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Preview | A7X’s Hail to the King: Deathbat a legit dungeon crawler

by on June 18, 2014
 

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Heavy metal band Avenged Sevenfold is getting into the video game industry with their upcoming dungeon-crawler Hail to the King: Deathbat, which is coming to both iOS and Android later this year.

The game, which is being developed by Subscience Studios in collaboration with the band’s lead singer M. Shadows, is a pretty legit game that harkens back to the days of difficult adventure games that also highlights the band’s iconic artwork.

I recently went hands-on with the game in San Francisco, and while I wasn’t really sure what to expect, I came away excited about the prospects of the game.  In the game, you play as the band’s mascot Deathbat, as he attempts to take back the underworld from Dark Andronikos.  You’ll hack and slash your way through various dungeons, each with their own flavor, that seems to mix elements of Diablo and The Legend of Zelda.  You’ll collect loot, unlock new weapons, and band members as wel, which you can use in the game including the late Rev, the band’s original drummer who was used with the blessing of his family and wields the game’s most powerful weapon.  The other band members have their own unique weapons and attacks, which adds some variety to the gameplay, made cooler by voice overs by those members.

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Having spoken to M. Shadows for nearly an hour, it’s quite clear that he’s a hardcore gamer.  Having seen a short documentary on the band previously (and my step kids happen to be huge A7X fans as well), I knew he was quite the gamer, but his knowledge is vast and there’s no doubt this game is being developed not as a cash-in on the band’s popularity, but because there is a legit love of video games.  For fans of the band who may not be that much into mobile games, there is still a ton of fan service to be had, as each dungeon has the band’s music, while boss fights are made even cooler by their tracks that the dungeons are based off of, while unlockable artwork is also a bonus.

“We’ve been fans of games since we were kids, and we thought it would be fun to create one of our own inspired by our favorites,” said M. Shadows. “There are so many cool and innovative indie games being developed today, and we realized we could design and build the kind of game we’d love to play on our own. It is coming together amazingly well, and we can’t wait to share it.”

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For the hardcore gamer, this is a game that doesn’t offer much hand-holding and is a fun game to play all on its own, whether you’ve heard of Avenged Sevenfold or not.  Even the opening cinematic (which takes some style from the opening of Wind Waker) is well-developed and long.  In fact, the game will be over 1GB in size as there is so much content in it and content that is worthy of a digital download on a console.

The hellish dungeon-crawler has potential and I left the demo anxious to sink my teeth deeper into what Hail to the King: Deathbat has to offer. Fortunately, the game is being scheduled for a summer release, according to M. Shadows who says that the QA process has been going great.

Whether you’re a fan of the band or a gamer, this is one to watch for when it finally arrives.

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