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Slot HellSing — Game Review

How ‘Metal: Hellsinger’ forged an unholy alliance between gamers and metalheads

As part of Gamescom 2022, an epic concert for ‘Metal: Hellsinger’ raised hype for the upcoming rhythmic shooter. Matt Heafy and David Goldfarb reveal how they pulled it off.

Sep. 15, 2022

As Gamescom 2022 wraps up for the day on August 25, I expect the Koelnmesse in Cologne, Germany to be a ghost town.

I finish my Kolsch at a bar near the south entrance to the convention center and make my way inside, walking against a small amount of foot traffic. But as I approach Hall 6, I am shocked to see dozens — no, hundreds — of people congregating outside, patiently waiting for the biggest metal gig in Gamescom history to start.

Mere minutes pass before the riotous thump of double kick pedals reverberates through the room as the opening band Disconnected takes the stage. After an impressive set, composers Two Feathers kick off the main show with the title track from Metal: Hellsinger, a new video game developed by The Outsiders.

The game fuses metal music with the first-person shooter genre, but it thoughtfully integrates musicality into the rhythmic rush of slaughters and shotguns. Despite what some people may tell you, it’s a whole lot more than just “Doom meets Rock Band.”

The Metal: Hellsinger concert at Gamescom 2022.


That much is abundantly clear as the game’s demonic protagonist, The Unknown, walks on stage amidst erupting pyrotechnics as all Hell breaks loose. Mikael Stanne starts howling the words to “Blood and Law.”

Revered musicians like Alissa White-Gluz (Arch Enemy), Dennis Lyxzen (Refused), Mikael Stanne (Dark Tranquility), and James Dorton (Black Crown Initiate) join Two Feathers on stage to take everyone on a one-way trip to Riff City, suturing sludge and staccato into coherent chaos. Three weeks later, I can still hear the screams rattling about in my skull.

How was any of it even possible? These musicians? At this venue? For this convention? I had to know more.

“I mentioned [the concert] offhandedly to people midway through the project, but it definitely seemed too crazy to do,” says The Outsiders creative director David Goldfarb. “Like a lot of things, the idea stuck around. [Marketing] pitched the concert internally and won a lot of support for it, so from there it was a question of, ‘Okay. How do we make it happen?’”

All of the artists on the Metal: Hellsinger soundtrack.

According to Goldfarb, the main difficulty in orchestrating the concert was coordinating the logistics. The artists were in and the idea had transitioned from concept to reality, but booking the hall and synchronizing with the event staff was a challenge, along with acknowledging and respecting any and all legislation that could affect the gig. To say the least, it was an enormously complex endeavor for first-time concert organizers. Goldfarb says it wouldn’t have been possible without Funcom’s Lina Kvistborg.

“It’s probably the same for other people arranging concerts around the world,” Kvistborg tells Inverse. “The differences might be a) They’ve probably done this a couple of times before, b) they are probably a bigger, dedicated team with clear roles, and c) they might plan their concert in the same country. It was an exhausting but fantastic project to work on.”

“It definitely seemed too crazy to do.”

It’s strange to hear about these obstacles after having experienced the concert firsthand. Aside from some complications with the stream mix, it went off without a hitch, with both the composers and artists putting on one hell of a metal show. While that’s attributable to multiple factors, one of them is Trivium’s guitarist and lead vocalist Matt Heafy, who provides some of the vocals in Metal: Hellsinger.

Heafy has been making music with Trivium for over two decades (it was his first band and first job), but he’s also been streaming music and games on Twitch for almost five years. Heafy cites early childhood experiences with Mario and Doom as particularly fond memories, but he loves the musical aesthetics of Metal: Hellsinger just as much as he appreciates the grisly game mechanics. Receiving an invite to contribute to the game felt like a dream come true.

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“I’ve always championed the fact that metal is the most correct form of music for video games,” Heafy says. “When I initially heard the piece written with me in mind, I knew immediately it would be amazing. While metal is incredibly aggressive at times, I’ve always looked at it as a vehicle to bring people together and have that positivity nurtured. Metal and games have always been for the underdog.”

A snowy scene from Metal: Hellsinger with a boss is in the distance.

“I recorded the vocals almost two years ago. After playing the beta, I knew I had to redo the screaming, and then after we made history with the live show at Gamescom, I wanted to do the singing even better. Playing the game’s music live made me record it all much better than I initially had. I wish we could have done more. I would have loved to do a 90-minute set with Trivium as well that night. I’m very proud, stoked, and honored that Metal: Hellsinger not only had me in the game but flew me across the world to perform one 5-minute song.”

