Metal: Hellsinger is a rhythm-based FPS developed by The Outsiders.
You play as the Unknown, a demon of prophecy that can change the dynamics of heaven and hell. However, authorities in both realms have a vested interest in making sure the prophecy doesn’t come true. The story is purposefully vague, revealing small pieces of information until the end. It relies on the reveal to be meaningful but there isn’t enough lore or character development before it to make it worth the wait. The prologue sets up an idea that sounds far more interesting, to the point where I wish that was the story they went with.
Gameplay has you mostly moving from one room to another before sealing you in and summoning demons to kill. Firing and dodging on beat improves your combo score, which increases your damage and adds new tracks to the song for each combo tier. Hitting reload again at the proper time rewards you with a fast reload. Sometimes when enemies are weak, you can hit a prompt on the beat to rush to them and finish them with a melee kill. This doesn’t improve your combo meter, but the enemy will drop health. If you can pull it off, it gives you a thoughtful choice in tough situations. Unfortunately, every level is the same treadmill of go to area, get locked in, shoot the same handful of demons, repeat, then defeat the same flying skull boss at the end. New weapons and abilities fail to change or add to the gameplay in meaningful ways, so the opening moments felt exactly the same as the closing moments five-and-a-half hours later.
The music stands out as the game’s best feature. Every track hits hard and fits the brutal visuals. Thoughtful touches such as the pillars of fire or glowing parts of enemies pulsing to the music further sell the aesthetics and tracks together.
The level designs have minor variations in verticality, objects, and layouts to make each one feel different, though they’re not varied enough to feel unique. The visual designs range from fine-but-a-little-unimaginative canyon to strange choices like having a section of hell with train tracks or shipping containers. In a landscape as interpretive as hell, seeing basic and modern assets felt unsatisfying. While levels have a few well-written lines unique to them, such as one being a mine the greedy must plunder for all eternity, I never noticed much that sold those concepts in the actual levels.
Each level has standalone challenges you can do to upgrade your equippable passive abilities, such as never having your combo meter fall below a certain number or charging your ultimate faster. You can only have two abilities equipped at a time. While the choice is nice, they’re all minor and feel forgettable.Also, these missions play the same as the isolated parts of the levels, making them more of the same experience.
While functional and with a nice layer of visual polish, Metal: Hellsinger plays like a mid-tier shooter with a rhythm mechanic that feels tacked on rather than fleshed out.
Metal: Hellsinger is available now for $39.99 on PC, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X | S, and Xbox Game Pass.
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