Warriors re-establishes Guitar Hero franchise

Guitar Hero has been the franchise synonymous with the phrase “music game” for the past five years in the video game industry. It has seen many successes with its titles such as Guitar Hero II, Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock and Guitar Hero: Metallica.

Activision and Neversoft have brought us the next installment of the Guitar Hero series, Warriors of Rock. This time, the players are introduced to a whole new set of songs to rock out to as well as a new campaign to play through with friends.

Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock brings along with it a brand new play style to go with its new campaign. The characters in the game that you play become members of a band that quest for the “Legendary Guitar.” There are some differences between this new Guitar Hero installment and previous games of the same type. Rather than the traditional five-star scoring system, new types of stars have replaced it.

Playing the song better earns you more stars (sometimes up to seven or even ten) which leads the character through a leveling system. Once a character reaches a certain number of stars obtained, he or she transforms and gains his or her “true potential” as a rock star.

Each character has his or her own set of special abilities that will help you in your quest to achieve greatness. For example, one of the characters has a special ability that lets you get twice the amount of starpower for every starpower phrase that you hit perfectly.

Another character’s ability lets you achieve stars faster by hitting notes perfectly for an extended period of time. Also, a small addition to the Expert+ difficulty while playing drums is “ghosting.”

Ghosting is when you hit the drum lighter than normal producing a sound that’s heard more in the background than a normal drum hit. These notes are denoted by a slightly darker note.

The game goes through a series of playlists which unlocks you songs throughout the campaign to play in quickplay or multiplayer. The structure of the setup for play is similar to Guitar Hero 5.

The standard fretboards flying out at you along with the scrolling lyrics bar at the top are still there. The track charts are very similar in general to that of Guitar Hero: World Tour and Guitar Hero 5.

It seems that Activision took note of the complaints of previous games and decided to fix the note engine in the game.

The result that they came out with is a newer, more refined engine which is more responsive and calibrates better to high definition televisions.

Activision also chose to create a new guitar design for the new release. The new design of the wireless controller looks like a mashup of the popular Les Paul design with a metal spin put on it. There are hollowed out sections for added flare.

One problem I have seen with the new guitar is that there does not seem to be an accelerometer included in the guitar. This means that instead of tilting the guitar to activate starpower (like in the previous games), one must press the star power button under the strum bar to activate it.

This can present a problem to those of a higher skill level. It’s very easy to interrupt fast strumming patterns when you want to activate starpower with a large button rather than just tilting up the guitar. Other than that, it is a solid accessory to the game itself.

This is probably the best Guitar Hero game in the series since Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock. The similar playing style along with a revamped engine for added smoothness and responsiveness make this an enjoyable game to sit down with friends, family or even by yourself.