What many people might not realize is that this isn’t Heafy’s first foray into the industry. Trivium has been extremely prolific in that they are now in close to 20 games, while Heafy himself just submitted his first full video game OST for Martial Arts Tycoon. While he only had a five-and-a-half-minute slot at the Gamescom gig, it was genuinely special for him.

“I’ve always wanted to do all of this,” he says. “It was truly amazing to be able to completely let loose at a gaming convention vocally, whilst being in the game and also being able to meet so many amazing people in the games industry. I’ve been very happy to finally get the message out there that I am ready to start scoring games.”

The Awoken shooting a large enemy in Metal: Hellsinger.

It was also incredibly special for Goldfarb, who got to watch as some of his favorite musicians performed original songs from his team’s own video game. Even with no crowd, that alone would have been pretty damn cool.

But there was a crowd. While Goldfarb and the team expected around 1,000 people to show up, they weren’t prepared for the 3,500 metal fans who filled out the venue, let alone the additional 2,000 who were “waiting in the freakin’ hallway.”

“I am ready to start scoring games.”

“I’m super proud, although a lot of the pride is directed at our marketing team, who against all odds delivered a once-in-a-lifetime event,” Goldfarb says. “The entire concert, I had a big dumb smile on my face, not only because I was at a concert but because I was at our concert. Just being able to enjoy a show again when three years ago we didn’t even know if we would exist as a company, much less have a concert for a game we loved coming out… Whew. There were a lot of very strong emotions.”

Goldfarb also agrees with Heafy’s aforementioned assertion that metal communities are rare places of acceptance, which accentuated what the gig was able to accomplish.

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“My experience with metalheads is that they are indeed the happiest bunch of people and quite accepting, especially compared to indie or punk,” he explains. “There’s definitely the vibe in metal where it’s like, ‘If you love metal, you are one of us no matter who you are.’ It feels really genuine.”

Watch the entire epic Gamescom concert right here:

Metal: Hellsinger comes to PC, PS5, Xbox Series X, and Game Pass on September 15.

Metal: Hellsinger Review — One Helluva Tune

Tear down Hell itself to some of the best heavy metal in all of gaming with Metal: Hellsinger, one of the most enjoyable experiences of the year.

Tear down Hell itself to some of the best heavy metal in all of gaming with Metal: Hellsinger, one of the most enjoyable experiences of the year.

Metal: Hellsinger has one mission: deliver Doom-quality FPS action to a heavy metal soundtrack featuring some of the biggest names in the genre. I’m happy to report that it succeeds with flying colors.

This is the complete package, with satisfying gameplay, fantastic music, non-stop action, and a story that hits familiar beats but is both well-told and well-acted. There’s also no filler — Metal: Hellsinger knows exactly how much game it needs to get its point across and adds nothing extra to take away from the experience.

Metal: Hellsinger Review — One Helluva’ Tune

You can’t talk about Metal: Hellsinger‘s gameplay without talking about its music. The two are inseparable. As a rhythm shooter, your performance and combat effectiveness are directly tied to how well you shoot to the beat of each level’s unique track. Thankfully, none of the early songs are particularly fast or challenging to sync your shots to, with the tutorial level being particularly forgiving.

That doesn’t mean the tutorial soundtrack is lacking, though it is one of the shortest songs in the game, befitting the level’s brevity. Everything you learn in that first easy experience carries over into the rest of Metal: Hellsinger. Slaying to the beat, as the game’s marketing calls it, is essential, and there are both audio and visual cues to assist you in shooting along with the music.

The percussion is more pronounced to rise above the noise of gunshots and exploding demons. The aiming reticle takes up a good portion of the center of the screen as well, ensuring the beat markers are easy to see even in the most hectic of scenarios.

As you make your way through the game, the HUD becomes less and less of a factor as you become more and more accustomed to the combination of gunplay and music.

Difficulty in Metal: Hellsinger ramps up quickly and follows how music gets harder: it gets faster. The first two levels — the tutorial and Voke — are relatively casual songs compared to the high-tempo shred-fests of the mid and late game.

Every level has a short learning curve as you get used to the new beat, but because of the precise controls and enjoyable shooting mechanics, you’ll want to engage with the music. The shift in soundtrack when you reach a boss can be a little jarring after 20 or so minutes of learning a new rhythm, but never enough to cost you anything.

