Recently, gameplay footage for a never-released Metallica video game came out, leaving us saddened over a piece of Metallica pop culture that never was. The game was going to be called Damage Inc., according to a video posted on PtoPOnline.com. The original trailer was made available during the release promotions for the band's 2003 masterpiece St. Anger, with the game set for launch in 2005.
This got me thinking about what kind of video game Metallica would make. As many have pointed out, the unfinished version of Damage Inc. appears to be a Twisted Metal meets Grand Theft Auto clone. But as a true Metallica fan, I know this game would have provided a more rich and meaningful experience. After all, the band's philosophical discography has inspired generations of great minds. From Elon Musk to Leonardo Da Vinci, they all blast Metallica on the daily. To shed some light on the forsaken Metallica video game, I spent 30 years listening to Master of Puppets on repeat and thinking about Kirk Hammett's smile, and making things up. No doubt, it would have joined the ranks of the Final Fantasy series, Super Mario Bros, and No Man's Sky.
After thinking about what the explanation for the wasteland setting of the game could be, the only possibility is Metallica lawsuits have left the planet barren of all life and joy. It's a disturbing universe where Lulu is considered a good album and people still pay $20 for CDs. Footage of the game does not feature any of the band's music, which is easily the game's strongest selling point. Fans have the ability to play the game without triggering any discussions about albums made after Load. This game needs to be released with virtual reality capabilities. Users could interact within a kind of hardcore Metallica fan Matrix and have the ability customize their avatars. Players could select everything down to their favourite type of alcohol-based liver damage, their preferred shade of white skin, and even create a custom catchphrase, such as, "Nascar is a sport." Metallica fans would finally find peace in a mullet-intense, 1980s world.
In the game, you apparently drive a deadly vehicle with the purpose of killing your enemies. I assume on easy mode, you compete against drummer and band co-founder Lars Ulrich's ability to hold a steady tempo. The harder difficulties would have you face off against his emotional outbursts. Since the game is about blowing up cars with guns, I would suggest a better title than Damage Inc. The game should be called Blowing up Cars with Guns: The Sound of Metallica When they Cover Once-Great Songs by Other Artists.
If they decide to release Damage Inc., I hope it supports online gameplay. Think of all the possible Easter eggs. Via the magic of the internet, players could see a live feed of former Metallica bass guitarist Jason Newsted weeping over his departure from the band. Or, you could watch James Hetfield thank himself for writing deep lyrics, such as, "We're so fucked/ Shit outta luck/ Hardwired to self-destruct." Sounds like a Greek tragedy. Even in its early stages of production, the sounds effects on Damage Inc. are exquisite. Obviously, if the game were released today Metallica would stay on brand ruin that feature. No sounds on a new Metallica-themed anything should be done under the supervision of a capable engineer.
Rumour has it the game also has cheat codes. If you press up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right, B, A, start while playing the Metallica video game, Metallica will sue you. The game was set for release on PS2, Xbox and PC, but probably most Metallica fans are too busy playing the riff from "Enter the Sandman" on guitar over and over and denying high school ever ended.
Devin Pacholik is for whom the bells toll. Follow him on Twitter.