In the early aughts, before Guitar Hero turned out to be a natural fit, Metallica nearly had a completely different video game. Entitled Damage, Inc., it was a vehicle battle game in the spirit of Twisted Metal and early Grand Theft Auto installments, set in a post-apocalyptic landscape with Mad Max-style mods on the cars and trucks, and burned out cities side by side with deserts as your arena. Now, the excellent archivists at PtoPOnline on YouTube have dug up some footage (sent our way via a tip from Nerdist reader Kyle LeClair), and in the video above, tell the story of how it came about.
Aside from the fact that the Metallica “Scary Guy” logo from the Binge & Purge box set was printed on the roofs of several of the vehicles, it’s not clear how exactly the game reflects the band in any way, though presumably their music would have been on the soundtrack. Like, I think any Metallica fan could imagine a moving platform game based on “The Memory Remains,” a horror/escape game inspired by “Sanitarium,” or even a Five Nights at Freddy’s-style Some Kind of Monster movie game, where you have to maintain the sound booth, keeping every band member at a distance and it ends when either Lars or James enters your room and screams in your face. But this? It looks like it was more inspired by Dr. Dre and Tupac’s “California Love.”
The atmosphere is impressive, enhanced by night and day effects that at times look eerily close to the scene in Mad Max: Fury Road where they all drive into the eye of the storm. Ironically enough, once Damage, Inc. was scrapped as a Metallica game, there was some thought of repurposing it into a Mad Max one. That didn’t happen, but we did get a different one eventually. And equally ironically, Metallica would go on to make the concert-ish movie Through the Never, featuring a side-plot that would be perfect for video-game adaptation, with Dane DeHaan fighting his way through a riot-ridden city to retrieve a leather bag from a stranded truck.
We Metalli-heads are still waiting. Maybe Hardwired…to Self-Destruct will inspire some new designers.
Would you have played this Metallica game, or is there another idea that would be better? Gives us fuel for thought in comments below.