All of these factors come together when you’re in the thick of things, exploding and dismembering demons with the weaponry on offer. You start with nothing more than a sword and a particularly talkative, flame-spewing skull. Throughout the first four levels, you’ll add a shotgun, dual revolvers, a rocket-launching crossbow, and a pair of infernal boomerangs, which are more deadly than you’d think.

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Every weapon on offer is incredibly effective if properly used. Still, the dual revolvers are by far the most consistent because of their damage over long ranges and their Ultimate ability, which summons a second instance of the player character to do damage on your behalf. Paired with the shotgun as a backup, I rarely found a need to use the crossbow or boomerangs except to add some variety to my loadout.

What was never in question was my desire to be at the highest bonus tier. Metal: Hellsinger is, after all, more than just a shooter. It’s an arcade-style shooter with scores and multipliers and buffs. The higher your score multiplier (called Fury), the more of the music you’ll be able to hear, and at maximum Fury (16x), not only will you be raking in the points, you’ll be able to hear the vocals as well. Every enemy you shoot and kill to the beat raises your Fury, but taking hits reduces it, so staying aggressive, accurate, and deadly is paramount.

The dynamic music usually works as intended, with the melody increasing in complexity and intensity the better you do. If you swap between Fury tiers, however, the music can get a little muddled, and it goes from kickass to mildly bungled quickly. This can frequently happen in boss fights, especially on a first encounter, taking what are otherwise amazing fights and transforming them into garbled messes. Not unlike the encounter at that point, really, but off-putting all the same.

There are also challenge rooms called Torments that provide selectable and increasingly powerful buffs that make getting high scores even easier. These Torment levels won’t add more than a few more hours to your playtime, but they do get quite challenging and don’t give much room for error.

Hell is a Sequence of Arenas

Metal: Hellsinger’s story is primarily told through hand-drawn cutscenes with plenty of exposition from your friend Paz, the talkative skull. The levels themselves add little to the narrative, existing primarily as a well-realized and aesthetically interesting series of arenas for you and the demons to fight in. Free of Paz’s dialog, expertly voiced by Troy Baker, each level could be a featureless collection of rooms filled with demons and accomplish the same purpose.

That’s not to say the setting isn’t appreciated. Hell has been associated with metal music for a long time, and having a long series of generic arenas set to this game’s fantastic soundtrack would be confusing in the extreme. In other words, while the levels themselves are uninteresting from a layout perspective, combined with the rest of the game’s aesthetic and tone, they function exactly as they’re meant to.

The story follows much the same throughline. You are the Unknown, a particularly angry and tenacious damned soul in Hell who had her voice stolen from her by the Red Judge (voiced by Jennifer Hale) eons ago.

Following an extended stay in an extradimensional prison, she forces her way out with the help of Paz, who calls himself the Pulse of the Universe. You then spend the next four or so hours of in-game time carving a path of destruction through increasingly more hostile levels of Hell, taking down Aspects of the Judge on your way to killing the Devil herself.

The story is done well, but the overarching narrative relies on more than a few cliches and is content to tell you what happens rather than let you experience it. There are a few twists and turns, but you, as the player, have almost no say in what goes on in the cutscenes, and they serve primarily as window dressing that connects each level. There are some plot holes as well, which the game tries to handwave these away, but they are all the more noticeable for it.

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All that said, there is nothing offensive about the story of Metal: Hellsinger, and there are a few cool surprises along the way. While it was frustrating to see it lean on old tropes as much as it does, I was invested enough in the Unknown’s plight primarily because she’s such a cool character, reminiscent of Doom 2016‘s Doom Slayer. She’s more a force of nature than character sometimes but has enough emotive presence to be engaging in a way that made me want to see her succeed.

Metal: Hellsinger Review — The Bottom Line


  • One of the best soundtracks of the decade.
  • Fantastic gunplay and music integration.
  • Satisfying fights no matter what you’re killing.


  • A trope-y story more told than shown.
  • A small selection of weapons, some of which are more fun than effective.

Metal: Hellsinger doesn’t overstay its welcome. It knows exactly what it wants to be and gets it done in the space of no more than five or so hours. It is the perfect length, its music is just this side of perfect, the gunplay is terrific despite the limited weapon selection, and every level is enjoyable enough to play again and again.

The enemy variety is surprisingly large for such a tightly-built experience, with every mob needing a different approach and each boss taking a new spin on established mechanics. The later game enemies are some of the toughest challenges, but by the time you face them, you’ll have enough mastery that they won’t take long to overcome.

