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‘Metal: Hellsinger’ Review: A Rhythm FPS To Send You To Nirvana

Will McCue

Published 
| Last updated 

‘Metal: Hellsinger’ Review: A Rhythm FPS To Send You To Nirvana

Featured Image Credit: Funcom / The Outsiders

Demons fly at me from every corner of Hell. A Behemoth swings its gargantuan cleaver from above and some other hellish creature fires electric bolts as I duck, dive, dip and dodge my way through the realm, timing my attacks to the beat of a headbanging metal track. On the surface, Metal: Hellsinger is DOOM meets Rock Band, however it’s so much more fleshed out than that. 

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You play as The Unknown, a half-human, half-demon, who is obsessed with vengeance and taking down The Red Judge. As a ‘rhythm FPS’, your weapons deal significantly more damage when striking to the beat. I played the game through on the medium difficulty setting (called ‘GOAT’) and didn’t have too much trouble, although if you’re worried that you have no rhythm, there is an ‘always on beat’ mode - so you can just zone out and shred through the domains of Hell while vibing to heavy metal. The more damage you do on-beat, the higher your multiplier, or ‘fury’, will go. As this increases, the intensity of the soundtrack will go up too. Hit maximum fury and vocals will come in, giving a real incentive to get into a demon-killing flow.

Metal: Hellsinger / Credit: The Author
Metal: Hellsinger / Credit: The Author

At first, I was thinking about pulling the trigger in time with the song. However, after 30 minutes or so it became second nature. I’m involuntarily bopping my head, blasting through demonic creatures as heavy metal pulsates through my headphones. Metal: Hellsinger will transport you into a transcendent state of nirvana. 

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All tracks have been specifically made for the game, featuring vocals by metal icons: Serj Tankian from System of a Down; Matt Heafy from Trivium and Mikael Stanne from Dark Tranquillity to name a few. As the songs aren’t licensed, developer The Outsiders and publisher Funcom have ensured that content creators will not receive any DMCA strikes, which is pretty cool. Even if metal isn’t your thing, I still believe you’ll have a good time as the gameplay is strong enough in itself to satisfy FPS fans. Having said that, I reckon Metal: Hellsinger could be a gateway drug into metal for many.

Metal: Hellsinger Artists / Credit: Funcom
Metal: Hellsinger Artists / Credit: Funcom

In the campaign, you fight through eight of the fiercest areas of Hell, each with a boss battle at the end. The boss encounters are when everything heats up. Unless you really get it wrong, the music will be at its most destructive as the gameplay really ups the ante.

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Even though I enjoyed all the boss battles, they’re all pretty much the same fight, only in a slightly different arena. There was an opportunity here to design some memorable, hellish beasts, but the finale of each section sees you best the same looking enemy. Without saying too much, the endgame boss is different enough though, and absolutely slaps.

New weapons are unlocked as you progress, offering the option to ascend through Hell with several different playstyles. My favourites are the dual pistols and some blades that can endlessly be thrown around like Kratos’ Blades of Chaos from God of War. Every weapon has an ultimate ability too. One of the coolest is the crossbow’s Gravity Sphere, letting you suck in countless demons before blowing them to pieces. 

Metal: Hellsinger / Credit: Funcom
Metal: Hellsinger / Credit: Funcom
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I beat the story in around four hours but there’s also a challenge mode that will have you invested for several hours more. Certain boons and power-ups are unlocked here that you can take into replaying the main game - helping you to jump places in the global leaderboard. As of writing this review, I’m number one for score on the last level on Xbox, but that’s one of two so I expect to go down exponentially when the game is released!

The challenges can range between killing a certain amount of enemies on the beat, taking out waves while not being able to heal, or having your weapon swapped out after every kill. As fun as these challenges are, once they’re done, that’s it. An endless mode, almost similar to Call of Duty Zombies, would’ve been a natural fit to expand replayability. 

Check out more from the gameplay in Metal: Hellsinger in the trailer below:

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The interwoven relationship between gameplay and music in Metal: Hellsinger really is a masterclass in intuitive game design. You can feel the passion that has been poured into the project and I’m happy to conclude by saying that The Outsiders have made a bonafide banger. 


Pros: Epic soundtrack, satisfying gameplay, will send you to nirvana.


Cons: Fairly short, repetitive boss design.


For Fans Of: DOOM, Rock Band, Guitar Hero, metal music.  


8/10: Excellent 


Metal: Hellsinger is releasing September 15th on Xbox Series X|S (Game Pass), PlayStation 5 and PC. Code for review was supplied by the publisher. Find a complete guide to GAMINGbible's review scores here.


Topics: Xbox Game Pass, Xbox Series X, PlayStation 5, PC

Will McCue
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