Metal: Hellsinger First Impressions

I saw a few clips of Metal: Hellsinger (MH) before it hit the Xbox Game Pass and I liked the look of it, charging through hell with a metal backbeat as you slaughter demons had a bit of Doom about it. It didn’t take long to find out why it’s not Doom.

The game starts out with setting calibration, including input lag which was a bit weird but standard enough if we’re expecting a playable game.

An opening cutscene gives all the background we need. This creature called the Unknown has had her voice stolen by a Judge and is trapped until someone frees her, allowing her to reclaim what is lost. Good enough as an open, gets the need to know stuff out of the way plus it establishes both hero and villain.

Hitting gameplay we find that it is an FPS like Doom and it is set in hell with everything being a bit red. There’s also the execution to glowing orange enemies that becomes possible once they’re weakened which is also shared with modern Doom games. To separate MH from Doom it takes a weird turn, bringing rhythm action into combat. Your attacks are more powerful based on how well they match the beat of the music, increasing power further based on a multiplier that is gained with perfect beat matches, which in theory means a skilled player will constantly build or at least maintain power and have an exciting time. More elements are added to the music based on how high the multiplier is, an example being singing. However, I thought the music sounded worse when the singing started because it was that weird screaming stuff rather than proper lyrics.

I started to find the gameplay a bit irritating within mere minutes because there were things to kill and the beat suggested speed but my own lack of natural rhythm meant I was bad at the game. Instead of having fun as I blasted through the infernal hordes I became frustrated at a weak character in a tutorial stage. I don’t have the patience to perfect pressing buttons as arrows light up on my crosshairs while I’m trying to watch the action unfold. This is where the real problem lies, the visuals are distracting based on the focus needed for the learning curve meaning there’s an interesting graphic and an interesting rhythm mechanic but I couldn’t click with it.

Although an interesting idea is put forward with MH, I’m not used to rhythm games and I don’t want to focus too much on one point of the screen in pure action games. While I’m sure MH will find a dedicated audience, I think I’ll stick to Doom and maybe try less visually distracting rhythm games in future.

I really had a problem with how this game plays as my playtime can’t have been longer than fifteen minutes, sometimes you just know that you don’t like the feel of something.


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