Metal Hellsinger Review “A Seamless Blend of Rhythm Action and DOOM”
A wise man once said, “Rock isn’t the work of the devil, it’s magical and awesome”. There’s nothing more metal than a vengeance crusade to kill the devil himself, and that’s exactly what Infernal singer of metal is all about. As someone who looked like Eddie Munson long before Stranger Things was a thing, this game is extremely for me. Is this game really brutal or is it just another one-hit wonder?
shout to the devil
Infernal singer of metal is one of the few, a first-person shooter that is also a rhythm game. A few titles in this subgenre have emerged in recent years, such as BPM: balls per minute. These games have their fans, but few have garnered as much attention as Metal hell singer.
One of the most eye-catching aspects of this game was the stellar line-up of metal singers who lent their talents to the soundtrack. Names like System of a Down’s Serj Tankian, Trivium’s Matt Heafy, Lamb of God’s Randy Blythe and Arch Enemy’s Alissa White-Gluz play as you play. As a rhythm game, the soundtrack is naturally one of the most crucial elements of the game. This rhythm game has an entirely original soundtrack, which is quite a massive feat.
(Not quite) seasons in the abyss
This ties us to an aspect of the game that I wouldn’t normally mention at the start of a review, but want to put it aside. From start to finish, the game is a bit short. There are nine levels including the tutorial, like the nine circles of Hell. Each level has bespoke music that adapts as you play, so in a way the game is limited by how many songs they have to work with. Compared to something like the most recent LOSS Games, it’s a bit more of a brief experience. That said, I don’t think it’s fair to hit the game for this. For me, saying Infernal singer of metal is too short, it’s like playing all the songs on Guitar Hero once and complaining that the game ends too quickly. Calling this game too short is like calling an album too short, it’s just not the desired experience.
Replayability is not just a feature of Metal hell singer, that’s pretty much the intended way to play. Many games are for those who spend dozens of hours playing a game over and over, as well as those who only play it once, but this is one game where not to. playing again can make you feel like you’ve paid too much. If the idea of replaying levels to improve your skills and score doesn’t appeal to you at all, this might not be for you. I’d say I’m not usually one to replay games over and over, but I really enjoyed going back to levels I’ve already completed to start all over again.
Although the main story doesn’t take long, each level has three bonus stages called Torments. These extra challenges unlock Sigils, which are like perks you can equip. Some of them have gameplay benefits, such as giving you your ultimate abilities sooner. Others increase your score, they can prevent your multiplier from falling below certain amounts or help you maintain your hit combo. These torments give the game plenty of content for finalists and grant helpful sigils for those who like to replay levels for higher scores.
Luckily, playing levels over and over again is extremely fun. As a first person shooter, Infernal singer of metal takes a lot of its cues from classic shooters, and it’s learned a lot of good lessons from the recent LOSS Games. Levels are made up of interconnected arenas. You’ll enter a room, fight off waves of demons, move on to the next room, rinse, and repeat. The variety of enemies is very good, the game constantly throws new challenges at you as you progress. This way it almost feels like you’re distilled Eternal DOOM, Unleashed metal soundtrack included.
A vulgar display of firepower
The big difference is of course the rhythm part of the game design. I’ve only tried a handful of these new rhythm FPS games, and when I first played Metal hell singer, something struck me right away. Like other rhythm FPS games, the objective here is to time your shots to the beat of the music. Firing with the beat does more damage and increases your score multiplier.
What I found different about this game, and the difference is subtle, is where other games punish you for missing the beat, Infernal singer of metal rewards you for doing things right. It might sound the same, but it’s a subtle difference that has a huge impact on how the game feels to play. You don’t feel bad for missing the beat, you feel accomplished for hitting it right. It’s the most basic, carrot or stick type of design philosophy, but it’s very well done.
In terms of the tools at your disposal, this is another aspect of the game that feels a bit limited, but intentionally. You start the game with your sword, striking the demons with every beat of the song. Then you get Paz, a skull that acts both as a narrator and as your first ranged weapon.
