By this time I am sure you know what “Guitar Hero” is and how it is played, so I’m not going to bore you with a discussion on how to play the game. Instead let’s focus on what is new, what worked, and what didn’t.
More than likely you choose to play the story portion at some point in order to unlock songs & earn trophies. This is where I think the bulk of my complaints are. You are not on a tour, you are not earning fans, you are not going to new venues. Nope, instead you are on some epic mythical quest to free a guitar and become your true warrior self complete with deep booming narrating guy that lays out the whole journey for you as you progress. When you become your warrior self the character alters slightly becoming darkers & twisted. Honestly I didn’t care about the story one way or another and even though it was cheesy and a waste of time & effort on the creators part IMO I probably wouldn’t have hated it as much if it wasn’t for two things. First it causes things to load terribly slow. The menus & final battles are bogged down because of the background graphics, narration, and storyline. Next is you can not skip past it. Fine if they felt this is the next step in making “Guitar Hero” stay new & relevant but please don’t force me to watch a subpar storyline; if I was looking for story & character development I would opt to play Final Fantasy or some other RPG. I don’t know about you but I play “Guitar Hero” for the music and only the music.
Next up is the song selection. There are some great songs, some good songs, some decent songs, & some shitty songs included. This is the case with all of them as not everyone will have the same taste & like everything. But some of the songs chosen are not great for a game like this. Maybe back in the day when you were only playing guitar; but now that there is a full band you need to keep that in mind. Lars’ section if you choose to take up the mic you will be let down as you are basically just going to have to speak the lyrics. And when you get to Casey you have a ton of jam songs which is great for the guitar, a little boring for drums, and leaves the vocalist with time to grab drinks & snacks for the rest of the group. In order to make up for the lack of vocals throughout the game you are left instead vamping the crowd saying things like “Woo”, “It’s great to be here”, etc. And yes there are a ton of songs this time around but I don’t know if it is really fair to brag about it when 7 are Rush (2112) and another 3 are Megadeth and then you have the whole studio songs that they always add on.
Here are some new things that have been added to the game. Each character possesses a power, anything from boosts in star power, doubling up the multiplier, giving you a grace on missing a note, etc. You will still have to battle in “Guitar Hero Warriors Of Rock” in order to open new levels and gain new characters. And you will be given the option to create bands (teams) to help you get past certain things. You will need to set up your band based on powers that compliment and help you out the most. I am not a huge fan of the battling; but the addition of powers was a nice touch.
As far as other game-play if you start out with a band that has a guitarist & vocalist, when you come back to the storyline you do not have to continue with that, you can go on with just guitar, or change it up to drums & guitar, whatever you like. You are not locked into one kind of band. You have the party mod option so you can jump in & out of songs. And of course you can pick one of the premade characters (there are a couple of new ones) or you can create your own.
Will you like the game? Well if you have liked past “Guitar Heroes” I don’t see why you wouldn’t enjoy this one too. But I do think that in trying to compete with games like “Rock Band” and putting so much focus on trying new things they may in the future sink the series. Instead of focusing on massive storylines, new characters, and battles give us more songs, a better variety that works for all players not just guitar, and keep working on making it feel more like you are really playing an instrument, not just mashing buttons.
I will add that the story portion was easy to beat. It took me only 2 nites playing casually for a few hours and on the story side there is little to no replay value.