Yes, it is indeed official: the Guitar Hero series is getting rebooted. It didn’t take long for Kotick to rethink his plans, but it is great to know the series hasn’t reached its ultimate demise just yet. Seeing as though it is clarified that no ‘Hero’ game will be released this year and no game announcements have been formally made yet, it is likely that we won’t see this anytime soon. However, that doesn’t mean that we can’t ask for what we want. Being a huge fan, fanboy if you must, of the ‘Hero’ franchise and music games in general, I am already sold. However, there are certain features and changes that I would like to be present in the next Guitar Hero game. Read on to see if anything matches what you want.
One thing that greatly brought Guitar Hero down was its lack of innovation. While I am still a fan of Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock, truth be told, it brought nothing new to the table. That was the utmost unfortunate piece of the game, seeing as how the competition completely reshaped the music game genre as a whole. For the reboot, don’t just bring the same old tired formula with new songs: change it up a bit. Do all that you can to make it feel different while still having that ‘Guitar Hero’ feel to it.
Keep It Guitar Focused
The game is called GUITAR Hero. While the fourth entry to the series added full band support, the developers behind the series seemed to have forgotten where the series got its name. Instead, they focused on much simpler songs that are made to be more ‘band friendly.’ Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock was a step in the right direction, bringing challenge and guitar focused songs back into the mix. The reboot should continue that formula, while still featuring full band gameplay. Also worth noting is perhaps adding rhythm guitar into the mix.
Keep The Imports and DLC Coming
Just because this is a reboot and is set to reinvent the series doesn’t mean we can’t rock on to our favorite songs from other Guitar Hero games. Activision needs to make sure that we can still play our imported tracks from Guitar Hero World Tour, Guitar Hero Smash Hits, Guitar Hero 5, Band Hero and Guitar Hero: Metallica. Along with that, why not bring in some more imports, such as Guitar Hero: Van Halen’s robust song library and of course, Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock. That being said, Guitar Hero is notable for not having an entirely great downloadable content selection. Sure, we do have some great tracks on the store, but it is worth being said that the Rock Band DLC library is entirely superior. Activision ended with a great selection of tracks, including classics reinvented from past Guitar Hero games, but the supposed death of Guitar Hero also killed the DLC tracks. With a new life set for the series, it is important to keep it DLC heavy and refrain from recycling the name over and over again.
Fix Up The GHStudio
Harmonix launched the Rock Band Network, which allows small-time bands as well as more known bands to incorporate their own songs into the Rock Band DLC database. While Guitar Hero did start the idea of inputting your own music, Rock Band did indeed perfect it, allowing for vocals support and the such. Guitar Hero should consider the same approach, but instead allowing the task to be completed on the system rather than a personal computer. Perhaps uploading the song from your system and playing alongside it, and further editing after completion. Worst comes to worst, Guitar Hero can simply work up a software for the PC so it can be done similarly to the Rock Band Network. This would probably work in the better favor, but it would be a fantastic approach for the Guitar Hero series. Of course, copyright issues would remain, but certain artists seemed to let things slide. Bed Intruder made it onto Rock Band, so I’m sure we can get some big artists onto the scene as well.
Due to the massive amount of Guitar Hero titles, I have had to remake my custom character a total of seven times. After a while, I just started creating random rockers to get on with the game. It seriously gets tedious and annoying to have to recreate your own character countless times. I remember recreating real-life artists such as Slash and Lil Wayne only to leave them behind when the newest entry came out. For the reboot, please allow us to import our characters from Warriors of Rock at least. Why not import other favorite characters as well, such as the Demigod of Rock? It would be a great move, and would assist in refraining from oversaturating the series.
I think it is safe to say that this is sure to happen. However, don’t let the idea of the keyboard ruin the setlist. Get rock heavy songs that support the keyboard, with other tracks that are dedicated to keys. Also, don’t recycle the gameplay style of Rock Band’s keyboard. Find a unique way to change it up a bit. Guitar Hero World Tour brought in drums, and also added cymbals into the mix, changing the way Rock Band invented it. Guitar Hero 7 could do the same thing with the keyboard instrument.
My own personal title for a real life instrument trainer. Rock Band 3 brought in Pro Mode, allowing players to (somewhat, but not really) play actual instruments, including guitar, keyboard and drums. Guitar Hero should make sure to do something similar, but reinvent it in its own way of course. Perhaps an all out separate career for Hero Mode, that has players start off in the lowest difficulty but master their way up as they get better at that difficulty. This is merely one idea to bring the idea of true realism into the picture.
Keep The Arcade Feel
Despite the above statement of adding in a realistic setting, this shouldn’t be the game’s focus. Guitar Hero is notable for having an arcade feel to it. Outrageous venues and caricatures for characters make Guitar Hero what it is. Keep that feel entirely, and bring it back with the reboot, similar to what Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock did. Add the Hero Mode into the mix, but don’t make the game want to be realistic. Perhaps allowing players to change the settings around to make the game a realistic game or a caricature game. I can certainly see the pressing of one button changing the way the game looks in its entirety.
There you have it. These are only some of the ways I feel Guitar Hero can be improved. Furthermore, I’m sure Activision may have a couple tricks up their sleeves to try and reinvent the series in their own form of way. I just hope they take the right approach, bringing in the massive amount of fans Guitar Hero once had. Have any ideas of your own, sound off in the comments below!