The first-person shooter genre has had an interesting history that spans entire decades. While id Software’s revolutionary title DOOM was the one behind the sudden surge in the popularity of the genre, the turn of the century brought with itself a slew of modern shooters that brought new and arguably more accessible elements to the gameplay like recharging health bars and cover-based combat among other things.
Now though, it seems like we’ve come full circle with the advent of the boomer shooter - a class of shooters that are a clear throwback to this genre’s gory past.
Indie and AA developers from all across the globe have provided their takes on this new class of retro-shooters, but The Outsiders’ latest Metal: Hellsinger is easily one of the most unique offerings in this space thanks to a multitude of differentiating factors.
Most Metal Ever
Metal: Hellsinger’s elevator pitch is an enchanting one, which is to combine the pulse-pounding rhythm of heavy metal music with the fast-paced gameplay of first-person shooters. I don’t know about you, but I’ve found myself helplessly trying to tap my gunshots in a game to the beat of a background track more than once. Therefore, this marriage of two completely different subgenres seems like a good start.
But the rhythm-based shooting is not just a gimmick - it’s a central premise that feeds into the very core gameplay loop of Metal: Hellsinger. So just hitting your shots isn’t enough most of the time, you will need to do so while keeping your movements and gunshots in sync with the beat of the theme song playing in the background.
A Fury multiplier increases with every timed shot and dash, and it goes up to 16x which increases the damage output and adds more layers to the soundtrack. Once that reaches up to 16x (its max limit), the screeching vocals kick in - and the song is unveiled in all its glory.
Timing your actions to the beat might not be the most intuitive thing to do at first, but you will eventually get the hang of it and start banging your head and gunshots to the accompanying riffs and guitar solos. While the tracks aren’t anything that would make Mick Gordon of DOOM fame want to drop his guitar, they are fantastic nevertheless.
Furthermore, they are all original tracks made in collaboration with prominent metal bands like System of a Down, Lamb of God, and Arch Enemy among others, so Metal: Hellsinger has metalheads covered in case you were wondering.
Hella Enjoyable Gameplay
If that wasn’t already obvious, Metal: Hellsinger features tightly-designed gameplay that one would want to really sink their teeth into. The best thing about it is definitely the generous hitboxes on enemies, which neatly balances out the added stress that comes with matching your actions to the beat and dodging enemy attacks at the same time.
Enemies will go down pretty quickly if you time your shots right, and you can perform a takedown to unleash precious health pickups. The levels might be more constrained than something like DOOM, but the enemy variety in each arena and the visual variety on display balances out that particular criticism.
The weapons feel great to use as well, and each weapon behaves distinctly to one another. So while you might be able to match every beat with The Hounds (dual pistols), you will have to skip a couple of beats when blasting heads with the Persephone (shotgun) to compensate for its slower firing speed. Mastering each weapon is a challenge on its own, but it’s one worth undertaking if you want to find the best weapon loadouts for your character.
Metal: Hellsinger’s campaign might be on the shorter end, with only 8 levels to choose from - but beating the game is only the start of your journey. Apart from the main story missions, there are Torment challenges that add new and interesting spins to an arena encounter - such as automatically swapping weapons after each kill or restricting your healing supplies.
Completing these will net you Sigils, which are bonuses that can be equipped before starting out main missions to grant bonuses during gameplay. These Sigils will be of paramount importance if you wish to make a name for yourself in Metal: Hellsinger’s global leaderboards.
In conclusion, Metal: Hellsinger is an immaculately crafted experience with a well-designed gameplay hook and a dastardly devilish soundtrack. It’s a unique experience that shouldn’t be missed out on by fans of first-person shooters, or any faithful fan of heavy metal music.
Check out our Metal: Hellsinger review below to find out just how fun the game is!
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Featured image courtesy of The Outsiders.