Thought that the plastic peripheral party game genre was dead and buried? Sadly for the lack of space in my closet, Activision is wheeling out the Guitar Hero franchise once more with Guitar Hero Live. After 2010’s Warriors of Rock, there were so many GH games that no one was buying them any more and the 2008 recession meant that no one could afford to buy them anyway, so clearly the publisher thinks enough time has passed and we’re ready to be rock gods again.
Guitar Hero Live will need more than a double dose of nostalgia to revive the series though, which is why Activision has completely ripped everything up and is trying something completely new. The latest Guitar Hero game will be far more realistic than before and you can find out more after the break.
Guitar Hero Live for PS3, PS4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One
Guitar Hero Live is a game of two halves. The first is the ‘live’ section which will put players in the shoes of a rockstar – from a first person viewpoint. So when you rock out, the crowd and your bandmates rock out with you but if you drop notes like hot lump of molten then expect everyone to boo, jeer and even throw things at your virtual noggin. Then there’s Guitar Hero TV (GHTV) which replaces the crowd and the rest of the band with music videos. Only singles tend to get music videos (unless you’re Beyoncé), so the selection from your favourite artists might be limited, but it’s good for those not digging the new realistic visuals.
Guitar Hero Live will also be a strictly six-string affair so you won’t need to find room for drums and a mic. The new GH Live guitar has six buttons (two rows of three) that will resemble the chords of a real guitar more closely, though don’t expect to be an actual guitar playing wizard because of it – instead it just allows the game to throw more complex notes and chords at us and ramp up the difficulty. This means that none of your older GH instruments will be compatible and you’ll have to buy the new guitar if you want to play Guitar Hero Live. Music you’ve bought for older GH games also won’t work.
While I certainly have issues with the lack of compatibility – especially as Rock Band 4 will launch later this year and will work with the entire Rock Band music library and all of the older instruments – the new realism does concern me a little. I say this just because Guitar Hero‘s cartoon avatars were a fairly diverse bunch before but the character’s hands in the above trailer were unmistakeably white. It seems like a small thing but if Activision wants this to be a truly real and immersive experience, they’ll have to accommodate everyone, even if that means letting us add a little pigment to our virtual digits.
Also, in this screenshot for the game, one concert-goer is wearing a Native American headdress like decoration which is a big no-no. Hm.
Guitar Hero Live will be released in Fall 2015 for PS3, PS4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One. The game and controller will cost $99.