At least for those of us who have a Gold membership it has! For the rest of you it will be a few days (Oct 1, 2009) before you are able to download the awesomeness that is Brutal Legend.
In case you have been living under a rock Brutal Legend is the most metal game to ever hit the Xbox360 (and those other systems). Not only is the soundtrack jam packed full of heavy metal goodness but the main character is voiced by none other than Jack Black himself! After fighting my way through 15 minutes of demo goodness I'm prepared to lay down some opinions and observations.
1. Theme - As soon as the opening story begins you just begin to feel it. Some of you youngins' may not wax as nostalgic as us older folks do about the glory days of metal but you feel it as soon as you see Eddie puffin' on a cig while watching the band he works for do their thing. Notice I didn't say their 'metal' thing? There's a reason for that that will become all too clear as the demo begins.
2. Weapons - A metal legend without an axe is like a politician without a strawman to attack. Within moments of entering the game mode of the demo you find yourself grabbing a large battle axe and laying waste to a number of red-robed cultists. Shortly after this you grab the real axe and lay waste to even more bad guys!
Your battle axe is your hand-to-hand weapon and operates in either a quick rapid attack format or in a slower 'nothing can withstand my attack' power assault mode. Your metal axe is a ranged combat weapon and shoots blue lighting at targets. There is also a combo attack where you use both at once to cause structural damage and knock your enemies around with its quake power.
3. Relics - Part of being the world's best roadie is that Eddie knows how to build anything. It's not long before you activate the first relic and build a car to travel in. The relic is activated in a simple manner. A quasi musical notation appears on screen and you have to press buttons in the right sequence and at the right moment to activate the relic.
I expect that later relics will use more complicated button presses to activate.
4. Controls - Straight forward and fairly simple. The right stick controls your camera angles (most of the time) and the other buttons are used for attacks, defense and changing targets.
I did have some problems when driving the car during the boss battle near the end of the demo. I found my view constantly blocked by walls that I could not see through. No matter what I tried to do with the right stick I could not adjust my camera angles. I can only hope this is a demo problem and not indicative of the full game.
5. Voice Acting - What can I say, even though I first thought the character of Eddie was Meatloaf I find Jack Black does an admirable job bringing the character to life. I also have to give a serious nod to the programmers who matched up Eddie's facial expressions and mannerisms to Jack Black's dialogue.
The characters in this game do not suffer the problem those in Fallout 3 suffered with. You will not find random arm movements and head turns in this game. Everything the main characters do is choreographed to look realistic.
I am really looking forward to the release of this one. If you have a Gold level Xbox Live membership download it and check it out. If you don't you'll have to wait a few days. Same goes for none North Americans, sorry...
Tune in to www.brutallegend.com Thursday, October 1st at 12pm PST for a live broadcast from Double Fine Productions in San Francisco featuring interviews and antics with the Double Fine team as well as Live Q&A’s from our fans at www.twitter.com/brutallegend, awesome giveaways, a message from Tim’s Swine Flu proofed bunker, Spoilers, Live Axe Lessons, and much more.
Also, don’t forget, the Demo goes Live October 1st for everyone on Xbox Live and PSN. Download and play this mind destroyingly epic demo and help Double Fine productions stave off the wrath of Ormagoden. If you have any questions, let me know.