Iron Maiden: Ed Hunter (1999)
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— Obscure Game Aesthetics (@game_obscure) September 17, 2021
For people who subscribe to a head-banging way of life and listen to the heaviest of music at the biggest festivals, playing games with a similar theme has its appeal. Thankfully, for gamers, there have been a number of gaming products with a strong dose of heavy metal over the years.
Some games have a heavy metal element through the theme music that is played in the background of a particular boss battle, while there have even been some releases on classic consoles that feature world-famous bands using their instruments as weapons. It’s a fairly diverse genre full of a variety of games. Some have been good, while others have been worth avoiding, too.
In general, themed games tend to appeal to fans of certain things. For example, soccer supporters are inundated with titles dedicated to the beautiful game. Likewise, foodies have numerous titles with food-related scenes, such as Dante’s never-ending love of pizza in Devil May Cry. There are also titles within Playtech’s top ten slot games that offer strong themes, be it releases based on hit movies like Kong: The 8th Wonder of the World or products with strong mythological roots, like the Age of the Gods franchise. Essentially, themed games have always appealed to specific audiences.
This particular genre’s classic releases
As there has generally always been an appetite for games with a heavy metal element, there have been plenty of memorable options over the years. For instance, Iron Maiden fans were undoubtedly delighted when the band released their Iron Maiden: Ed Hunter album alongside a game with the same name. While it wasn’t the best creation and only featured eight levels that were fairly similar, it added another layer of intrigue to the band’s album release, particularly as the music from the album was played throughout.
Even iconic skating games, such as Tony Hawk Pro Skater 1 and 2, feature numerous metal classics as gamers skate their way to some high scores. From Papa Roach and System of a Down, to Flogging Molly and Millencolin, the much-loved game’s music is filled with plenty of tracks that warrant the odd head-banging moment, although they aren’t always strictly from the heavy metal genre.
Classic titles like Doom are also filled with numerous metal soundtracks thanks to the electronic metal compositions that were put together by esteemed composer, Mick Gordon. The music worked perfectly in sync with the blood-filled chaos that ensued within a typical Doom gaming session.
We’ve even seen games based on metal bands
While games like Tony Hawk Pro Skater offer a softer approach around the inclusion of some heavy metal-esque masterpieces, games like Hail To The King: Deathbat went one step further. A release that was based on Avenged Sevenfold’s mascot, plus the artwork featured on the cover of the album ‘Hail To The King’, the dark fantasy action RPG received solid reviews and went down well with fans of the band and gaming audiences alike.
Even the Guitar Hero and Rock Band series of games managed to encapsulate the genre beautifully, with fans able to drum along as their heroes to some iconic metal tracks, with heavy metal royalty, such as Metallica, Motörhead, and Black Sabbath having playable tracks on the game. Metallica’s very own Guitar Hero: Metallica is a thing, too.
March 29th, 2009: Metallica’s very own “Guitar Hero: Metallica” game got released!
— MᴇᴛᴀʟʟɪᴄA (@BookOfMetallicA) March 29, 2023
For fans chasing some heavy metal-themed virtual escapades, there are some unforgettable releases to sample as gaming and the heavy metal genre continue to successfully collide.