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Metal: Hellsinger review – A short but stylish journey to the mosh pits of hell

Metal: Hellsinger review – A short but stylish journey to the mosh pits of hell  Image
  • Posted on 15th Sep, 2022 11:29 AM
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This hellish FPS comes form the minds of The Outsiders and Metal: Hellsinger does a good job of blending FPS, rhythm, and metal music.

You’ll need to fight like hell in Metal: Hellsinger, and while it doesn’t reach the grandest of heights to truly melt your face, this shooter has enough individuality and style to keep you grooving.

The rhythmic first-person shooter genre is a relatively new one with 2020’s BPM: Bullets Per Minute showing what can be achieved. Metal: Hellsinger has embraced the concept, amped it up, and dropped it on its head with a raw, vulgar display of power.

Metal: Hellsinger’s themes and ideas will be quite familiar to those who delight in the first-person shooter world, and it certainly doesn’t outstay its welcome either — quite the opposite in fact.

With the FPS market being dominated by the same one or two games each year, The Outsiders’ new project coherently assembles a fun rush that briefly takes players along to the lower depths of hell to rock out.

Metal: Hellsinger key details

  • Developer: The Outsiders
  • Price: $39.99 / £33.49
  • Release date: September 15, 2022
  • Platforms: PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X| Series S, Microsoft Windows

Metal: Hellsinger trailer

Be prepared for hell

Taking control of the badass ‘The Unknown,’ you’re thrust on a quest to conquer eight different areas of Hell ripping and tearing away at all demonic foes you come across. Why? To reclaim your most powerful tool – your voice.

Standing before you are the Judges, overseeing figureheads that will stop at nothing to prevent you from doing this, and you will encounter regular end-level showdowns with them.

The game’s story is chopped up into bitesize cutscenes between levels with further exposition spliced throughout the gameplay by your trusty companion Paz. Metal: Hellsinger’s firey narrative won’t win acclaim at The Game Awards, but it barrels along to a satisfying – if slightly predictable – conclusion.

Heavy metal mayhem

The obvious allure of Metal: Hellsinger is its beat-orientated gameplay that I feared would be consumed by the fires of its own gimmick, and I’m pleased to say this couldn’t be further from the truth.

This meticulous mechanic deals with a great deal of depth and encourages players to beat to the game’s drum — literally. Every shot you fire, every reload, every dash, all these elements contribute to a combo-riffic, Fury-laden show.

The OutsidersThe Unknown will become very known to you by the end of the game.

Fury is the name of the game here as each level’s central aim is to maintain the highest Fury level possible via combos and Perfect timing. Doing so maximizes your damage output and achieves the most incredible score.

There’s no beating around the burning bush, the game’s true appeal is in its soundtrack as you whisk through the game’s rather meager selection of eight short levels, each identified by a piece of original music.

The intensity and speed of each track hots up as you progress with Trivium’s Matt Heafy, System of a Down’s Serj Tankian, Lamb of God’s Randy Blythe, and Arch Enemy’s Alissa White-Gluz (among others) delivering unbelievable vocal performances to genuinely crushing metal songs.

Even if the genre isn’t to your liking, the expert, technical musicianship ties into the flow of each level, and within two or three outings you’ll find the desire to be ‘on the beat’ second nature.

DOOM and gloom

You’ll have a whale of a time listening to the cacophony of sounds that Metal: Hellsinger produces, but the levels themselves do feel rather tired and uninspired, with only one or two that really feel unique. You’re better off focusing on the varied palette of enemies instead as there are enough to keep you on your toes.

Killing them undoubtedly becomes formulaic though as you approach the game’s final offerings as some guns clearly overshadow others, so it does make a bunch of the game’s weapons and Sigils rather moot once your go-to loadout is locked in.

The OutsidersYou may notice the odd influence from other FPS games here and there.

Sigils can be unlocked through the game’s Torments: mini-games that increase in difficulty and ask players to meet certain conditions such as killing enemies using only Slaughters – a tribute to DOOM’s Glory Kill.

While they are fun, they’re short and sweet and the beat can only carry you so far before you’re left wanting more. There’s not much replayability here or much reason to dive back in outside of its score system that may encourage leaderboard-chasing gamers to climb to the summit.

Rock to the beat of your gun

2022 has produced some stunners and reminded everyone why they upgraded to the PS5 and Xbox Series X|S, but Metal: Hellsinger sadly isn’t one of them as gameplay was clearly a priority over graphics — not a bad thing by any stretch of the imagination.

It stood up quite well in Performance Mode with only one notable glitch occurring that caused me to restart a level. Some of its flaws can be simply brushed to the side though as you’ll be too busy being absorbed by the ebb and flow of the music.

The dynamic nature of the soundtrack means that if you want to feel the ferocity of a harsh guttural or the pulsating chugs of a mean riff, then you’ll need to meet the beat, otherwise, you won’t get the full ear candy as the devs intended.

Verdict 7.5/10

I finished Metal: Hellsinger wanting more, and honestly, that isn’t a bad thing. For the money you’re paying I do have to question its price tag, but what you’re getting here is a hard-hitting package of rhythmic, raucous violence.

If the devs at The Outsiders can tighten up its weapon and level design for any future entries, then the future of FPS games may become hell for other franchises.

Reviewed on PlayStation 5

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