Paz shoots fireballs, never needs reloading, but does very little damage. Initially, this seems like your standard backup weapon, but there’s more reason for Paz than that. Since you never need to reload, using Paz is a great way to keep up. Essentially he’s your own personal metronome, lots of other weapons will have you interacting with the beat at different times, but Paz is always consistent, can still fire every beat. Additionally, outside of combat, you can fire Paz back in time to keep your multiplier maxed out. Paz is a practice tool, like a drum pad for a drummer, which you should get into the habit of constantly switching to when you’re not currently fighting demons.
You get four other weapons throughout the game. The first is a shotgun, because you can’t make an old-school inspired FPS without a shotgun, it’s against the law. Then you get dual pistols which are the game’s workhorse weapons. Much like Paz, you can fire them perfectly with rhythm, only stopping to reload.
The other two weapons are a crossbow that fires explosive projectiles and a pair of boomerang/axe/bird things that you throw and return, damaging enemies back and forth. These weapons all have differences that make them better or worse in certain situations. Normal differences, like damage and range, as with most shooters.
However, another difference is the rate at which they fire. Every weapon is different, and only double revolvers can shoot perfectly in time. The shotgun can fire every two beats, the crossbow fires at a ¾ rate, and boomerangs can be thrown on beats one and two, returning on beats three and four. The game has an active reload system similar to weapons of war, which, when timed successfully, can bring you back to firing a beat or two earlier, creating a cohesive rhythm.
It’s not just a rhythm game, it’s a rhythm tutor and a damn good one. Infernal singer of metal will teach you the basics of rhythm, how to stay on the beat, how to deal with slightly unusual rhythms, how to use pauses (or in this case, reloads) and how to count the rhythms in your head. Seriously, I haven’t had to count beats like this since my days as a metal drummer. Granted, these beats are pretty straightforward, but the added pressure of slaying demons while keeping a steady halftime in your head is harder than you might think.
On the road to hell
The game sounds great, the game plays well, and the presentation is nothing to sniff at either. Each level of the game is a different circle of Hell, and each is unique. You will pass from destroyed cityscapes to snow-capped mountains, from spooky castles to ancient ruins. The Unknown must cross all the circles of Hell to find the Devil and take revenge. This story is told primarily by narrator Paz, voiced by Troy Baker. His performance here does a lot to elevate the material. The plot here is about as deep as a metal album cover, but Baker’s enjoyable delivery lends weight to the story, while providing some levity. There should always be room for a few jokes in a journey through the depths of Hell, and Infernal singer of metal didn’t forget that.
There is not much variation in terms of objectives per level, your objective is always the same. Move forward and kill anything that stands in your way. As mentioned, there is a wide variety of enemies that constantly refresh encounters as you progress through the game. Each level ends with a boss fight, and a curious choice on the part of the developers was to ensure that each level ends with the same boss. The Devil has Aspects, fragments of herself through which she fights you. They look like large skeletal bats, they’re identical, and I’m not exaggerating when I say that almost every level ends in a battle with one of these aspects.
The similarities are purely boss character design, as there are huge differences in functionality between each fight. In one level, you fight the boss in an arena, then another will place you on a platform that the boss moves outside of. One of them will spawn a massive column in the middle of the room, which spins and spits fire. Another will have the boss create an impenetrable shield from all angles except below. These are absolutely the kinds of differences you would expect to give variety to boss fights, if the boss wasn’t visually the same in every fight you would never call them similar.
Kill them all
More than anything, this game is a vibe. I’ve seen many comparing it to Brutal Legend, and the comparison jumped to mind too, but gameplay-wise, they couldn’t be more different. The bond comes from their unconditional love of heavy metal. It’s indulgent, it’s absolutely silly, and I wouldn’t want it any other way. Like many others, I may have “passed” my metal or death phase years ago, but games like Infernal singer of metal are a welcome reminder that nothing can kill metal. The game critic in me says Infernal singer of metal is a moderately short but wild ride that seamlessly blends rhythm action with LOSS-first person shooter style. The metalhead kid in me says this game is fucking rules.
Tested on PS5. Code provided by the publisher.