Will it rock your world? yeah a bit!
So, just in case you have lived in a cave for the last 5 or 6 years, a quick recap of what Guitar Hero is all about! You have either a guitar controller, drum controller or a microphone and you must strum, drum or sing in time to the music. Simples.
It’s got Gene Simmons!
Taking on the game can be done solo or as part of a band. This review will concentrate on the single player guitar elements of the game – in my mind the core of the game.
It seems that the folks at Neversoft wanted to go a bit off the wall with this incarnation of Guitar Hero. Rather than the standard career mode, where you take a character and play through all the songs, here we have a quest mode. Quest mode tells the story of a timeless battle between The Demigod of Rock and a mechanical monster called The Beast. In the introduction animation, we see the Demigod of Rock defeated by the Beast in an epic battle. The quest falls to you to recruit eight rock stars to take on the Beast and free the Demigod of Rock.
Yep, took me a moment to digest that as well. It was helped by the fact that the Demigod of Rock – who narrates the story – is none other than Gene Simmons!
Starting with Johnny Napalm you must successful complete tracks and earn stars. Once you have earned enough stars Johnny is transformed into his true Warrior form and challenged to a kind of end of level “boss” song to finally prove his worth. You must do this with each of the eight characters. Once you have transformed them all into their Warrior forms you must take on the Beast. Each warrior form has an enhanced power. So for instance if the character has a maximum multiplier boost to 5 instead of 4, then the Warrior version will have a maximum multiplier of 6.
After the first four Warriors have been recruited you come across the Demigods guitar. To earn it you must play through a very longwinded (and I have to admit very boring) seven part song called 2112 by Rush. It is a little bit Spinal Tap with the members of Rush narrating over the top.
Once all eight warriors are unlocked, you must create two bands, choosing the right balance of powers, to take on the Beast in a final showdown. Megadeth provide the final song – Sudden Death, a mental barrage of notes that really will test the player!
So that’s the game, but is it good? Well, yes and no. There are some amazing songs on their from a nice array of rock legends. We have Metallica to Lynard Skynard, Queen to Megadeth and many more. You should find at least some you really like. The problem for me was the difficulty curve. All of a sudden I went from having no trouble at all to not being able to complete a song in one level! Also the quest is a bit barmy. It is a nice idea, but actually detracts from the core quality of fun that made the original games such a hit. It is trying just a little too hard to distance its self from Rock Band.
I feel that I have to mention the new guitar add on. Whatever my thoughts on the game itself I have to say I love the new guitar. Designed in a way that lets you take the body apart, the overall layout is much tighter than the last one I had (from Guitar Hero Metallica). The big improvement is where the way the starpower button is now right next to the whammy bar. This, mixed with a slightly altered strum bar makes the whole unit much easier to use.
Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock is a fun title, but possibly a step in the wrong direction. Could this signal the end of innovation for the series? I hope not.
The Bad: Quest mode is a bit strange! Songs may not be for everyone.