2009: Guitar Hero Metallica, Guitar Hero Smash Hits, Guitar Hero Van Halen, Guitar Hero 5, Band Hero
2010: Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock, and umm, no more
Clearly, the constant release of new Guitar Hero games will be slowed down this year, the only title released being Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock. With that, is Warriors of Rock good enough to keep us rocking until 2011?
Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock puts players in an epic quest to save the Demigod of Rock from the Beast, who metaphorically appears to represent electronic based music. The new Quest Mode is separated into 8 chapters, excluding the Battle with the Beast and the 2112 chapter. In each chapter, you recruit a new warrior for the journey to save rock. Each warrior comes equipped with some pretty nice, gameplay changing power ups. Some power ups might turn the max multiplier to 6x, while others might earn you 10% Star Power for every ten note streak. All in all, the powers are pretty neat and get even more fun when you are in Domination mode. In Domination mode you must go back at every chapter, including the now-unlocked Demigod of Rock chapter, and earn forty stars in each song. Although it sounds intense and difficult, you now have all eight power up at once, making it much easier than usual. The Quest Mode is narrated by KISS frontman, Gene Simmons. Gene’s voice acting is easily forgettable and, at some times, is pretty bland and boring. The game’s visuals haven’t changed too much. The cutscenes, if you may call it that, certainly look nice. The transformation scenes are also particularly stunning. There isn’t too much worth getting excited about, graphically, but it does look really nice. All in all, the Quest Mode is certainly a move in the positive direction, shifting away from the overused, Career progression.
The chapter based around Rush’s 2112 song is where Warriors of Rock’s Quest Mode shines. In this chapter, you play along to the story being told by Rush’s 20 minute song 2112, separated into seven unique parts. The band narrates the story being told but, like Gene Simmons, the voice acting is bland and boring. The story, however, is interesting and fits perfectly in this Guitar Hero game. Along with the story in 2112, the venue for it looks amazing. Varying from each part, the visuals only gets better, and in the end (as seen above) becomes a beautiful venue. The ending battle also proves to be an epic game sequence for a music game. While playing through some of the game’s hardest Megadeth songs, you get to see the Beast and the Demigod of Rock battling it out. It was nice to take a look at it, if you aren’t too busy strumming it out on the difficult songs.
The game’s other strong point is its setlist. Despite what most critics might say, the setlist goes back to the roots of Guitar Hero. Warriors of Rock’s setlist is on the level of Guitar Hero II’s and Guitar Hero III’s. Although the game still supports full band gameplay, it clearly shows the Neversoft wanted to go out with a bang, and they succeeded. The setlist is completely guitar centered and brings the return of some bands we haven’t seen in a Guitar Hero game in a while, such as Aerosmith and Dragonforce. Along with that we have some amazing newcomers, such as Neil Young and Orianthi. The setlist is great, and the charts are a blast. I haven’t had this much fun playing a Guitar Hero game since Guitar Hero III. Besides the amazing 93 song setlist, the game also allows import options from Guitar Hero World Tour, Smash Hits, Band Hero and now Metallica. It is also backwards compatible with previous DLC. My setlist right now is at 387 songs, including the stock GHTracks songs, and it is only growing more and more. The setlist is great, but of course it isn’t perfect. There are some questionable choices, and some songs that don’t fit my personal taste, namely the Dethklok song.
Unlike Rock Band 3, there wasn’t many great changes done to the gameplay. However, it doesn’t mean it is sub par to Rock Band 3. The game packs some pretty nice new social features. Party Play has returned, except this time it doesn’t start as soon as you pop the disc in. In a way, I am actually happy to see this change. The loading time to start the game was already slow in Guitar Hero 5. In most cases, I just wanted to get into the main menu and didn’t want to be bothered with the Party Play right on start up. I do like Party Play, and do use it, but not right away. Quickplay has also evolved into something much more worthwhile-Quickplay+. Rather than just let you choose what song you want to play and get it over with, you now have a set of challenges for each song, even downloadable songs. There is a number of challenges for each instrument, including standard and non-standard bands. You can also choose two power ups unlocked from Quest Mode to earn an incredibly high score and excessive stars. A good plus to this is that it does not interfere with the leaderboards, as it has its own section in the Quickplay+ menus. Another nice new Quickplay+ feature is the ability to target a score of one of your friends or yourself, in any challenge and try and outdo them. You can then share this with your friend via PlayStation Network or Xbox Live. You can also share your scores with all of Facebook and Twitter, as the game now supports social network integration. The Rewards Tracker feature is also a nice plus. Giving more reason to Quickplay+, it keeps track of everything you unlock from playing along to your favorite songs, as you level up with stars you earn. Quickplay+ only helped Guitar Hero evolve into a much more social experience.
- Quest Mode
- 2112 Chapter
- Most of the setlist
- Facebook and Twitter Integration
- Option to target your friend’s score
- Lars Umlaut’s setlist (IMHO)
- Lack of great gameplay changes
- Gene Simmons and Rush’s voice acting
Overall, Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock is a big improvement from last year’s disappointment amongst fans in Guitar Hero 5. The setlist is great, and the new Quest Mode is well worth rocking to. Quickplay+ was a nice new addition, creating a much more social experience. Not much has changed in the multiplayer section, but it was already fine as it was. Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock is the game Guitar Hero fans have been asking for, and it finally hit stores.