The Rhythmic Boomer Shooter From Hell Just Landed on PlayStation+
Let the jingle bells rock.
Rhythm games had a bit of a moment in 2023 thanks to the breakout success of Hi-Fi Rush, but Tango’s cartoonish action adventure isn’t for everyone. If you found yourself tapping your foot along with Mick Gordon’s Doom Eternal soundtrack, that internal metronome will serve you well and make you a better demon-slaying badass in this rhythmic boomer shooter, which recently arrived on PlayStation+ Extra.
Metal: Hellsinger opens with a quick storyboard sequence. Narrated by Troy Baker in the role of a flaming skull known as Paz, the opening act tells a brief story as to why our protagonist, The Unknown, arrived in Hell on a revenge mission to recover her stolen voice from big baddie The Red Judge. Working up to face this sore loser is going to take some heavy hardware — and even heavier guitar riffs.
The core mechanic of Metal: Hellsinger’s gameplay is a metronome that determines the effectiveness of Unknown’s combat potential. Every action she takes, from dashing to evade an oncoming attack to firing a weapon and subsequently reloading, is more effective when performed to the beat. Even reloading your weapons happens faster if you time it to the rhythm.
When Metal: Hellsinger was first released, mistiming the beat would crush your combo and reduce both the amount of damage you can do and the score multiplier associated. Later patches added an accessibility toggle that allowed whatever actions the players performed to be counted as being on-beat, no matter how many notes have passed in 4/4 time. If you don’t plan to use the accessibility feature, be sure to calibrate your display to compensate for any audio and visual delays, which are incredibly common with modern TVs.
Part of what makes a good boomer shooter is the diversity of its weapons, and Metal: Hellsinger offers plenty of demon-slaying gear. Unknown will always wield the Terminus blade, Paz’s fiery cranium, and two weapons of the player’s choosing. If you’re playing the base version of Metal: Hellsinger (the one available on PS+) you’ll only have access to four weapon types. Spending money on the Dream of the Beast or Purgatory DLCs will also yield one new type each. Each weapon is good for a particular arena, whether Unknown faces wave after wave of low-ranking grunts or snipes at special commanders from across a longer distance. That said, it’s also fine to pick a weapon you like and stick with it as you perfect your demon-slaying prowess.
As for the rhythm component, at its core Hellsinger is a solid metal album paired with an equally enjoyable video game. But if brutal vocals aren’t your thing, a $10 DLC released earlier this year adds what developer Funcom considers “Essential Hits” from platinum-selling artists like Depeche Mode and Gorillaz.
Metal: Hellsinger might not be the first shooter to make you slay to the beat, but it’s certainly the one with the best soundtrack out there. Even if metal isn’t your jam, you’ve got nothing to lose trying out Metal: Hellsinger as a PlayStation Plus Extra subscriber — except perhaps your time and a mere 9GB of space.