Metal: Hellsinger is a rhythm FPS, staying on the beat is integral. The more musically accurate you are with your shots and kills, the higher your score, the more damage you deal, and, most importantly, the more music you get to enjoy.
If staying on-tempo is giving you trouble, the rest of the game will quickly fall apart. We’ve collected four of our best tips for improving your ability to slay to the beat so you can take the fight to demons across the eight Hells.
Becoming One With the Beat
Metal: Hellsinger does a good job of introducing its shoot-to-the-beat mechanics, with both the tutorial and opening levels leaning on slower songs with more recognizable percussion and less overall accompaniment. Things quickly ramp up, however, and if you haven’t mastered the rhythm-shooting by the second level, don’t expect to have an easy time for the rest of the game.
One of the most important things to remember is to listen to the kick drum when starting a level; most songs begin by prominently featuring its thump, thump, thump, thump. Focusing on that as you play will help you get through most of each level since many of the songs don’t deviate from a basic 4/4 time signature.
It’s also important to remember that the reticle pulses with the beat of the kick drum, as do the red centers of the Marionettes found throughout every Hell. Most stages start with Marionettes within visible range, so watch their midsections to learn the beat before letting the bullets fly.
Something else that can be useful, if a little awkward, is to say the beats out loud (1,2,3,4) as you play, which can help you focus on the core beat amongst the chaos or get back on beat if you lose it.
Practice with Paz
The Paz skull weapon is the main way you’ll be keeping your Fury meter up, but more importantly, he allows you to practice Perfect shots without needing an enemy to shoot. As the underlying beat of a level’s music doesn’t change as the sounds get more complex, you can use Paz to get yourself accustomed to the tempo.
Pull out Paz and try to string Perfect hits together when you first load into a level. The music loops endlessly, so take as much time as you need to get accustomed to the speed of the music. Head to the first encounter area and test your skills once you feel comfortable. Remember that practice and real-world execution are separate things, so if getting into the action causes you to fall off, don’t be discouraged. Keep at it.
Replay Early Levels
The first few levels of Metal: Hellsinger are the easiest in the game, and the difficulty ramps up quickly past those. While you won’t be practicing speed by going through the first few levels, you can ingrain the core mechanics into your brain. As progression is all about furthering your mastery of the music and testing your reflexes, you may hit a wall that will take additional effort to break, and mastering the first several levels will lay the groundwork for doing so.
Listen to the Music Outside of a Level
You gain access to a level’s soundtrack once you complete it, so if you managed to make it through a level but didn’t do as well as you would have liked to, head into the Extras section of the Codex and listen to the music free of additional distractions.
Grab a pen or use your feet, hands, or fingers tap every time you hear the beat of the percussion (kick drum). Take that experience into the level to see how you did and compare your out-of-game experience with how you do while playing. With that comparison in mind, try to determine where the disconnect is. You’ll probably find what you think is the percussion is an off-beat or something similar, so take some more time to practice listening closely to the music.
Check your Audio and Visual Calibration
Precision controls are essential to staying on the beat in Metal: Hellsinger, no matter what difficulty you play on. The developers knew this and provided an audio and visual calibration system, so you know your control scheme is dialed in and accurate. If you feel you’re hitting the beat properly, but the game isn’t giving you the perfect rating, go into the Settings and run the calibrations again. Depending on how much delay you need, the game can adjust when it registers your shots.
The gameplay and music are inseparable in Metal: Hellsinger, so your enjoyment of one is intrinsically linked to the other, as is your skill at playing. Check out our other guides to the game, including best Sigils and how to keep up your Fury. Our review of the game is here for your enjoyment as well.