Game Review: Guitar Hero: Warriors Of Rock
Available Platforms: PS3, Xbox 360, Wii
Players: 1-4 co-op, 2-8 competitive
MSRP: $60 (Game Only)
ESRB Rating: T (Teen)
The Guitar Hero series is one that has been filled with ups and downs. So far the best Guitar Hero has probably been Guitar Hero 5, with a great track list, challenges to separate itself from Rock Band and the ability to play as a four player band with any instrument is a good amount to add to one game, so does Neversoft recreate the success of their previous installment? The short answer is no. Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock is what I consider to be an updated version of Guitar Hero 5, and not all of the updates make the game better.
Warriors of Rock is simply Guitar Hero 5 but with Guitar Hero 3 elements. The title alone already gives you the feel of Guitar Hero 3: Legends of Rock. In Warriors of Rock you are given special abilities specific to each character in the game. This leaves the feeling of the attempt that Neversoft made back in the day with Guitar Hero 3 and the battle mode system, in Guitar Hero 3 you activated star power and it would give you some kind of special ability. This time it is better and you get some interesting powers that somewhat separate it from games like Rock Band. In the new quest mode, which utilizes the new powers, you can use the powers of rock to get enough stars to become your characters warrior, once you become your character’s warrior you play an encore and then you can move on to the next character. The warriors that you unlock can be very cool, some of the designs seem typical, but others like Austin’s show something that hasn’t been done before.
The ultimate goal in quest is to get the Demigod of Rock free so you can destroy the beast that enslaved him at the beginning of the game. Each character is given a power to help free the Demigod of Rock. When a character’s warrior is unlocked whatever power your character starts out with is doubled, some of the powers in quest include having a 6x max multiplier instead of 4x, being able to miss two notes without losing your streak, and being able to gain a full star power bar off of one star power chart. With each power comes a new interesting experience, unfortunately nothing can make the large majority of Warrior of Rock’s track list interesting. Neversoft seems to have gotten songs that were easy to obtain and stuffed them into Warrior of Rock’s track list in order to boast 90+ songs. Due to the overcrowding of terrible songs, finding a good song is like finding a gem in a pile of sand. When a good song finally arrives there is some relieve. The track list is divided, somewhat, by genre in quest mode, certain characters will have songs that give a specific feel, meaning with characters like Austin you are stuck with descent or terrible songs until his encore. Although most of the track list for the game is terrible, many of the good songs are great. These songs include “Bohemian Rhapsody” by Queen, “Holy Wars… The Punishment Due” by Megadeth, and “Children of the Grave” by Black Sabbath. With a few more songs of this caliber the game shows some of the main songs that fans have wanted for awhile. Oddly enough my favorite part about this game is the ability to add track lists from other Guitar Hero games. With Guitar Hero 5, Guitar Hero World Tour, Band Hero, Guitar Hero Smash Hits and Guitar Hero Metallica all being exportable for a $6 fee, Guitar Hero Warriors of Rock has become the Guitar Hero version of Rock Band 2. I can now play most of my favorite songs from the Guitar Hero series in one game, now when I play quickplay I can weed out the bad songs in Warriors of Rock and instead play the best of songs from the past Guitar Hero games. When I play the older songs in quickplay+ I can experience what each song is like with the new power abilities, giving slightly more reason to go back and play some songs.
Unfortunately, even with all of these games being exportable the track list can’t match up to Rock Band 2’s combined track list due to Rock Band’s huge DLC library. In fact the growing DLC list of Rock Band is another reason I would not recommend this game unless you are a hardcore fan. If you see the track list for Warriors of Rock and see a few songs that you really want to play but you don’t care for anything else I would suggest giving it a year and I wouldn’t be surprised to see some of Warriors of Rock’s greatest songs end up as DLC for Rock Band. With all this in mind the only thing that Warriors of Rock has to separate itself from Rock Band is a revamped Guitar Hero 3 system and things that were already introduced in Guitar Hero 5.
I always buy Guitar Hero for the difficulty of the songs, on expert Guitar Hero always offers a challenge and this game is no exception, Warriors of Rock takes songs that you would think would be easy and makes them hard, so when the game takes a song that sounds hard to play, like “This Day We Fight” by Megadeth, the note chart becomes outrageous and to be beatable more than likely require you to use the powers of rock, this makes it almost impossible to beat in a standard quickplay mode. If you are like me and have to play every Guitar Hero song this is a good rent. If you really want to have one disc for most of your Guitar Hero games then this game is worth a buy, to be able to play Guitar Hero 5 and Guitar Hero Metallica on the same disc to me makes this game worth keeping around to whip out whenever my friends want to play some challenging songs. If you are not a big fan of the music game genre I would definitely pass over this game.