We Are Heavy Metal
Since its inception in 1977, Heavy Metal Magazine has showcased its signature mixture of dark fantasy, science fiction, nudity and ultra-violence. But while the magazine's influence has declined, its sensibilities have found a home in gaming. Jonathan Glover looks at how the look and feel of Heavy Metal has seeped into videogames.
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Fantastic article. I think the influence of metal has markedly declined in the 2000's though, with games like brutal legend and unreal tournament and doom/wolfenstein remakes being among the fewer games of this backing holding out as nostalgia trips and subcultural referencing titles.
really great article, and i can definitely see heavy metal having an impact on gaming, but i don't remember Zeno Clash being either tit filled nor funny, i enjoyed the game allot when i wasn't rage quiting, and i may have smiled once or twice but it was never funny, and i don't remember it as being tit filled, i recall the protagonists love interest having a weird chest, really weird, but i never felt that it had any sort of focus on the female body, it showed off some interesting takes on the "human" body, but it never emphasized on titties.
or perhaps i was to busy admiring everything else visual to notice.
If you look at it in a border since of gritty realisim, seedy/drepreved/trying to hard/can't think of the right word for over the top dripping sexual themes that tend to be mixed with dark or wanna be dark or cruel settings...we have that in modern film and gaming up to our collective pie holes....
If the alternative to heavy metal and gaming is parenthood, I think I'll pass.
Although, some have managed to combine metal and parenthood. A 9 year old headbangin' to DevilDriver and Lamb of God atop his father's shoulders at Soundwave. Wearing a Maiden shirt. That's pretty metal.
Stylistically speaking I've yet to see anything in a video game that comes close to Heavy Metal magazine. In fact I'd bet that most video game developers had never even seen a copy of Heavy Metal magazine. As well the stories in Heavy Metal could be quite complex, and complex storylines are not exactly something EA stockholders want to invest in.
It be nice to see a well thought out and designed video game in the style of Heavy Metal magazine but chances are it would be just superficial displays of boobs and exploding heads.
I don't think there is anything wrong with "dark fantasy, science fiction, nudity and ultra-violence", the problem is, whenever I see it it's always done in such a boring way.
It's not the content that makes a game childish or mature, but the way that they're presented.
In fact I'd bet that most video game developers had never even seen a copy of Heavy Metal magazine.
You'd be surprised what extents of culture a lot of game developers have knowledge of. I'd bet you that at least 25% of the designers out there have read Heavy Metal magazine at least once in their lives.
As for the topic, I'd mention MadWorld as fitting a heavy metal sort of aesthetic, even if the soundtrack was boring ass hip hop.
Oddly my two favorite stories from said magazine have absolutely nothing to do with the Metal Aesthetic. One is an extremely strange, transcendental sci-fi piece done by an Italian Artist which I can never remember the title of. The other was "Sky Doll" a far future space opera about sex and religion.
I thought that was brilliant.
Brilliantly written. I happen to own all the Heavy metal magazines from 70-79. Im not that old, they were a gift, but its still undeniable what Mr. Glover stated. You cant not see the influence of Heavy Metal in ours games today.
It's hard to deny Heavy Metal contributors' impact on video game aesthetics. I only wish designers had taken less of the guns and muscles and more of the fantasy and colours...
And it seems like I have to play Zeno Clash.