Review – Metal: Hellsinger

Two of my favorite games of all time are Rock Band and DOOM. I love rhythm games to death, and I also love loud, dumb, fast-paced, and ultraviolent retro shooters. I would have never thought a team of developers would be crazy enough to try to mix both genres into one title, but a bunch of insane Swedes decided to bring this ludicrous idea into reality. Metal: Hellsinger is, on paper, the perfect game for a person like me. Let’s see if the devs managed to deliver on their promises.

Metal: Hellsinger Combat

A shotgun is a rhythm instrument as effective as Neil Peart’s drum kit.

Despite being a game hell-bent (pun intended) on delivering a plot about a fallen angel fighting through the hordes of hell in order to retrieve her voice, Metal: Hellsinger is all about that sweet, juicy gameplay. It’s a game that takes a while to click, because the gameplay is exactly as the developers promised: figure out the beat to the song being played in the background, then moving and shooting to the beat of said song in order to rack up more points and power-ups. You will also be able to fill up your special screen-clearing meters more quickly. The thing is, this is no Crypt of the NecroDancer: you can move and shoot freely, but you have to educate yourself into becoming a slave to the beat.

Metal: Hellsinger Bosses

This friendly-looking boss sounded an awful lot like Lena Headey for some bizarre reason.

This is a game that will be best enjoyed on a PC, as I don’t think a controller does Metal: Hellsinger many favors at first. Given how you have to learn the shooting patterns of each weapon (or even how long it takes for your sword to swing according to the beat), the milliseconds needed to pull the trigger may actually result on missed beats, and a lower score, which will eventually result in less power-ups acquired at the end of the level. Thankfully, levels can be infinitely replayed, with new loadouts, in a way that legit felt like picking a new song to shred on Guitar Hero. Just like any other rhythm game, Metal: Hellsinger requires some time and dedication before you master its mechanics. When you do, it becomes a thing of beauty.

Metal: Hellsinger Dash

Abuse that dash button, booooyyyyeeeee!

The music is soooooo good. The developers recruited a massive army of metal singers to shout like lunatics in these brand new songs crafted specifically for the game, such as Serj Tankian (System of a Down), Matt Heafy (Trivium), Alissa White-Gluz (Arch Enemy), and more. There isn’t a single bad track in this game. I also loved the implementation of different layers of instrumentation depending on how well you’re performing in a level, with vocals being added only when you max out your beat meter, further incentivizing you to do destroy every single demon in front of you in the coolest and most precise way possible. To top things off, the game is impeccably well-narrated by none other than Troy Baker himself.

Metal: Hellsinger Reload

You can even reload your shotgun according to the beat of the song. Metal: Hellsinger’s attention to detail is impressive.

Metal: Hellsinger is a game that needs no further explanation in order to convince people to pick it up. The developers behind the project had a specific niche of players they wanted to target, and delivered in spades. You need to like heavy metal, DOOM and rhythm games in order to enjoy this innovative, slightly flawed, but ultimately amazing experience. Brutal, fast-paced, mechanically sound, replayable, and most importantly, a blessing for metalheads’ ears. You will need some time in order to get used to its mechanics, which feel confusing at first, but once everything clicks, you will have the loudest and bloodiest of times with this hellfest of a shooter.


Graphics: 7.5

It’s pretty, and it maintains a stable framerate even when it’s plastered with enemies onscreen, but Metal: Hellsinger isn’t exactly a looker when you consider the fact it’s a next-gen exclusive.

Gameplay: 8.0

It takes a while to get used to shooting enemies according to the beat, especially when some of your weapons have bizarre shooting/slashing cycles, but once you get a hold of things, it’s oh so enjoyable.

Sound: 10

Asking if a heavy metal game with a soundtrack featuring big names in the genre has good sound design is like asking if the sea has water. Duh.

Fun Factor: 8.0

It’s not as replayable as its sources of influence, but it’s endearing and unique. Metal: Hellsinger is a ton of fun for metalheads and old-school shooter fans in general.

Final Verdict: 8.0

Metal: Hellsinger is available now on PS5, Xbox Series S/X, and PC.

Reviewed on Xbox Series S.

A copy of Metal: Hellsinger was provided by the publisher.