Metal: Hellsinger will release on September 15th on PC (Steam), PlayStation 5 ($39.99), and Xbox Series X | S ($39.99), and we managed to get ahold of a review code to bring you a review of the game to help you decide about whether to purchase it or not.
At the recent Gamescom, Metal: Hellsinger won two awards: Most Wanted PC Game and Best Action Game. They even held a concert live with some of the singers from the line-up appearing to perform the songs. Despite the game being developed by an indie team, they have managed to gather great names from the metal scene.
As the subtitle says, I feel that these awards are justified. The gameplay is loads of fun (despite it inevitably not feeling very long for some players) and the soundtrack is simply astonishing and made specifically for the game from scratch.
Metal: Hellsinger Gameplay
The gameplay will definitely remind you of Doom Eternal due to the Arena Shooter element, and may also remind you of the game that was released exactly two years before the release of Metal: Hellsinger (September 15th, 2020) called BPM (Bullets Per Minute).
And of course, we think of this game as a death metal variant of Dance Dance Revolution (we know that there will eventually be that one person that will play the game on stream by shooting the guns with their feet by tapping the Dance Dance Revolution pad, in the rhythm of the music, while running around the map with a gamepad. You’ve heard it here first).
Metal: Hellsinger is pretty straightforward, as you could have seen in the demo (that was available for free). Shoot the demons with your cool weapons “on the beat” of the drums and cymbals, go through a series of hallways and arenas, and whack the boss at the end of each stage.
Even though there are not as many weapons in the game as one would perhaps expect, they cover all playstyles for this genre of games and I’d say that no one would remain unhappy.
There are, of course, additional combat mechanics and ways to improve the fighting capabilities of your character through Sigils, which you can unlock and improve throughout your gameplay.
The game was built with the Unity engine and the game ran perfectly fine on my five-year-old rig with GTX 1060 6GB at 1080p, which leads me to believe that the game is very well optimized. As for the state of polishness of Metal: Hellsinger, I found ONE bug in the game (where an enemy was running into the wall I was sitting on and just disappeared).
So, nothing game-breaking during the 16 hours I’ve put into testing and playing, which is a rare sight to see these days with a lot of fiascos from AAA developers and publishers that were supposed to be leading the industry forward with their quality and passion instead of rolling out dumpsters that are already pre-lit at the factory conveyor system and shipped out like that.
Luckily enough, the indie scene is constantly growing and gems like Metal: Hellsinger drop left and right.
Developers have also made it possible to recalibrate your game if you have input lag with your wireless headphones and/or slow response time on your monitor: see How To Fix Audio / Video Lag and Calibrate it in Metal: Hellsinger.
I believe that most people would be able to get at least 8-10 hours of entertainment out of this title, while hardcore players would definitely take advantage of the replay value since there are leaderboards for each level and each available difficulty (which kind of reminded me of SEUM: Speedrunners from Hell) which means that there will be record hunting, speedruns, etc. The game has eight levels, a tutorial, and some challenges on the side, which we will cover in-depth on the day the game releases (all guides are in process of being written, so make sure to bookmark our Metal: Hellsinger tag and come back when you need assistance).
As a reminder, The Outsiders (developers behind Metal: Hellsinger, originally founded by former members of DICE) unfortunately had to abandon a cool RPG game called Darkborn a few years ago due to certain difficulties. Based on the demo, Darkborn definitely looked promising and hopefully, Metal: Hellsinger will take off well and manages to help them get back to this title (and perhaps, even, Metal: Hellsinger 2 somewhere down the line?).
Metal: Hellsinger Soundtrack
This is the “other” selling point of Metal: Hellsinger. I wouldn’t go as far as saying “second” because some people on the metal scene are going to buy this game out of support for the great effort The Outsiders, along with Two Feathers, have invested into composing the soundtrack, and of course, the well-renowned singers that feature on it.
We have Tatiana Shmayluk from Jinjer, Bjorn Strid from Soilwork, Matt Heafy from Trivium, Mikael Stanne from Dark Tranquillity, Serj Tankian from System of a Down, Randy Blythe from Lamb of God, Alissa White Gluz from Arch Enemy, James Dorton from Black Crown Initiate, and Dennis Lyxzen from Refused and INVSN.
You can read more about them and their work in our All Singers in Metal: Hellsinger Listed article, if you haven’t heard their bands so far and need recommendations for new music. I would like to emphasize that Mikael Stanne really has given it all and has the most songs done in Metal: Hellsinger, which is not strange, given that he truly loves video games. In case that you need lyrics for his first song Through You, we have posted them as well for you to sing along as you slaughter demons in various Hells during Metal: Hellsinger.
Metal: Hellsinger Story
I promised that I won’t spoil anything, but I’ll just say that the story is fairly simple but interesting, serves as nice support to the gameplay, explains why you are doing what you are doing, and of course, sets up the possibility of a sequel coming, with a huge potential for a bigger story to tell.
Negative Aspects About Metal: Hellsinger
I truly wanted to find something negative or bad about Metal: Hellsinger myself, but I just couldn’t find anything that bothered me during my gameplay. I, however, can reason that some people might feel that the arena gameplay against regular enemies could become repetitive around the end of the game (even though it does become more challenging as you get closer to the end).
Also, I see that listening to the same song over and over again when you want to conquer a challenge (Torment) but keep failing over a dozen times might be problematic for some players (do not start to hate the song the same way you start hating a song you put as your wake up alarm).
In that case, the best advice is to come back later to the challenge and just keep moving forward with the story, since those challenges do not necessarily stop you from finishing the game. The story has kept me engaged, despite it being short and simple, and I couldn’t wait to get to the end of it to learn more about our main character’s lore and the idea behind the conflict we are dragged into as players who are piloting the main character.
The game is great, I only regret that it’s not longer.
Should I Buy Metal: Hellsinger?
By all means: Yes. If you like Doom-style shooters and are into metal, definitely go for it. The game should be available on Game Pass from day one as well, but at any rate, if you want to support the developers, purchase the game and help them make a potential sequel. Metal: Hellsinger is a breath of fresh air from the indie scene (despite some people claiming it’s “more of the same”). If $40 feels like too much on the release date, then by all means, wait for a discount.
The massive effort from the developers is visible and I’ve had a lot of fun with it, but I just wish it was longer. Here’s to hoping that the sequel will be, with different enemies and a longer story, because this game deserves it!
That’s it for this review, I hope you’ll like the game as much as I did, and of course, check back for guides for Metal: Hellsinger under our game tag here at Prima Games on September 15th, 2022.
A copy of this game was provided by the publishers for review. Reviewed on PC.