Metal: Hellsinger is a heavy metal rhythm FPS developed by The Outsiders, a team of industry veterans who had previously worked at studios like Machine Games, Guerilla Games, Fatshark, DICE, and more.
For the past couple of years, this group of talented individuals has been working on a shooter that takes ideas from the likes of Doom and Guitar Hero and blends them together in a very unique way.
I feel I have to mention that I’m not interested in rhythm games in any way shape or form. I had a good time playing my friend’s Beat Saber. However, it did not make me want to go out and buy it for myself or try any other types of this genre. So, then why am I interested in this game? Well, put simply, the answer is all in the name. As a fan of metal music, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to play a game where you run around blasting demons in the face while listening to quality heavy metal. Now, other games have tried to do a variety of this before, even Doom did, but I don’t consider that actual Metal Music.
The game is not a big ball of suspense about the motives of your actions. You are a demon called The Unknown, who descends into the pits of the Thousand Hells, guns and music blasting with equal intensity, to seek vengeance upon the Red Judge. I know this may not sound like anything new, but when I started playing, I didn’t care about the story. I just wanted to slaughter as many demons that crossed my path.
Now, what gives Metal: Hellsinger a leg up on other games that try to dabble into this genre? You learn early on that playing Metal: Hellsinger like a regular FPS game won’t get you very far. The music isn’t there just to pump you up and give you a burst of adrenaline as you’re slaying demons. The music is a key gameplay element that’s just as important as the shooting or the stabbing; arguably even more so. Performing actions on the beat increases your Fury, which causes the music to become more intense with each new threshold. More Fury also means more damage, so the better you are at slaying on the beat, the more havoc you will be able to cause. And let’s be serious, havoc is one thing this game calls for!
One of the things that immediately stands out while playing Metal: Hellsinger is how hard it makes you work for the music. In most games, the music has two levels of intensity – calm during exploration and action-packed during combat. Here, you’ve got four tiers. At tier one, you get little more than the beat, but as you progress through the tiers the song gets progressively louder and more complex. The full song, complete with vocals, only kicks in at tier four.
Needless to say, tier four is where you’ll want to be in order to enjoy the music in all of its glory. Getting there isn’t particularly difficult if you can stick to the beat, but staying there can be a problem. The Fury meter gets drained when you’re not performing any actions or when you’re performing them poorly.
Now you may be asking yourself is the music worth unlocking the 4th tier, well let me just say YES! Metal: Hellsinger’s soundtrack was scored by composer duo Two Feathers and features appearances from heavy metal icons Serj Tankian from System of a Down, Alissa White-Glüz from Arch Enemy, Matt Heafy from Trivium, Randy Blythe from Lamb of God, plus many more. As a Metal Fanatic and an FPS gamer, this is by far one of the best combinations that ever crossed my ears and hands while I was playing.
If this is not your type of gaming genre but you do love Metal, then you need to get the soundtrack when it comes out. This is so worth it. I did find after a couple of hours, the killing became a little repetitive, with the same mobs over and over.
But then again, a lot of games are this way, and you are excited when you get to kill something new. Metal: Hellsinger will be released on Sept 15th, 2022. It will be available on Steam, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, PS5, and Xbox Game Pass. It appears at this time that the game will be $39.99.
This review was written based on a digital review copy of Metal: Hellsinger for the PC provided by Funcom.