When we’re not spending hours thrashing away on the guitar, plenty of us heavy metal ‘slackers’ are perfecting the fine art of gaming. To appreciate one of the most wicked partnerships of all time, here are some of our top (in no particular order) metal video games for your unholy pleasure.
1. Brutal Legend
From the brilliant mind of Tim Schafer comes the ultimate heavy metal action game, Brutal Legend. Jack Black stars as roadie Eddie Riggs, thrown back in time to the mythical Age of Metal brought to life through head-banging armies, fire-breathing beasts and mountains made of guitar amps. One for game and metal lovers alike, Brutal Legend features a slew of impressive cameos from Lemmy, Ozzy, Lita Ford and Judas Priest’s Rob Halford.
Skyrim is the fifth chapter in the epic Elder Scrolls series. It reimagines the open-world fantasy epic bringing to life a virtual world of blood-soaked battles and ancient evils. You can forge swords out of metal, shout at goats, battle dragons and freeze your enemies solid with the power of your voice. Also, if you really want to, you can get a mod to play as Amon Amarth.
3. Dark Souls
Dark Souls is a hardcore dark fantasy game that takes place in the fictional kingdom of Lordran. You assume the role of the cursed undead and begin a pilgrimage out of the Undead Asylum to discover your fete. There’s no big heavy names on this soundtrack but if we wanted to sum up the feel of the game with one band, we would probably say Edge of Sanity.
4. Guitar Hero
This one seems kind of obvious but with hundreds of classic songs, Guitar Hero gives the realest sense many of us will ever have of becoming a rock star. The new Guitar Hero brings the next evolution of the classic guitar with the strum and whammy bar providing old-school backup to the new 6-button layout. As for top tracks, you haven’t really played Guitar Hero till you’ve mastered Slayer’s Reigning Blood and Through the Fire and the Flames by Dragonforce.
5. Tony Hawk Pro Skater
If you grew up playing games like Tony Hawk Pro Skater you would probably have developed wicked taste in music. This game combines aerials, flips and grinds to a soundtrack of Dead Kennedys, Bad Religion and Motörhead – all endorsed by the great man himself.
The cover art for Doom could easily be mistaken for a metal album cover. This ultra-violent first-person-shooter game is based on a nameless marine who breaks through his metal restraints to enter a blood-soaked battlefield in a war against demons. Doom must battle the underworld to secure the fate of mankind and just to tie it all together, the soundtrack is probably one of the best metal albums of the last few years.
7. Twisted Metal: Black
Twisted Metal: Black is a car combat game that sends players on a deranged journey in the Twisted Metal tournament. This game brings forward some legendary characters including the series trademark character Needles Kane - a flaming headed clown and Axle, a man fused between two tyres with missile launchers on either shoulder. The soundtrack is mostly original compositions with some licenced tracks thrown in from Rob Zombie and Iggy Pop.
8. Duke Nukem
Duke Nukem is a first-person-shooter game based on the central character Duke who kicks ass against an Alien invasion that stole all the hot women and stopped Duke from sitting around drinking beer. The theme song for this game was performed by none other than Megadeth and Slayer’s Screaming from the Sky makes an appearance too.
9. Iron Maiden: Ed Hunter
Ed Hunter is the greatest hits album and video game compilation released by Iron Maiden in the 90’s. The game is played through Maiden’s mascot, Eddie, through various levels depicting the bands album cover collection. It’s definitely not the greatest game ever made but the CD track list was chosen by Maiden fans and includes favourites like Number of the Beast and Hallowed Be Thy Name.
10. Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War
Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War is a science-fiction RTS game set in the post-apocalyptic universe of the 41st millennium. Bringing together an imagery of the future of mankind with expansions coming out your ass, the most metal thing about Dawn of War is the Chaos faction – dark gods whose blood and blasphemy brings demons into the Warhammer universe.
BONUS DLC: The Witcher Series
We couldn't publish this in good conscience without mentiong The Witcher. Set in a brutal high medieval world, The Witcher series sees the player take control of Geralt of Rivia - a Witcher - whose job it is to hunt monsters and banish evil spirits. The game is filled to the brim with bloody R-rated violence, sex, and morally ambiguous decision making. The Witcher is far and away one of the most metal gaming experiences we've ever had, with Geralt "The White Wolf" slaying monsters in the streets, and ladies in the sheets!