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Fortnite’s nod to Metallica is the latest in a vibrant history of gaming metal crossovers

You can now purchase a Master of Puppets emote in Fortnite, letting you rock out like a true Hetfield with up to three fellow players.

Announced by Fortnite’s official Twitter account, the emote will set you back to the tune of 500 V-Bucks (roughly $3.50 / £2.80 / AU$5.10) and turns you and your teammates into heavy metal legends as you take on an instrument and thrash your way through Metallica’s hit.

You can pick up the latest addition to Fortnite’s Icon Series by navigating to the in-game Item Shop and scrolling down to find the Master of Puppets emote. Your three bandmates don’t have to have the emote in their libraries in order to join in, though, so only one of you needs to purchase it if you want to put on a little show of your own.

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Rocked and loaded

Although you won’t be changing into a Lars Ulrich get-up for your moment in the spotlight, Fortnite’s little nod to heavy metal heavyweights Metallica has earned it a spot in the loud and illustrious history of metal and gaming crossovers. 

The legacy of rock crossovers in gaming dates way back, but 2022 alone has been a great one for metalhead gamers. Just some of my favorite crossovers this year include Hi-Rez Studios’ third-person shooter Smite’s dedicated Slipknot skins and how Metal: Hellsinger combined elements of first-person melee action games with Guitar Hero-style on-the-beat mechanics for a truly unique experience. When it comes to Metal: Hellsinger, heavy metal titans Arch Enemy, Trivium, and Lamb Of God wrote and performed songs especially for the Swedish-made indie gem, resulting in the perfect soundtrack for demon-blasting fun.

Perhaps my favorite metal-gaming crossover of late, however, is Ice Nine Kills’ original song Hunting Season, which the band wrote for cross-platform battle royale PUBG: Battlegrounds. The horror-obsessed metallers have made a name for themselves as kings of creating musical love letters to cult films and literature, so it was cool to see Ice Nine Kills incorporating elements of PUBG’s original theme music into an original track that longtime fans of the game will appreciate – metal fan or not.

Other games that really put the pedal to the metal include DoubleFine’s action-adventure Brütal Legend, which sees a roadie (played by Jack Black) exploring a fantasy world modelled after iconic album covers, and Kiss: Psycho Circus: The Nightmare Child, a first-person shooter from (you guessed it) glam rockers KISS.

Fortnite might not be the first to incorporate heavy metal into a video game, but Epic Games has certainly done so strategically. Master of Puppets has rocketed back onto international music charts, thanks to the fourth season of Netflix’s sci-fi horror show Stranger Things, so who knows which other rock n’ roll legends might find their way into the game’s Icon Series next?

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