Coming from a developer by the name of WALLRIDE is EleMetals: Death Metal Death Match; a new party option. I’m fairly sure you can guess what kind of game it is already, right? Well, just for a change, this works as a bit of a retro experience, one in which the idea is to kill your friends. Whether they will still be your friends after making them play it remains to be seen, mind.
Let’s pull on our best Sepultura T-shirts and headbang ourselves into things…
Now, being a plain old deathmatch game, there is no need for any story to push EleMetals along. But it does appear that some heavy metal fans have gathered in the same place, and therefore must fight. Although if my many nights out as a younger man were anything to go by, you were much more likely to get into fisticuffs at the local regular nightclub than at the rock club. But we’ll gloss over that.
So, what about the presentation then, how does EleMetals: Death Metal Death March look? Well, it is a retro-styled, side-on platformer with death match elements; and that is pretty much all you need to know. The characters you play as are pretty cute for piles of pixels, and the level layouts are different enough to be challenging. There are a number of different characters to choose from too, but there only appears to be a cosmetic difference, as they do not play any differently.
Sound is where it is at with EleMetals though, and it must be said that the soundtrack is properly metal and awesome. Add to this the sounds of combat and general mayhem and the presentation part of the game is pretty good. And nearly, despite the screen getting plenty busy at times, with not only the characters to keep track of, but also various level specific hazards, it never suffers from any slowdown. Good marks for WALLRIDE there.
As you’d suspect though, this is very much a game that is best played with friends. Whether you can get four friends in your living room, and have enough controllers to give them is another question, but in that case it is possible to play against bots, so it isn’t all doom and gloom.
As you spawn in, either against the bots or your couch adversaries, EleMetals is pretty simple. You can jump, you can fire metal shards at your foes, and you can dash. That’s about the long and the short of it, but there are a few little wrinkles to get used to. For a kick off, should someone fire a shard at you, if you see it in time (which isn’t a given seeing how fast this game runs), you can dash into it to return it whence it came. In game, the chances of pulling this off appear to be about the same as winning the lottery, as avoidance is the best form of defence quite honestly. The dash will also get you out of trouble with the stages’ various hazards, and allow you to remain unscathed.
The metal shards are an interesting mechanic. You can launch them one at a time, or hold down the attack button to charge up a huge attack that will use all your shards at once. And what do you do when you run out of metal shards? Why, you stand still and head bang, and this will attract the metal shards to you again, allowing you to refill your ammo. The headbanging animation is bang on (if you’ll pardon the pun) and this is a fun way of reloading.
Should the worst happen and someone manages to tag you with an attack, or you fail to notice a giant lava covered trident rising from the depths, all is not lost. If you are fast enough at hammering the B button, you can pull your soul back into your body, and thus be reborn to continue the fight. As you do this more and more, it gets harder to do, until eventually your soul vanishes at such a speed I’m surprised there isn’t a sonic boom!
And this is the sum total of EleMetals: Death Metal Death Match. Kill your friends or AI bots, headbang, and generally try to survive. With bots, it is frantic but doable, but throw a couple of real people in there and it is absolute carnage. Still, this is a fun entry into the party games market, with the main selling point being the metal soundtrack and head banging action. Give EleMetals a try if you have a few friends around the place. Just be aware that this is a harder sell to solo players.
EleMetals: Death Metal Death Match is on the Xbox Store