Metal: Hellsinger’s only real failing is technically its narrative, but that isn’t even a failing so much as it is a secondary concern for the game it wants to be. I’d have liked it to take a few more risks and be a little more engaging, but like the rest of the game, it does exactly what it means to and then gets out of the demon-slaying.

All in all, Metal: Hellsinger is a short, sweet, and immensely enjoyable experience worth every second of your time. It more than earns its purchase price. I cannot wait to see what the team at The Outsiders makes next because if this outing is anything to go by, they have one Hell of a future ahead of them.

[Note: Funcom provided the copy of Metal: Hellsinger used for this review.]

Tear down Hell itself to some of the best heavy metal in all of gaming with Metal: Hellsinger, one of the most enjoyable experiences of the year.

Metal: Hellsinger Review — One Helluva Tune

Tear down Hell itself to some of the best heavy metal in all of gaming with Metal: Hellsinger, one of the most enjoyable experiences of the year.

Slot HellSing — Game Review

29 июн. 2022 в 13:58

A bit of critique

So, lemme share a bit of thoughts after playing this demo. For reference — I beat BPM for each character on hardcore, except the most masochistic one + I’m a game designer.

Not like my aim is bad (I’m an average coinshot enjoyer in ULTRAKILL), I got used to it, but kept thinking about built-in aim assist in BPM, that helped to focus on rhythm and movement, basically if the target inside your rhombic crosshair — it’s a hit. Maybe worth considering? Or maybe there’s already aim assist, I just didn’t notice.

Not sure the point of the skull (paz?) as a weapon? I’ve read in youtube comments that it helps keep the ‘rage’ meter up even without hitting targets, but overall it kinda feels weak and useless. A sword is a much better alternative for the ‘default first weapon’ role. Speaking of.

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Might sound strange, but probably consider nerfing the sword? It’s so good that I could just play the entire game as a melee action and not use firearms at all 😀
Quite powerful for a starting default weapon. But speaking of firearms.

I like BPMs approach more, where you _have_ to get in the beat to even shoot it, clicking off-beat won’t even shoot it. So, basically, keep the damage the same, but make it so it fires only when you get in the rhythm. Also, maybe consider being able to shoot per half-beat? Double revolvers really feel like it was meant for that, if you don’t care keeping the rhythm, they can shoot so much faster. I liked that in BPM it was basically a rate of fire measure — how many beats per shot — half, one, two, etc.

Speaking of what else I liked in BPM — reload, which often have several phases, each manually triggered by the R button, of course should be pushed to beat as well. So, you’re considering your weapon choice not only because of damage and rate of fire, but also how hard it is to reload it, so comfort of use. Just a tiny issue is that it was sketchy reloading on R specifically. However, when I rebinded it to RMB, it felt so good. So, consider this complex reload system rather than your simplistic one and move reload to RMB? Ultimate ability does not require such easily accessible button as RMB, so you can move it to E/Q/F, whatever is close to WSAD.

Regarding beat — there were several moments in the songs where beat audibly doubled during chorus or something, but in game you still have same old beat limitations. Maybe consider allowing half beat actions in these moments, because it would really amplify player’s power fantasy and would just be cool, its not happening so often, so it will be additional reward for either fast reaction to a song part or just song knowledge.

By the way, glory kills. oh come on, didn’t you get the memo? Glory kills is last century, nowadays BLOOD IS FUEL! Oh well, you clearly invested into those animations and obviously now it’s too late to implement ULTRAKILLS blood system, especially when you have a sword as a default weapon. But maybe consider raising the skill bar and requiring player to equip a sword and LMB in a beat to perform a glory kill, rather than dedicated button?

I would also recommend, just like it was in BPM, add a ‘beat tolerance’ setting, so that more people could get a hang of it and enjoy the game. I’m fine personally, but can imagine many people suffering with this. You can figure out some multipliers for total score leaderboards to accomodate this and reward skill.

On a less serious note, in a game like this, how could you make it mute when not in focus AND its not an option?! Couldn’t leave the music playing and game running, had to find OST on youtube 😛

But if it sounded too negative and since you’ve read that far, I’ll speak freely — this game ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥ rocks, I’m throwing money in the monitor, but nothing happens 🙁
I guess I need to wait till september. but I’m already spamming all my friend chats with this game 😀

Also how COULD you make such a cool track for TUTORIAL and never let us replay it again. I’m now playing this track on repeat.

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