There’s nothing more metal than tearing through an army of demons with two smoking barrels and an accompanying soundtrack gnarly enough to make the guys in Rammstein quake in their boots. It’s the type of hellish material that only few have been able to knuckle in on, yet a type that, if executed properly, is a power that yields to no subsidiary. A couple of examples that come to mind right off the bat are DOOM, and of course, the newly released Metal: Hellsinger—two outlandish shooters that elevate their game through the art of high-octane combat and metal-induced ballads.
Granted, these aren’t the only two FPS IPs that make use of an iron score and a nexus of face-melting executions. For what it’s worth though, they are two of the best on the modern market, and both credits to the genre, as a whole. Question is, which of the two is the better choice in 2023.
What Is Metal: Hellsinger?
First and foremost, there’s the elephant in the room that needs acknowledging: DOOM and Metal: Hellsinger aren’t actually connected to one another in any way, shape, or form. Matter of fact, the former is a story-driven shooter, whereas the latter is a rhythm shooter, through and through, neither of which share the same world, characters, or lore. And while it is easy to believe that the two are related, if not by blood then by spirit, the fact still remains: DOOM and Metal: Hellsinger are a few oceans apart.
With that out of the way, let’s talk about Metal: Hellsinger. What is it, and how does it tie in with the likes of DOOM, Bulletstorm, or any anarchic fantasy shooter for that matter? Well, to put it short, Metal: Hellsinger is an episodic rhythm first-person shooter by The Outsiders. Its concept, much like a lot of the DOOM chapters, involves having players blaze their ways through several biomes in a hostile underworld—a crimson nexus that’s home to demonic beasts and sadistic creatures.
What sets Metal: Hellsinger apart from DOOM is its rhythmic blueprint—a gameplay style that, unlike the traditional run-and-gun style that DOOM adopts, invites players to shoot to a beat. It isn’t mandatory, but it does offer a selection of incentives—a higher score at the end of each round, being the most obvious. If players can keep in time with a slider that serves up beat-based nodes on a regular basis, then scores ultimately tally up to unlock better rewards and in-game perks. It’s simple, yet oh so effective.
What Is DOOM?
DOOM is a franchise that needs no introduction, as it has single-handedly managed to retain a foothold on the FPS front for the best part of three decades or so. With its first entry releasing back in 1993, the IP itself has only gone on to exceed fans’ expectations and become one of the most sought-after shooters on the market. And quite frankly, we doubt that it’ll be departing anytime soon, either.
In short, DOOM is series of first-person shooters—tales in which players take control of Doom Slayer, a space marine who’s tasked with eradicating a demonic species that wreaks havoc on Earth. Each chapter, in a similar vein to the last, depicts similar events, only with vaguely different locations and enemies. Predictable, but addictive all the same.
Gameplay, Weapons & Settings
It goes without saying that, being two games with a mind for heart-pounding combat, neither Metal: Hellsinger nor DOOM have a shortage of weapons. On the contrary, each IP boasts not only a standard range of melee weapons, but ranged and projectile, too. And these weapons aren’t exactly hard to come by, either, with each title offering an entire arsenal in the preliminary phases of each respective campaign. So, if it’s balls-to-the-wall action you’re after, then boy, you’re spoilt for choice.
Gameplay-wise, both games offer the same arcade-style action, similar to the vast majority of classic first-person shooters. Neither of the two are overly long, either, with DOOM Eternal clocking in at around the ten-hour mark, and Metal: Hellsinger coughing up just four, maybe five. Regardless of the difficulty setting you opt for, though, both campaigns provide numerous incentives to replay levels, if not for the added challenge, but additional perks and unlockables.
Finally, there’s the progression, which consists of level-based chapters that are spread out over a single story. In Metal: Hellsinger, the chapters are broken down into themed zones, each of which provide several waves of enemies, and then the same recurring boss fight to segue into a new area. Predictable, yes, but surprisingly upbeat and entertaining all the same.
DOOM is slightly different, in the fact that it aims to supply meatier chapters, so to speak. And with each zone having a wide range of explorable areas and pockets of additional lore, this leads to a drawn-out experience, one that steers away from the standard A-to-B progression system that Metal: Hellsinger adheres to. Bottom line there is, if it’s a bulkier game you’re after, then DOOM is sure to give you your fill. For a shorter journey through the same hellish landscapes, seek out Hellsinger.
While The Outsiders’ attempt to reinvent the metal-inspired romp through the seven circles of Hell blueprint was admirable at best, it wasn’t quite enough to dislodge DOOM, a powerhouse of a FPS series that has been reigning supreme for decades, from the podium. Nevertheless, for everything it did bring to the table—a killer score and all the addictive action to boot—it did it remarkably well. And so, let it be said that while DOOM clearly has the better worlds and physics, Metal: Hellsinger is still a ridiculously good game, and not to mention a credit to the FPS community.
Of course, it all boils down to personal preference, as it often does when it comes to dividing a wedge between two products with a similar design. That said, given the legacy that DOOM has built for itself, and not to mention the countless IPs it has inspired in the decades it’s been on the block, it’d be an absolute insult to shoot one down in favour of, well, a lesser-known work of art.
It’s an easy choice for those devoted to the metal scene, mind you. Musically, both franchises boast impeccable scores and atmospheric soundboards—to the point of putting Hans Zimmer to work, even. And on that note, if it’s a generic romp through Hell with a power solo-toting orchestra behind your back that you’re after, then you’ve found not one, but two pristine examples right there on the frontline. For everything else, which includes all-round better combat mechanics and variety, seek shelter in the clutches of DOOM and its casket of unholy treasures.
So, what’s your take? Do you agree with our verdict? Let us know your thoughts over on our socials here.