E3 2010: Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock PreviewBy Paul Semel - Posted Jun 15, 2010
While Amazon might've ruined the surprise about the name of the next Guitar Hero game, there was plenty of new information revealed about it at an event Activision Blizzard held just a few weeks before E3. But while some aspects of the new Hero will make fans of this series very excited, others might have them scratching their heads.
Dubbed Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock, and being made by Neversoft (Guitar Hero 5), the game features a story-driven career mode called Quest Mode that has players searching for a mythical magical guitar (though by “quest,” we mean you play songs like you always do in these games). They even got Kiss bassist Gene Simmons to be the narrator, while the game features artwork that recalls the iconic work of such fantasy painters as Boris Vallejo and the late Frank Frazetta.
It's all very Brütal Legend, which is rather funny when you consider that Activision Blizzard opted not to release Legend when they merged with that game's original publisher, Vivendi. Except it doesn't have that game's sense of humor, and instead kind of comes across a bit, well, cheesy.
Equally worrisome are the new mechanics Neversoft is utilizing. In the game, your character can do a one-time transformation, and with it comes a new power. For example, Johnny Napalm transforms into a wall-crawling demon, which gives him the ability to always have a multiplier, and with said multipliers now going up to 11, er 5.
These new abilities can then be used across any other modes, including a new mode called Quick Play Plus, in which songs come with added challenges you can complete for more stars. These include “Nail all the hammer-ons,” “Whammy as long as you can,” and so on. Best of all, these will work with all the songs in the game, including any DLC you might've downloaded over the years, all of which will work with Warriors. “Wunderbar!”
This is where things get good. Befitting the game's fantasy tone, Warriors is going for a decidedly rocky setlist, with the included songs dominated by heavy metal, classic rock, punk, and even industrial. Besides tunes by Black Sabbath (“Children Of The Grave”), Anthrax (“Indians”), and Nine Inch Nails (“Wish”), the game will also include tracks from ZZ Top, The Rolling Stones, and Jane's Addiction.
Even more impressive, the game will feature unreleased songs from two of metal's mightiest titans: Megadeth and Metallica. Called “Sudden Death,” Megadeth's contribution was not only recorded exclusively for the game, but it is the first since the group's recent reunion with founding bassist Dave Ellison. As for Metallica, their track is a live version of Black Sabbath's “Paranoid” featuring Sabbath singer Ozzy Osbourne on vocals, which was recorded during the 25th Anniversary Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame concert last October at New York's Madison Square Garden. It, along with other performances from that night -- which included Sabbath's “Iron Man” with Ozzy -- were broadcast on HBO, but the song has not be released otherwise.
Less impressive, but also less binding, the game will feature a new guitar controller. This one, which has a more metal look about it, actually has parts that can be taken off and switched out so you can make the guitar look like a battle axe instead of something an '80s hair metal band would use. This new guitar will be available in a bundle with the drum kit first released last year in conjunction with Band Hero, though, as always, you can just use whatever controllers you have lying around.
Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock will released on September 20 for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and Wii.