“You know what I miss more than adventure games? Platform games. I was really sad that by the time Psychonauts came out it was illegal to make a platform game. I like a happy, brightly coloured platform game – now everything has to be dark and gritty, and have a lot of shooting in it,” said Double Fine’s Tim Schafer in an interview with Eurogamer.
“People bemoan the loss of adventure games, but no-one wants to be sad about platform games. I think that’s a big loss… younger kids want to act like older kids, wanting to have guns, shoot things and be violent,” he continued. “A lot of them would like a fun, happy platform game.”
So why then has Schafer decided to join the hack and slash fray with an action game based on the brutal, bloody imagery of classic heavy metal album covers? Because his version of “dark and gritty” still manages to be “fun and happy,” blending game genres into something much greater than the sum of its parts.
“Psychonauts was dark…but not dark like ‘I’ve been tortured for five years and everything’s melodramatic!’…It was about that mixture of happy and sad that everybody’s life is,” he said. “[Brütal Legend] is more like a hero’s tale. Like Norse mythology. The stories are bigger, the characters are bigger…it’s not like in Psychonauts with Gloria’s sadness about her mother. This is more comparable to…Odin.”