 16x. Each stage of Fury introduces a new instrument and intensity until the vocals kick in at 16x. Initially it was hard to get to grips with the beat, perhaps due to a bit of input lag from Bluetooth headphones (and while there is a calibration tool it was becoming a bit frustrating), but things got easier when the dual revolvers, known as The Hounds, were unlocked. Something clicked, and this then became more enjoyable, and all of a sudden the other weapons didn't seem as bad as initially thought. There is a rhythm beat in the crosshairs, but it feels easier to go with audio cues of the beat instead. In a nutshell, give it a chance, and get used to the learning curve and it should all fall into place.

The Unknown has a floaty type of double jump and a triple dash move that can help avoid being hit by enemies. There isn't a huge deal of variety on enemy types and most of them are easy to deal with as they have quite repetitive attack patterns. After being attacked enemies will glow for a short time allowing the player to get a slaughter kill, a melee type of kill that will replenish health, not too dissimilar from the Glory Kills of DOOM and DOOM Eternal. Slaughter Kills are easier on the cannon fodder type of enemy, Marionette's, which only make a lunge type of attack and are very easy to kill. These enemies are also the best type of enemy to get the beat back up to 16x but other enemies shoot projectiles, are well shielded or move at fast speeds and deal high damage.

Screenshot for Metal Hellsinger on PC

Most of the combat is done in an arena style area, where either end of the level is sealed off and defeating all the enemies is the only way to progress. Mastering movement, shooting to the beat and executing slaughter kills is the best strategy for any given level. Each area ends in a boss fight, which seems epic at first but becomes very frustrating over time, essentially being the same boss fight over and over again. This is a little disappointing given that gameplay throughout the stage, while fun, is also essentially the same collection of enemies in a different setting.

Aside from the main story missions there are also 'Torments;' individual arenas that throw waves of enemies under certain conditions or stipulations, such as only being able to use one type of weapon, or being under time constraints. These are fun, but are also somewhat simple to beat, and while the difficulty can be turned up there isn't much more to this mode than just beating the objective. Completing Torments unlocks Sigils, which are perks that can be applied to story missions, although only two per loadout. Sigils include dealing more damage on lower health, increasing hit streaks, and extra ammo, all of which can greatly help on latter stages. However, this is it, so unless competing for higher scores to get higher on the online leaderboards is the type of challenge that is sought after, then this clocks in at around eight hours on average.

Screenshot for Metal Hellsinger on PC

It is very hard to not compare the look-and-feel to the rip and tear style of games like DOOM, especially given the Hell based surroundings. Despite the art style being somewhat derivative of DOOM, it still does enough to hold its own. On Steam Deck Metal: Hellsinger looks and plays great, although the battery life tends to only be about 60-90 minutes at best. The absolutely stellar soundtrack is performed by music duo Two Feathers alongside famous vocalists including Matt Heafy (Trivium), Serj Tankian (System of a Down), Mikael Stanne (Dark Tranquillity) and a whole host of other contributing artists. The flavour of the game is really set in stone by the soundtrack, more than it would be for a first-person shooter, but the intricate gameplay of Metal: Hellsinger being a rhythm FPS means that listening to the soundtrack is integral to it all. If heavy metal isn't for your tastes, then this might become a sticking point for some.

Screenshot for Metal Hellsinger on PC

Cubed3 Rating

8/10
Rated 8 out of 10

Great - Silver Award

Rated 8 out of 10

Metal: Hellsinger takes the familiar thirst for blood of the genre and runs with a familiar hellish theme as seen in titles like DOOM, but an innovative fresh take on the FPS category with a layered rhythm approach makes the adventure enjoyable from start to finish. The soundtrack is utterly awesome, and while it might not be to everyone's taste it should certainly satiate metal fans everywhere. Unfortunately, the downside is its brevity, with everything on offer taking an average eight hours, at best, to get through all of the content available. There is no doubt though that developer The Outsiders has left this reviewer thirsty for more.

Metal Hellsinger was reviewed using a Steam Deck

Developer

The Outsiders

Publisher

Funcom

Genre

First Person Shooter

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  8/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

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