In the great war of the plastic guitar games, two games have risen to the top of the pile, and vying for some sort of critical or commercial dominance over the other. But luckily we’ve reached a point in the history of the development of said music games that the two games can take different innovative tacks. Rock Band can teach you how to play, if you want, but the new Guitar Hero wants to teach you to be nothing less than a Rock God.
Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock works to innovate by delving deeper into the imagery and aesthetic of heavy metal, from the big hair and leather pants to the demons, dragons and naked chicks holding swords. The stuff of awesome van air-brush jobs. Warriors of Rock’s Quest Mode is a most metal adventure, narrated by Gene Simmons and featuring characters that will develop magical rock powers over time, and culminates in a final death-struggle between the Demi-God of Rock and The Beast. They will fight it out behind your band as you play three Megadeth songs in a row to finish the game. Sounds epic.
Speaking of Megadeth, Dave Mustaine didn’t just contribute some recorded tracks, he actually composed a song from the game. And at Activision’s press event for the game on Wednesday night, he proved he could actually shred a bit. But you probably were aware of that.
Those mystical powers you acquire – which are definitely more music-minded and less fireball-oriented than typical magic powers – will also go to use in Power Challenge mode. There, you can choose up to 2 different warrior powers that have been unlocked to enhance your performance through boosts and buffs that help you rack up big scores and pass challenges.
The greatest factor in choosing a rock-based rhythm game these days is the set list. Does it have the songs I want on it? Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock features over 90 tracks on its set list, and covers a pretty broad expanse of bands considering its focus on serious kick-ass heavy rock. You already know about Megadeth, but Black Sabbath, Queen, Slipknot and KISS are just some of the bigger rock royalty names. But the full list of games is a pretty good list for those who are inclined to rock the hell out.
There’s new equipment for this edition of the game. A lightly redesigned drum kit which should make for easier playing and less crossover interference is included along with a new guitar in the super bundle ($179.99) or just the guitar and the game for $99.99. Or just the game for $59.99. Your old gear works. But the new guitar gained the ability to switch the body out. There’s one special one available at launch, but that could be a cool opportunity for third-party accessory makers who wanted to make snap on parts.
Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock will go live on September 28 for all systems.