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Power to the Chords – A Metal: Hellsinger Preview

A Survival Guide for the Soon to Be Damned

Let’s cut right to the chase. Metal: Hellsinger is a rhythmic first-person shooter that’s been designed to melt faces deep in the mosh pits of Hell. It’s a wild ride that sprays white-hot Metal tracks and incendiary visuals at your eardrums and eyeballs without pausing for breath. It’s pure synaesthesia, delivered at a frantic pace by an incredibly talented dev team and some bona fide gods of Metal.

It’s worth noting that the rhythmically-challenged are going to have a tough time here—this is a demonic ultra-nightmare that will liquefy anyone that can’t tap into the beating pulse of this purgatory. Make no mistake: only those who can (literally) “step to” these demons—while heeding the advice dispensed below —will have a hope in Hell of survival.

Conquer Commotions Through Locomotion

Mercifully, when you check-in downstairs as The Unknown—a vengeance chasing human-demon hybrid—she won’t be tossed into the deep end of the lava pool. A tutorial will help you wrap your horned head around the beat-based beatdowns to come in Metal: Hellsinger.

Ultra-violence is great, but the foundation of any good circle-strafing onslaught ought to be rooted in an understanding of movement. Fortunately, The Unknown is super-human spry, thanks to her double jumps and 8-way dash abilities. She can also teleport considerable distances to Slaughter enemies who’ve been temporarily put on their last legs. Hooves. Whatever…

Welcome To Your Boom

Beyond evasive maneuver mastery, one needs a clear idea on how to deposit lead into hellspawn heads. You have a primary attack function, a reload for weapons with finite ammo reserves and a unique Ultimate attack for every boomstick in your arsenal. The latter is a crowd-control solution that’s earned by filling a rhythmic ‘murder bar’ set to the right of the health bar.

The Unknown is never without a means to attack, thanks to her ever present sword and Paz, a skull who spews fire and narration in equal measure. Just on that topic, he’s actually best used in 4/4 measure (along with most of the weapons in the game).

Hastily yank the trigger just before (or a smidge after) the fourth beat in the soundtrack, and you’ll get a “Good” rank with reduced damage dealt. Conversely, synching your gun to the aggressive drumbeat will pay a number of dividends. Along with the continued engorgement of the Ultimate bar, you’ll dish out hellacious injuries and feed what is arguably the most important thing in Metal: Hellsinger—your combo meter.

The Hardcore Chase High Scores

Comboing is everything. Rise to the zenith of 16x with consistent “Perfect” shots and your score will improve exponentially. Those points will provide the means to taunt friends and enemies alike in Metal: Hellsinger’s online leaderboards. Furthermore, points are tied to the retry/lives system which lets you sacrifice chunks of your score for a second chance at…er, death.

Not into bragging rights and got no time to bleed? No problem. Maxing out the 16x combo meter is still the unholy grail to chase, as it adds fresh layers of complexity to the soundtrack. Why scrape by on an barebones backbeat when you can feast upon a full, hypnotic smorgasbord of heavily distorted rhythm guitars, dummy thicc basslines, complex solos and the godly, guttural roar of a metal legend like Serj Tankian from System of a Down.

If you do doggedly insist on shooting on those offbeats, you’ll soon find yourself overwhelmed, low on health and struggling to snatch the sound of anything through a muffled “near death” filter effect.

Now That’s Using Your Head
The need to constantly claw your way out of tight spots is par for the course in Hell. When the bible said it would be “damnation without relief,” they weren’t referring to a lack of toilets. This being the case, we have some extra tips that might save you from total dissolution.

Definitely choose your weapons carefully, paying particular note to their range archetypes. Also, make liberal use of the function that is ‘Toggle Paz and Last Used Weapons’. That headstrong skull may not hit like Persephone the shotgun, but he’s an infinite ammo proposition and a better choice over a gun reload animation.

When Regular Hell Becomes Bullet Hell

Lastly, it cannot be stressed enough that this bullet ballet demands both rhythmic offense and savvy space control. It’s FPS 101 to be able to quickly assess the breathing room of any arena, to know the lunge reaches of melee-focused ghouls and the projectile speeds of the skirmishers who support them. The true art is existing in that elusive sweet spot—just out of claw reach but close enough to deal max damage when that glorious fourth beat drops.

Master the above, and who knows? You may just make it to the boss battle and the celebratory coda beyond. Don’t get cocky, though. There will always be some new devilry to test your mettle when Metal: Hellsinger arrives on PC, PS5 and Xbox Series X|S later this year.

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